I've always been an advent calendar fan and look forward each year to picking out one for myself to enjoy but this year Mía understands the concept of Christmas and is already asking about Santa and Christmas trees so it is the perfect time to start our advent calendar tradition with her. I knew I wanted to make one for her versus buying one because I like the idea of having the same overall advent calendar so its familiar to her but one that I can change up aspects of each year to keep it interesting. This year we won't have a full advent calendar for Mía on her advent calendar because we will be travelling to Iceland and when we get there it will switch to their Christmas tradition of a surprise left in the child's shoe each night leading up to Christmas.
Lets get started! You only need a few materials for this project and all of them can be found locally at your craft store and your backyard.
You will need:
- 1 Cross stitch hoop (the one I chose was 14" in diameter)
- 5-6 Stems of greenery (I snipped some from my backyard)
- 1 Stem of berries (artificial or real)
- Floral shears
- Floral wire
- Wrapping paper
- Little trinkets of your choice to wrap
Take your greenery stems and start snipping them into smaller sections. I used the portions of one full stem and made a small bundle with them and secured the bottom of the bundle with floral wire. I made two bundles without berries and two with berries since they were fairly full bundles. You will have to increase or decrease the number of bundles you make depending on the size of your hoop and/or the size of your greenery bundles. Just be sure to make even numbers of bundles because you want it to be sort of even on the either side.
TIP: I prefer using pre cut floral wire (sold at most dollar stores) because it saves me time and I find it way easier to handle
Keeping the metal piece of your cross stitch hoop at top, take your first bundle and secure it to the hoop with a piece of floral wire. If you have a very large bundle you may need to use another piece of wire to secure it.
Take a bundle with berries and place it on the hoop so it is overlapping a bit and secure it with some floral wire.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side of the hoop then use some individual sprigs of greenery to fill in the centre to hide the floral wire.
Ta Da! You made a wreath!
Wrap your packages up in your choice of wrapping paper and tie them with some twine and for a festive flare, tuck left over pieces of greenery on top. At this point you want to hang your hoop up so its easier to tie the packages to it. Cut several pieces of twine of varying lengths (making sure they are long enough to double up) and thread one end of it through the string on the package so you have two ends when tying it to the hoop. I sort of eye ball the lengths and double knot the ends and hide them in behind the greenery.
TIP: Hang the heaviest package in the centre of the wreath so it anchors the wreath when it hangs
The best part about this type of advent calendar is that you can add packages as the month goes on so the pressure of picking out all 24 gifts isn't a factor! Also, you can start and finish you advent calendar whenever you want because who sticks to conventional timing anymore anyways?!
I can't wait to see your advent calendar and be sure to tag me on social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) when you make it so I can see it!