Sunday, December 4, 2011

Creating Christmas {Don't Just Pin, CREATE!}

WAHOOOOO it's finally here, our week of Creating Christmas!!! For the next 7 days you will find some FANTASTIC Christmas projects and ideas here at Love Sweet Love and I'm so excited to show you the projects my guest posters have been working on! But the fun's not all here, as I'm co-hosting this event with The Girl Creative and 14 other bloggers who you can follow along with this week as well!!!

The idea behind this whole week is to not just pin things, but to START creating them!! I love that motivation and couldn't wait to be apart of this event! Sooooo hopefully this week you will find inspiration here, and at the homes of all the other bloggers, as we took the dare to create something, and YOU will get out there and create something yourself! Make sure to blog about your creations so you can link them up to our HUGE Christmas linky party at the end of the week! I can't wait to see what you come up with too!!!!!!

To kick things off this week I wanted to share the Advent Calendar and 24 Christmas Activities I made and posted over at Midwestern Sewing Girl last week for those of you who didn't get a chance to swing by then....

I Love LOVE Love everything about Christmas! The decorations, the lights, the music, the colors, the smells, giving gifts, mistletoe :), and the pure JOY and excitement that those 24 days leading up to it entail! I created a fun way to help your sweet families kick off your Christmas season and squeeze every ounce of tradition, laughter, service and creativity out of the month of December...a Christmas Advent with 24 Christmas activities.

I first got this idea, of using a muffin tin, from my sweet neighbor (who's not a blogger :) ). I've been wanting to make an advent for the last TWO Christmas's but couldn't find the *perfect* one for us, so when I saw this style I knew it would fit our family perfectly! I got on pinterest (BAD idea) to see if I could find an example of how to make one-thinking just because I hadn't seen it before it would be a rare, if not original, idea. HA! (Is there anything now that hasn't been done in some way before?!?!) Sooooo, there are LOTS of muffin tin advent ideas on pinterest if you care to look, but I was surprised to find that a lot of them are just for sale, or no tutorials are offered along with the picture.

SO just in case you ARE interested in the 'how-to', I have written up a tutorial with some pictures to walk you through it. This would be the perfect sort of advent to make if you're looking to do something quick, cheap, easy and FuN!

You'll start with:
-A mini 24 cupcake muffin tin (about $5 at Walmart)
-A few sheets of scrapbook paper and coordinating cardstock
-embellishments (stickers, buttons, ribbon, etc)
-Magnet roll
-glue dots

If you have a device that cuts paper (cricut, silhouette, punches,etc) this will be LOADS easier for you :). I started by cutting out 24 small circles (using my cricut) to place into the bottom of each muffin tin.

I used mini glue dots to adhere them to the pan.
**TIP**since mine is a non-stick tin just one glue dot doesn't hold it in place so you'll need to use about 3 per circle.

I wasn't sure if I was going to hang mine up or just string some ribbon through it for a little added embellishment, but either way I needed 2 small holes at the top of the pan, so the hubby drilled them right out for me! :) (you can buy pans with holes already in them, but they're about double the price)

Next I cut 12 scalloped and 12 regular circles out of 4 different types of holiday paper big enough to cover the hole. (my paper is from Hobby Lobby) I also cut 24 smaller circles out of cardstock to place one on top of each of the bigger circles so the numbers would stand out better.

Then I decided to vintagey them up a smidge so I used some brown ink and a paper towel to distress up the sides of all the paper circles. (I did not use the circle below as it turned out to be a total flop-ha! It took me a couple tries to figure out what I was doing!)

To get the look below, I found that I needed to press the paper towel into the ink and then, while the paper circle was lying flat on another paper towel, lightly swoosh the ink, quickly, back and forth around the outer perimeter of the circle. (I'm sure you all already know this but just in case there are some newbie ink distresser's out there... :) )

I think the added step gives it JUST the touch it needs to add some character to the project!

And then the BEST part about this project...embellishing!!! This is where this project becomes ALL your own!! Your style, your talent, your ideas shine through right now and it doesn't matter how many of these you find online, yours will be unique and special to you!

Detail is everything to me! I love a little bling here, a little saying there, a little glitter pretty much everywhere! So for mine, I made sure to include little tags on the presents that say 'from santa' (they were stickers I didn't actually MAKE all the tags-ha ha even I'm not that crazy), glittery numbers (stickers) for the countdown, tree toppers, tags (cut from my cricut) with some of our favorite Christmas songs hand written on them, your imagination is the limit!!

Once each circle is decorated the way you want it and they're all numbered you're ready to add some magnet to the back. I used a magnet roll I already had and just cut pieces off of it and that white part peels off and it sticks right to your paper! So easy!

Behind each day is a *Kiss* and an activity to do for that day (24 activities at the end of this post). The Christmas season is always busy so I didn't want this to become something that stressed us out and made us feel obligated to add ONE more thing to our day, so most of these activities are things we would already be doing, it just make it more fun to pull it out of a tin and get a treat! :)

And that's all!

You could whip this up in 1 or 2 days EASY and your kids will LOOOOVE it, I promise!

My kids have been DYING to start doing this right away since we put it up this weekend! They love opening the little magnet "doors" and seeing their treat in there waiting for them!

I opted to set mine on an easel to display and just tie a simple bow on the top because I think there's enough going on on the advent itself and a fancy bow on top would just be distracting. Buuuut if you did simpler embellishments, a big poofy, sparkly bow would be perfect! :)

24 Christmas Activities:
  1. Put the star on the top of the Christmas tree
  2. First gift of Christmas
    *Our first gift of Christmas is a gift we set aside for our Savior. We each write down what we would like to *give* Jesus this year (talk kinder to our siblings, do one act of service everyday, etc.) and we put all the papers in a gift box and put it under the tree. A great reminder of 'the reason for the season'!
  3. Write letters to Santa
  4. Watch the First Presidency devotional
  5. Decorate Gingerbread Houses
  6. Make a Christmas craft
  7. Serve a neighbor
  8. Snow day (sledding, build snowman, etc)
  9. Leave love notes for daddy around the house
  10. Christmas craft
  11. Drive around to see Christmas lights in the neighborhood
  12. Pick out and donate toys to an organization
  13. Start our '12 days of Christmas' project for a needy family
  14. Go see the newest Christmas/kids movie at the theater
  15. Baking Day
  16. Go out to dinner and anonymously pay for another family's meal
  17. Deliver Christmas treats/goodies to friends and neighbor's
  18. Invite a new family or widow over for dinner
  19. Christmas craft
  20. Go see Santa
  21. Christmas movie with popcorn night at home
  22. Go to Salt Lake City to see the lights on Temple Square
  23. Read Christmas stories by the tree with Hot Chocolate and cookies
  24. Open one present!
25. Merry Christmas! (our family pic last year :) )

Thank you SO much for stopping in today, I just love having you here sharing all this Christmas spirit with me!! Tomorrow we have a GREAT versatile idea from a guest poster that you won't want to miss! See ya then! ;)

Linking up to these great parties as well as:
UndertheTableandDreaming The DIY Show Off


Whitney Reed Cypert@Keeping Up with the Cyperts said...

This is such an adorable idea! I love it!

Isa said...

I love the idea, I haven't done that yet because MarĂ­lia only knows how to count til 14 and she can't wait one day for another sweet... maybe next year:)

eden and david said...

So cute, you make it look so easy!

Alecia said...

I've never seen this before! Will I get in trouble if I pin this (instead of creating it) until I can get a muffin tin? Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower.

Cohosting @

The Girl Creative said...

Looks great! I can tell that a lot of work and time went into it. :)

Sarah said...

Oh My Goodness! This is SO cute! I love this idea. I am a new friend/follower from The Girl Creative! I am also co-hosting the Creating Christmas event over at www.lifeonwalnutstreet,

Emily said...

So very cute! My kids were asking for the ones where there is a chocolate inside just this morning, but the chocolate in it is always so gross! Love that you put an activity in there too.
PS- I'm following and co-hosting with you!

Elizabeth said...

Oh my word I love love love this! We do the same sort of thing with the activities all through the month but ours is not nearly as nice as yours! Great job! New follower and co-hosting with you :)

glamourpuss said...

I love this!! Such a precious idea - every year I want to make an advent calendar and every year it hasn't happened. Fail! This one is inspirational!! New follower and co-hosting with you! :)

Lori@KitchenFunk said...

This is beautiful, and what a fun project!! I am going to be making this now, its right up my alley. So glad I followed your link. Great project!!!

SUPAHMAMA! said...

Such a CUTE little advent!!! And to think I probably HAVE most of everything you've got listed. :) I'm a fellow co-host, can't wait to see what else you come up with. :)

Bec@littlelucylu said...

Super-duper CUTE!
Great job!
~Bec :-)

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

p.s. I'm co-hosting and following along :)

Jennifer @Miss Maggie's Place said...

Wow. This is soo pretty. I love that you can put candy in it too.

Felicia @ All Things Fee said...

Oh my word. I may be running to the store for a muffin tin today!

Maranda said...

Angela, I love this idea! Especially #2. I hope you don't mind but I'm totally stealing that idea and passing it along. What a great way to help us think about the true meaning of Christmas and have it be a reminder. You continue to wow and inspire me!

Anastacia Knits said...

Howdy! Just wanted to say hello! I'm one of your co-hosts of Creating Christmas!

Sabrina said...

I made two of these this year and had a hard time getting the magnet to hold, glad you had better luck, it looks great.

AmieAnn said...

Gorgeous! Love how beautiful each of your individual countdown number circles are!
Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo party.. can't wait to see what you share next!

Amy C said...

Very Cute! I have one of these as well and they are fun! The embellishing is definitely one of the best parts.
Thanks for sharing!
Amy @ The Happy Scraps

Jamie Kaufmann said...

the details are wonderful! love it!

WhyCuzICan said...

Very nice tips and tuts for your advent mini cupcake tin... love what you came up for the spots too :D

Visiting from Wicked Awesome Wednesday Linky party at Handy Man, Crafty Woman today,
Suzanne in NW Illinois

Coleen McCrea Katz said...

This is adorable!!!

Jessica :) said...

This is such a cute advent calendar. But I'm afraid if I bought a mini cupcake tin I would want to keep it to make cupcakes instead of a calendar! Actually, I probably would. So this might not work for me. I *love* the idea though. Yours turned out so cute!
I also love this Christmas crafting event. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out if I've done anything crafty I could link up. Does baking count? ;)

Jessica said...

This is on my list for next year. Thanks for all the details!!

Mindie Hilton said...

I have seen this idea before but really love how you made yours. Looks like fun for the kids. Thanks for sharing at Bacon Time.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing all the different ways to do advent calendars and yours is darling! I love all the detail you put into it. I am featuring it at my party tomorrow! Thanks for linking up!

Katie Adams said...

Thank you for sharing, I love this idea. I have created a round-up of all my favorite Advent calendars and I have added yours! You can check it out here If you would like me to remove your feature please let me know and I will take it down right away. Oh, and please stop by and grab a feature button and wear it proudly! You deserve it!

Blogger said...

BlueHost is the best hosting provider for any hosting plans you need.