Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Frugal Advent Calendar

For this Thrifty Thursday, I have a project that I found to be VERY exciting.  Probably because I thought it up all by my lonesome (thanks to being bored at work!) and also because it's for my little baby bear and I think he's really going to like it!  I have always admired advent calendars but I've never found one that was really just it for me.  I also wanted something that was going to allow me to include activities each day that Ty and I could do together.  So, I made one myself.  And I'm so excited how great it turned out.  I hope you think so too! 

Here's what it took and how much it set me back:
  • 24 clothespins--FREE (just stole them from my laundry room) for me but you could probably get a whole big pack at the dollar store for only. . .well, one dolla!
  • 3 cans of spray paint (white, red & green)--$3.40 for all three cans @ Wal-Mart
  • Sisal rope (need a higher weight rope to hold up all those clothespins)--$6.48 from Lowes but I have a TON leftover so I'll probably finish that rope jar project that I never got around to making for my mom's beach house (Sorry, Mom!)
  • 24 mini cards and envelopes--$2.00 from Micheals
You could number the envelopes any way you wanted but I found a super cute set of tiny letter stamps at Wal-Mart for only $.97 plus some small Christmas themed stamps (3 to a package!) for .97 so I splurged on those and an extra ink pad for $.97 also. 

Grand total spent: $14.79--not too shabby when you consider that I now have enough sisal rope to either complete another project or hog tie a herd of wild elephants.  Cuz I sometimes find those walking around in my neighborhood.  Just sayin'.

And here's how I made it happen:

Step 1: I laid out all 24 clothespins on some old newspaper in the garage and seperated them into three groups of 8.  One group was spray painted white, one group red, and one group green.

I put two good coats of the red and green on each side but the white took three coats.

Step 2: I took my mini stamps and spelled out the different numbers from One to Twenty Four on the mini envelopes.  I then took my little Christmas stamps and decorated the envelopes.  This step is totally optional.  You could number the envelopes any way you wanted or decorate them any way you wanted. 

Step 3: I took the Sisal rope and strung it between the two light fixtures that Tyler has hanging in his bedroom.  You'll want somewhere fairly sturdy (tied to a banister going up a stairwell, hung from a mantel, etc) because once all of the clothespins and envelopes are on there, it's fairly heavy. 

Step 4:  Once I had everything else done, dried and tied to the wall, I wrote an activity inside of each of the little cards.  Since I wanted activities that were going to allow Ty and I to spend some extra time together, I included things like:
  • Extra snuggles before bed
  • Pick out a movie to watch together
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Breakfast at IHOP
  • Paint a picture together
  • Do something nice for someone else
  • Put together a puzzle together
And other activities that I thought would really help us bond during this crazy stressful time otherwise known was the Holiday season as well as some things that would give Ty an opportunity to learn about the giving that is associated with the Holiday season as opposed to only receiving.

Step 5: After all of the cards were filled and put into their envelopes, I used alternating colors of clothespins to hang the cards on the line.  I started with number Twenty Four and went all the way down to One since the idea is to have a countdown till Xmas.  I'm hoping that by spelling out the numbers, versus just printing the numbers on the envelopes, it will help Tyler with his sight reading skills of numbers.  Always gotta think about the educational spin! 

And there you have it.  An advent calendar that I'm totally in love with!  I put it together last week while Ty was at his dad's house as a suprise for him when he came home to me on Thursday.  He LOVED it!!!  He's gotten so excited about seeing what is inside of each envelope each day.  I've tried to schedule around the fact that he's with his dad 50% of the time so I've included activities on those days that he's with his dad that I thought would be relatively easy for his dad to complete with him.  

What do you think?  Do you have an avent calendar project that you love?  If so, please share!!

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