Embroidery Calendar Kit

For Christmas I received a Heather Lins Home Stitch the Stars Calendar Kit. It was the perfect DIY to complete while watching the Seahawks game during the holiday break. Once it was complete I knew I needed a way to hang them up to display their cuteness! The calendars come with a pre-punched hole, but you know me. That solution would work fine but I wanted to put it on a counter, not the wall. I do this all the time, and sometimes I come up with a brilliant alternative! After a bit of brainstorming, I dove into my craft-stash and found a few things to make this project complete.

Follow the easy instructions in the calendar kit. It’s super easy and a perfect afternoon craft. And if you want to add an extra special finishing touch, all you need is some Nate Berkus Brass Clips from Target, and a 5″ x 7″ vertical acrylic leaning frame.

Once you have all the components, just take your card and clip it to the acrylic frame and voila!

Next year I might just have to continue the tradition, and stitch up Heather’s Fruit of the Month Calendar Kit! :)

Artist Tote Board 2017 Calendar

One memory from college I would like to forget is how I had to shlep around a giant art-board around campus to and from my drawing classes. Ugh. That thing was a pain in the a**. It was big and awkward, and always covered in charcoal, which inevitably got all over my clothes. And even though it was the 90’s and I looked like a grunge hippie, I still didn’t like getting it all over me. :)

Despite my memory, I guess I got a little sentimental cause I saw this little art-board at the art store the other day, and decided that it needed a little designer DIY. And since it’s almost new years, I decided to make a 2017 wall calendar with a modern twist!

MATERIALS

  • 13″ x 17″ Artist Tote Board by Art Alternatives w/rubber band
  • Printed 2017 Calendar (Download PDF)
  • Ruler (24″ preferably)
  • X-acto knife

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1:

Download the PDF and print out on 11″ x 17″ paper.

Step 2:

Using the crop marks as guides, use your ruler and trim out the calendar pages to their final size of 9″ x 15″.

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Step 3:

Collate the pages in calendar order, clip the calendar sheets into the tote board, and attach the rubber band (on opposite side) to hold.

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Step 4:

Hang up your calendar and start planning your new year!

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Modern brass advent calendar

An advent calendar is a way to countdown the days leading up to Christmas, and is a special tradition for many during the month of December. There are so many different kinds of advent calendars…paper ones, ones that include a chocolate treat, ones that hold little surprises for each day, or ones that are aimed at families. And all of these are great, but they don’t fit my current lifestyle. For example…I don’t need to eat chocolate everyday, nor do I need to buy myself little surprises for each day. Because that isn’t much of a surprise. :) Instead I created a calendar that worked with this single gals world! It includes daily activities that I like to do during the month of December. Activities like “send a friend a holiday greeting” or “write our your new years resolution.” Most importantly I know these will be easy to complete each day, while getting me in the Christmas spirit!

Craft Confessional: I had this idea for over a year and a half. It was PERFECT in my head, and I thought it would be SO easy. In the end, I admit it was a bit of a struggle. It wasn’t that the steps were difficult, it just ended up being a bit of a volatile craft. If you just moved it so…the whole thing fell apart. That’s no way to make a craft, so I went in search for some ways to make it more stable. I tried a bunch of different things, and searched home improvement stores for the components. I was roaming the aisles at Home Depot at 8:30PM on a Thursday night looking like a fish out of water. I think I got four different can-I-help-you’s. How do you explain to the Home Depot guy “well I’m making this craft. It’s an advent calendar. I need something to hold the rungs in place.” I can see his face now. I finally came up with a decent solution at 12:00AM the night of December 1st which makes this not very timely. Oops!

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MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the cards:

To complete the advent activity cards you can do one of two options. If you’re like me, print and trim out the advent activity cards PDF. If you want to customize them yourself, you can purchase white business cards, and using the black felt-tip pen, write your own activities! Note: I included 40 different cards to choose from. Go through and pick out ones that work for you!

cards

Once the activity cards are done, take your mini envelopes and flip them over (so the flap is facing away from you).

Now number 25 envelopes with consecutive numbers along the top long edge of each envelope. Make sure the number is within 1/2″ from the top, and centered. Practice on one using a brass index clip as a guide.

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Now here comes the fun part…place all your advent activity cards face down on the table. Mix them up! Now insert one card into an envelope.

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Attach one brass index clip to each envelope so the number is within the square opening.

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Cut the tubes:

Measure and cut your brass tubing. Each piece should each be 21″ long. Use the mini cutter to secure your tubing. Slowly tighten and turn the tubing a couple times. You’ll feel the cutter become more loose, which is when you turn the knob and tighten it a bit more. Then repeat the steps again. You’ll do this a few times and you’ll feel the tube break at some point. It’s not difficult, it just takes 1-2 minutes per tube. (watch this video)

You can purchase brass tubing and mini tube cutter at your local hardware store. I always get mine at the Ace Hardware by my house. Plus I like to roam the aisles looking at all the materials…you never know what could inspire you! :)

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Cut and assemble ball chains:

Measure and cut out the following pieces of brass ball chain using your wire cutters. If you want to get REALLY specific, I counted the little balls to make sure they were the same lengths (22 balls).

  • 8 pieces – 2 3/4″ long (these will attach the rungs together)
  • 1 piece – 21″ long (this will be the hanger)

Attach a fan connector to each end of the 2 3/4″ ball chain pieces. As well as the end of the 21″ piece.

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Assembly:

  1. Take long ball chain, and slide to the right edge of Rung #1.
  2. Take a short ball chain, and slide to the right edge of Rung #1.
  3. Take pliers and make a slight dent in tubing 3/4″ from the right end. This will create a little road-block so the chains don’t fall off the rung.
  4. Squeeze the two ball chain hangers together and with your pliers make another dent on the inside of them.
  5. Slip on envelopes 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.
  6. Take a short ball chain, and slide onto left of Rung #1.
  7. Take the other end of long ball chain, and slide onto left edge of Rung #1.
  8. Take pliers and make a slight dent in the tubing 3/4″ from the left end.
  9. Squeeze the two ball chain hangers together and with your pliers make another dent on the inside of them.
  10. Take Rung #2 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from the previous rung.
  11. Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6.)
  12. Take Rung #3 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from previous rung.
  13. Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 15, 14, 13, 12, and 11.)
  14. Take Rung #4 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from previous rung.
  15. Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 20, 19, 18, 17, and 16.)
  16. Take Rung #5 and insert it into the short ball chain hanging from previous rung.
  17. Repeat steps 2-9 (but with envelopes 25, 24, 23, 22, and 21.)

steps

Hang your advent calendar somewhere you will see it each day. After you’ve opened an envelope, flip the card over and clip it back onto the index clip so you can see all the activities you’ve done each day.

Merry Christmas!

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