Thursday, November 8, 2012

Christmas advent bunting

Well I've finally finished pocket advent bunting all ready for Christmas! If you follow my mousehouse page on Facebook you'll have seen a few pics already of the process, and some details of where I got the numbers and fabric but I'll share again on here for any of you that haven't seen my FB posts.
I got the idea to make advent bunting after seeing this gorgeous bunting on pinterest made by the very clever Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet. I'd already bought the screenprinted numbers over a year ago from Maze and Vale  (which you just cut out and applique on to your chosen fabric) but I was still thinking of how I was going to make the calendar- there are a lot of great ideas out there! Once I saw the pocket bunting idea though I knew it would be a great project as I love bunting and it wouldn't take too long to make compared to some of the beautiful but more time consuming pocket quilt style advent calendars I've seen.
For the white fabric I used 'cotton duck' in off white- I love this fabric and used it for the christmas stockings I made a few years ago (here and here) as well- it's quite a heavy fabric, has a linen look and also looks quite 'vintagy' so works really well for lots of projects. (I buy it from Bernina here in Tauranga- I think it is about $14 a metre). For the back of the pockets I used fabrics from the Riley Blake 'Santa's Workshop' collection- I bought them from Bernina and Sew Pretty  plus the aqua spot fabric from Spotlight. You can also find the range on Etsy. I used bias binding to join all the pockets together. I'm really happy with how it's turned out, especially the colours of all the fabrics together- it looks Christmassy but still bright and fun as well which suits our summer Christmas here in NZ.
I think I'm going to do something similar to what Vanessa wrote on my Facebook page about her advent calendar last year...she put notes in each pocket with things like "tomorrow we can bake gingerbread cookies" or "we will go and see the Christmas lights tomorrow night" or "you can stay up an hour later tonight to watch a Santa DVD" and then put a chocolate Santa or a candy cane every third day or so. Lots of great idea thanks Vanessa- I like the idea of mixing activities with treats! Here are some more ideas below…

I also loved Claire's idea on my FB page- she put notes in some of her advent pockets saying things like "Look in the washing basket" or she wrote clues to put in the pockets and they had to guess where she hid the treats!

Here is my list of Christmassy things I would like to do most years (time and energy willing!!) They are in no particular order and I doubt I'll get them all done but it'll be good to have a list here for ideas...

1. Unwrap some new summer PJ's- one year I might actually make these but for now I'll be buying them
2. Read a Christmas story (every year I want to buy a new Christmas book for each kiddo- this year I bought Mog's Christmas for Amelie, The Lighthouse Keeper's Christmas for Jack (both $11 on Fishpond with free delivery FYI) and Dora's Starry Christmas  for Stella my little Dora fan :)
3. Go to the Christmas tree farm and pick out a Christmas tree
4. Hang the Christmas wreath and stockings and other decorations around the house
5. Decorate the Christmas tree
6. In one pocket I'll put 3 Christmas decorations with a note to hang them on the tree (I like the idea of making or buying a special Christmas decoration each year so they'll have a nice little collection by the time they have their own tree's!)

7. Go berry picking- list of places in NZ here...
8. Write a letter to Santa
9. Watch Santa's message on  
10. Make/write Christmas cards
11. Do some Christmas baking (gingerbread, shortbread...lots of ideas on pinterest)
12. Do some Christmas drawing and crafting ( a few years ago I made a little craft kit with stickers, red and green card, crayons and some other bits and pieces from Dollar value so will try and do this again for Amelie and Stella). 
There are also lots of christmas activity books like this one from Book Depository or FishPond so I might get one of them ...
Christmas Pocket Doodling and Colouring Book
or I'll find some Christmas colouring in pages and other simple kids craft ideas online  (like this one I made a few years ago with Stella
13. Take a parcel of food to the local Foodbank and donate some old toys to an Op Shop
14. Go for a drive to see the Christmas lights-luckily there were quite a few houses that got into it last year in our neighbourhood! 
15. Decorate a gingerbread house- I like the look of this one from Ezibuy as I can't imagine ever making my own gingerbread pieces!
16. Go to a Carols by Candlight performance (I think Te Puna Quarry here in Tauranga had one last year but the kids were a bit young..maybe this year we will give it a go)
17. Go to a Christmas church service that tells the Christmas story so the kids learn something about the meaning/history behind Christmas
18. Watch a Christmas movie (hoping to get a Muppets Christmas movie like 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' this year to watch among others like The Polar Express, How the Grinch stole Christmas, Santa Claus, A Charlie Brown Christmas...if you have a favourite Christmas movie would love to hear! More ideas here
19. Buy some Christmas lilies.
20. Make up a lolly jar of red/ green/ christmas themed lollies.
21. Make a christmas pillowcase with pocket
22. Have a kids christmas morning tea or lunch
23. Have Christmas drinks and nibbles (Christmas eve if here)
24. Have an adults 'end of year' dinner out
25. Elf on the Shelf- buy this year
26. Buy a new candle for the mantelpiece- christmassy scent...
27. Make some reindeer food using oats and glitter + carrots- put out letter, cookies and milk for Santa (jingle bells, chewed up carrot, note from Santa next morning)
28 New toothbrushes
29. Get a new christmas outfit and take a photo underneath the Christmas tree (christmas cards)
30. Decorate the dollshouse for Christmas
31. Go to a Santa parade

Phew this has turned into a very big blog post, no wonder its taken me about a week to finish it! If you want any more advent ideas if you are wanting to make your own one check out my Christmas pinterest board or search Etsy to buy a handmade one- there are thousands of beautiful ones on there!

And a big thanks to Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet for the fab idea to make advent pocket bunting- check out her store as she makes some really lovely things. 

Please share any photo's of your DIY advent calendar or ideas on my Facebook page- would love to see them!

Megan x

PS: The winner of the edible ink pen from my Muppets blog post is comment number 4- CC of Sevendog blog. Please email me your address to megan (at) mouse house dot co dot nz and I'll send the pen out to you :)


Stella said...

Gorgeous Megan! I have actually just made some pocket advent bunting too! Though it looks completely different... Love your screenprinted numbers, perfect! And your Christmas ideas... I'm compiling a list of traditions too, though now that we live in the countryside, things like houses dressed in Christmas lights are hard to find... Might have to make a trip to AK!

Leonie said...

Gorgeous bunting and I love your list of Christmas ideas. Looks like a fun December ahead!

sascedar said...

oh wow! this is so wonderful! you have totally got me in the spirit. i make christmas pjs for my kids each year, so dorky, i wonder how long i can keep it going (secretly, I hope into their twenties)? have a great day!

Fay said...

Gorgeous bunting! I made an advent calender last year, it's not as pretty as yours though. This year I'm going to make some Christmas pj's for my boy and I also get him a Christmas book each year. Last year I made him a Christmas pillowcase too which he loved.

CC said...

Love the pocket bunting and the Christmas activity ideas. I have been planning to make an advent calendar for the past few years. Maybe this year will be the year.

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

love it all, so pretty, it's going to be a busy December

Hootnz said...

Love the bunting! especially your choice of colours... enjoy your december :)

Anonymous said...

I got myself one of those gingerbread house kits last year thinking it would be fun to decorate it... Let's just say cake decorating is not my forte. Also, the icing wasn't a big fan of the heat and humidity and slipped a wee bit! (I'm from Tauranga, too :) )

leslie said...

So gorgeous!! Loving al of your advent ideas - do you mind if I share this post on my Maze & Vale Facebook page? x

(sweetlittle)librarygirl said...

I love this post, thanks for sharing! A friend of mine from the States gave me the idea to incorporate activities in my advent calendars a few years ago, and it has been a real blessing! It helps remind me to keep the traditions alive, it adds an extra exciting air of anticipation t to pre-xmas activities that we would already have been doing, and it also gets me motivated to schedule all the activities into my diary before time. ...winner all round! x

Leah said...

I am in bunting heaven right now! You've done a beautiful job on your Christmas bunting/advent calendar. I know my two are going to want one as soon as they see this!!

I am slowly catching up with my blog reading so have got a few posts to look at on your beautiful blog. Can't wait.

Have a fab week hon,

Craftysquirrel said...

Great ideas, next weeks project is to make our advent calendar , reminds me I need to order a Xmas book or two

gretbert said...

It looks so amazing, I might have to make one next year (stressing about this year already!)

Miriam said...

How did I miss this post?? Love it I'm doing a similar thing for the boys with activities this year. I can't wait - SO exciting :o)

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