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Make your own advent calendar

I've rounded up just a few advent calendars below, including a couple of my own projects which you might not have seen over the last few years. 

If you 're a fan of the DIY advent calendar, some of these calendars are pretty easy to put together.  Just don't leave it too late! I believe craft fatigue to be a real condition - something I suffer from whenever I have photo shoots, and every year around 31st November when I realise I have one day to make my advent calendar! ;) 

I highly recommend making an advent calendar as a group activity. I introduced 'Christmas crafternoon' in a previous job - we'd make a calendar with Secret Santa gifts and I'd bring in all my stamps, string and craft supplies. We made some seriously spectacular calendars and I loved seeing how people who don't consider themselves to be creative can still make something amazing! Every day we'd have a little quiz to decide who opened the next 'door' and it was so much fun.

Fabric advent calendar

1. One to buy: something like the above fabric advent calendar (which is huge by the way - check the dimensions!) is a good half-way option, as you can still personalise it your way with crafted parcels, bits of foliage and hanging ornaments which are your style. You could make something similar relatively easily - I'm thinking a dowel rod and a roll of hessian would work well (I've bought that before in a pound shop.)

Hoop advent calendar

2. Hanging parcels from a loop: I'm fond of an embroidery hoop (also below) and it always looks great. The above uses black wax string.

Tree shaped advent calendar

3. Make a simple tree shape: decorate with fairy lights and little parcels. You could use old cardboard or foam board as long as it is thick enough to stand up. I'd probably make a smaller version of the above and use a staple gun to add the parcels (covering the staples with a bit of fancy tape.) The advent tree above uses these advent calendar tags.

Safety pin advent calendar

4. Giant safety pin advent calendar: easy for attaching little brown or wax envelopes - perfect if you want your advent calendar to include festive 'to dos'. You can see the full project here.

homemade star advent calendar5. Star advent calendar: - this was one of my favourite craft projects EVER as a combination of recycled brown paper, my trusty rivet punch (favourite tool of all time) and stitched paper was always going to be a win-win combination for me.This uses these same advent calendar tags. It was quite time-consuming to make but I have a lot of love for those brown stars. And the velvet ribbon. Oh, and you can never go wrong with eucalyptus. Can you tell I liked this one?! You can see the full project here.

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Festive and floral vintage-style tags you can print yourself.

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