Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Halloween Advent Calendar...

This is one of those projects that is definitely not an original idea. I always like to give credit where credit is due and "How Does She?" deserves the praise this time. The adorable Halloween advent calendar that she shows on her blog comes in kit form on her website. After traveling all over creation to get the supplies, I can definitely see the wisdom in buying the kit! Still, there are advantages to the "do-it-youself" venue. Namely: cost. I wanted to make one for each of my married kid's families, one for us, and a few to give as gifts. That brought the total up to nine calendars and I knew I could make them more economically if I purchased the supplies myself.

 

I started by stopping by Home Depot and purchasing a 4"x4"x12 foot piece of Douglas Fur -- about $13. While there I asked them to cut the 12 foot length into 18 square cubes and 9 rectangular pieces that were double the length of the cubes. (Home Depot cuts their lumber for no additional charge.) While I was waiting to get these cut I noticed a "discard" pile where they sell odd lengths of wood for $.51 a piece. There were three 4 foot lengths of 4"x4" pine in that area for that price! Moral of the story -- it would be worth checking out that pile before purchasing the longer length for 12 times the cost! Still, even at $13 the wood came to less than $1.50 per calendar and I was able to get 9 calendars out of that 12 foot length of wood.


To complete the project, purchase or collect the following supplies: 
  • sandpaper
  • black spray paint
  • scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • paint brush
  • stamp pad for distressing
I sanded the blocks down with an electric sander and spray painted them with a glossy black paint...

Instead of vinyl lettering I made two PowerPoint documents and printed the numbers and phrase onto scrapbook paper. If you would like to make an advent calendar, just email me {my email address is on my sidebar} and I will send you the PowerPoint documents that you can use to create a calendar of your own. Just type "Halloween &/or Christmas Advent Calendar" in the subject line of your email me and {please} choose to "Follow" my blog! I made these documents in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007. If you don't have that program you won't be able to bring up the documents. There is one "number" document. You'll need to change the numbers to print each page.

Then I cut out the phrase and numbers and distressed the edges of the paper using a black ink pad...


A little lot of Mod Podge was used to apply the scrapbook paper to the blocks. Make sure you use Mod Podge on both surfaces that you glue together. Then paint a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the paper to secure it better in place...


Let those babies dry and you've got yourself a calendar...


Now for the tricky part. I spent the longest time trying to figure out how to place the numbers on the blocks to create the 1st through the 31st days in October. Then, my husband Googled "wooden block calendar" and within seconds my question was answered. That, my friends, is one of the reasons he is the bread-winner in our family.


The first cube should have the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The second cube should have 0, 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8. The "6" is then turned upside-down to create the number "9" when needed. Someone had to get up mighty early in the morning to figure that one out!


This idea could be applied to many holidays...
Later this week my daughter and I are planning on making a "Count Down to Christmas"!



22 comments:

Caroline ~ TrilliumDesign said...

What a cute idea!! We love halloween at our house - this would be a totally fun thing for the kids to do.

Tanya-Yanata said...

you've done an awesome job!

craftykat said...

So I'm impressed that they're cutting them that small for you. I wanted to try some projects from the howdoesshe site (she has some fabulous wood crafts!), and when I asked them to cut into the smaller lengths, they said that they weren't allowed to cut them smaller than 9" (which is the 'safe' limit for their machine)... This is a huge bummer for me!

Lila said...

Heading to Home Depot now! Thanks!!!

Mia said...

I for one am excited!!!

gail@myrepurposedlife.net said...

great job! I love how it turned out.
now... I have to SCOLD you! How many times have I talked about that .51 cent cull bin wood? I picked up 4 pieces today! Love that cull bin and oops!
love your blocks.
gail

Lisa said...

Completely adorable!! Love the colors and patterns you used.

Jared, Keri,Ashlyn & Anderson said...

I would be interested in receiving the PowerPoint documents for this advent calendar. Thanks, Keri
bonnettes.blogspot.com or email keribonnette@hotmail.com

Elizabeth said...

They are so cute! Bravo!

You have lucky children/families to receive such a fun Halloween gift!

Sandra {sawdust and paper scraps} said...

I love the "Countdown to Candy" phrase. So clever!

Julie Harward said...

That looks like a lot of work but it is really awesome, Love it! :D

Tina said...

Suzanne, this is FABULOUS!! I love it:) We don't celebrate Halloween here, but I think I would love to have a go at making one for Xmas! Thanks for such a wonderful tutorial and for sharing the link. Did I say I love it, already :-) ~ Tina xx

La-Dee-da crafter said...

Ok, I have to make these. I have seen the idea all around blo-o-sphere and just haven't tried to make my own. You have inspired me.
creationsbyladeeda.blogspot.com

Judy said...

Fabulous!

Nina... said...

Very cute!

Tara said...

Will you email me your files? Yours are so cute it's seems crazy to re-invent the wheel. tara.bonistall@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

Tara
www.tarabeingtara.blogspot.com

Susi said...

Love the blocks...and still watching your Etsy for a wristlet with a pretty turquoise flower ;)
I'd love to have the document although I'm not sure if I have powerpoint. TIA
csberlin1@sbcglobal.net.

Browns said...

I would love a copy of the powerpoint files. This is such a cute project!

brownjs7 at yahoo dot com.

Thanks!

sbodier_1 said...

I would love a copy of your powerpoint!

supersporty_07@hotmail.com

Thanks!

karyn said...

Was also wondering which numbers go on which block! Thanks...have to go to home depot :)

sbodier_1 said...

Once I made this, I had to share it on my blog. I posted a link to your instructions. :)

Thanks for the great idea! I love it!

http://craftinessiskey.blogspot.com

Prim 'n' Whimsy Creations said...

These turned out so cute. I would love to have the powerpoint.
Lvmyson@excite.com

Thanks so much!

Kim