Winter Crafts: DIY Advent Tree

Please welcome guest author Kavitha George, who also happens to be my favorite little sister! I know it’s a little past the Christmas season now, but maybe you can get a head start on Christmas decorating for this December… ~Nisha

I came across a DIY Advent Tree project in Sunset magazine during the holidays. My sister refused to buy me the generic advent calendar at Trader Joe’s citing the low quality chocolate that was included and the fact I was capable to make my own advent tree craft. So, I made a fantastic alternative by adapting the Sunset magazine project. This is an excellent craft for children as well as adults around Christmas time. Add some of your favorite chocolate or a small toy for something to look forward to every morning in December.

Materials:

  • 1 tall vase
  • 10 thin winter branches (with buds) approximately 3 ft. in length
  • 1 quart of small pebbles
  • 25 pieces of assorted card stock or small coin/favor envelopes
  • 25 8-in pieces of string or yarn
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • single hole punch
  • 25 pieces of assorted candies, chocolates or small toys
  • 25 Christmas ornaments in a bowl

Procedure:

1. If you are using purchased envelopes, you can simply label them by hand, 1-25. Or, you can adjust the paper setting on your printer and computer and print out the small envelopes labeled with numbers 1-25.

2. If you are using card stock, find an envelope template online to print out that will fit your candy or toys. I used this one from How About Orange. Adjust the paper size dimensions under your “paper format” menu in your word document application and printer settings to fit the size of your cardstock. Print a few test templates to determine how big you need the envelopes and adjust the size of the template as necessary.

3. Once you have settled on a size that works well, copy and paste the envelope template on to 25 different blank pages in your word document. Next comes the tricky part. Create a text box centered over the blank space on the envelope template (where, when folded, will form the flat front of the envelope) for each of the 25 envelopes. In this text box, label each envelope with the numbers 1-25 using a font of your choice. Bold fonts tend to look better on the finished product. This is how mine turned out.

3. Print all the envelopes out and construct them.

4. Cut the string into 25 8-inch pieces.

5. Punch a single hole 1-2 cm below the top edge of each envelope, centered over the printed number. Thread one string through the punched hole and knot it, creating a loop on which to hang each envelope.

6. In each envelope, place a candy or small toy.

7. Arrange the branches in the vase, then pour the pebbles into it to anchor the sticks.

8. Hang each envelope above the buds of the branches so they don’t slide down. It’s up to you, but I like arranging them out of order so you have to search for each envelope on its particular day.

9. Each day preceding the 25th of December, take down the respective envelope and replace it with a Christmas ornament. I like putting a decorative bowl next to the advent tree filled with 25 ornaments beforehand for easy access and extra decoration. Store the envelopes for next year. Enjoy your daily treats!

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