Hey there all! I loved the Christmas Advent Calendar so much that we made for Christmas that I decided to make a Valentine Advent Calendar, aka Countdown to Love…lol!
Took me about a week to make it and I finally finished it up over the weekend (with help from Ashley). It wasn’t difficult…I just didn’t have much time to work on it at night so I had to do a little bit at a time. Whatcha think? Does it get ya in the Cupid Day spirit?!
WARNING!!!: I really try to keep my posts short and sweet but this one’s a little longer than usual. For some reason, I was a little wordy this time, so sorry in advance friends! If you just want the scoop on how to we made this, just skip on down a bit to the tutorial. Also, although there are a lot of steps in the tutorial, don’t be scared…this project is NOT hard at all! Just go with it…. I promise you’ll have a blast!!!
Now for the back story on this project….
I used plain white bags that I bought from A.C. Moore and Ashley helped me decorate them with stickers and other things we had on had. The possibilities for decorating the bags are really endless since the bags are white. You could draw or paint on them and attach any number of things…and I’m sure the kiddos out there would have a ball decorating these. And as you can see from the pic, we hung the bags from yarn with — what else! — clothespins covered in Washi tape. The possibilities for decorating the clothespins are also limitless!
I used the same frame that I used for our Christmas advent calendar. I’m super excited about having this big frame….there are just a ton of ways to decorate with it. I bought the frame from Home Goods and it actually came distressed. I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to leave it distressed or paint it.
I’ve seen a lot of similar advent calendars using frames, but most of them use wire that is screwed in to the inside of the frame. I really like the look of those, but I didn’t want to screw in the wire because I wanted to keep mine flexible to use the frame different ways, so I just use tape on the back of the frame instead.
I was really happy Ashley chipped in to help me decorate the bags, or it probably would have been Easter before I finished it at the rate I was going! We had a lot of fun decorating the bags while watching Castle.
When we finished decorating and hanging the bags, I filled the bags with candy for Ashley when she wasn’t home. Because we just finished this project this weekend, this of course meant that Ashley had to open several of her bags at a time to “catch up” to the current day! (She didn’t seem to mind the barrage of candy all at once though!) Oh well – next year the calendar will be all ready to go when Feb. 1st rolls around! Next year I’m also going to fill the bags with little love notes for Tom. Guess this year I’ll just have to hand deliver the notes icon-heart-o !
So if you’re ready to have some fun making your very own one of these, here’s how we did it:
GATHER THESE SUPPLIES
2) Love Flag (make your own or use my free Love Flag printable!)
3) 8 1/2 x 11″ White Card Stock Paper
4) White Craft Bags
5) Mini Clothes Pins
6) Numbers (make your own or use my free Vday Advent Numbers printable!)
7) Stickers and Other Embellishments
8) Yarn or String
9) Washi Tape
10) Glue or Adhesive
11) Paper Trimmer (or use scissors instead)
13) 1 1/2″ Circle Puncher (or use scissors instead)
14) Masking Tape
15) Duck Tape
GET BUSY CREATING!
Step 1: Make your Love Flag and numbers. I made mine using Power Point and Picmonkey — my standard go-to hack design dynamic duo tool! You can design your own or print out my printables (links above in the supply list):
Step 2: Cut the Love Flag letters using a paper cutter. (Scissors will work just fine if you don’t have a paper cutter.)
Step 3: Punch or cut out your numbers. I used my handy dandy ek whole puncher (1 1/2″) to punch out my numbers. (Scissors will work for these as well, but you’ll have to be a little patient and go slow to cut around the circles!)
Step 4: Fold the top of the bags over and smooth out the fold (I used a highlighter). The bags I used were 3 1/2 x 6 1/2″ and I did a 2 1/2″ fold. Depending on the size of your frame and bags, your fold size may of course be different.
Step 5: Affix your numbers to the bag using tape, adhesive or glue (I used Tombow Mono Adhesive).
Step 6: Attach the number in the center of the bag.
Step 7: Here comes the fun part!!! Decorate your bags!!! We used things we had on hand…leftover Vday stickers, ribbon, string, feathers and beads.
Step 8: Cover the clothespins with Washi tape. To do this, I just tore off some tape, centered the pin in the middle, and then trimmed off the extra with scissors. By the way, you don’t have to decorate the clothespins — you could leave them as is and I think they’d still look totally cute.
Step 9: Tape on the Love flag. To do this, I hung the Love letters on the yarn and then draped them on the frame and experimented with how I wanted them to drape. When I got it how I wanted, I taped the yarn to the front with blue masking tape to hold things in place.
Then I taped the yarn to the back of the frame with Duck Tape and removed the masking tape from the front.
Step 10: Position your other rows of yarn. To do this, I eyeballed it first, then used a yard stick to adjust the yarn so the rows were evenly spaced and taped the yarn to the front of the frame with the blue masking tape. As I did in Step 9, I then taped the back with Duck tape and removed the masking tape from the front.
Step 11: Fill your bags with treats!!! I filled mine with candy for Ashley. For the 14th bag, I wrapped up a gift card and placed it inside.
Step 12: And finally….hang up all your bags on your Valentine Calendar! Congrats on a great job!
I hope you will make a Valentine Countdown calendar as well…and fill it with lots of fun stuff for your Sweethearts! icon-heart