Rustic DIY Advent Calendar

Seasonal Sunday

I feel like I am the “Queen of Good Intentions.”  Every year I genuinely want to be on my “A” game, creating holiday magic while bringing traditions and meaning into our little home.  But, I honestly cannot remember if there was EVER a year that we actually began Advent on the right day.  I feel like my brain cannot wrap around all the details of the holiday season until it is thrust upon me.  Geesh, Thanksgiving has not even happened yet, right?

This year, I am ready! I cannot believe it…it feels so insane.  Not only am I ready for the beginning of Advent on November 29th, but I managed to create a sweet Advent tree that will bring another fun childhood memory and tradition for my kiddos this season.  That is what I call a “win-win,” especially when it’s rustic charm brings a little Scandinavian design into our home.  I love working natural elements with neutrals and then giving them a pop of bright red.  This project is simple, beautiful, and full of fun.

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craft paper or vintage wall paper

multipurpose craft glue

Manzanita branch (or other full branch) and wooden crate


hole punch



clothespins for holding the cones while they dry

calligraphy pen

circular lids to use as forms for your labels

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I just happened to already have this branch drilled into a box…it was a pretty cool find that Sam’s thrifty cuz found down in San Diego.  I am sure it was a DIY centerpiece or something, but you can replicate the idea pretty easily.  Just drill from the bottom of a crate, up through the heart of the branch.  Viola!  Super cinchy.

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Now for the time consuming part of this project.  Honestly, this is the time to do a little binge watching on Netflix.  It is not difficult to make the cones, but you have to make 25.  Twenty-five of anything gets a bit boring.

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I measured my wallpaper in 7″ widths and then cut that width into 7″ segments, giving me perfect squares.

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Holding the squares at a diagonal, wrap them into a cone shape and secure with glue.  I used clothespins to keep them tidy while they dried.

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Once you have created a pile of cones, it is time to label the days.  I used a basic cream colored card stock for creating my labels, but I could not resist this fun cherry red polka dot for layering with my labels.  There is just something about polka dots for me….they are so cheery that they are almost humorous.  Cheeky, if you will.  Besides, I was kind of excited about seeing the bright red against the smooth red bark of the Manzanita branch.

Simply use any round object for a circle template.  You will want two sizes.  One for the actual label, and a larger one to create the layered frame look.

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I used a bottle of embossing ink for my larger circle, and a wooden spool for the label.

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Write numbers 1-25 on your smaller cream circles, and then glue them to the larger background circles.

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Using a hole punch, affix a bit of twine so that you can hang your finished cone.

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Easy peasy and so Scandinavian-cute!  I cannot wait to fill these cones with little treats and family activity ideas for Advent.

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I am so digging the combo of the natural branch and the vintage wallpaper with a subtle pop of red.

I will be filling each cone with a tasty treat and a bit of paper that gives us something to do as a family.  One day may tell us to go out for a family walk in the evening, counting stars.  Another day may have us doing dinner as a floor picnic or creating a grocery list for a local food shelter.  Obviously, you can find loads of ideas online, but some of the fun is figuring out activities that speak the heart of YOUR family.  Just do not forget a bit of chocolate, too.  It’s tradition! 😉



photos courtesy of Anya McInroy Photography

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