Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kelly's Art Easel: Homemade Card Trees and Advent Calendars

For December, I thought it would be fun to give you some create ideas for displaying your cards and creating advent calendars... homemade, easy, fun for all ages and inexpensive!

Tomato Cage Card Trees:
This craft is so easy and so functional! A unique way to display your holiday cards this season. I saw this in Real Simple magazine a while back and then again in this year’s Family Fun magazine. There are many variations, but here’s mine:

  • scissors
  • tin foil
  • cardboard
  • tomato cage
  • ribbon
  • Binder clips or mini clothes pins

Get a tomato cage from a garden supply store (or if you’re lucky like me, on garbage day from your neighbors!)

Turn the cage upside down so the part you stick in the ground is up.

Either duct tape (Family Fun instructions) the tips together, or I just tied a little ribbon around the points to hold them together, much like the top of a tepee.

I then cut star shape (out a cereal box) and wrapped it in tin foil to make it silver. I left a bit extra to make a “pocket” for the points of the top of the tomato cage to hold the start in place.

I bought mini clothes pins, but mini binder clips also work. Use this to pin the cards to make the “branches”.

Next up, Advent Calendars!

I LOVE advent calendars and want to challenge myself to make a different one each year and this year I found 2 great ideas to share…

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar: Countdown to Christmas!
  • Download template from Family Fun here.
  • Construction paper
  • Clothes pins
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scotch tape
  • Markers/crayons
Cut out template and trace onto paper (we didn’t have enough construction paper, so I had my kids color copy paper and I used that instead).

Cut out the “cones”, right now they’ll just be 1/3 of a circle.

Put a thin line of elmer’s glue on one side of the circle third.

Roll carefully into a cone and then use a clothes pin to hold the cone together until the cone dries.

Repeat this again with either 12 or 24 cones (depending on how long you want to countdown until Christmas).

Next, fold paper like an accordion and draw some stars. Cut them out and write on each one the days numbered, 1-24 etc.

Cut a piece of pipe cleaner into about 1-2 in. pieces and tape to the back of each star.

Once the cones are dry, remove the clothes pins and place the pipe cleaner end into the top hole of the cones.

Don’t forget to place some treats under each tree. Some ideas are candy, little toys, handmade coupons (good for a hug, 10 minutes of tv, etc.) and anything else you can fit!

I display my calendar on a serving tray, so I may move it off the table for mealtimes.


Here’s one more easy idea, from Family Fun, for an advent calendar that uses photos of doors you cut from magazines! Click here for the instructions.

I hope you and your kids have fun making these projects AND enjoying them all month! Happy holidays!
Check out Kelly's Etsy store here. Or you can find her on Facebook here.


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