Monday, 26 November 2007

Cheat's Advent



When we moved into this house a couple of years ago we decided to have the kitchen refitted and a chimney breast removed. It was one of those things that just went on and on, work began at the end of October and correct and complete kitchen units delivered and fitted three days before Christmas! In the midst of all this dust, noise, chaos and piles of boxes containing all our treasures I had an urge to make the girls advent calendars! With no idea where my sewing box was hiding and entry into most of the downstairs rooms very restricted I knew it had to be something, quick, easy and relatively simple to make.



We had managed to get the girls' bedrooms in some kind of order and had found their noticeboards so at least big sister had somewhere to put her new school timetable. Little sister quickly filled her noticeboard and loved changing the additions daily. Both girls seem to love getting mail and I struck upon the idea of combining the two - little envelopes on pinboards, filled with hidden mysteries.



Easy peasy - no sewing involved and I've just numbered some new envelopes for this year. Back any pinboard you have with fabric, (glue or staples will do), You can add a trim around the edges too if you're into trimmings. 25 little envelopes, each with a number on, pinned onto the board and perhaps a named label too. That's it - no sewing, no mess and most of the things can be bought at the post office or stationer's shop. If you've been blessed with dodgy handwriting like me you could even print on the numbers, I found this vintage printing kit for M in a junk shop when we lived in London. It was one of the first things I bought him and I love the lettering.
It is of course up to you what you fill the envelopes with, chocolates, gifts, little messages, Christmas jokes, sequins, handwritten letters, photos ... They can be hung on the wall, propped on a shelf, fireplace or on the hall table.



I have seen some beautiful stitched advent calendars in blogland and this is of course a poor man's equivalent, but if you're up against it time wise (and maybe with a poorly child at home from school like I have today - yes, the dreaded lurgy has struck), than you could have a go. Maybe a kind of Nigella express of advents - if only I had a vat of that butterscotch sauce lurking in the fridge too!

33 comments:

Mirre said...

What a great idea... it looks lovely!
I'm afraid even this advent calender is a bit too much for me right now ;)

Nicky said...

That is a wonderful idea, and thanks for the reminder about Advent Calendars.... put that on my list of Things To Do This Week ! x

Garden girl said...

That is a fab idea- and am in agreement on the Nigella side of things, but why not? You can keep these going for years and even a non -sewer like myself could have a go. I think I shall have to make one and get Rob to fill the envelopes...!(whilst dropping hints about beads, sequins, love notes, etc.ooh, possibly a Waterstones voucher or similiar? Am getting greedy now!)Lovely stuff x

Heidi said...

I LOVE THIS!!! Forget sewing an advent calendar cause this is just great. You can change bits of it to give it a new look whenever you want too. It is just so adorable and vintage looking. What kind of stuff are you putting in them this year?

Thanks for offering to send me the cookies. I just love bourbons! I cannot find your email to send you my address and I want yours in exchange if that is okay (to send you a little surprise for your kindness). You can email me at j.kuijer@hccnet.nl .

~~ Heidi ~~

Donna said...

Beautiful Ideas! Just stopped by to say hello from Texas.

Katherines Dream said...

Wonderful idea.
All these things I want to make!
I guess I will just have to get up even earlier.
Have a great week.
x

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

That is such lovely and thoughtful idea! All our advent calendars have been store-bought. My German aunt did sent us a fabulous one when I was little... it was a huge 3-dimensional Christmas house, and the little doors were scattered about in surprise places. We used it sooo much, it literally just fell apart eventually. lol Your idea is just so SWEET! I hope your daughter feels better quickly!

dottycookie said...

We've had the sick child thing today too. And I've been finishing our advent calendars too! Mine are an even bigger cheat - they're those preprinted things where you cut ou the pockets and stitch them on - but they seem to like the look of them. I think they think they will be filled with chocolate. Dream on, kiddlywinks!

Thimbleanna said...

Very cool Kim! I've been meaning to make advent calendars for years -- maybe this is the year LOL??? I'm so far behind this year though, it's probably not likely! ;-)

She'sSewPretty said...

That's a cute idea. I have that same set of printer's letters. I was so thrilled when I found it at an estate sale. I just made a Banner for Christmas with it and I love the look of the letters.

meggie said...

Great idea.
I wondered where you got your lovely printed letterings & numbers from!

carolyn said...

I wouldn't say it was a poor mans equivalent I think it'd brilliant. Hope everyone is soon feeling a lot better.

Sea Angels said...

Fantastic idea,simple stunning, and it works, I want one now!!
Lynn xx

Sew Recycled! said...

As usual what a clever idea! Sorry for the lack of communication but as you are aware its busy busy! I will be at the school christmas fair on sat, but at the open house Sun xxxx

Wild Rose said...

This is great Kim! The simplest ideas are the best.

Marie x

cd&m said...

Love your advent calender and don't cosider it a cheat at all. Like the wellies to, we got a few bargains int he Debenhams sale as well.

mollycupcakes said...

Gorgeous idea, where have you been all my life lol. I've spent hours sewing little sacks together for my new advent calenders, but little brown paper envelopes would look lovely too.
Thanks for the idea you're great.
Hope the sickie one is better soon.
Hugs.
Catherine x

Tracy said...

This is a wonderful idea. It's festive and homespun--I love it! Happy week to you all...and anticipating the countdown! ((HUGS))

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Ohh I love it!! You are so creative, it looks wonderfully vintage!!! Hope the scrummy cats are warmly wrapped up in one of your lovely eiderdowns!xx

Andylynne said...

Have been lurking for awhile, have enjoyed all your posts. The pictures of the advent calandar are sweet and such a good idea. Thanks for the reminder, and for the great idea.
I also enjoyed you photos in your last post, thanks for sharing the sea and the sun.

Mary said...

Love the Advent calenders. Don't have them anymore in our house Maybe I should start again

claire Maraldo said...

I love it! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and all that stamping is very theraputic.

hope your little girl is better soon xx

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Kim,
Such a lovely idea - I'm sure your little one enjoyed spending time making it with you too - hope they feel better very soon.
Niki x

Clare said...

Hi Kim

A lovely idea! You're so creative!

Clare x

Louise said...

Oh I LOVE this idea and it looks fantastic! I have my advent stockings up but still need to fill them. Sounds like a job for tomorrow!

Rowan said...

What a great idea for advent calendars - you are so creative. I could do it now I've seen the idea but would never have thought of it on my own.
Love the seaside pictures in your last post especially the Edwardian lady with her parasol.
Hope your little one is soon feeling better.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS ... said...

Honestly everyone I am meeting through these blogs are just too clever! I am trying to store all these wonderful ideas in my memory, although it is starting to get somewhat overloaded, I think I must start making notes. x

Cowboys & Custard said...

Hello Kim
Lovely idea and maybe I will be less scroogy next year and make one of these. I have to confess that I recycle my advent calendars by putting them under a rug each year and bringing them out flat and refreshed each Christmas.. my son doesn't seem to notice that it is the same one each year..
I do love you inventiveness.. though.
Michelexx

Isabelle said...

Gosh, you are such a good mum. Lovely idea! One warning, though - I instituted an Advent box-for-every-day thing when my children were small and now, when they're 28,26 and 23, I'm still doing it!

Heidijayhawk said...

oh i just adore the advent calendar! need to get the kids set up as well!

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

Oh thank you so much for such a brilliant idea. My daughter has been asking for an advent calendar, and I think something like this would work very well for us!!! Perfect!

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh this is such a fab idea and simple too! Thank you for sharing it with us all!
Love Alison x

Nonnie said...

This is such a fantastic idea Kim. I started a stitched advent calendar a few weeks ago which I planned to sell but haven't got it finished so it will have to be for next year. Will definitley remember the envelope idea for myself for next year.