Monday, December 6, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired: Advent Calender

I love the Christmas season, and I want to create a fun, loving, and giving season for my children. One of my favorite memories as a child was our advent calender. I loved waking up each December morning, running into the kitchen and putting that day's marker on the calender. Since David's & my first Christmas married (and Dmitri on the way), I have been looking for the perfect advent calender for my own family. But each year, none have been perfect.
Until this year, when I fell in love with this advent calender from Pottery Barn:


But the $299 price tag? Outrageous!!! So, I decided to make my own. And for less than $20 I have my own bucket and branch advent calender...





I'm in love. And Dmitri thinks it's fun too. 
Here is a short tutorial:

Supplies

-25 buckets (mine are from Dollar Tree in the wedding section. I got 27 for $9)
-Natural jute (or other string to tie it all together)
-5 sticks, branches, or dowels (I just painted wooden dowels white that I already had).
-Oil rubbed bronze spray paint
-Number stickers
-Little trinkets to fill the buckets (a lot of mine are cut up Christmas tree picks or mini ornaments)
-Floral foam or something else to fill buckets


1. I started with these little white buckets. I removed the handles from them. 


2. I put sticker numbers on them from a scrapbook pack. I re-used a few, but it works best when you only use the sticker once. Make sure they are on very securely.

3. These got a good spray from some oil rubbed bronze spray paint. (I flipped them upside down and sprayed too!)


 4. Peel the numbers away...A few of mine had a little residue. I used a little scraper tool to clean off some of the paint that seeped in. Also, you can use a Mr. Clean magic eraser very carefully (it will remove all of the paint if not careful!)

Here are my supplies pre-assembly.


5. Tie it all together. Measure out the jute pieces for the buckets so that they are all the same length. I put the buckets on the "branch" by putting it through a loop around the branch, if that makes sense.

6. It took a little bit of time to put all of the buckets on the sticks. And then to tie all of the sticks together. It's nice if you have a helper. Some of it takes a little trial and error...


7. Fill with goodies!
Happy Adventing!
Let me know if you have any questions! This was an easy project, but a little time consuming! 

I linked up @ Thrifty Decor Chick, The Holiday Home Linky Party, & Get Your Craft On

46 comments:

Shannon said...

This is seriously the best advent calendar I've seen! Your version is just as awesome as the overpriced PB calendar!

Leanne said...

That is adorable and how fun for your little guy too. I love advent calendars and the anticipation they bring. My kids love the one I made for them.

Lauren Bordelon said...

What an adorable idea! I made an advent wreath this year, and although we don't have children yet, my husband and I are enjoying it in our home immensely. I just love this advent calendar.

coolkids said...

wow! GREAT Job. stop by I have an adorable giveaway for babies.:)
thecoolkidsblog.com

Also, do you have elf on the shelf for Dimitri? He may be a little young but probably good for next year. Its a cool tradition.

barbie said...

Do you do something with the bucket for each day?

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

wow, caroline! you did a fabulous job with this project... this is my fave of the ones i have seen inspired from the same pb advent calendar!

Lynzie said...

I'm a little slower on the upkeep. This calendar is gorgeous! But what's it for? What do you put in it?

Heather said...

Adorable! I'm so impressed!

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

Barbie & Lynzie -

I fill the buckets with the trinkets that I've pictured to mark each day as a countdown until Christmas.

So, for instance, buckets 1-6 are currently filled with a little item, and # 7 will be filled tomorrow!

It just serves as a visual representation of counting down till Christmas. Kids love it - it helps them realize how many days are left until Christmas and keep track of the time. Plus its good to learn counting. And ok, I admit it, it's really just because I am so impatient for Christmas to get here....haha!

Cubarado said...

So cute!!! Great remake of the pottery barn version. I copied the pottery barn kids felt advent calendar a couple of years ago and my girls just adore it!
Great Work!!!

calikas said...

Can you post how to use the advent calender? Thanks!

Ansley said...

Adorable. I'm stealing this idea when I have kids. :)

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

You hit it out of the park! Love!!

Jen said...

Wow! this is my favorite advent calender yet!!! I gotta try this one for myself!
I'm a new follower!

Julie said...

Love this! I too loved the PB version and about fell out of my chair when I saw the price tag! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some buckets. :)

Megan Lee said...

I saw this in the PB catalog and loved it as well. Yours is identical!! I love it and think I have to make this for next year!

Sara @ House Bella said...

Very adorable! I have been on the hunt for a good Advent calendar, and while it's a bit late for this year - maybe for next!

Rae said...

That is fabulous!! I'm heading to the Dollar Tree tomorrow to look for some buckets! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Megandvd@Beauty in the Attempt said...

YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!! I LOVE a PB inspiration or idea...but I LOVE LOVE LOVE a PB Knockoff/Tutorial. Ok...we MUST be friends. #1 -- LOVE your style & #2 -- so when I steal your idea....you won't get TOO mad. :)

Cheers~
e

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Awesome job!! When I first saw this I knew someone would give it a try. Yours is beautiful!

Lauren Elizabeth said...

You and your crafty self can come to my house any day!! You make it look so easy with a toddler and a baby on the way! Great Job Girl!

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner said...

Wow, this is fabulous! It looks SO good. I can't believe how much money you saved by doing it yourself. Way to be crafty and creative!

Kari @ Ucreate said...

This is so amazing!! I'll definitely be sharing with my readers!!

Real Mountain Values (Brianna) said...

First off, this is just awesome. I couldn't tell the scale at first and thought man that person is dedicated to advent (I thought it was a whole wall).

To add to my confusion these are some of the first link parties I have done and I just now figured out PB stand for Pottery Barn and not Peanut Butter. Yeah, I feel like my Great-Grandmother trying to reset her microwave clock.

Anyway, now that I have read the whole tutorial, I just had to comment on how much I love the tiny buckets! What a wonderful remake of a much to pricey original.

Leah said...

That is so so cute!!! I will have to bookmark this for next year!

Luvs!

Our Fine House said...

This is beautiful! I actually like yours a lot better than the PB version. Thanks for sharing!

Willo said...

That is a great idea! I love the thought of bringing nature inside!

Suzanne of Pieced Pastimes said...

How pretty! I like your version better than the Pottery Barn one. Very Nice!

1 Funky Woman said...

OMGosh I am in love! I am in awe that you recreated this and I have to say its even better than PB! I might have to snag this one next year, thanks!

Megan

Amy @ Keep'n The SunnySide said...

Awesome! I luv, luv PB knock offs, and you did it splendidly. What a savings!!

Michelle @ Ten June said...

Really, really great job. This is my favorite advent calendar! I've bookmarked the PB version myself and now I can just follow your amazing tutorial! Thanks for sharing :)

junkgarden said...

Love me some PB knockoffs and this is fabulous! You did a great job. Love it!
Angie

Aleah@HeyBaklenko said...

I had been eyeing the PB version too! Thanks for doing this tutorial and showing me it is doable! Yours looks AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

I seriously love this, but forgive me i'm confused, how is this fun for the little ones? do they keep the prize in it? do they move a figurine everyday? Either way i'm making one for me, because it will be fun for me to look at it everyday and sigh over how pretty it is

Lise Marie said...

This is the best, and best looking advent calender ever. And I love the directions and photos. I think even I could do this. Love the blog!

Tauni said...

Really lovely!

Laura@JourneyChic said...

I'm so glad that Bower Power posted a link to your tutorial! I also fell in love with this advent calendar and was dreaming up ways to DIY it but didn't have time to follow through. I'm bookmarking this page so I can make it for my son for next Christmas!

Anonymous said...

An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3.
Today, most Advent calendars are made for children.[citation needed] Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" of which there are often 24; one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day during Advent. In many of these calendars, each window opens to reveal an image, a poem, or a portion of a story such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus. More elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.--From Wiki--hope this helps!

Jenny said...

I'm in the process of making this. It's cold outside so the painting is a bit time consuming. Do you mind telling me the measurement for the sting on the buckets? Thx!!

carole said...

wow! awesome!
do i look for the paint at home depot?? will it say that exact name on it?
i can't wait to try this- beats the lego advent calendar we currently have :-)
thanks!

The Feminist Housewife said...

I think the string was around 7", however I'm not positive.

For the paint, yes, I purchased it at Lowes. You can also get it at craft stores or other hardware stores.

Sndietzel said...

I made my own after seeing this in Pottery Barn, too! Mine uses little baskets I got on sale at Micheal's, and we interspersed some "Christmas traditions" with the giving/serving activities, but I'm sure when we have our own kids we'll change them all into more child-appropriate activities! I love your blog, and if you ever have a free moment in between being a mommy and graduating (congrats!), I'd love to grab a cup of coffee with you sometime! Hope the van is treating y'all well-- we are in love with the Escape :)

Jamie @ Sew Rockin' said...

This project rocks! I just wanted to let you know that I featured it this week on "You Sew Rock Me Fridays" on my blog SewRockin.com. Here's the link if you want to check it out: http://wp.me/p1VAkT-ie

Great job, I can't wait to see what else you come up with!

Jamie

Heidi Szczepanski said...

This is such a cute idea. Love it.
Thanks for sharing.
Buy Here Pay Here

Claire said...

I love this idea! What a great way to visually display "the countdown" while totally being stylish!

http://www.thesitsgirls.com/get-paid-blogging

Le pecionate di Laura said...

Hi Caroline, I mentioned you're original advent calendar in a post on my blog here: http://pecionate.blogspot.it/2012/12/aria-di-festa.html
Hope you don't mind to share it with italian public :)
Laura