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Friday, 27 November 2015

Arts 'n' Crafts | Custom Advent Calendar

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
Norman Vincent Peale

You may have noticed I've been on a little bit of a hiatus the last week or so as I've been busy, both with miscellaneous life stuff and with working on this wonderful project! I got an email from the lovely Bryony from Ocean loans offering me the chance to create my own advent calendar from Hobbycraft. I obviously jumped at the chance and I can't thank Bryony enough for giving me this opportunity. She sent me the wooden advent calendar house from Hobbycraft and a £25 gift card for Hobbycraft to buy supplies to work on it.

I wasn't sure what colour scheme to go with at first as my mum likes our house to be very traditional at Christmas. All greens, reds and golds. Since I've had my own little Christmas tree in my bedroom I've kind of gone completely opposite to that. My Christmas decorations are all different colours but there's a running main theme of pink, purple and blue. You may remember it from my What's On My Tree post from last year. Since this year is probably the last year I'll be living with my parents at Christmas and Eva and I have decided we'd like to have our Christmas decorations pastels, I decided to go for that aesthetic with my advent calendar.

I bought acrylic paint in white, pink, purple and blue. Some wooden snowflake embellishments and numbers for the doors. I already had the glue.

What I did forget to buy was a paintbrush of a suitable size for a project of this size. So I had to improvise and ended up using two of my make up brushes. Thankfully they worked well enough. 

This isn't a tutorial but I took photos as I went along so I figured I would share the process. I started off by painting the main house white. I was going to leave the doors until the colours but Mum suggested I painted them white too to give the colour a base. I also painted the back of the house. 

The bit that took the longest was the multiple layers of white I had to do to stop the paint looking streaky. I lost count of how many I actually did. A lot. I had to do a lot. After that I painted the doors. I added white to the colours I bought to make them more pastel.

Next I worked on the snowflakes. I decided I didn't like the colour of the snowflakes and to paint them the same pastel shades as the doors. I also painted a couple of them the same gold that I planned to paint the numbers.

The idea to paint the numbers gold was my mum's. I had tried to buy gold paint when I made my order but they didn't have any I liked. So I wasn't really sure what to do with the numbers. Then my sister mentioned she had gold nail varnish and it worked just perfect! The photos below are after one coat of nail varnish. I ended up giving each number two layers. 

After some careful consideration I decided to paint over the snowflakes again, and instead make them gold also. I think it's really made the finished project come together. It gives the unconventional colours more of a festive feel.

As you can probably tell from the photo I didn't put the numbers in order and some doors don't have numbers at all. Well, I have two reasons for that. I messed up and it's also a style preference. When I first ordered numbers I ordered from 1 to 25 but they emailed to let me know they were out of stock, so I got a packet with 90 numbers in it. It didn't occur to me that even 90 numbers may not be enough to make up 1 to 25 and I ran out of the number 1. So I had to get creative. I personally prefer when you buy advent calendars and the numbers are all mixed up so you have to find them. Yes, I'm easily amused. So I decided to go with that style on my own but it also helped because I could snowflakes on some of the doors in place of the numbers I didn't have. I think overall it works well.

Finally, I put the treats inside. Okay, not all the treats. I ate some so I'm a little short but I'll have them all filled up before the 1st of December!

I also plan to spray the whole thing with a seal to keep the paint from getting dirty etc. However, I haven't gotten around to that yet as I can't physically do it myself and it will need to be done outside by one of my parents. I got a gloss spray, which I hope will look good.

I had so much fun with this project. Half way through I thought I was going to hate it when it was finished. I made some mistakes and I thought the wheels had come off and there was no going back but I'm actually really happy with it. I can't wait to have it out and in pride of place when my sister and I decorate our own house. As I said, I thank Bryony and Ocean loans enough. This has definitely helped get me in the Christmas spirit, kicking off my Christmas themed blog posts.


  1. That looks like great fun!! I really wanna get my eyes on one of these xx

  2. This is soooo cute!! Seriously!! That sucker is huge! :D

  3. This is so cute I'm so tempted to do one myself I love a project
    Www.caliloved.co.uk x

  4. It looks so amazing Sara! I have a similar style one for Baker but my Mam bought it, kinda wish I'd made one haha. The colours are very you!!


  5. This is so pretty and festive! I love that you've went with colourful pastel colours instead of traditional colours - it really makes a nice change from the usual reds and golds. The addition of the gold stars and numbers is a nice touch too though - ties it all together and makes it look very festive!



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