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Advent Calendar Tuesday

04 November 2008

OK, so I think I was getting a bit ahead of myself offering a weekly tutorial for my advent calendar! In my usual style I am winging it, no pun intended (the pun reference will become apparent in a minute). I have a vision of the finished piece and I have started to make various components, but how it will come together in the end is still negotiable. Having said that, I have provided a tutorial below of what I've done so far, and I will continue to update you every Tuesday.

My idea is based around wanting to make these gorgeous birds from a pattern I downloaded from Spool earlier this year.

Image Source: Spool

Click here to go to Spool, and you'll see the free pattern download in the left sidebar.

I showed you my materials and colour palette last week - here. And here are my little Christmas birdies:

My birds are made out of wool felt, which I embroidered, and pieces of Florence Broadhurst fabric. I will have to make some more, because I think they might be a bit lonely on the big branches.

At the moment I am thinking that the birds will sit on found branches (from around my neighbourhood) which are placed in a vase. The vase is cylindrical and
I'll cover the outside with wrapping paper. You can see from the photo above that I have stuffed the inside with newspaper to hold the branches in place.

I've used Laikonik wrapping paper to make little cones which will hang from the branches and house the treats. I cut squares which measure 16 x 16cm and attached double sided tape to one edge on the back of the paper. Then I rolled up the cones and secured them with the tape. It wasn't difficult, but if you have trouble making the cones you could use something like the metal end of a piping bag to help with the shape.

A few things to note if you are going to make an advent calendar like mine:
1. I think the cones are too big - with 24 of them I'm going to need a lot of branch space! And they are a bit big in comparison to the birds. The size will depend on what you intend to put inside, and how big you want the whole advent calendar to be. 10 x 10cm might be a good size, but just experiment with some scrap paper first (like I didn't!)
2. The wrapping paper I used is very stiff and quite heavy. It won't work if your paper is too flimsy. You could always use a double layer if necessary - perhaps a contrasting colour or complimentary pattern for inside the cones.
My intention is to punch a hole in the top point of each cone and thread string or ribbon through to secure it to a branch. Then I need to decide how I'll add the numbers. I'll work that out by next Tuesday!

So far my materials are:
- heavy wrapping paper (or light weight card)
- double sided tape
- wool felt
- embroidery thread
- fabric
- stuffing
- found braches
- newspaper
- vase

Additional materials will include:
- ribbon or string
- numbers (perhaps little tags, or number stickers that scrapbookers use)

And treats of course.

Before I wrap up Advent Calendar Tuesday I thought I'd show you another idea I had. I bought a stack of Chinese take away containers to package my hand painted goose eggs in, and when I spied them in the cupboard this week I thought they would make a stylish and simple advent calendar. They could be hung in a row from a string, or sit on a tray or directly on a mantle, shelf or side table.