’Twas the day before Thanksgiving and little sister was spending the day at camp. So Riley and I decided to seize the opportunity for a fun crafting session. First stop after little sis drop off was coffee. I was yearning for more than coffee, I wanted a coffee experience and I found it at Balconi Coffee Company. Hot chocolate and a caramel drizzled apple hand pie for Ri.
Next stop was picking up supplies at Michael’s arts and craft store. We knew we we were going to make an advent calendar with mini envelopes but beyond that we didn’t really have a plan. Let’s be honest, half of the fun of a new creative project is the hunt for materials. It is a good thing I brought Riley with me because the arts and crafts store is my rabbit hole. This girl kept me on task and made me take things out of our shopping basket....like the little gold miniature mission bells that I am still thinking about. Mama might have to sneak back and get those!
craft paper mini envelopes
small white clothespins
number stamp set
white Bristol paper
ultra fine point colored Sharpie markers
foam mounting squares (cut in half)
we used a 20"x20" canvas but you could use foam core or chalk board for base
I had Riley (in case you are wondering, she is 10) create an inspiration board on Pinterest. (If you aren’t on Pinterest you should be. It is a visual wonderland) Riley gathered 25 holiday themed images that she loved.
We were inspired by our Pinterest board but we created our own illustrations. We kept our materials and our color palette pretty tight--craft paper beige, white, wintergreen, marigold, and red.
Riley laid out the order of our designs and we stamped them from 1-25.
We didn’t use any materials that required drying time other than the chalk markers and they dry in 30 seconds so assembly was pretty quick.
We cut our foam mounting squares in half so that they would fit the clothespin back perfectly.
We initially thought we would mount our envelopes to our antique chalk board but then we decided we liked how they looked on a square canvas. If you wanted to cut the background element entirely you could pin them to a string of twine, clothesline style.
Check out the slideshow that we made:
But what did we fill the envelopes with? This is kind of the best part. A couple of years ago Paul and I decided that we wanted to gift our kids with experiences versus more stuff. So keeping with that direction I asked Ri to come up with a list of 24 fun experiences we could do as a family. I love her ideas so much:
1. holiday movie night with popcorn
2. make a wreath for our car “Ben”
3. family game night
4. make a Christmas play list (this is an annual tradition)
5. take a day trip somewhere and listen to Christmas music
6. make hot cocoa with marshmallows
7. mom's nail shop: paint nails in holiday colors
8. kids choice dinner (anything goes)
9. DIY Christmas ornament
10. go to see the fancy holiday windows on Rodeo drive
11. go to the mall to pick out a pair of Christmas socks
12. build a fort and eat dinner inside
13. decorate Christmas-themed aprons
14. decorate Christmas cookies
15. make a holiday stop motion video
16. make a gingerbread house
17. buy a little Christmas tree for our room
18. make our own fleece blankets
19. watch the sunset at the beach (bring blankets)
20. nature walk scavenger hunt (with flashlights)
21. holiday mad libs
22. dinner out at our favorite sushi place
23. driving tour of holiday lights
24. chocolate chip pancakes....in bed!