Scripture Advent Calendar {A Christmas DIY}

Disclaimer:  You guys know how not a DIY’er I am but every now and then I just can’t find what I’m looking for and am forced to make my own.  Bear with me in the steps I took.  I’m no pro at this! (and if this would have been at Target for $49 I assure you I’d have bought it)

Last year I decided that I’d had enough with silly chocolate advent calendars and I wanted one that was a scripture reading each day of the season.  After scouring around the internet and not finding anything that I just loved in total, I decided to pull what I loved from each homemade calendar I did see, and make my own.  Here’s what was important to me.

  • 25 days of scripture reading
  • simple to make
  • pretty to look at

I don’t think I was asking for too much.  This is what I came up with.  I don’t know what to call it.  Scripture Advent Branch?  Branch Advent Calendar?  They just lack a certain something-something.  Call it what you will, here are a few shots I found of it from last year and  the process of making it – thought I’d share.

I took this picture about half way through so their aren’t many envelopes left on it.

  1. I started off by finding a branch that I liked the size of.  I was going to use a real branch and spray paint it but I just lacked time.  (I put this together in one day.  I’m going to spend a bit more time and tweak it this year to make it a bit prettier)  So I ran to the craft store and found this white one that I was happy with.  I think this year I’m going to paint it either dark or metallic, not sure yet.  I just used a vase that I had at home and placed the branch in it and then placed that onto an old wooden tray.  The tray is important.  You’ll see why…
  2. Envelopes to have the scripture verses tucked into.  I wanted the envelopes to be really pretty and I couldn’t find any I liked so I half made my own.  I bought little square envelopes that were red.  Then I found thick scrap booking paper that I liked the design of.  I went with a black and white damask print and I was so happy with the look.  Cut paper into squares just slightly larger than the envelope and glue onto the front to cover.  I also wanted a slightly modern angle to mine so I cut circles out of white scrapbooking paper and glued them onto the front in the lower right corner.  Of course you need the numbers 1-25 on the front of the envelopes as well so I bought sticky letters in a typewriter font and just stuck those onto the white circle.  They looked like this:

A close up of one of the many (25, to be exact) envelopes that I made.

3.  Once you envelopes are designed as you like them you’ll need to find a scripture reading           system to take you through the 25 days.  There are many MANY options online.  I just used the account from Luke 2:1-20 and divided it up how I wanted it.  I printed out the verses and then popped each days reading into the correct envelope.  This year I want to make it a bit deeper as the kids are bigger and I want to include some of the prophecies into  our readings as well.  Once your envelopes have been stuffed, hole punch them and tie a ribbon through.  Your envelopes are ready to hang on the branch.

4.  Your branch, if it’s like mine, will look quite full and lovely once the envelopes are on, but what about after they’ve been read?  Here’s what I did.  In the tray that the vase is sitting on I had 25 ornaments.  I chose small silver crackle balls and glittery silver leaves.

A few of the leaves in the tray below

How to do it:  For our family, the only time that we’re all home is right before bed.  So I had the kids get all jammied up (somehow it’s cuter when they’re cozy?!) and just before we were ready to head up to bed we would gather on the couch and the boys would take turns selecting the correct envelope.  When they would locate the one corresponding to that day (I didn’t place them on the tree methodically at all but that was okay because they like having to hunt for the right number) they would gently lift it off the branch and replace it with an ornament of their choice.  This way by the end the branch wasn’t bare, rather lovely and decorated.  Then they would open the envelope and read the text that was inside.

I used small, silver crackle balls and silvery, glittery leaves  for them to put on when removing an envelope.

And that’s that.  I really enjoyed the time we spent doing this each evening.  It was a daily reminder to all of us what the season is really about and got us into the biblical story every single day in december.  Plus, it looks kinda pretty, dont’cha think?  Win-win!

I’d love to see the advent calendars you use in your home, or what yours looks like if you decide to make one like mine.  Please send me pictures or link up to it in the comments.  

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