Hybrid Handmade Christmas - Advent Calender

A little project for you all on how to turn this:

(an ikea magnetic notice board - but you could use any old pin board, bit of sturdy cardboard, wood etc)
in to this:

Advent Calender, Cari-Jane Hakes 2010

Step 1: You will need...

scissors, magnetic tape or pins (depending on whether you are using a metal magnetic board like me or a pin board), number stamps, card (I bought these in a craft shop, pre-cut, they are the size used by people who make 'artists trading cards'), ink stamp pad, ribbon, pencil, ruler, pen, festive fabric, hole punch, double sided sticky tape and brown paper.

Step 2:  Turn the brown card rectangles into luggage tags / gift tags.  Cut a little bit of brown paper to make a pocket on the back.  Secure it in place with tape.

I found it was quicker if I did all 24 a once.  Cut all the corner, punch all the holes etc.  Of course, you could just use 24 luggage tags if you had these already.

Step 3: Punch the holes to complete your luggage tags.  I took the bottom off my hole punch and turned it upside down so I could see the pencil circle I had made and get the hole exactly in the middle.  

Step 4: Zig zag stitch around the tag (this will make the pocket on the back) and get ready to date stamp each tag.  I'm using old wooden letterpress blocks that I bought off ebay.  You could use rubber stamps or write the number on or cut the numbers out of magazines / newspaper and stick them on.

Step 5: Mark a little guide for your numbers and then stamp away!  I had to do some of mine twice.  The wood obviously isn't as squwishy as a rubber stamp so the first impression is often not complete. 

Step 6: Add a length of ribbon to the tag.

Step 7: Add a little note!  These can be different every year.  I don't see why this should just be restricted to children either.  Most of them are little promises or reminders - for example 'lets play UNO' or 'I will make a lego kit with you' Or 'today we will make salt dough decorations'. Other ones ask the children to do something for me!  Just trying to teach a bit of 'the joy is in the giving' AND the 'giving' doesn't always have to be a gift.  

Step 8:  Add magnetic tape to the inside of the pocket with some double sided tape.  I just happened to have some of this but you could easily just pin your tags to your board.

Step 9: Mark the current date with a movable embellishment.  I'm using a ceramic button by Jo Heckett and a bit of blu-tac.

Step 10:  Cover your pin board with fabric.  I did this by just creating a kind of pillowcase, stitched on three sides and just tucked under at the bottom on the open side.  This advent calender took me two evenings.  Probably a total of 4 and a half hours.

Step 11:  Keep for next year (and the year after and the year after...) and change the fabric if you like!

Advent Calender by Cari-Jane Hakes 2010
So, while I may be three days late in starting our Advent Calender....I am ready for next year!  

Products:  Wooden Reindeer - seasonal selection at Muji, Button Hearts by East of India, Red Glass Vase by LSA.