December Advent Garland

Quite possibly, my favourite thing about the Christmas season would be DIY decorations. December brings out the crafty urges in me, but most years I leave things far too late to actually do anything about it. And 2015 proved no different, when about about 20 November I decided that it was absolutely crucial to make an advent calendar.

“Of course I can knit 24 little hanging bags in 10 days.” Obviously I took on more than I could chew and my procrastination prevailed, forcing me to tweak the plans I had in mind. “Of course I’ll have enough time now that I’ve changed things.” Obviously I was still scrambling the night before. But! I finished on time and then spent the 1 December hanging my creation. That still counts.

The Supplies:

  • Basic red yarn (or any other festive colour)
  • Tiny knitting needles (I honestly don’t know what size I used) 
  • Yarn sewing needle
  • Tiny clothes-pegs (I found some with snowflakes already glued on)
  • Sharpie marker
  • Chocolate coins (or any other wrapped treat of choice)
  • Various tags, of various shapes & sizes
  • Assorted patterned paper, decals, cut-outs, washi tape, etc.
  • Basic glue stick

The best part of this project is that I got all my supplies from the Poundshop! For only £10 (about $20) you too can make a dazzling homemade festive display! Chances are you’ll have a bunch of things left over, so just add those to your ever-growing craft supply pile.

IMG_4965

The Steps:

  • For the knitted bags I cast on 20 stitches and used stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row) until I had about a 5″ length, then cast off, leaving a fairly generous tail end. Fold the swatch in half, (wrong side / purl side exposed), then sew up the sides and tie off at the top corner. Flip right-side out & make a small handle by sewing the remaining tail end to the opposite side; I didn’t worry about having the same length of handle, so each bag will hang slightly different & I think that adds to the appeal.
  • Numbers 1 – 24 were written on the snowflake clothes-pegs using the Sharpie marker. Be as flourished or as simple as you’d like. (If your clothes-pegs don’t already have a neat decal,  the simplest option would be a thicker piece of cardboard cut out in any shape and glued on using a modge-podge type glue) (*note* Many advent calendars have 25 days…the packages of clothes-pegs I bought only had 24)
  • Decorate the tags using whatever Christmas-y materials you’d like – paint, papers, markers, ribbon, glitter, etc. I used patterned scrapbook paper, pictures from magazines and newspapers, and washi tape.
  • Use yarn or twine to act as the line from which everything will hang. Make sure to stretch the yarn fairly taught, otherwise the weight of it all will cause the whole thing to sag; secure each end with several pieces of cello-tape, blue-tack, or depending on where it hangs you may be able to tie the ends to something else.
  • Using the clothes-pegs (with the back facing forward), clip the handles of the knitted bags & the tops of the decorated tags to the yarn line, starting with “1” going through & ending with “24.” Put a chocolate in each bag and a chocolate clipped to the front of each tag.
  • Each day turn the clothes-peg around to reveal the number and eat the chocolate!
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