Monday, November 29, 2010

The countdown to the perfect advent calendar

The latest hunt in the land of Charles Whyte revolves around Christmas decorations. The theme usually starts with red, white and a touch of vintage. Rustic wooden touches, brown paper and linen usually grab me, as do birds, doves, angels and glimpses of typography (especially of the French variety). Lucky I enjoy making things as I don't find much in my style in the stores and, as I found out on the weekend while on the decoration hunt, the shops are already horribly busy.

Last year it was a wreath I was struggling with but now that I've found what I was looking for in that department (blog post to come), the hunt has moved on to an advent calendar. What better way to enjoy the lead up to Christmas than a beautiful calendar? The little treats inside are just a bonus, but who doesn't like a daily gift?!

The advent calendar yearning all started with this Inside Out cover in 2008. Sadly, there was no stockist information for the perfect stocking advent calendar picured above. Some clever stylist (ggrrr) is probably responsible. Sooo need to get a sewing machine and learn to sew to make all these things I like.

Then in last year's December Home Beautiful magazine there was this printed advent calendar. Almost perfect, but it is from the wholesaler Mediterranean Markets. Poor little 'general public' me has had to write an email to them to see if there is any way to get it.

 I quickly perked up when I saw a few rusty bucket advent calendars online as I thought I could make these easily myself.

 Aspen & Brown rusty bucket advent calendar (around 30 pounds but delivery within UK only)

 Image from Boxwood (supplier not specified)

 Pottery Barn Bucket and branch advent calendar ($299, no shipping outside US)

After visiting Lincraft, KMart, the Reject Shop, the $2 Shop and various other discount variety stores, I am at a loss as to where to find mini tin buckets. This is the only one I found and its got too much going on for this project.

$3.95 from a $2 shop in Highpoint

To rub salt into the wound, I saw mini white tin buckets being used to display stock in a shop over the weekend but they didn't know where they had been purchased. There are lots online, like this beauty, but all overseas as far as I can see. I only have a day left!

On the upside, I found these Morgan and Finch star pegs for advent calendars in Bed, Bath and Table for $14.95.

The ever-smart Mrs Tee suggested I try mini noodle boxes so now I have an interim solution while the rusty pails come my way (or I learn to sew).

Tomorrow they will be stuffed with little treats and strung up somewhere. Let the countdown begin.

Update: The advent calendar is now in place and helping us enjoy the Christmas spirit. What do you think?

Full blog post here.

The Lettered Cottage


  1. Yippee - I'm having a Christmas decoration dinner at my house on the 1st Of December where we all come and practice feasting whist hanging the decorations (way too many according to some - never enough according to me) – I’ll add an advent count down calendar to this!

  2. I LOVE IT! I hope the Mister (JW) got to fill some for you?




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