Advent Capsules

adventWe have one of those advent calendars where you open a different door for each day of advent, so every year, I am trying to find creative ways to fill each space in a way that won’t matter if my children open all the doors on the first day of advent. One method I have come up with is to seal each days activity in it’s own decorative capsule.  Here is how I make the capsules.

Advent materials copy:: Materials ::

* Advent notes * Washi Tape * Plastic straws * Pliers * Lighter *

Advent collage

1.  The first step is to seal one end of the plastic drinking straw. To do this, hold the tip of the straw shut using the pliers.  There should be a small of amount of straw sticking out of the pliers.  This is the section that is going to be melted.  Hold the straw tip to a flame until the end is melted down to the pliers and sealed shut.

2. Write out the messages and activities that you want to open each day of advent onto strips of paper.  Roll these up tightly and secure them with washi tape.  Cut the sealed drinking straw so that it is slightly larger than the note. *You can find a few of my favorite advent activities below.

3.  Insert the note, and seal the other end of the drinking straw in the same way that the first end was sealed.

4.  Cover each end of the straw with washi tape.  Then continue to cover the rest of the straw until it is completely covered.  You may want to use the pliers again to press down on the sealed ends to ensure that the washi tape is stuck down well and the ends are properly sealed.

To open each note, carefully cut off one of the sealed ends of the straw and pull out the message.

advent 2My favorite advent activities:

* Drive around & look at Christmas lights on the “Minivan Express”

* Make a snow globe

* Unwrap & read a Christmas book each night.  Here is a list of books with crafts!

* Make a sugar cube house

* Make garland and ornaments out of gumdrops, popcorn, Cinnamon sticks, orange slices and/or cranberries

Share with us your favorite Advent activities in the comments!


Painted Driftwood

Painting driftwood is a fun summer project that is easy enough that kids will enjoy it too.  There isn’t much to it, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.  So, let your creativity run wild with this one.  If you feel like you would like some direction in doing this project at home, there are a number of tutorials that can be found on the internet.  These are some of my favorite pieces.  Maybe they will inspire you like like they have me.
il_570xN.352111341by Jessica Turnbow

265571709246095927WJTkBbtpcoriginal source unknown

painted drift wood mobileon Gracefully Frank

jesssticksJessica Turnbow, has a cute shop on Etsy where she sells her painted drift wood.

Dream Catchers

UPDATE 5/4/15: I apologize for the quality of these photos.  I am currently working to rewrite this post with clearer images.

Creating a dream catcher is such a fun & meaningful project.  They are a lot of fun and simple to make. This tutorial will show you how to do the webbing.


Hoop ~ this can be anything from the inside piece of an embroidery hoop (what I used for this demonstration), a metal ring, or a wreath.

String ~ any type of string can be used, cotton, hemp, yarn, wire . . .

Sewing needle can make the job a little easier, but it isn’t necessary for doing this project.

Dream catcher webbing1. First, tie the string to the hoop.  Then, wrap the string around the hoop as shown.  You want the string to wrap around it’s self to help hold it in place. I didn’t do this on my first dream catcher & I found it difficult to maintain the tension that I wanted on each stitch.

2. Work your way around the hoop.  Keep in mind the more stitches you have around the loop, the smaller the stitches will be. This is neither good nor bad, but just a different look.

3. Now, you are going to work your way around the hoop a second time. This time, you want to place your stitch on the section of sting between the first stitch and theplace where you tied the string on.

4. Continue working your way around the hoop making stitches between the stitches of the previous round. Look at the arrows on image 3.

5. Keep going around the hoop making stitches between the two stitches above it until you can’t go any further or you decide you are done. Tie the string in place.  You may want to use a tiny dab of glue or clear fingernail polish to help secure the knot.

WebbingThere are several ways to get creative with the webbing. Here you can see the difference having more or less stitches around the hoop.  You can also add tiny beads anywhere you like by threading it onto the string & holding it in place as you work the next stitch.  Another idea is to switch colors as you go.

From here the possibilities are endless. Try wrapping strips of leather, or fabric around the hoop, or painting the hoop. Tie different ribbons, & yarns onto the bottom & sides. Tie feathers, stones, sticks, dried flowers, charms, anything to the ribbons.

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Dream Catcher Kits are now available in my shop!