Magic Disappearing "Recycled" Paper Quilt Block Advent Calendar

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Here is an idea for one very simple, easy to make Advent Calendar tree! And not only is it easy and inexpensive to make, but it is beyond recyclable or reuse! I like to call it "re-directed use" because once the holidays are over it can be quickly disassembled and most of the parts used the rest of the year for other important stuff; and next year the parts can be reassembled into another Advent Calendar!!

For those who don't have the time or inclination to make woven heart baskets to hold candy - each piece of candy is wrapped in a bit of saved produce mesh!

And best of all I am sharing a recent discovery -  Pinhooks!  A very cool invention! And perfect for hanging ornaments - and little bags of candy! Not to mention almost anything else you might want to hang on a vertical surface!!

So - let's begin making a simple Advent Calendar!!

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Start with a bulletin board! Mine measures 22" x 17". If you have one at home, great! Or purchase a very inexpensive one at a craft shop. Michael's sells one this size for $7.95 and if you take advantage of their frequent 50% off sales this time of year, like me - you can pick one up for half of that!

Tissue paper, newspaper or butcher paper - great for creating a tree pattern.

I created this simple quilt block tree design both to take advantage of the multitude of pretty 12"x12" papers available in the scrapbook section of most craft stores - and to make it simple for me to to "draw" a tree!

Since you are dealing with only one section at a time, changes are easy - just draw and cut another piece!

I found that laying the pattern pieces out on the board surface helped to visualize the overall design and correct flaws in design judgement before cutting into the pretty papers!

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Most craft stores have an art section in which it is possible to find large sheets of colored paper designed for charcoal drawing. Poster board will also work!

Cut your paper to the exact same size as the cork surface of the bulletin board.

Once it is cut to size, secure the paper to the cork using bits of double stick tape in the four corners and along each side. A 2" piece of tape for each spot is all that is needed. Since the paper will be supporting no weight, tacking is all that is necessary.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Now, using your pattern pieces as guides, cut the sections of your tree from scrapbook paper. The paper I used was standard letter weight.

I lucked into a pre-holiday inventory sale so each sheet was only $.25! Michael's was clearing the way for holiday papers, but I think this "non-holiday" selection works great!!

I like using my rotary blade, self-healing mat and see-thru straight edge for cutting paper precisely for applications such as this one. (Paper is notorious for dulling blades so I solve that problem by designating one blade for paper!)

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

In cases where the pattern piece is wider than the 12"x12" paper, cut the pattern in two pieces as shown.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Lay the tree sections out on the paper covered bulletin board - just to make sure everything looks like you thought it would!!!!!

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Trim the very bottom edges of each section with craft scissors if you like.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Double stick tape works great for holding the tree sections in place! I used a 2" piece of tape at each side and at the bottom edge and top edge.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Now you are ready to place the hooks for the ornaments! And I am very excited to introduce you to an excellent new tool for hanging all kinds of items where ever you want to hang them!!! Pinhooks!

I was first introduced to Pinhooks on Futuregirl! Here is a link to Alice's post sharing how she uses them. And a little video on the Pinhook site for inspiration.

Intrigued, I immediately ordered a bag of 40!!! And I am here to tell you - I love them! I don't know how I ever managed without them!!

They are so easy to pop into a wall or a piece of wood or cork - almost anywhere you want to hang something!

And they are brilliant for hanging garlands! Light strings! Displays of holiday cards! Ornaments! Decorations of all kinds! And Â… Advent Calendar ornaments!

Order a set and you will have them in time for Advent. Once the holidays are over, you will find lots of other ways to keep them occupied until next year!!

One little thing, if you do use Pinhooks to hang your Advent ornaments, the bulletin board you use for this project should have both a cork layer and either a cardboard or foam core layer on the back side. Or at least a 1/2" thick cork layer.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

Pinhooks extend out from the surface of the Advent calendar just enough so most three dimensional ornaments will hang nicely.

Mesh produce bags - especially those that come filled with clementines are perfect for making little candy bags! You don't even need to cut them into perfect little squares! Simply whack out a piece big enough to fit your candy and tie it around the candy piece with a bit of raffia.

Trust me - raffia is much easier to tie than yarn!

To hang, simply slip the Pinhook right through one of the holes in the mesh! 

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

So you won't have an empty calendar as Christmas draws near, gather together a collection of small ornaments - hand made or purchased. (If you are into Scandinavian - Ikea has all their holiday ornaments in stock right now! Lots of cute miniature straw and wood ornaments!)

As each piece of candy is consumed - hang an ornament on the empty Pinhook!.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

I just had to cover up that little frame. But since my plan is to use the board all year - actually my sweetie will be using it - I didn't want to paint it green or red! (He gets enough Christmas around here as it is!)

But you could actually paint the frame if you like. Or - do as I did and wind a few strands of raffia around each edge to cover the frame!

I tied three or four long pieces of raffia together, secured one end to the back of the frame with tape, wound the raffia strand around one edge of the board frame about four times and secured with another bit of tape. Repeat with the other three sides.

Magically Disappearing Advent Calendar

The best part of this Advent Calendar project is that all it's parts can be saved or reused during the year for other things!

It takes all of 5 minutes to disassemble the calendar! The board can be put to use as - well - a bulletin board; the Pinhooks will come in handy over and over for lots of uses; the little paper tree can be stored very easily for next year - or the paper can be reused in other projects; even the little mesh bags can be saved for another year and the raffia can be used for gift wrap!

Now you see it - now you don't! Like magic!

I had to stop reading this

I had to stop reading this several times to go to link and to scream at Cathie about pinhooks! And cork bulletin boards!! I may have one at work I can use, but if not... I'm going to get one!

raffia? YES!

Gorgeous Advent Calendar -

Gorgeous Advent Calendar - like the idea that everything can be recyled . Would like to link it to my Squidoo Lens: How to make a Stuffed Advent Calendar Tree . Thank you for sharing .

Thank you for this, a

Thank you for this, a brilliant idea as an end of term project for my Grade Ones

aaaw lovely idea Pam, smart

aaaw lovely idea Pam, smart of you to use pinhooks for the hanging.
Great tute and thank you for another fun sharing project.;-D

Practical Craftiness at its

Practical Craftiness at its Best!
Love it!

Such a cute idea, Pam! And

Such a cute idea, Pam! And I'm loving those pinhooks! Too clever! Thanks for sharing your tutorial with us!
Big hugs,