A Modern & Minimalist Advent Calendar

I’ve never been the advent calendar type (Dec 1st just comes around so fast, doesn’t it?!), but this year, I’ve finally spotted an idea that I both love – and think I can pull off.

Created by crafter extraordinaire Sally Shim, this advent calendar is perfectly suitable for any decor this side of the North Pole. Even better? It’s so easy to personalize with sweet notes and activity ideas for your own family to enjoy this season.

Sally has included instructions here, so why not spend tonight inside with your favorite crafting elves? After all, Christmas is right around the corner!

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Holiday Extravaganza: My Dream Holiday

One of my favorite parts of the holiday bustle is receiving catalogs in the mail. I know that seems crazy, as Christmas is undoubtedly consumerism-driven in every sense of the word and it's tough to stomach the need to spend, spend, spend. Yet I often ignore the products entirely, instead mesmerized by the winter styling of glitter, patterns and bright, cheery colors.

Perfect example? Kate Spade's holiday campaign. Is there nothing sweeter than fun friends, red lipstick and a well-worn piano to kick off your holiday season?

Baubles and beauty aside, the festive mood of these photos gets me in the holiday spirit faster than I can say "Bing Crosby." Sure, not all holiday parties feature confetti and cocktails (although they should), but a gal can dream, yes?

Here's wishing you and yours a bright, bold holiday season.

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Holiday Extravaganza: Wreaths Galore!

I'm one of those gals that hardly ever places a wreath on her front door, but everywhere else in my home? Wreaths exist aplenty. I hang them on my kitchen cabinets, over my office and even on my bathroom door. Luckily, there are tons of DIY ideas for stylish, crafty wreaths that keep my obsession in line without breaking the bank.

A few of my favorites?:

-Crafty gal Amanda Johnson created a sweet striped wreath out of a knitted tee. Genius! (image above)
-Need a last minute craft to keep your kids occupied and out of the kitchen? Show them this simple paper wreath tutorial. They'll be busy for hours!
-Have some spare tinsel? Make a 5 minute wreath! (image at top)

-Turn an autumn straw wreath into a winter treat with this pompom wreath tutorial. Grab some felted balls and go to town!
-Get creative with your old Polaroids and display an impromptu photo wreath. (image above)
-A grown-up paper wreath is equally easy but surprisingly classy!

Any fun wreath ideas I've missed? Let us know in the comments, and happy holidays!

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Holiday Extravaganza: 15 Creative Advent Calendars

For some, the holiday season means shopping, eating, baking, wrapping and eating some more. But for me, I enjoy taking time out to make a few memorable crafts with my family and friends. High on my priority list before Dec 1st hits? Advent calendars.

Just for fun (and to inspire my own craft-making!), I’ve rounded up my favorite advent calendars online — all 15 of them! Some are for sale, but most are handmade, homespun and completely inspired. Ready for the round-up?:

  1. With little more than vintage flash cards, paperclips and ribbon, Country Living created a sweet advent garland perfect for children and adults alike.
  2. Christmas craft king Sweet Paul’s advent calendar was created from matchboxes and paper scraps. Genius!
  3. Have a few mini metal tins hanging around? Check out Twig & Thistle’s magnetic holiday advent calendar.
  4. A buyable ($100) wooden advent calendar perfect for gift-giving from Not on the High Street.
  5. With a few craft sticks and origami boxes, channel CraftyNest’s clever take on an advent tree.
  6. Christmas advent cones? Easy peasy.
  7. Garnet Hill’s bringing it this year with two great advent designs: Buckets of Joy advent banner ($24) and Lollipop Tree advent calendar ($68).
  8. Advent pouches? Brilliant!
  9. Create your advent calendar with nothing more than office supplies with Nice Package’s mini envelope advent tree. So simple!
  10. For the typography-lover in your life, Ali Edwards’ font-inspired advent boxes are a sure hit.
  11. The prettiest pegboard I’ve ever seen becomes instant holiday decor with this advent calendar tutorial.
  12. A downloadable advent calendar for the lazy crafter? Yes, please!
  13. From Pottery Barn hails a bucket and branch advent calendar ($300). Pricey, but beautiful.
  14. A-ha! Another downloadable advent calendar. Bonus!
  15. Yuletide excitement in one fell swoop with Uusi’s illustrated advent calendar ($65).

Whew! You’ve got some work to do, friends. If you tackle any of the above holiday crafts, tell us in the comment section! We’d simply love to see your skills!

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