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1.28.2013

DIY Valentines Advent Calendar & Chalkboard Backdrops

I've just finished up all the Valentines decorating around here and have this last quick tutorial to share with you today, before I show you the full reveal of this space tomorrow!

I had big plans to do a Christmas advent calendar this past year because they always look so fun, but with all the hustle and bustle, totally forgot about it. So as an alternative, I decided to do a DIY brown bag, glittered doily topped Valentines advent calendar instead! Whew! ... now THAT'S a mouth-full.
:)

Everything's pretty self explanatory but as a quick rundown, here's what you'll need:
* Brown gift/favor bags
* Fine glitter
* Small doilies
* Quick-dry glue (with a fine applicator tip)
* Candy/Valentines goodies
* Twine
* Small clothespins

The first thing you'll need to do is run a bit of glue along the edge of each doily and then sprinkle it with glitter, to cover. You might want to do this over a paper plate so glitter doesn't get everywhere; plus, you can pour your excess, leftover glitter back into your jar to save from wasting any.
(glitter is expensive, yo!)

After each doily is glittered lay them flat to dry.

Next I gathered a bunch of Valentines goodies (from the dollar store) and put a few surprises in each of my 14 bags. Then I took one of the dried glitter doilies, bent it in half, placed a small dab of glue in the middle and then placed it on top of the folded brown bag.

Lastly, I applied my vinyl numbers and found some cute mini Valentines clothes pins at Michael's craft store and used those to keep my bags closed. 

You can buy a set of vinyl numbers from The House of Smiths Design shop.
Also, now that I'm looking back, I would have put the vinyl numbers on first thing... before the bags had goodies in them. It proved a bit trickier to get them centered and applied with the bags already open and filled (duh!... you live and learn, right?) 
:)

My girls are anxiously awaiting the first day of February so that they can start digging into these bags each morning for something fun. I'm glad it's getting close because I don't know if I can take answering the question "Is it February yet!?!?" one more time.
Ahhhh!

Ooo! And speaking of my girls, I'm giddy-silly-excited to share with you a fun new set of downloadable chalkboard art prints that the Caravan Shoppe has released!
I loved the Christmas series so much that I asked Melanie and Alma if they would be creating a Valentines line as well, and I was thrilled when they said they were! So I asked Melanie what she thought about designing a few that could be used as photo backdrops (???) Luckily she loved the idea and brought a few of the final prints to my house the other day to test out!

I mean, seriously? How cute, right!?
I've been trying to start a little tradition where the girls give a photo as their Valentines cards at school each year and a few of the backdrops from the Caravan Shoppe will work perfectly to set the scene!
You can purchase any of their over-sized downloadable chalk art prints for about $5; and in fact, you can get ALL 7 backgrounds that the Caravan Shoppe created recently, for a meager $7! whoo hoo!
DISCOUNT: Enter "smithparty" (all lowercase)  for an additional 25% discount till Friday February 1st at midnight.

To stage mine I just found a well lit spot in my house, used some painters tape and stuck my background straight onto the wall. Easy-peasy!
Do you have any special traditions or ways you like to celebrate this upcoming month of "loooove"? If so, what are they!?

35 comments:

  1. Shelley, I love this idea!!! Since I failed to do our traditional Christmas advent calendar last year I think I might need to make up for it and do a valentine's day one!

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  2. love! the advent calendar idea. so pretty!

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  3. Love all the ideas here. Never thought of a Valentines Day advent. How awesome!!!! I love all your ideas.

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  4. I LOVE these printables! I'm throwing an engagement party tomorrow and this is EXACTLY what I need to complete the decor! Where did you print yours? How big does it print? Is it something where I could just do an engineering print at Staples? How many questions can I ask in one comment? :)

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    1. You can print these at Staples! Just ask for it to be done on a black and white printer. You can look here for more info, and when you order, they will send you all the instructions for how to print as well! http://www.caravanshoppe.com/how-it-works/

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  5. Adorable!! Can't wait to see your shelves this year!

    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

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  6. Hi! I don't see the hearts background in their shop? Was that one exclusive to you guys? Thanks for the discount...

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  7. Disregard my previous comment! I found it! Thank you :)

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  8. What poster printing options do you choose at Staples?

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    1. I believe that you need to ask for their black and white large printer. It should only be like $5 or so to print. Don't let them print it on their colored printer, because they'll charge you more. If they tell you it's gonna be grainy... that's ok! That's the look you're going for :)

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  9. I love these! DO you know if you can print them 11x14 or 8x10 with their download?

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    1. I'm pretty sure you can size them to whatever you need :) I had one printed out as a 16x20 :)

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  10. These are so cute! They'd be great as favor bags as well for parties. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Super cute! I hope I have time to make this!! Thanks for sharing this idea!

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  12. This may sound dumb but how did you print the over sized chalkboard art. I'd like to buy them but I'm a 49 year old tech. challenged lady.
    Karen

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    1. You can print these at Staples! Just ask for it to be done on a black and white printer. You can look here for more info, and when you order, they will send you all the instructions for how to print as well! http://www.caravanshoppe.com/how-it-works/

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  13. I have brown paper sacks leftover from my son's baptism favors. I am so doing this! My Christmas advent was a bit of a fail but I know I will definitely do this! Thanks for the idea :)

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  14. So cute! How are you hanging them on your shelves?

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    1. We used command hooks that were clear and wrapped the twine around them :)

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  15. My kids totally get into countdowns. I love this idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  16. Just bought the backgrounds. What size did you print? In full color or black & white?

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    1. You print them 36x48 inches in black and white :)

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  17. So cute! Thanks for the cute idea!
    I wonder if this would work with the glitter glue by Elmer's (so I am not cleaning up glitter for an eternity!).

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  18. How & where did you print out the backdrops and about how much did it cost? Thanks! They are so cute!

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    1. You can print them at Staples. The 36x48 only costs about $6 to print.

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  19. Such an adorable idea!! I have been curious for a while after following for a few months and seeing so many beautiful pictures of your family... May I ask, do you put make-up on your daughters for pictures?

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    1. Yup! Usually some pink lip gloss. I got it at Walmart in the NYC makeup section or like $2 and always dab a bit on their lips to brighten up their face. Sometimes I take a little of the gloss on my finger tips and swipe it across their cheeks too, to make them glow a bit. (haha! That's probably weird, but it's easy!) LOL.
      It just brightens up their face, because sometimes in photos, especially in the winter, when they don't have any sun kissed skin, their tone tends to fall a bit flat.

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  20. Thanks for sharing this great product with us! You and your girls are adorable!

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  21. Love your valentine's decor and love your site! I'm wondering what it is that you used to attach the advent calendar to your white bookshelf? Thanks!

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  22. How cute are these little bags? Love them! And your girls are adorable!

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