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Advent Calendar from a Scratch-n-Dent Door!

I was at Ikea a few months ago. And you know that side room where they keep all the scratch and dent stuff? Well I found a big door in there for $4!! I was so excited. The other Ikea shoppers were looking at me like I was nuts. Who is that crazy lady who is giggling about some random, scratched up door?? I was going to make some Christmas Subway Art with it, but the wall I wanted to put it on wasn’t big enough for this big old door. So it sat in my garage for a couple months.

Then when I got my Christmas boxes out, I found my little musical advent cones that I made and embellished last year and thought that instead of hanging them on my tree this year, that maybe I could turn that old door into an advent board.
So I headed down to my favorite Home Depot. Did I tell you they offered me a job in there because I show up so much?? hahahaha. I picked up some picture hanging cable and some 0-eye screws.
I decided that the white door was way too white, so I used my little mouse sander to distress it a little. Then I put some Walnut Stain over the whole thing and rubbed it into the the edges real well.  I measured the board and decided that I could make 7 rows of wire 7 inches apart.
So I marked it off with a pencil. And then drilled pilot holes with my screwdriver. And then screwed those 0-eye screw in. Then I cut off some of the picture hanging cable and twisted it around the 0-eye screw really well. I used my pliers to get it real tight. Then I stretched it out to the other 0-eye and twisted it on as tightly as I could. I did that 7 times.

I also found some great keyhole hangers that fit flush against the wall – they are great.
I love this project because I am using it as an advent board right now, but I plan to leave it up all year. It can be a message board and a place for the kids’ to hang their artwork, messages, pictures or other cards that we get throughout the year.
See how practical I am???
Here is the tutorial if you want to make the Advent Cones
And there’s also a free template printable there so you can cut them right out.
I went to the Dollar Store and filled my cones with some awesome stuff — they had chocolate coal at the Dollar Store, isn’t that fun? Plus, I found holiday erasers, pens, lollipops, and pencils. And on the 24th I am going to put in Movie tickets in envelopes and we are going to go see a Christmas movie together that day!!
And to go along with each day, I have added an activity.
Here’s the advent list I made up for this year:
Watch It’s a Wonderful Life
Wrap Up Christmas book and then open one each day.
Make Christmas Cookies and doorbell ditch them to the neighbors.
Find Mistletoe, hang it in our house and kiss under it.
Address and Mail Christmas Cards
Go to Bookstore and buy a new Christmas book to read.
See The Nutcracker
Have a Cookie Exchange
Go Ice Skating
Decorate Gingerbread Houses
Ride Trax downtown to see the lights.
Make a snowman and then drink hot cocoa.
Go sledding
Do a kind deed
Make a gift basket for a lonely neighbor or friend
Have a Snowball Fight
Make and Deliver neighbor Gifts
Talk about Christmas in other countries
Make a Gingerbread house
Decorate the Tree
Make Homemade Marshmallows and Fudge
Make Fondue and eat it watching Miracle on 34th Street.
Drive around to see the lights.
Go caroling
Act out the Nativity Story
Open one gift before Christmas
Make Rice Pudding with 1 almond, then give a present to the person who gets the almond.
Ride the Christmas Train
Go to the movie theater and see the latest Christmas movie.
Hang the picture of Grandpa and fill his stocking with memories
Write a letter to Santa
Make sugar cookies
Sign up for the Giving Tree and buy items for a needy family.
Host a Christmas Eve Brunch and invite all of our friends.
Clean out old toys to donate to children in need
Watch Elf
Go to a Christmas Concert
Watch It’s a Wonderful Life
Make gooey Caramel Corn
Do YOU have an Advent Calendar — if so, what kind do you use?

PS — I am working on a Ruffle Tree forest today. The tutorial will be coming up tonight or tomorrow :)

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  1. I love it! And $4? What the….? I obviously need to frequent that section of IKEA. Where have I been? Our advent calendar is a funny felt one that my Mom bought my kids. And it's so tacky. But they love it like a member of the family. I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon! Boo.

  2. Natalie@Endless Crafting says:

    I love IKEA scratch and dent area! I've found some great things there. Love your advent calendar. We haven't broke tradition yet, we use the same chocolate cardboard ones that we've purchased since I was a little girl.

    I made a ruffle tree too..they are addicting. I posted it earlier this week.

    Have a great day!

  3. Jen, you always come up with the most bestest ideas, truly!!

  4. Jen…you could make a paper bag look GOOD! What a great idea!:)

  5. Ali Rockwell says:

    I love that idea! Very cute. And such a fun place to hang whatever random things you can find… that's how mind would be used at least.

  6. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says:

    Cripes, that is so cool! I did something similar with a picture frame, but I love the size of this door and the advent effect. Gah! I miss IKEA!

  7. Love it. So cute!

  8. Courtney {a thoughtful place} says:

    How is it that you rock so hard. Darling.

  9. this is soo so cute! i love your little paper cones!

  10. Candles by Nature says:

    Oh my gosh, I am in LOVE with your advent calendar! Advent calendars are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season, but the past two years I haven't had time to make my own so I've just used the store-bought ones with those rinky-dink chocolates haha.

  11. Takin' time to smell the flowers! says:

    Love it, very good job! I want to find a door for $4! ♥

  12. What a fabulous idea! I'm swooning over the sheet music and the fact that the cones would be the only part to pack up and there still this great door to do other seasonal displays on the rest of the year! :>

  13. Such a cute idea, and I love that it can be used all year. Gotta love those multi-purpose projects!! :)

  14. That's so cool! You can use it all year!

  15. shannon i olson says:

    what a fun door! love all the uses.

  16. What a great idea. I love checking out all the inspiration you feature on your site.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Thanks for sharing your creative juices, Jen. I get so excited for my down time (I have two active boys under 5 and I co-lead a marriage ministry at my church) to peruse crafting blogs to get ideas, and yours is one of my favorites!
    Catching on like wildfire at our church is doing a Jesse Tree Advent Calendar. I started one last year, but I would love to see various creative ways to do the "ornaments." If anyone doesn't know what a Jesse Tree is, it is an advent tree or banner that tells a story of the Old Testament each day, leading up to the advent, or coming of Christ. Some of my friends have used scrapbooking paper to make their ornaments, some have used prebought ornament balls and decorated those, some have sewn beautiful fabric ornaments, and I . . . well, let's just say mine are toddler friendly felt ornaments.
    If you or any of your readers have any creative examples of a Jesse Tree, send them my our way!
    Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!

  18. Country Mouse says:

    wow! $4…I would have been giddy too!!!! I love what you have done with it, and I love your future plans for it!!! Great project!!!

  19. Kassi @ Truly Lovely says:

    Sweet steal on the door!!!

  20. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    This is such a cute idea! I love it as the advent calendar, but I think I would totally have to use it as a Christmas card display…so clever! We have an advent calendar that I made out of those round party favor tins and a big canvas:)

  21. Sawdust and Paperscraps says:

    That is so cute Jen. My advent calendar this year is a decorative box that sits on the kitchen island and has a new surprise in it everyday {if I can find all the surprises I previously bought}. In my mind, it's kind of sad but my daughter loves it and looks forward to it everyday. I love the holidays. Even when you're moving and you're stressing about projects and if your house will sell or if you'll be upside down on your mortgage if it does sell…the kid{s} get so excited and are so easy to please, it reminds you to enjoy the little things, every day!

    Happy Holidays.

  22. another fabulous idea/project!

    So jealous you have an IKEA nearby.. my closest one is almost 3 hours away! oof!

    I love the look of the calendar and the details are amazing <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons