Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snowmen Advent Garland

I had this idea a few months ago, &, I know it's a bit early to unveil Christmas-y stuff, but sometimes when I craft I just get too excited & hafta share right away!

The funny thing is, this snowmen advent garland was just gonna be a plain old plastic capsule advent garland until yesterday. I was just gonna hang up the capsules in a pretty little colorful row from some string & call it good. But, THEN, I hit some happy turbulence on my plane ride to Crafty Town.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the snowmen are made from those plastic capsules you get from "gumball" machines. These large ones were 50cents each. So, step one in this project is to procure your capsules. I hit up a Walmart. (I haven't checked online for a source, but maybe ebay??) And, I'm not saying you won't look like a crazy lady popping all those quarters in the machines, spinning the handles & waiting with giddy claps for the prizes to come out. OK, so maybe I shouldn't have clapped so much. DO have a large sack or purse at the ready to hold all your trinkets.
You'll need to purchase 24 capsules. Beginning December 1st, you open one each day through Christmas Eve.

The next thing you'll want to do is to separate the lids from the bases. You'll be drilling two small holes into the lids of each capsule. I don't know what size drill bit I used. It doesn't REALLY matter. Mine was small---but not too small that I couldn't easily fit my cording through when I strung them all up.

Take your cord, or ribbon or twine or whatever you choose to string the capsules onto, & start adding your lids. You'll go down through the top & then up through the bottom. And you can cut your cord/ribbon/twine to whatever length you'd like.

After your cording is strung through, put some hot glue in the spot right in the center of the holes & add some pom poms. Try not to cover up the drilled holes with glue----so you can slide your snowman any which way if you need to, to adjust the position, etc.

The bases are clear-ish. If you want to maintain an air of mystery about what prizes are inside your advent garland, you'll have to cover that up somehow.
First, I took black puffy paint & made dollops for the eyes & mouth. Then, I cut out long skinny triangles from felt for the "carrot" nose. I hot glued those on.

Now it's time to go outside & paint! It doesn't matter if you do this step or the previous step first or second.
I bought the cheapest brand of WHITE spray paint at Walmart & also CLEAR SEALER. Spray one quick coat inside the bottom capsule. It doesn't have to be solid or perfect. When that is dry, spray another quick coat of the clear sealer. The white spray paint tends to get easily scratched on the plastic surface. The sealer helps to prevent scratches appearing so easily. Of course, you could spend a couple extra dollars & purchase Krylon spray paint made SPECIFICALLY for plastic surfaces & have no problem at all!
Another idea: Instead of painting inside, you can fill the capsule with white shredded crinkle paper. I know they sell it at Dollar Tree, among other places. Your little treasures will still stay hidden quite well!

When everything is dry, pop the lid & base together & you're done!! Isn't it adorable??!!
I'm so in love with this project.
Seriously.

Now, at 50cents each, it might seem kinda spendy to pay $12.00 for 24 capsules. BUT here's a tip: the toys are already inside! No need to go out & buy more trinkets or prizes! Of course, you can if you want. But remember, there's no need to spend a lot of money on little prizes. For me, advents are all about the waiting, the anticipation, the suspense, the surprise...


In fact, my 2 girls received ONE store-bought Barbie advent calendar a couple years ago. There were little prizes & Barbie accessories hidden behind each day's secret door. My girls swapped opening the prizes every other day. So, just because you have multiple kids doesn't mean you have to buy something for EVERYone, EVERY day! They can take turns getting the prize.

One of my favorite places to shop for tiny {& vintage-y} doo-dads is Tiny Things are Cute. They have a lot of fun things & you'll have fun lookin' around!
 
(63 days until the advent starts!)

38 comments:

  1. Snow. My. Word! These are freakin' fabulous! Ugh. Now, I have a new project. ;-) AND yet ANOTHER advent calendar from Whimsey that I wanna make. Just stop it. Right now! ;-)

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  2. I love this idea,now would be the perfect time to start making one.

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  3. I love it!! I think I'll make one for Pigeon! Great idea!!

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  4. Oh my goodness, this is such a great idea! I love it!

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  5. This is quite possibly my favorite craft ever!

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  6. Best advent idea yet!!! Love Love Love it!!!! Thanks for sharing it.

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  7. Genius in the best possible way. I absolutely love this!

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  8. Now this is just the cleverest advent garland I have seen. Well done.

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  9. Love this super cute garland! I "pinned" it just to be sure I didn't forget!

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  10. I love snowmen and snowflakes.........I am going to make a few of these!!!!! They are soooooooo adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. I love this idea...but want to make them as ornaments or maybe garland too,,,I see they sell 1 inch 2 inch and 4inch capsules..what size did you use?
    thanks in advance nancy

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  12. Hi Nancy!
    I used the 2 inch ones. I've only seen 1or 2 inch ones in the gumball machines. I've never seen 4 inch! That'd be super fun!
    Have fun!!
    Happy Adventing!

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  13. So cute idea! i love it verry much, thanks for sharing.

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  14. Great idea. Pinned it for another year, but looked for the containers wholesale. Took a lot of word combinations but I found:
    wholesalevendingproducts.com

    These could be useful for Easter and Halloween too.

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  15. This is an awesome idea! I love that it acts as Christmas decoration too

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  16. This is one of the best ideas I have seen in a while !!! I LOVE IT !!!

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  17. I saw your snowman garland and loved it so I started looking for materials. I found those containers for alot better deal then going to gum ball machines and wanted to share. Enjoy! http://www.candymachines.com/Empty-Vending-Capsules-C99.aspx

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  18. this is so cute it's BONKERS! looking at it makes me positively giddy…I've featured you here: http://dollarstoremom.com/2011/11/make-a-snowman-advent-garland/

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  19. I love it! I am so going to do this. I have a few round ones so I may have to see if I can do something with those. This is so crafty - my daughter is going to love doing this project with me.

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  20. How creative! Thank you for sharing!

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  21. So dang cute! Not to mention easy & affordable...love it! TFS!

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  22. This is one of the cutest ideas I've ever seen! Saw it on Pinterest! Kudos to you!

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  23. You can buy new 2" capsules here:
    http://www.wholesalevendingproducts.com/Empty_Vending_Machine_Capsules_s/27.htm

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  24. Here is a site I found if you need a bunch of the capsules. Very cute idea.
    http://www.candymachines.com/Empty-Vending-Capsules-C99.aspx

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  25. Hi there! I thought that this was so great that I featured it in my "100 Jolly Christmas Crafts & Decorations"! Have a great day! http://www.aspectacledowl.com/100-christmas-crafts-decorations/

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  26. I love this idea. Only I think I'll make them as ornaments and have them in a bowl and everyday my son can open one for the treat and hang the ornament on the tree. Then he can see the bowl getting empty everyday. Thank you for the idea.

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  27. Such a great idea, and you are hilarious! Your writing is right up my alley! I'm glad I found your blog...my daughter will be so excited to raid the goodie machines at walmart ;-)

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  28. For the Capsules you can get it from CandyMachines.com.
    1" bag for 250 for $15.00.
    2" bag for 250 for $25.00.

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  29. You did good! lol....This was incredibly imaginative and fantastic. I may have to try this next year. I made one this year for my son by clothespinning some Christmas ideas and scripture onto cutout cardstock for each day. I like how it turned out, but I wanted room for goodies. You found a way to do that. Great job!

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  30. OMG! I was totally thinking of using these for an Advent Calendar too! But, in no way had I imagined you're ADORABLE Snowmen! This is one of the most sensational projects EVER! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

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  31. Super cute!! I love it! I don't have children yet but was at Tony's Pizza with a bunch of friends that do & their kids were going crazy getting toys from the vending machines. Of course the kids didn't want the containers but neither did the moms!!!?? I couldn't let them just go to waste.... My husband thinks I'm crazy because I am always wanting to find a use for other peoples "trash". I am NOT a hoarder - I am a recycler!!! I'm doing my part to save the planet. Thanks to you I'll have fun doing it! Hahaha.

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  32. This is sooooooo adorable! I just purchased 40 empty containers on eBay (some for ornaments, too). You are a crafty genius (and an enabler,too LOL!)

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