For those of you who know me well, you may know that I'm not really a fan of social media. I don't have a Twitter account, I'm not really sure how Snapchat works, and if you asked me what TikTok was my first response would be, "Uh... the sound a clock makes??" I know this is rather unusual for someone of my generation, being one of the older members of the Millennial / Generation Y demographic (born between 1981-1996), but I am one of the few who just doesn't feel the need to share every inane detail of my personal life with the world ALL. THE. TIME. However, I know that as an artist, being able to share one's work on social media outlets is a great way to get exposure as well as find inspiration from others out there in the same field.
So... with that being said, I have decided to start an Instagram page where you can see the fine art I am currently working on or have finished as well as fun craft projects I make from time to time. You can find and follow my profile under: sspangler.art. We'll see how well I can do with keeping up posting on a regular basis - ha ha!
Each week I have to come up with crafts to do with the Sunday school kids I teach and my first post is of the Advent calendars we made. Mine was designed after one my grandma had made us when I was a kid. If you are interested in making one yourself, here's how I put mine together.
Pocket Advent Calendar
1. To start I got a yard of fabric and cut it down to measure 18 inches wide and about 24 inches long. (With a seam allowance of 1 inch - 1/2 inch folded over twice to hide the rough edge, plus about about another inch and a half for the loop at the top, that brought the final piece down to 15 inches wide and about 20 inches long.)
2. I folded all the edges over 1/2 inch, then folded them over again and did a zigzag stitch around the edge. At the top I folded it down 1/2 inch then again about another inch to leave a loop and did a strait stitch across.
3. Next, I cut more fabric into 2 1/2 inch strips and folded the edges over and sewed 1/4 inch seam allowance so that the finished strip measured 2 inches. These were for the pockets on the front of the larger piece of fabric. I cut the length of the strip to at least 15 inches or more, knowing that I would have to bunch up the fabric a little to make pockets.
* Tip: I used all the same fabric to make the backing and the strips, but you can use different colored fabric to make the pockets stand out more.
4. I measured about 2 inches from the side and top of the backing piece of fabric and tacked my 2 inch strip there to start. After that I used my ruler to measure out the 5 pockets - just a little over 2 inches apart, bunching the fabric a little as I went along, then sewed vertically across the strips to separate each pocket. To finish, I did a straight stitch along the bottom of the fabric strip.
5. After each strip was sewn on I hot glued velcro dots I found at Michael's Crafts to the center of each pocket and velcro dots to the back of the numbers. I found cute, felt number stickers at Hobby Lobby and just created the last one myself as a star out of felt. These the kids can enjoy adding on themselves each year when they pull out the Christmas decorations.
* Tip: be sure to put a little piece of waxed paper in the pockets before gluing the velcro dots on. Otherwise, the glue can sometimes seep through the fabric and stick to the backing.
6. Finally, I cut a dowel down to 18 inches (make sure to sand the edges!), slipped it through the loop at the top of the fabric backing, and glued a rope to both ends to secure the calendar in place. I also found nativity stickers at Hobby Lobby, which I glued to colored card stock so that the kids could choose a figure to move from day to day on their calendar when it was finished.
As another option for something the kids could do to personalize their calendars, I got letter stickers so that they could add their names to the bottom. If you have the means and the time, though, I would recommend purchasing iron on letters if you want something that lasts a little more permanently. But obviously, I don't endorse letting little kids use an iron (at least I hope that point is an obvious one...) - just let them pick out the letters of their name to practice their spelling skills and leave the actual ironing to the adults!