Driftwood & watercolour advent wall hanging

Thank you to Etsy shop Salt & Wood for sponsoring this post. My borderline obsession with said shop and all gorgeous products therein is entirely my own. Use the code SUNSHINE30 to get 30% off printables used in this post - valid worldwide until Dec 31st.

Ever since our kids have been old enough to count down to Christmas, I've wanted to do something special for Advent. And then every year I completely forget about it until it actually IS advent, and December sneaks up on me all sneaky-like, and before I know it the first week has already gone by and suddenly it dawns on me that I've missed my chance yet again

And then I look at all the creative Advent-calendar projects being pinned all over Pinterest by the creative blogger people of blogland who are far superior in organisation to me, and I get a serious case of homemade-Advent-envy and then sigh and pack away my Advent dreams for another twelve months.

NOT THIS YEAR, people.

Well, the first part happened exactly the same. The forgetting and all. And the first week of December going past. Yep. All that.

Only this time, I thought to myself, SO WHAT? 

So what if I'm a week late getting my Advent calendar made?

Is there some special police task force scrutinising blogland for Advent infringements? I think not. (At least, I hope not.)

Who knows, I thought - perhaps there are other less-than-perfectly-organised readers out there who need permission to not even care that they're a week-something late to hop on board the Advent train. 

I mean, are we rebellious or WHAT?! It's basically anti-establishment, the whole thing. We're non-conformist crafters, that's what we are. Delinquent DIYers. We are bad to the bone.

Besides, I just happened to find the EXACTLY PERFECT printables which instantly inspired wondrous visions of Advent loveliness, and I just couldn't wait another twelve months to use them. I needed them in my life at once. 

Here's how!


You will need:
  • 25 x Kraft coloured pocket envelopes (I found mine at Spotlight)
  • White canvas (I purchased 1 metre and cut it down to size)
  • Heat 'n bond hem tape
  • Circle punch (optional)
  • Christmas Advent calendar printables in watercolour (also available in chalkboard if desired)
  • Glue stick
  • Craft glue
  • Driftwood (optional)
  • 2 x 800mm long, 20mm wide pine Moulding (or half-round dowel if not using driftwood)
  • Screws and hanging rings
  • Power drill

Lay out your fabric and arrange the envelopes in a rough grid, then measure top and bottom and trim the fabric to size.

Hem your fabric. I used heat 'n bond hem tape, because I don't sew. You just iron it on, peel off the paper backing, then fold over the hem and iron again to bond it together.

Use a staple gun to attach the hemmed canvas to the pine moulding.

The moulding is to help the fabric hang smooth and flat, because if you stapled it directly to a bumpy, irregular piece of  driftwood, the fabric wouldn't sit right. If you use a really smooth, straight branch, you should be okay to skip this step.

Use your drill to screw the moulding onto the back of the driftwood.

Attach your picture-hanging hooks.

Trim the flaps off the envelopes.

STEP SEVEN: Use a circle punch to create a finger tab at the top of each envelope.

STEP THREE: Cut out and affix your Advent calendar printables to the front of each envelope. They are scaleable to whatever size you need to fit your envelopes. I printed mine at 8.5cm square.

Attach your envelopes to the prepared fabric using craft glue. I used a garage remote control as a spacer between the rows, and a leftover piece of the moulding as a straight edge to line the envelopes up against.

Hang your advent wall hanging and admire!

I absolutely love the texture of the driftwood, which I found on the beach near our place. It adds so much visual interest. I've been dying to use it in a DIY project of some sort, and this was the perfect one! I love how the mint, aqua and turquoise tones of watercolour evoke a sense of the ocean.

The detail in these designs is so lovely - each number is unique, but they all work together in harmony.

To finish off your calendar, you need something to go inside your pockets. I slipped some handmade salt dough ornaments into each one - I'll be sharing the simple recipe in an upcoming post. Each night, the kids will be able to remove an ornament from the pocket and hang it on the tree. I'd also like to slip some Bible verses inside, so we can read a little of the Christmas story together each night.

I think the driftwood wall hanging is a perfect complement to the rest of our beachy décor. (If you missed my Christmas home tour, you can find it here.)

It goes so perfectly with the custom Christmas prints I ordered from Salt & Wood!

Basically, I love everything this woman creates and want her to design my entire life. When I first discovered her, I may have sent her a gushing fan-girl email expressing as much. Thankfully she wasn't scared off. In fact, she has been sweet enough to offer a very generous special exclusively for readers of A house full of sunshine. You can enter the code SUNSHINE30 at checkout to receive 30% off any purchase - valid worldwide until December 31st!

If you're feeling festive and want to decorate your home for the Christmas season, you can't go past a lovely printable. Etsy prints are my go-to decorating cheat for instantly transforming a space in a hurry, on the cheap. (We're talking about pocket change here, people! About the same price as a cup of coffee! Plus, you're supporting an independent artist, which is something I'm really passionate about.)

The prints are available as an instant download that you can print at home and pop in a frame, or even just tape straight onto the wall with washi tape. You can also take them into your local print shop (like Officeworks) and have them printed on canvas, which looks utterly gorgeous, or print them oversized like I did in the picture above, or whatever your Christmas-loving heart desires. 

Forget the tinsel, girls, prints are where it's at.

 Check out these other lovely designs from Salt & Wood:

Feeling inspired? There are so many more where those came from. Have a browse at Salt & Wood and add the shop to your favourites so you can easily find it next time you're on Etsy. And don't forget to use the code SUNSHINE30 to get 30% off your purchase! Discount valid until 31st December.

Happy Christmas decorating, friends!

Let's chat: Does your family have any advent traditions? Any other Delinquent DIYers out there who left it all a bit late this year, but still want to hop on board the advent train? Tell me I'm not alone. Ooh, and HOW GORGEOUS are these prints??! Do you have a favourite?

Linking up here: Your Designs this Time, Get your DIY on

An Australian beach Christmas

Welcome! Today I'm part of A Very Merry Christmas Home Tour.

We've just moved into our beach house rental, so in keeping with the mood of our home, I kept my Christmas decorating casual and beachy. 

If you're new here, I live in Australia, where Christmas falls at summertime. The cons of this? We don't get to experience the cosy thrill of chestnuts roasting on an open fire... or walking in a winter wonderland... or sleigh bells ringing. The pros? Prawns on the barbie, drinks by the pool, backyard cricket, the kids on summer holidays, and ice-cream cake for dessert.

A fresh colour scheme of white, blue and silver helps create that relaxed summertime-Christmas feel. I dressed the table simply with white-painted branches in tall, clear glass vases.... 

... and a simple but elegant centrepiece of white pillar candles on a china cake stand, wreathed with white and crystal berries.

The berry garland is from Adairs, and has tiny bud fairy-lights scattered throughout, which will look pretty lit up at night.

For the table settings, I nested square plates with a teal napkin to give a shot of colour.

The napkin rings are a simple DIY, made using modelling wire and a handful of beads in crystalline and pearlised tones.

Let's talk about that "Joy" sign, shall we? It's the star of the room - a real show-stopper. Wire lettering on walls is very on-trend right now, so I hit on the idea of using rope lights in the same manner to spell a word directly onto the wall.

My original plan was to write "Light of the world", as I really wanted the focus of the Christmas décor to be on Jesus' birth. Then I quickly realised that concept was waaaaaay too ambitious. Just the three letters in "Joy" took me an hour to assemble on the wall, with an extra adult set of hands to help out. That could be because I'm OCD, or because I'm uncoordinated. Actually both.

Worth it though, right? I'll be giving you a simple tutorial for how to make this sign in an upcoming post.

To the palm in the corner, I added a garland of paper stars. So pretty all aglow at night.

And nothing says "beach Christmas" like starfish and baubles.

Swing your head to the left, and this is what you see next...

Since my "Light of the world" idea didn't pan out, I was on a mission to find a similarly meaningful statement about the true meaning of Christmas. I was thrilled to discover these beautiful prints at Etsy shop Salt & Wood.

So gorgeous, right? I had them printed on gloss paper and used double-sided tape to affix them to the frames I already had hanging above my buffet. Once Christmas is over, they can be easily taken down and stored away for next year.

I'm completely in love with the prints from Salt& Wood (you can see why, right?!) and so I jumped at the chance of partnering up to offer an exclusive discount to my readers - enter SUNSHINE30 at checkout to get 30% off your total order! Code expires Dec 31st. Take a browse - they have some utterly gorgeous Christmas printables.

The white and blue vases I already had here were perfect. I dressed up the buffet with a few Christmassy embellishments, like this clear resin deer from Spotlight.

I even tried my hand at making some DIY Christmas trees using wool (yarn) dipped in watered-down glue and wrapped around a polystyrene cone. These were so much better inside my head.

Yeah.... kinda worked. Sorta.

Back around to the other side of the room, where I dressed our Christmas tree this year with some new ornaments to fit the blue and silver theme. ($10 for a bulk pack from Big W - bargain! The expensive ones can wait till the post-Christmas sales...)

So that's our Christmas living area.

To hang in our entryway, I made this driftwood Advent wall hanging using watercolour printables, also from Salt & Wood. 

You can find the simple tutorial for making this DIY Advent wall hanging here. 

I hope you enjoyed this tour. Wishing you....

this Christmas as we celebrate Jesus' birth!

Before you go, why not take a few moments to browse the Christmas home tours of the other bloggers participating today. It's like a magazine of inspiration in your inbox!

Monday collage

You can find today's tours at these links!

Delineate Your Dwelling

Oh, and if you're new here, don't leave before you grab yourself a FREE copy of my book, Your Beautiful Life. You can get yours here!

Let's chat: Do you do Christmas in summer or winter? What are your pros and cons of each? American friends, do you think you'd ever like to experience an Aussie Christmas?

Linking up here: Home Stories A-Z, Your Designs this time, Made by you Monday, Hit me with your best shot

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