Deck the Walls with Swedish Housewares (fa la la la la la la la la)

Yeah, in my imagination, you all sang the title of this post, then inserted your own clever lyric changes continuing the Ikea theme that I’ve already established.  No?  OK, then.  But to the point:

I did it!  I made my own advent calendar!

I blogged about it this past Friday in this DIY advent calendar round-up, but I didn’t actually anticipate getting my serious pants on and following through.  Then I somehow ended up at Ikea on Sunday (I randomly had Sunday off), saw the accessories hanger in the home storage section, and remembered this clever advent calendar idea from one of my bloggity blog faves, Young House Love.

I’m not gonna lie… it’s not my most original moment… I just plain ol’ copied the Petersiks’ idea.  However, I did add my own twist so I thought it worthy of sharing with all you fine folk.

I bought the hanger from Ikea for a whopping $7.99 (thank you, Swedes, for your affordable home goods).  Here’s it hanging in the store, completely unaware of its yuletide future:

Lovely, yet… off white.  Not really working with the wall I had planned on attaching to.

I’ve got nothing against off white things, but not directly next to the white moulding on my walls and the pathetically sad off white radiator directly next to the hanger (not pictured).  In between these two things, it just looked dirty.

Solution: I dyed it!  Using acrylic pant, warm water, and a little whisking action, I immersed the hanger in a lime green dye solution for about two hours (one hour for each side).

Here’s the paint I used:

Here’s the dye “vat,” if you will (also know as an out-of-commission trash can):

As with any kind of dyeing done using this method, I knew the color change would be subtle.  The end result was a sort of light celery/celadon shade.  Virtually unnoticeable in pictures, but just enough green-ness in person to strike a difference between the sad, stained radiator and my lovely white moulding.

The plan was to put a different ornament and date tag in each hole (per the YHL idea) then hang a different ornament onto our Christmas tree for each day of the advent season.  However, as the season was winding down, I didn’t just want a plane tag in an otherwise empty hole against a gray wall (not exactly the most Christmas-licious color palate).  So… using a little leftover scrapbook paper, colored cardstock, and even a few pretty notecards that I’ve had for years, I made 25 colorful date tags.

Here’s my assortment of paper:

The pink, green, blue thing wasn’t on purpose; it was just a pattern that sort of emerged… and since I have plenty of pink, green, and blue ornaments, I committed to it.  I used another plain piece of cardstock to make a tag template, then traced around it for each of the 25 tags:

With more than a little tweaking and indecisiveness, I finally settled on a layout:

I attached some leftover adhesive circles — like you see people use for garage sales — and used a curlicue script to number each tag.  Then I hole-punched each one, attached an ornament, then hung the ornament and tag to the hanger with silver paper clips:

There was a lot of tweaking.  A lot of rearranging.  A lot standing with my hands on my hips, crossing my eyes (I do this last one when I’m trying to see the whole picture).

Finally I ended up with this:

It is far from perfect (like this poorly lit, slightly blurry picture), but I fancy it just fine.

Here’s a close-up (and a slightly less blurry picture, at that):

More!  More!

Josh’s comment was: “That’s a lot of pink.  But I still like it.”

(I’m both proud and relieved.)

And since it’s still November, I still have a few days to enjoy it in its complete state.

I’m totally patting myself on the back right now.

(And wishing for a better camera.)

Any one else out there venture into DIY land this weekend?  Advent calendars?  Tree decoratin’?  Dog portraiture?  Share, y’all!

See you tomorrow — hopefully with some Christmas decor pics.


5 thoughts on “Deck the Walls with Swedish Housewares (fa la la la la la la la la)

  1. I sang the title too… :D And a fellow ESL teacher and I are planning on scrounging up some matchboxes and attempting that cute matchbox advent tree! I’ll let you know…

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