Monday, February 23, 2015

DIY Lent or Easter Countdown Calendar

This year I finally got around to finishing a Countdown to Easter Calendar for our family. Perfect? Oh, no.

But neither am I, and I still love how the calendar turned out despite its imperfections.

Advent calendar and countdown ideas abound, but rarely do you see a Lent or Easter or Resurrection calendar.

The way I made mine is a pretty simple idea that could be adapted in many ways.

I made the calendar in a cross shape with 47 numbered pockets, ending on Easter at the sign with INRI and 47 written on it at the very top of the cross.

Traditionally, it is said the the season of Lent has 40 days, but that doesn't count the Sundays, so putting the Sundays back in brought my total up to 47. You could adjust the number of pockets to include more or less, bring the number back down to 40 or 30 or however long your family wants to anticipate the coming of Easter.

I used a very pretty patterned cotton fabric I received as a gift for the back and upcycled a pair of felted-wool-like gray pants for the pockets. By using the felt and making the pockets in long strips, I reduced my sewing time significantly.

For the numbers I simply wrote them using a fabric marker. I'd prefer the look of embroidery, but don't have the time to devote to that big of a project right now.

The cards in the calendar are from our Rising of the Son: A Family Devotional Celebrating the Coming of Easter printables which are original hand drawn artwork I drew specifically for this devotional. I cut out each ornament, glued them onto black cardstock, put contact paper on both sides, punched holes, and put a ribbon through each one.

You could make your own ornaments, verse cards, symbols, activity ideas, etc. to include if you'd rather.

I attached each ornament by safety pinning the ribbon to the calendar from the back, so the pin wasn't visible. I originally thought I'd sew buttons on each pocket so you could take the ornament out and then hag it on the pocket, but then I didn't want to spend that much time sewing on buttons either. And the safety pins keep the cards from accidentally falling off better anyway.

Not 100% sure if I'll unpin everything for storage or be able to fold it carefully enough. We'll see.

Either way I'm really happy with the way this project turned out and hope that we get to use it for many years to come.

Each night as we get ready to read from our Devotional we pull out the next picture ornament, and the kids take a treat from their hanging Easter baskets. It is a highly anticipated event in our household, and I just love all of the memories we're making.

Another idea that you could use in conjunction with or instead of a Lent or Easter Countdown Calendar would be a Jesus Tree.

How do you anticipate Easter or Resurrection Sunday in your home?

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