a pinterest christmas: clothespin advent calendar.


welcome to the final week of A Pinterest Christmas! see the first week’s post here, second week’s post here & the other years’ crafts here.

much like last year, i wanted to share my love of advent calendars by creating another one {you can never have too many, right?}. last year’s was focused on fun activities to celebrate the Christmas season, & this year’s focus is small gifts, or in my case, ornaments to hang on the tree each day.

in theory it would have been best to share this project during the first week {& it was my intention!} but painting the numbers took so much longer than i had anticipated. oh well, right? also, the original pin for this link wasn’t a tutorial, so i had to make things up as i went along.

DIY clothespin advent calendar

{original Pinterest link – candy cane advent calendar}


  • wood board {i used a 1×6 Poplar board & had Home Depot cut it in half)
  • fine sandpaper
  • white paint {i used Behr primer & paint from this project}
  • paintbrushes & roller
  • 24 clothespins
  • number stencil {i used a Martha Stewart set i picked up from Michael’s with a coupon}
  • red craft paint {you could use any color, but i used red for some of the clothespins & the numbers}
  • sponge brush
  • wood glue (i used Contact Cement)
  • ribbon {i used two different kinds}
  • glue (i used Fabri-Tac)
  • picture hangers or d-rings


i started by prepping the boards – lightly sanding & rolling on three thin coats of white primer/paint. {note: i decided to do two boards instead of one long board for storage reasons.} then i prepped the clothespins: i painted about a third of them red & glued ribbon to the remaining pins. i found that clipping the pins onto a thick piece of cardboard made it much easier to paint; i also decided that i would just paint the top part of the pin & not the bottom. for the ribbon, i applied a thin coat of Fabri-Tac to the pin, laid a piece of ribbon down, & then cut the ribbon {as opposed to measuring & cutting all of the lengths of ribbon first & then trying to glue them on exactly right}. i laid the pins down on each board {12 per} & tried to get them as equally spaced as possible. then i glued each pin in place on the board.


once the pins were adhered, it was time to stencil the numbers. it probably would have been easier to stencil before adding the pins so that the stencil could lay completely flat {or i should have just cut the bottom of the stencil!} but i thought it would be easiest for spacing to put the pins exactly where i wanted them & then add the numbers above. the first few numbers went really well with the stencil since the cardboard on the stencil was still fresh & not full of paint. i did every other number to begin with in order to make sure i had enough room to tape the stencil down without disturbing a previously painted number. it got trickier once i got into the teens & twenties since i needed the 1 & 2 stencil for each of those numbers – this is where the project really slowed down since i had to wait for the paint to dry on both the board & the stencil. in hindsight, i may have bought a plastic stencil instead that you could wipe the excess paint off of between numbers. i only did one coat of paint for each number {so there is a sponge-paint quality to the numbers}, but did also go in with a small paintbrush to touch up the edges where the stencil bled.


what i love about this calendar is that it can be different each year. one year it could hold little gifts for every day & another year it could hold handwritten cards about the reasons why we love the Christmas season! this year i thought it would be fun to leave 24 ornaments off of the tree & then add a new one each day until Christmas. one day in a few years i know eloise will love the tradition of this advent calendar!

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!


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