(diy tutorial) holiday paper bag advent calendar & gilded clothespins

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Blueprint Social for Martha Stewart Crafts by Plaid. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been having a blast crafting up holiday decor with Martha Stewart Crafts! Oh how I love me some Martha supplies (you can find them at Michaels or Plaid’s online store) and her multi-surface craft system line has everything you could possibly need to craft up something special for the holidays. I had never worked with gilding sheets before this project and now I’m totally hooked! I can foresee a lot more gilding gone on around here during the holidays. For this advent calendar project, I started small with gilded fancy clothespins. They match Martha Stewart’s gold and silver doilies perfectly! I plan on placing a family activity in each of our 12 advent calendar bags. I’ll include things like “drink hot cocoa”, “watch a holiday movie”, “decorate Christmas cookies”, “drive around and look at lights”. Leading up to Christmas, we will open one bag a night and do what it says on the paper as a family. If you don’t want to do a family activity, you could add candy or little trinkets to the bags instead. This is sure to be the start of a fun family tradition for us during the holidays!

Bag Materials:
12 Paper Bags
Martha Stewart Crafts Looped Script Stencil Set
Martha Stewart Crafts White Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint
Martha Stewart Crafts Paper Doilies
Jute or String

Clothespin Materials:
12 Clothespins
Painters Tape
Martha Stewart Crafts Gilding Adhesive
Martha Stewart Crafts Gilding Sheets
Martha Stewart Crafts Gilding Brushes
Martha Stewart Crafts Gilding Gloves
Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage
Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Brushes


Step 1: Use painters tape to tape around 12 clothepins, so only the front of one side is showing. Place gloves on and brush a thin layer of gilding adhesive over the fronts of the clothespins. Allow to dry (surface will be sticky) and then place a gilding sheet (shiny side down) onto the clothespins. Rub the gilding sheet over the clothespin until it is completely covered and use a gilding brush to remove excess. Carefully remove the painters tape. Brush a thin layer of decoupage (dishwasher safe!) over the gilded clothespin.

Step 2: Stencil numbers 1-12 on the bottom corner of 12 paper bags. Place candy, trinket or family activity card in each paper bag and fold the top of the paper bag down. Fold paper doilies in half and place on top of the paper bag, as shown in the photo.

Step 3: Attach paper bags to a piece of jute with gilded clothespins and hang. Twelve days prior to Christmas, open a bag every day with your family to countdown until the big day.

Visit Plaid Crafts on Facebook and sign up for their email newsletter. Also, check out Plaid’s Martha Stewart Crafts Pinterest Board for more holiday inspiration.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Blueprint Social for Martha Stewart Crafts by Plaid. All opinions are my own.

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4 Responses

  1. I LOVE this idea!! I never would have thought to use the cut outs like that. I have a bunch left over and I really think I want do this kind of advent calendar this year. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!! 🙂 XO

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Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Welcome to See Vanessa Craft! I’m Vanessa, an MSSW and mom of two in Arizona, and I’m happy you’re here to get inspired with me. It’s my mission in life to spread creativity through crafts, recipes, travel and more in order to live a life well lived.