Hey all! Sooo…it snowed so much we need to shovel the driveway today…what. in. the?? I don’t mind winter but this is CRAY. Putting up the Christmas lights is going to stink. :) If it’s this cold already I’m really worried about the winter. Yikes.

Anyway, we spent most of the day cuddled inside yesterday and I worked on a project that I am SO pleased with! I told you I was going to to do it when I shared the advent calendar ideas a couple weeks ago.

This was the one that really got me:


I thought it was pretty cute, but what really got me was the price. It’s $150, on sale for $119 right now. For a piece of wood. Wood. And listen, if you aren’t a DIYer (or even if you are), I totally get it! Buy it! Sometimes I buy too – it’s nice not to do everything yourself. But I am a DIYer and that price hurt me a little because I knew I could make this for a fraction of that.

The bonus was that I had most of the supplies already – but even if you don’t this is easily a less than $25 project, probably less.

We have a TON of wood in our garage from the family room renovation. It’s a good thing I haven’t started Christmas decorating yet because I can’t even get to the bins. :) I need to get it all cleaned out but…COLD. That’s going to be a fun project. But anyway, when we took down the old fireplace I kept all the scraps – it was nice wood and it pains me to get rid of wood.

This long scrap used to be our mantel:

knock off pottery barn advent

Helpers…always helping.

I cleaned it up a bit – pulled some nails and scraped some caulk off, then painted it. The PB advent is white but I wanted to do something a little different:

chalkboard paint

Aww yeah. Chalkboard paint!

I did two coats and then “seasoned” the board:

seasoning chalkboard

You do this so the chalk (supposedly) will wipe off easier when you write on it. I only did it because I wanted that chalkboard look – not a perfect black. I won’t be writing on this, but we could!

I already had the clothespins for another project, but if you need them they’re cheap:

DIY advent Pottery Barn

I just used a bit of wood glue on the backs of each one. I thought I may have to nail them in as well to make them really secure but they aren’t going anywhere as they are.

For the numbers I totally lucked out and found these at Hobby Lobby:

advent calendar stickers

Hello…perfect! You’d probably have to stamp or stencil them if you can’t find a set like this. I was looking at other scrapbook numbers but you’d need a ton of 1’s and 2’s to make this work – that would get expensive. These were $5 and I got them for $3 with a coupon.

Next up was the part I was most excited about – the lettering. I found a tutorial online on how to do this SO easily:

transfering lettering onto wood

I’m going to share the how to tomorrow because I want to take better pics – this part was done at night. It’s worthy of it’s own post anyway. 

I thought it needed a little bit of Christmas color so I used the same technique to do the holly on each side:

DIY advent calendar Pottery Barn knock off chalkboard advent calendar

I just filled those in with green paint and then used some sparkly stickers for the berries.

I absolutely LOVE how it all came together!!knock off Pottery Barn advent calendar

It will actually hang in the mud room but this area has better light to show it off. ;)

I LOVE the chalkboard look – I think it’s a fun twist instead of the white advent like Pottery Barn: do it yourself pottery barn advent at @thriftydecorchick

I grabbed a couple of my holiday placemat pillows and the golds look great together: 

knock off Pottery Barn advent calendar

I loved the look of the little drawstring bags like on the original, but they were more than I wanted to spend. I found these simple brown paper bags instead and I actually love the look with the black:

knock off Pottery Barn advent calendar

I realized later (after I figured out how to do the letter transfer) that I could have just done the same with the letters – that would save a little bit of money as well. But I do love the gold accent. I think they add a little bling:

knock off Pottery Barn advent calendar

The bags are filled with little trinkets and some candy – I grab little things for the advent calendar after the holiday on clearance.

The Bub saw it without the bags so I can’t wait for him to get home and see it now. :) My total cost for this project was $8. A savings of more than $140 baby!:

Pottery barn wood advent knock off

I only had to buy the numbers and the bags (the bags came 24 to a pack so I had to buy two to get to 25, argh!). If you did this a pine board would be less than $10. Of course the color can be anything you want – that’s the fun of it. Red would be super cool too!

So there you go, yet again my wood hoarding pays off! :) I just love this – and I love that I saved so much money too! By the way, the Pottery Barn version is 10 inches by 67. Mine is 12 inches by 62. I think you could go long with this too – I almost did it vertical instead of horizontal since it’s so big. The point is to make it work for what you want – the best part of DIY!