12 Days of Christmas DIY with Candice Stringham

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happy friday! i have a really fun post for you today from one of my dear friends, candice stringham. candice is one of those people who is an incredible photographer (she currently teaches online classes here) and incredibly crafty (she’s one of the ladies behind the pretty craft blog handmade mood), and she’s also just a really good person. i’m so excited she agreed to share her skills with us today showing us how to make 2 different versions of a 12 days of christmas DIY project! it’s a very simple craft, requiring only a few supplies and should store easily since you can take the entire thing apart after the holidays and store inside a poster tube! i hope you enjoy!


candice says:

“I love, love, love, Christmas. So, I wanted to create a fun advent for our family, but with how busy we are this year, I knew I couldn’t keep up with doing an activity each day for a whole month. So, this year, we are going for the 12 days of Christmas. I wanted to create something simple, clean, and easy that didn’t cost a lot to make and would be easy to store; this “tree” is what I came up with.supplyphoto

Supplies Needed for the Tree

All of these supplies are available at Hobby Lobby and total less then 20 dollars (and they are basic enough that I’m guessing they would have them at any craft store), with the exception of a drill:

1 dowel 5/8×36”
4 dowels 1/4×36”
A plaque base (you can buy any shape, but I bought the oval)
2 packages of wooden round balls 3/4
1 package of dowel caps 5/8
A drill with two drill bits the same size or slightly larger than the dowels.

Let me start out by saying that a drill is probably the only power tool I know how to use, so I wanted to stick with it and stay away from any big tools. The smaller dowels can be cut with clippers for the lengths you need. The beauty of this project is that you can really make the tree any size you want but if you want to make yours exactly the same as mine, the measurements I used are in my instructions below.6stepsfortree

Instructions for the Tree

My branch sizes:
2 Bottom branches 15inches
2 branches 13 inches
2 branches 11 inches
2 branches 9 inches

Step 1:
Drill 1/4 inch holes into the big dowel for the branches. I wanted my branches to make a cross shape. I drilled the first hole for the bottom branch 15 inches up from the bottom of the dowel. That space will be your trunk. I placed two branches criss-cross .5 inches apart. From there, I drilled the next branches every four inches apart.

Step 2:
Insert the smaller dowels in and slide though so half is on one side and half is on the other.

Step 3:
Drill 1/4 holes into the wooden balls.

Step 4:
Drill a 5/8 hole into the plaque base and insert the 5/8 dowel.

Step 5:
Add on the small caps to each branch and the large cap to the top.

Step 6:
Step back and enjoy your pretty tree!

Now you have a simple tree! At the end of Christmas, it will all break down and can fit in a simple poster tube for storage, with the exception of the base.

For the Advent Part…

I created two different options, depending on which style you like.

Version 1: Black and White Number bannerstree1tree1detail

Supplies and Instructions for Version 1, Black and White Number banners:

Printable PDF (you can download it here)
Wooden BBQ skewers
Bakers Twine or stringtagsteps

All you need to do is print out the PDFs we have designed for you. Then cut them out. I added a little notch at the bottom so it looks like a banner but you could also leave it a straight line if you wanted. Then, fold them in half and glue each side together with a wooden bbq skewer in the middle.

Then, tie bakers twine or your string of choice to each end and hang up! You can write an activity on the back if you would like!

Version 2: Polaroid stylepolaroidtree1detailpolatreebackpola-2

Supplies and Instructions for Version 2, Polaroid style:

Printable PDF’s (you can download here)
Instagram images
binder Clips

We have created two PDFs for you (you can download them from handmademood): One with polaroid frames you can drop 1.75×1.75 instagram images onto to print; and one for the backs with an activity on them.

To create the polaroids, you can either print out the file and physically glue instagram photos in place or you can drag instagram photos into Photoshop, drop them onto the PDF, and print.

Then, just clip the photo and the card describing the activity together with a binder clip.

Finally, tie on a string and hang it on the tree.

I hope you love this little tree as much as we do!”

thanks again candice for sharing! merry christmas everyone!

  1. Carli

    Love this and love Candice! Her photos and projects are always so inspiring. Thanks for sharing Naomi!

  2. Kate

    Also – what a great way to display all those Christmas and Holiday cards we all receive :)

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  4. Tara

    This is super cute. I love that it’s activities, and also that it has family pictures to make it more personal… although the number tags are really cute.

  5. arielle

    what a cute and fun idea for the littles in our lives. I love the idea of doing twelve instead of twenty-five because coming up with twenty-five totally different and unique things to do can be a little daunting. thanks for sharing!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  6. emily

    awe, this is the cutest idea!!!

  7. kiely

    that is darling! i might just have to make that for my mom for christmas!

    xoxo, kiely

  8. sam-c

    very cute project. Seems very versatile and you could use it for other things too!
    Just to clarify. ‘the 12 days of Christmas’ isn’t really ‘like’ advent/ or the anticipation of Christmas. ‘the 12 days of Christmas’ refer to the 12 days AFTER Christmas, leading up to the Epiphany.

  9. Adrienne

    What an awesome idea!

  10. Carly

    Such a cute DIY! This would be the perfect deco or gift
    The Doctor Diva

  11. Very cute project, but as a long time reader, it is so weird to see this on Love Taza.

  12. Rose

    Lovely! That looks doable even for DIY newbies!

  13. Jess

    This is gorgeous!

  14. Alexis

    This would also make such an amazing jewelry holder/hanger!

  15. hanna

    This is so cool. I’m going to do it. –Hanna Lei

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