Darling paper houses as and advent calendarEvery year, I enjoy coming up with a new way to package little surprises and activity cards for our advent calendar. My girls wake up delighted at the thought of opening tiny presents and treats as we count down until Christmas morning. I was scrolling through advent ideas on the ol' Internet last week, and I came across several advent villages. I loved the idea, so I decided to take a stab at creating my own!

-brown kraft paper or card stock
-clear tape
-X-Acto knife & scissors
-sticker numbers
-cutting mat (optional)
-tiny toys and treats!

Advent houses step 1Advent houses step 21.) To begin, cut your craft paper to whatever size you desire. I wanted my village to have all different sized buildings, so this number varied for me. Once you have your rectangle cut, fold it into quarters. On the second and fourth columns, use a ruler to mark the center and draw your roof pitch.

Advent houses step 32.) Next, use your X-Acto knife to cut small windows in your building. This can be as many or as few as you'd like! Once you've cut the windows, tape the edges of the building together to form your box.

Advent houses step 4Advent houses step 53.) Measure the width where your roof will go and cut a strip of paper long enough and wide enough to fit. Fold the strip in half and tape it on.

Advent houses step 6Advent houses step 74.) Now, add your number sticker and repeat...23 more times! Easy peasy!

Advent calendar village (click through for tutorial)Darling advent villageAdorable DIY for advent calendar housesDarling advent calendar villageI adore the glow of the little village on top of our dresser at night, and my girls are eagerly anticipating December 1st! This project only took a few hours (not counting wrapping all the tiny presents times two), and I couldn't be more thrilled with it. The advent village definitely gives our previous wooden advent tree a run for its money. Happy crafting, friends! xo. Katie

Credits//Author and photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Friendsgiving 2015Happy Saturday! Hope you guys are doing some fun shopping this weekend. :) It's really hard to believe that it's already the end of November. Christmas is less than a month away. Whoa. OK, let's focus on the present for now. It's time to go through our favorite posts from this month. Let's start with Friendsgiving. So fun! (You can see how to make Emma's cute eucalyptus hair wreath here.)

Affogato dessert barChipotle and pumpkin veggie enchiladasBrussels sprout and purple potato hashCranberry and vanilla bean pie barsElsie's orange cranberry margaritaWe shared so many amazing recipes! It's hard to choose a favorite, but Emma's affogato dessert bar sounds so good right now. We showed you how to make chipotle and pumpkin enchiladas, kale, brussels sprout and cranberry salad,  homemade hot cereal mixbrussels sprout + purple potato hashcranberry and vanilla bean pie barsduchess sweet potato casserole, lavender thyme and white chocolate scones, Elsie's orange cranberry margarita and more!

Start Small : Dream Big e-courseElsie and Emma launched their business e-course, Start Small / Dream Big. If you've been wanting to to start your own business, you will love this class. It's a little bit different from our other courses since it has over 2 hours of lecture videos. If you've already taken it, we'd love to hear what you think!

Modern nud3 mani (3 ways)Romantic triple twist ponytailBeauty tips! We shared 3 takes on the modern nude mani and Rebecca's triple twist ponytail. That hair.

Find the perfect white paint for your homeMix and match to create a custom tableTile your own backsplashFinding the perfect white paint for your home can be a challenge (it has to be just right) but these tips will make it easier. We love how you can mix and match to create a custom table. And it's way cheaper! Emma and Trey tiled their kitchen backsplash and shared some tips and tricks about the process.

9 things to do in Brooklyn this FallWe need to take a trip to New York again soon! If you're in Brooklyn, check out this guide for some fun autumn activities.

Hand painted dish setGold hardware frames DIYCranberry wreath DIYSo pretty! Elsie's hand painted dishes and gold hardware frames were two of our most popular DIYs this month. This fresh cranberry wreath is a must for the holidays. If you've made any of our DIY projects, be sure to share them with us on Instagram using #ABMcrafty. xo. The ABM team.

Elsie's Office BEFOREJeremy and I both work at home. When people ask us if we like it, that's a loaded question! We love it SO much. But it comes with its pros and cons. One of the biggest challenges I have to work on is cleaning up after my projects consistently daily. In the early years of this blog before we were married or lived together, I used the main living room of my apartment as a giant studio. It was a mess basically 100% of the time. I think the only times it was ever really presentable were for photos of the space. I thrive in and love a messy workspace. But that doesn't always work for a peaceful home life. 

Well, Jeremy married me anyway and we've both compromised a lot to find balance. He is very patient with my blog project messes and I am becoming much more mindful about cleaning up after a long day of creative mess. 

Which brings me to my point! This office is much much more about the storage than it is about the actual workspace. For projects I tend to hop from room to room. But I need a well-organized place to store all my DIY supplies, props and random equipment. This room will be mostly functional (and hopefully as beautiful as possible!) storage as well as a place for a computer desk, my printers and a comfy office chair. 

SmAR5A4827This room was previously a study. So it won't need any remodeling. Just a little bit of paint and decorating to make it feel like me. The built in bookshelves are AMAZING. I need a lot of space for my bins of supplies, so this is perfect! 

SmAR5A4828I'm not sure what kind of light fixture to choose! It's a pretty dark room, so I'm thinking something with white balanced bulbs might feel nice? 

Should I add wallpaper to the back of the bookshelves OR do an accent wall behind my desk? 

SmAR5A4831Here's where the accent wall and desk could go. I've been debating on whether to DIY a desk or improve an inexpensive one? 

Any bright ideas for this space? It's small, but I think it's exactly what I need as far as storage and a spot to answer emails goes! xx. Elsie 

Win a Canon Printer! How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.com We're so excited to bring you a fun Black Friday giveaway from our friends over at Canon USA! This year we're giving away the Canon PIXMA iP8720, which is a longtime favorite printer of mine. Being a lifelong crafter, big beautiful photos are ESSENTIAL!! This printer can print up to 13x19" in the best quality. I think it's my printer soulmate. 

You can see it in action on all these projects: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 

Canon Projects!One lucky reader is going to win a Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer. The giveaway is open until 12/4/15, and the winner will be contacted shortly after. To enter, follow the instructions below:

Canon Giveaway 2015

P.S. ALL readers can get $100 off the PIXMA iP8720 by using the code 'BFSAVE100' by 11/30 over at the Canon USA shop


Check out our new product line,
Photoshop Actions and E-Courses!

Back to Top