From the time I was born up until I left for college, my mom would give each of us (I have two brothers) one of those paper advent calendars with the pretty Christmas scenes on them and filled with chocolates. You know what I’m talking about, right? I even think she let us eat the piece of chocolate before we left for school in the morning which made them an extra special treat. To this day, it is one of my favorite memories from my childhood.
I love advent calendars and I love how many different ways there are to count down the days until Christmas. As a kid (and an adult) there is nothing better than checking one more day off the list and watch as we get closer and closer to the big day.
Today, I’m showing you how to make a Luminary Advent Calendar from recycled baby food jars.
This is an inexpensive craft that is completely customizable and who doesn’t love lighting candles every night in the winter time?!
– 25 Baby Food Jars
– Martha Stewart Etching Cream and Brush
– Number stickers or vinyl (1-25)
– 25 Tea-Light Candles (or candy as an alternative)
– Ribbon, Snowflakes and String for embellishment
Start by soaking the baby food jars in hot soapy water for about an hour. The longer they soak the easier it will be to peel the labels off. I also found that scrubbing the excess adhesive while the jar was submerged made it a little easier. Also, don’t worry about removing the printed expiration date, I found that the etching cream actually removed that on its own. Let them dry.
Place a 1 1/4″ number stencil on each jar. I used my Silhouette to cut out my numbers.
Apply a very thick layer of Martha Stewart Etching Cream on the entire jar. This is the thickness that worked best for me. I tried some jars with a little less and they turned out a little spotty and I had to go over them again. This seemed to be the perfect amount.
Wait 15-30 minutes and then rinse them in water, removing the brown cream and number. You will be left with a frosted glass and a clear number.
For the embellishments, I cut a 1.5″ Red Burlap Ribbon into 4 strips. I wrapped the ribbon along the edges and secured it with a dot of hot glue. Then, I made little snowflakes with my Silhouette and cut them in white and gray. I used a thin piece of string to tie them onto the jars.
Place a tea candle inside each jar.
Cute little frosted jars during the day…
And a Luminary Advent Calendar by night!
As you light a new candle each night, let it be a reminder of the true reason of the season and a time to give thanks for everything good in our lives.
Here are a few other fabulous advent calendars made by a few friends of mine. I love seeing how everyone counts down the days until Christmas!
Family Photo Advent Calendar by Making Lemonade ¦ Advent Tree by The Space Between ¦ Chalkboard Advent by Our Fifth House
Will you be making a new advent calendar this year? Or do you have a fun family tradition already in place? Feel free to leave a link to your project in the comment section!
This is such a creative way to reuse baby food jars! These are so pretty!!
Taryn, it’s gorgeous! What a beautiful way to countdown to Christmas Day.
Leslie Stewart says
this is such a great idea! Love it!
Love this idea…now to figure out where to score baby food jars….
Sarah Hearts says
This is so cute! I’ve been wanting to try the MS etching cream. Thanks for the tips!
Karah @ thespacebetweenblog says
I absolutely love this!! I have looked all over for etching cream and can’t find any on this island. :( I have no idea what I would do with it, I just love the look. Your advent is awesome!!
Ashley C. says
Are you kidding me?! This is SO cute and creative Taryn – I LOVE it!
I love this idea. Looks so pretty.
What a creative and beautiful idea! Thanks for sharing.
So many great and inspiring ideas for the holidays! I gotta get on my decorations! I’m your newest follower :)
Angela at A Typical English Home says
I love advent calendars and thought I’d seen every possible idea, but this is really original! Pinned :)
Jaimee @ Craft, Interrupted says
What a great idea! These turned out SO lovely : ) I’m pinning!
Kristy Life-n-Reflection says
these are darling!
Heather M says
Great idea – they turned out wonderfully!
What a gorgeous idea, I can’t wait to make them x
I love this idea! I’ve been doing my fair share of glass etching these days…it is fun. I love the results, it is so fun!
Jill Flory says
How totally cute! I love it!
Fearon @ For Heart and Health says
I am also a lover of advent calendars. I can’t help but stop whenever I see one in a store or craft fair.
Yours is so unique and absolutely adorable!! Love it!
Kelly@ Here Comes the Sun says
This is so creative! Great job! I can’t wait to make my advent calendar this year.
Beautiful! Love this idea! I remember the advents with the chocolate, too! Just saw them at Michael’s and almost bought them for my kids…maybe I’ll go back and do just that:)
What a wonderful idea, love the step by step tutorial, this would be a fun project!
You are so talented! These are absolutely beautiful!!!
Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen says
I love how simple this is! Well, I’m craft-impaired, so I probably shouldn’t say ‘simple’, but it seems possible…!
Those are adorable!
My Shabby Chic Home says
Love this idea!!!!
Trina @ afewmineradjustments.blogspot.com says
Those are beautiful! Kinda makes me wish there was a baby around here again, so that I would have the jars. Kidding…no more babies around here! But I do wish I had the jars!
[email protected] says
I love this idea! I need to get some baby food jars asap :)
Debi @ Adorned From Above says
These are so cute. What a great holiday craft. I have a link party and would love to have you share this and any other posts. It is called Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Link Party. The link to the party is
I hope to see you there.
Have a great week.
Debi @ Adorned From Above
Justine Abbitt says
I love the reverse effect you used with the etching cream! I tried it by etching in the stencil and it didn’t show up very well. This really looks great.
Kim @ Sand & Sisal says
Beautiful idea! I’m sure it will look amazing when they are fully lit!
Mary Beth @ Cupcakes and Crinoline says
So lovely ~ just perfect!
Beautiful job! I am in that stage of life where collecting baby food jars is easy-never tried etching cream or advent calendars but always wanted to, I think I’ll pin to hopefully try this season-thanks for sharing!
[email protected] says
I love this idea ! So pretty :)
Love these! The red wrap and paper snow flakes are wonderful. Pinned! I posted “dolled up” to Craft- o- Manic Monday. Following you now and shared a like to Facebook.
SheilaG @ Plum Doodles says
What a fun way to count down until Christmas! Your jars look wonderful, love the etching.
love the jars! great job Taryn, they are so pretty.
ps catching you this week
Hilani-Handmade by Hilani says
Oh My Gosh, I just saw these on The Frugal Girls and loved them so I clicked over here…Great Job Taryn! I have several Glass Baby Jars I now want to spell out Joy with! have a great week.
Betsy @ Anna Nimmity says
What a beautiful and fun upcycling project!
This is gorgeous! I don’t need an advent calendar, but I think I am going to make these for the New Year and just make four – 2 0 1 3. Thanks for the idea! :)