Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day {1}: Of Santos Crowns, Linen & Velvet

{antique santos crowns from Sadie and Olive on etsy}

I fell in love with these unusual antique santos crowns from Sadie and Olive on etsy! Aren't they spectacular! A set of four, all handmade in a variety of different metals and ranging in size from 2.25" - 2.75" in diameter. They reminded me of a project I started many years ago, a handmade advent calendar that featured little antique baubles and religious charms. I was inspired to create such a wonderful family heirloom after I saw the photo below from the book Vintage Treasures by Jane Cassini and Ann Brownfield.

The idea of a handmade advent calendar appealed to me on so many levels. I love the idea of creating something together with my daughter using pretty old things. Several years ago, I took my daughter along during my annual outing to the local antique show. I sent her on a treasure hunt to find little religious and Christmas inspired charms. We came home with a little gold baby ring, an antique chandelier crystal, a stray lamb from a nativity, a gold tassel and few other interesting old things. I planned to use some nubby linen to cover the board and velvet ribbon to adorn the edge secured with french upholstery tacks. I pulled some of my favorite passages from scripture to have a calligrapher inscribe on a few of the tags...and, well, that is as far as I got. So maybe this year, I will pull out this old project and make it a reality!

If you would like to create such a lovely family heirloom, my advice to you is to savor its creation. Don't try to finish it in a day or even this Christmas season. This year make the advent calendar itself. Cover the calendar in a beautiful piece of linen, trim it with velvet ribbon and make the tags. If you have a special, small family baby collectible, make that your day {1}. Then, over the years, with your children fill the calendar with handmade or personal little 'things'. Inscribe the tags with meaningful scripture or little prayers or your favorite holiday memories.


  1. I love the antique santos crowns and the advent calendar and your concept are brilliant!

  2. What a wonderful idea. I think it would be fun to collect the little charms over time as you find the "perfect" thing. Thanks for sharing.