Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DIY Advent Calendar

Oh, what have I gotten myself into? I wanted to buy an advent calendar for my daughter MC, to start a new Christmas tradition with her. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, so I want to make it a really special, magical, and memorable time of year for her as well. The cheapest advent calendar that I found (that I liked) was $30 and came blank (I'd have to decorate it myself, which is no problem because I love crafts anyway). But, $30 seemed a little too steep for my cheap blood. So, I decided I create my own...from scratch. 
I decided I wanted to incorporate my favorite Christmas story "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore onto it. I also decided to use boxes so that MC can receive a small gift on each of the 25 mornings. I searched for small cardboard jewelry boxes or paper mache boxes, and discovered that they are very overpriced. However, I did find six boxes at a local craft store for 25 cents each, but I wanted several shapes and sizes so, I made the rest of the 19 boxes myself out of cereal boxes.

Step 1: The Boxes
I measured and traced with a marker.

I cut them out and folded each box. 

Then, I got out my trusty hot glue gun, and glued each box together. 

Step 2: The Canvas
I bought an 18x24 inch art canvas and burlap to cover the canvas with, for my background (this was my sister's idea) and stapled it in place. 

Step 3: Spending More Money
I bought a few (used) copies of The Night Before Christmas to cut up, some scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and some embellishments. 

Step 4: Getting Creative
I placed and numbered my boxes 1 through 25. Then, started decorating! 

Step 5: Putting It Together
When I was finished decorating the boxes, I hole-punched two holes in the back of each one. Then, I pushed brads through the holes and into the canvas to attach each box. 

Here's a look at the back of the canvas when I was finished.

Lucky for me, I (or someone I knew) already had many of the supplies I needed for this project (hot glue gun, stapler, paint, scrapbooking supplies, ribbon, yarn, etc.). So, it wasn't as expensive as it could have been. I spent about $30 on this project (which means that it would have been close to $60 had I bought the one I originally wanted!), and wasn't it worth it!

Here is a list of some of the items I plan to put inside the advent calendar as gifts for MC: 
1) stickers
2) baby food pouches
3) tree ornaments
4) animal figurines
5) magnets
6) spinning tops
7) a note leading her to a new book 
8) Playdoh
9) hair barrettes
10) Pretty much, any sort of stocking stuffer.

I hope this helps inspire you! Enjoy creating and have a Merry Christmas!

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