Advent Calendar

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Advent Calendar

As if the holiday weekend wasn’t enough, I just thought I’d post this instead of my usual Saturday countdown. Because crafts are fun!

So if I haven’t mentioned before my love for pinterest, I am telling you now. Most of the time, I would agree with Hubs, that it is a waste of my time. But sometimes I get some cute ideas.

Like last year, I saw a rockin’ advent calendar using scrapbook paper and craft pom poms. You make a forest of simple cone trees and voila! Advent calendar.

Well, I love the simplicity, but I also feel like it’s easily destroyed. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of 24 days of little junk gifts that you know you just want to throw away later. So I started brainstorming possibilities and this is what I came up with.

This is an Advent Calendar Board and it took about an hour to make, but I think will last and do a great job of what I want it for.

See to me, I think it’s the memories and the story that make Christmas important. So, I wanted my kids to find, instead of little presents, activities, readings, or something else inside their box. No presents here, just a heart preparation for Christmas.

The activities I will include are:

-setting up the nativity set (1 piece at a time – including putting baby Jesus in box 24 – yes, I planned it to be a bigger box)

-sledding, ice skating, looking at lights, baking cookies, as weather and time allows

-having special time with mommy or daddy

-going Christmas shopping for the toys we will donate

-reading parts of the Christmas story from the Bible

-other fun Christmas crafts

(there are tons of lists of activities and readings on pinterest, or I’m sure you can google them, but be creative! and channel some of the inner Christmas spirit!)

So How Did I Make It?

1 piece of foam presentation board

24 boxes in various sizes – mine are mostly jewelry boxes where the lid is separate but I also have a checkbox, a velveeta box, and some ornament boxes. I do suggest the lids are separate though

assorted Christmas scrapbook or wrapping paper

tape

glue stick

glue gun

permanent marker

Step 1: Lay out your boxes in a fun way. Some big, some small, some long, some tall. Whatever. But after you decide, mark them. I used a simple “A1” “A2” system and them indicated if the skinny ones were “long” or “tall”. (I don’t have a picture of this step but you can see by the end product how I did it.)

Step 2: Cover lids in paper. This was probably the most tedious part. But here are some ways to make it not so bad – Seester found some boxes on clearance after Christmas last year that were already Christmas and came 4 to a set. Buy 6 and you can skip this step all together. 🙂 Cover the lids like you are wrapping a box you intend to keep. I glued the paper to the top and carefully cut and tucked edges to the inside with tape. If the box was from say, Easter jewelry, I covered the bottom too. O and since you know your pattern, you know how to make the paper go together and not double up in the same row and stuff.

Step 3: Glue to the board. I used a hot glue gun because I thought it was most likely to not be defeated by my toddler or storage or both. I laid the boxes all out again in the pattern I had chosen and then marked edges and glued down. In hindsight, I would have drawn a line to make the boxes straighter. I always think I can eye-ball that and I can’t.

Step 4: Number the boxes. I did mine in order but it would be fun to not to or to not number them and let the kids just choose.

Step 5: Decorate remaining space on the board. I decor’ed up “Countdown to Christmas”. You could just cut this part off. Whatever. I like to decorate.

Step 6: Fill the boxes. Because I have a toddler, I will only do this one day at a time. Also, there are weather and time permitting activities and I want to get them on the right days. But I will have them all ready for when it’s “go time” aka December 1.

So this was fun. My first Christmas craft of 2012. Next Saturday is ornament making party day. And I have a Bible story quiet book to get to before Christmas Eve. O what fun!

Pictures below are all of the finished product.I would never have my head on straight enough to remember to take pictures DURING the process.

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