Saturday, November 30, 2013

Making an Advent calendar.

Scraped in at the last minute. I bought this Kaisercraft Advent calendar back in March at Spotlight as a huge!!markdown and thought that leaves me plenty of time before Christmas right? So here I was in the last week of November trying to get started. Oops.

These are the pictorial instructions, eek! So I went to the Kaisercraft website to have a look. Lots of inspiration, check out the inspiration projects. They recommend that you assemble without the glue first to make sure everything fits.

I used double-sided tape to stick the cardboard boxes together. This was the bit that had me procrastinating for so long. How to make the boxes?

Made a pattern for the patterned paper sides and front and cut out all my paper bits.
Peeled the paper off of the tape and attached the outside paper corner by corner.

Started to paint the assembled and glued (PVA glue) frame in white, then changed my mind and painted it in Americana Buttermilk.

Painted inside each cardboard box Americana Antique White (old stock from the crafty cupboard)  Of course I didn't paint the inside of the boxes first, no that would be too simple. So after I had papered the boxes, I thought "I should colour the inside", which was a tad tedious trying not to get paint on the paper. Next time....

Used some old Michelle Anderson scrap-paper that looked like wallpaper (also lurking in the back of the crafty cupboard) to wrap around the inside of the shadowbox part. Inked the edges of the paper.

A bit unorthodox, but I used my favourite (floor varnish) to coat the insides and out of the boxes and some chipboard numbers. (I was really happy with how it went on the little table.) Water based and dries fast and is wipeable. Most people would probably use some Modgepodge, which I don't have. The numbers were random ones I already had (from the dozen or so scrapped pages I had done in an attempt to get my mothers to take up a new hobby involving pics of their grandkids)

The presents were bits of wood (off cuts from the door jambs) wrapped in paper and tied with embroidery floss and sparkly string.
 I got a hammering about my tree from no.2 son, said it looked more like a pot plant. Honestly, it's a wonder I make anything around here. I should be cowering in the corner.

The Christmas tree was made from cut pieces of garland stuffed into a painted wooden bucket (minus the handle) decorated with beads, berry ties, bells and a paper star. Hot glued into the shadow box. Also attached a bit of trim to the top edge.

The stockings were cut out bits of paper glued together, inked and attached with tiny squares of mounting tape to a pretend paper shelf, also mounted with tape.

The papers I used were double sided (4 sheets for $4.50) plus bits I already had.  Basic Grey, October Afternoon, Michelle Anderson, Crate Paper, My Mind's Eye etc.

Ok, now it's finished, had an idea (snort!) to make a paper chain to fill the empty spots. Mr CH said I must be really bored. Used pre-cut paper from something else I 've been playing with (will show another time) fiddly, but cute.
 Now the hard part, finding treats small enough to fit in the boxes, as I need two per box. My kids are too old for toys (mum says) so it's lollies, novelty erasers, balloons, poppers and choc coins for our tiny boxes. The love notes ended up being too large to fit in the little boxes (I would need to eat three lollies to make them fit, hmmm...) so they will go into the stockings.
Ideas for boys 
 lollies, balloons, slime, marbles, chocolate coins, shaped rubberbands, stickers, fake tattoos, tiny cars, Lego people, caps (for guns or those drop thingys), plastic soldiers/animals/parachute men, streamer poppers.
 Ideas for girls
 beads, puffy stickers, hairclips/bands, fake earring stickers, jewellery, lollie necklaces/bracelets, chocolates, gumballs, novelty erasers, charms, pretty keyrings, tiny toys/accessories, glitter.
Notes for activities - eg. drive to see Christmas lights, make a tree decoration/card/gift, buy a wish tree gift, find something hidden, an endless list really.

My favourite bit, the stockings, I'm glad they turned out looking like stockings.
Would I do another? you bet!
First day of summer can you believe! 



  1. That is just WOW! One of the most amazing advent calendars I have ever seen made! Gorgeous.
    We (well I as boys at their ages not really into advent calendars any more) have the Phoenix stationery advent houses which I love. Thanks for birthday wishes :)

  2. Wow Simmone, this looks amazing. The teeny-tiny paper chain is perfect and really completes the whole thing. x

  3. Oh wow that looks so nice!!! I almost thought I could do it myself lol. It is something that can be kept year after year. I just read you last post and we try to use recycled stuff to. We have just done some renos that didn't go outside of the footprint of the house but walls were moved and stuff like that. We used what we had and the only thing needed were new windows and weatherboards. Having said that we had aluminium ones made (in keeping with the houses heritage cause that is my pet hate that someone took something beautiful out and replaced it with a standard window) and we were lucky to get the same profile weatherboard at a local used building supply place. When my husband looked he came home and said we can get denailed or still nailed weatherboard. The price difference was about $5.00 a metre so I said get the denailed and I will denail them. It look me days but we saved quite a lot of money. Love your blog.

  4. So many layers of awesome in this wonderful creation! I love the teeny paper chain too. mel x

  5. Oh that is fantastic, I really ought to try my hand at something like this (instead of buying rubbishy supermarket ones) one year, before the kids get too old! I'm not at all crafty but I'd like to give it a go.

  6. Wow, that is just so gorgeous! The attention to detail is amazing. You are very creative and your kids will look forward to this special moment on the 1st of December every year. Merry Xmas! :) Cheers, Tanya


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