Hiiiii! Happy Tuesday :)
I’m curious – do any of you do Advent Calendars in your house? We didn’t really have them growing up, but when I did an exchange to Switzerland in year 11, my host family did it beautifully, with boxes lining the staircase, each one holding a little gift or message. I loved it, and it’s stuck with me all these years (thanks Maryline!)! So I thought it might be fun to do another one this year – for my Husband, seeing as we have no kiddies ;)
I had grand plans for this advent calendar, but I’ll be honest – it ended up being a little more time-consuming and tricky than I’d thought! It was one of those DIYs that had me debating whether to keep pushing on with it, or pack it in and admit defeat. As you can see, I did push on with it, and I’m glad I did. I think it’ll be really fun :)
So this is it: I made some lidless boxes out of Kraft card, fill each box with a gift/message, then covered the openings with tissue paper. So when each day comes, my hubby will break through the tissue and find a prize. I can imagine kids would love the act of breaking into each box with their hands to find a surprise inside, don’t you think? And I’m pretty sure normally Advent Calendars only go to day 24, but I thought opening one on Christmas day would be nice too.
So, if you’d like to give this a go I’ll put some instructions below. If you’re not crazy like me and would prefer to just buy 25 boxes (approx. 10cm x 10cm) instead of making them – I’d recommend it! It’d make the whole DIY easier and save a lot of time and hand-ache! In that case, you can skip to Step 4.
Here’s what you’ll need:
– 25 x A3 size, medium weight card (any colour, thick enough to hold it’s own weight, but thin enough to be cut and folded)
– Scissors, Ruler, Pencil
– Stapler and lots of staples
– Tissue Paper
– Sticky Tape
– Advent Numbers printed on sticker paper, then cut or punched out (LETTER or A4)
– Little gifts or messages to fill your boxes!
On one sheet of A3 card, measure out a box template (see below). I ended up doing mine with 99mm sides so that it’d fit exactly across the width of my A3 card. You can make them whatever size you like though – just make sure they’re deep enough to hold little gifts, and wide enough for a hand. Cut template out.
Use this first box as a template, and trace around it onto the rest of your A3 sheets of card. Cut them all out.
Using a ruler as a guide, fold in the sides and the flaps on each box. Make sure they’re clean, sharp folds. Use a stapler to attach the flaps to the sides, forming your box. You can also glue these, but it takes a lot longer!
Now that you’ve got your boxes (or if you bought boxes), it’s now time to fill and seal them. I’d recommend writing a list of which gifts will go in each day so you can keep track of what’s where, and spread out any bigger gifts.
Start by cutting the tissue paper into approx. 13 x 13 cm squares. Choose whichever colours you’d like – I chose gold :)
Take a box, and put the gift inside. If the gift is too big to fit in the box, put a little note or clue to tell them where to find it. It’s fun that way! :)
Cut off 4 lengths of sticky tape, each slightly longer than one side of the box. Stick the tissue over the box opening, starting with two opposite sides first, then fold in the other two sides like you’d wrap a gift. Use the remaining sticky tape to stick them down. Tissue paper is quite fragile, so you might have to be gentle.
Lastly, take the Advent Numbers you cut out before and gently stick the corresponding number into the middle of the tissue paper. That’s it!
Finish the rest of the boxes, then work out how you’d like to stack them. I found that when mine were stacked, they could be a little wobbly, so I ran a strip of washi tape along the length (underneath and on top) of each row to hold them together. You could also stick them to a board.
So as you can see, it’s fairly involved! But it’ll make December just that much more fun :)