Just barely in time for the lovely month of December, I'd love to share an advent calendar project idea . . . For those of you growing up in Christian households, the advent calendar is used to count down the days until Christmas.
In this version, each of the days 'til Christmas is a little matchbox drawer opening up to reveal a scene taken from a recycled holiday card. You could also hide candies or tiny gifts in the drawers - or even adapt this idea to create a countdown to some other special event, like a birthday or other holiday.
review the directions before buying any new supplies - substitutions are always possible
A lightweight board 2" wide and 36"-37.5" long
Scraps of foam core
Xacto or craft knife
Heavy white craft glue
Diamond Glaze or other sealant
Number stickers for dates
Recycled greeting cards, other decorative stickers and holiday doo-dads
(I used two pieces of 36" bass wood that I got at the hobby store. For strength,
I glued the two pieces on top of each other with wood glue, and clamped them together
as they dried.) You might choose to use foam core as your base, but it's likely that
the foam core will warp.
accidentally get glued in place.
matchbox cases to the board. (I like to use a toothpick to apply the glue, and then I
clamped the little cases to the board with mini plastic clamps so they'd attach
firmly to the board as they dried.) Clean up any glue that oozes out from under the boxes
as this may keep the boxes from sliding in and out smoothly.
matchbox hung off the edge just a little bit because my board was a bit shorter than
all of the matchboxes added together.
top and drew a star shape on the foam core.
I didn't paint the inside of the matchbox cases because the paint can build up and make it
difficult to slide the drawers in and out. I left the insides of the cases
and the matchboxes themselves unpainted for this project.
I got on sale, so I used those to apply dates to my advent calendar - one date for each box.
If you don't have stickers, you can try painting the numbers on, or even cutting numbers out from an old calendar and gluing them on.
And then I used some cool metallic star stickers I found
to add a little pizazz!
11. Next, coat the calendar with Diamond Glaze or another easily
controlled acrylic for durability.
template by trial and error, using an old holiday card that I wasn't super crazy about.
I created a form that would fit roughly inside the boxes.
After you've made a template, try laying it over cards, wrapping paper, or images you like
and start cutting them out.
inside the boxes like a liner. Test it out and trim as needed.
out of the cards and use a bit of foam core to lift them up and give them some dimension in
the box. Use your heavy craft glue to attach the card stock to the foam core
and the foam core to the inside of the box.
the hook to the back, but Goop or E6000 or even duct tape could probably be
used to attach a hook of some kind to the back.
as the month goes on and the drawers are opened one by one. Note: As you are preparing your drawers, consider that having them all open on one side will probably cause the calendar to tilt. Also remember that you won't be able to leave the drawers open completely and have them stay in the calendar. The entire image inside the box probably won't be visible all the time, so adjust your compositions accordingly. Try having the drawers alternate which side they slide open on.