Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jewelry Gift Box Advent Calendar

Happy December! Today marks the first day of Advent for many American families. Last year I enjoyed making this Advent Calendar for Big L and little l so much, I decided to make one for my little guys. Inspired by the popular matchbox variety, I began seeking out the right materials, completely free and recycled, that would come together to help us count down the days.

The design materialized on a routine trip to Target. I spotted one of their signature red jewelry gift boxes and asked the very nice saleslady if they had boxes to spare. It just so happened that they did--quite a few of them! I scored 24 bright red boxes, absolutely free.

Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I took all of the advertising circulars out of our newspaper and began clipping away, ransom-note style. My design prerequisites were that the numbers be sans serif, and comprised of only red, green and white. I found several different versions of each number, 1 through 24. I used good ol' Mod Podge to affix the numbers onto the jewelry boxes.
I then filled each box with an Advent activity. The activities are easy breezy; the intention is not for this to feel like work, but rather to provide a sweet surprise and something to look forward to each day. I cut squares from last year's Christmas cards and wrote the day's activity on the backs of them.1 : Get out Christmas decorations & make Christmas Potpourri
2 : Make paper snowflakes
3 : Write a letter to Santa
4 : Popcorn & cranberries and watch Charlie Brown Christmas
5 : Go to the Christmas parade
6 : Buy egg nog and decorate our Christmas tree
7 : Write a winter poem
8 : Make a wreath for the front door
9 : Christmas past: Look at old photos of family Christmases
10 : Take pictures of each other wearing Santa hat
11 : Watch Christmas movies with hot cocoa
12 : Make Christmas cards
13 : Bring baked gifts to neighbors
14 : Hang a paper chain sash for Christmas cards
15 : Ornament making day one: Gifts for teachers
16 : Ornament making day two: Gifts for grandparents and aunts
17 : Have a Christmas cookie party (save some for Santa!)
18 : Make snowmen
19 : Go on a Santa Claus hunt
20 : Make wrapping paper
21 : Make Solstice crowns
22 : Give a gift to charity / donate canned goods to food bank
23 : Go Christmas caroling and light luminaries
24 : Look at Christmas lights in our pajamas

After all of the boxes were filled, I took an old cork board that was deteriorating and removed its cork. The pretty white frame was still in very good shape, as was the foam backing. I simply slipped in a square of scrap green courdoroy where the cork had been, and glued the backs of the24 boxes onto the courdoroy.Voila. As each day approaches I'll try to find a little trinket to go with the day's activity. Today's activity: Get out the Christmas decorations and make Mimi's Christmas Potpourri. I put a cinnamon stick in the box for Big B and little b to find. Happy Advent!

7 comments:

Rose said...

I was just pulling out our advent calendar. (Yes a day late, I know. The boxes were BURIED in the garage.) Yours is LOVELY!!! Way to shmooze the Target lady!

Thanks for the great ideas. I'm sure I'll use a few. (There are lots of good ones over at Uncommon Grace, too.)

Anonymous said...

I think this is my favorite crafted calendar yet! Thanks for sharing it.

mindingmomma.wordpress.com

Leslie said...

this advent is amazing.thanks for coming to my blog and entering the giveaway and for becoming a follower too. good luck

Toolie said...

Love it...I think I'll jump on board next year...my brain is still somewhere in November and I just can't get organized. How doooo you do it?

Mothering Two said...

Wow!!!! This is so great! I was thinking I'd look for an advent calander after Christmas this year so I could avoid making one but still get it el'cheapo, but damn, this is such a fantastic idea! If I don't find one after x-mas this year I'll def be crafting one for next year. And whoa nelly, I am impressed that you can think of an activity to do each day for 24 days and will be even more amazed when you do them all {or most of them, even}! I was just gonna throw a couple pieces of candy in my little boxes. So kewl. You are a fun mama!

Kimara@weefolkart said...

This is lovely! Not only is it a beautiful "decoration" but your activities are a wonderful balance of playfulness and charity. Thanks for sharing.

Mama Bird said...

I missed the advent calendar boat AGAIN this year. Sigh. But I love that you shared your list of activities, and I am printing it out for ideas of things to do with my little chicks. Thank you, creative mama.