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!


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.


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 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.

Liz ~ A Natural Nester 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.