Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advent Calendar

For the past few years, we have purchased various advent calendars for our boys.  This year, I decided to make one.  I borrowed the idea from Cassie at Hi Sugarplum, then tweaked it to make it ours.  I really want to focus on the giving part of the holidays this year, and this advent calendar allowed me to do just that.

Here's what I used.  The whole project cost me about $12.00.  I did have a lot of the craft supplies on hand (that's a happy by-product of being a craft hoarder).

clockwise: wedding favor set (30 tins), adhesive backed magnets, glue gun, stamp pad, calendar and list of activities, tin filled with treats, tape runner, number stamps, colorful paper

I started out by using my glue gun to glue the magnets to the back of the tins.  The magnet has a sticky side but it did not stick well enough.  I wanted the tins to be magnetic because I planned to use the side of my fridge for the Advent tree.  I did find some magnetic spice tins at a local store, but they were $2.99 each.  I decided that would be way too expensive.  

I used my circle punch to punch circles out of some holiday paper.  The circles were too big for the canisters, so I searched my house for a circle the perfect diameter.  I traced this jar so I could make the circle a little smaller.  

Once I had cut out 25 of the perfect sized circles, I was ready to stamp some numbers on smaller circles.  I used a small circle punch to punch 25 smaller circles out of plain printer paper.  You could just trace a smaller circle and cut it out, but the circle punch made the job go much more quickly. Then I got to work stamping numbers on the circles.

My mother in law gave me this great stamp set.  It is a page of rubber stamps.

I put the number I needed on the block, added ink from the stamp pad, and had a set of numbers ready to attach to the bigger circles.

Then I used my tape runner to attach the small circles to the larger ones.

Once I was finished with the numbers, all that was left was to fill the canisters with activities and treats.  I printed off a December calendar and used our family's master calendar to plan days when we could complete activities.  Here are a few of the activities I planned.

I also added a few treats here and there.  Leftover Halloween candy worked perfectly for the small tins.  The first tin's activity read, "Read a Christmas book."  Over breakfast, I read Auntie Claus, by Elise Primavera to my boys.  I chose Auntie Claus because the book conveys the real meaning of the gift giving part of this season.  And remember, darling, it is far better to give than it is to receive.  

After we read Auntie Claus, I told the boys about the advent tree and how it was going to encourage us to shift the focus off what we want this Christmas to how we can give back.

{A few other giving back opportunities I included are: deliver cookies to friends, take a meal to a neighbor, write a thank you note, and scratch Daddy's back :)}

The boys love opening the tins every morning!

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