DIY: Advent Calendar

What are you all doing about advent calendars? We’ve cheated, a little. When I was little (not as little as J, but still) someone bought me an amazing book: Jostein Gaarder’s The Christmas Mystery.

Each chapter is a day of advent, so you get to read a chapter a day throughout December. It’s meant for older kids, there’s some philosophical thought in there that may go over J’s head a little, but it’s also a great tale. I loved it so much that I still have my tattered old copy and I remember, years ago, thinking how lovely it would be to one day read it to a child of my own. So that’s what we’re doing. I’ve dusted off my old copy and we started today.

Others, though, have put more effort in. Especially the fantastic Sarah Dyer another blogger who I loved, stalked online, and managed to make my friend (maybe no more, now that I’ve come clean about the stalking…)
Over to her…
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When Hattie asked me to do a blog post she gave me free reign. However the text came through just as I was wondered whether I really could be arsed to make the advent calendar I’d seen floating around on pinterest or whether I should just buy the very overpriced wooden house and fill it with more overpriced things instead. Hattie’s text gave me the kick i needed in a “what would Hattie do?” sort of way. So here we go, my take on the toilet roll advent!
Ok, so I hadn’t collected 24 toilet rolls, so I used a kitchen roll, wrapping paper roll and butchered a postal tube I had to make the 24 I needed. The calendar I had seen had very neat rows of even 24 rolls – but this was never going to happen here so I thought rustic and different sizes would be fun. Anyway I had to saw down the large tubes to roughly the same size as the toilet rolls…
Then I collected the other bits I needed – old letraset for the numbers, thin white paper, red card and some card to glue the toilet rolls onto. In the end the letraset was too tiny so i painted the number on with ink, but you could have also printed numbers onto any paper from the computer.
Then I glued them onto my fronts of the rolls and left to dry. Then I trimmed off the excess and decided what was going in them.
Now originally I was going to go out and buy some pressies to fill it. But that seemed SO lame now I had bothered to make it for free. Anyway I didn’t want hattie to be disappointed in me so I searched the house for free tat, I mean treasure, I could put inside.
Gold coins were being given out free from Waitrose (no less) at a christmas market the other day, the stamps are for day 2 when Stan is going to help me make our Christmas cards (lucky child) a few plastic dinosaurs I think/hope he’s forgotten about, a christmas tree cutter for biscuit making day, pegs and mr printables for several activity days, and wait for it….a NEW TOOTHBRUSH HEAD! Wow that boy is spoilt…. Anyway, luckily him being not quite 3 I think I can get away with it this year, next year however I’m going to have to step it up a gear.
So anyway I divided all these bits up so there isn’t a chocolate a day, in the end about half and half as the pegs and the printables are over a few days etc. Then I started to construct the rolls with plenty of PVA glue. It was a little fidderly and had to do a few rows and wait for them to dry before building more but eventually it came together ok. I used the big rolls for 16 as it is the husbands birthday so I could squeeze in an extra pressie in there and made 24 big as it is the day before xmas.
Then I used the red card to wrap round the whole thing to make it neater and drew on tiles and made a chimney and glued that on, adding some ‘smoke’. When I showed it to Stan he was suitably impressed although he pointed to the smoke and said “what’s that mummy?” and I said proudly “that is smoke coming from the chimney”. “No it’s no mummy” came the reply, “it is tissue paper”. Harsh.
So we’ve opened the first ‘door’ and it was chocolate (I know how to start it off right) and he enjoyed popping open the paper to see what was inside. I’d totally do it again, with more planning. I’m am SO chuffed it was all free, I had everything already in the house and it was a pleasure to make.

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