I made my own advent calendar this year, twenty four little boxes each filled with something to make, eat, do, look forward to, or play with. Oh, I have had some fun with this project. It has taken me a long time, but I have enjoyed it so much.
I started thinking I'd just fill matchboxes (you can buy plain crafting matchboxes quite cheaply) but they weren't always big enough, so I bought a few of those plain brown lidded boxed from Hobbycraft too, the ones sold for decoupage, and found a few other boxes here and there which I covered with brown paper.
Thinking about the contents was so much fun and I'll admit that I may have gotten a bit carried away at times. The look of the inside of the boxes was as important as the activity we'd do. I wanted to create little Christmas vignettes, so that a tiny scene would appear as the matchbox slid back.
I raided the children's toy boxes and pilfered cars, animals, Playmobil figures, Barbie shoes and Sylvanian Families crockery. For some, I got out my crochet hook or needle and thread and stitched something tiny. I made Fimo food and ordered a few little odds and ends from a Dolls House Miniatures website. I rummaged through magazines, last year's Christmas cards and old printed Instagram photos for suitable backgrounds.
Some are filled with treats; chocolate coins or a promise of hot chocolate in a cafe after school.
Others are filled with suggestions for activities we can do together; make paper chains, bake gingerbread, make a wreath to hang in the house, hang paper snowflakes.
For some, we have decorations to hang on the tree. I'm rather fond of that felt mistletoe, I'm looking forward to hanging that somewhere.
These ones below are intended to be taken away and played with - I am hoping I'll find half this stuff in Bella's dolls house soon, then I'll know it's been used for it's intended purpose.
And then there are the scenes I made, and the numbers on these boxes sometimes correspond to dates in the diary. So, the box on the left is for the day we plan to choose our Christmas tree, and the one on the right for the day we collect our dog and take it for a walk. (It kills me that I could not find a small toy greyhound anywhere!)
Others were just for fun (I have no desire to go ice skating, for example) but I enjoyed creating them. The bottom left box with the two red stockings is for Christmas Eve. Two miniature versions of the red felt stockings Bella and Angus will hang on their bedposts.
This one is for me. It's dated the 17th, the day after the last day of term and our staff Christmas party. I expect I may feel delicate, and certainly tired. It's full of copper kettles, woollen mittens, a basket of yarn and a crocheted throw; a planned day of resting and nesting with tea and crochet.
Now they are all wrapped and lined up in a row on the living room windowsill, ready for the coming days. Today's - filled with chocolate coins - was well received, but chocolate always is in this house. As always, it's the making that's as much fun as the end result with a project like this.
Happy Advent friends.