Thursday, 1 December 2016

Twenty Four Little Boxes


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. 

58 comments:

  1. What a beautiful project! I really love it. Irune

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  2. I am blown away by this, absolutely amazing!!

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  3. Wow, you have created Christmas in minature! I think your time and effort will be well rewarded by the delight they bring, and I am bowled over by your attention to detail. I'm sure you will have inspired many people to do the same, well done x

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  4. Oh my gosh this is absolutely amazing, you are a Domestic GODDESS !!!!

    Your Lucky, lucky children.

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  5. Ingenious! Absolutely love your advent calender.

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  6. Just wow! What a perfect idea. Bella and Angus are going to adore these and what a fantastic memory for them to have. They will get so much pleasure from opening the little boxes. Maybe almost as much as you had in making them. X

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  7. That's so joyful, your children will always have a memory of this. Have special.

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  8. What a lovely idea, I adore things in miniature xx

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  9. Oh, lovely, lovely! Maybe I will do this for my grandsons next year...

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  10. Such a fabulous idea! I wish I was as organised. I'm doing my usual panic about Christmas. I'm still in Birthday mode as I have 6 family birthdays before I reach Christmas Day. Every year I start it by saying I will be organised so I can just enjoy December and chill, but every year it's an epic failure on my part! Oh well, there's always next year........and you never know, I might be organised enough to do something as lovely as this! Take care and have the most super Christmas Gillian, Vanessa x

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  11. Oh my goodness, this is amazingly beautiful! What a wonderful tradition you have made there!

    xx

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  12. You have done a splendid job, such fun for your family xx

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  13. Goodness, what an undertaking! I think you did a wonderful job. I'm sure your children will enjoy this a lot. Mine started their cardboard calendars with tiny chocolates today, which went over well enough, but this is really special.

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  14. Oh WOW Gillian, they're absolutely gorgeous. I'm particularly liking the polar bear and the fish. Fantastic. You've put so much effort into them, the children will always remember them I think. CJ xx

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  15. Ooh I love, love, love this. When I saw your Instagram picture earlier I was intrigued to know what was inside the boxes and they are fabulous. So special and something your children will always remember.

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  16. So beautiful, and the start of such a special tradition. I can only imagine the fun you must have had gathering these pretties together, and now you will get to enjoy them again as your littles squeal over them each day. Your very own box is dreamy!

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  17. I love this. What a truely fabulous idea.

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  18. the advent boxes and contents are going to be enthusiastically received...and your love and thoughts for each one of your family makes this holiday season truly magical and special...on a previous post, of your lovely daughter and her baking cupcakes, such a loving, kind and generous heart she has...she has wonderful teachers with her mom and family...looking forward to reading how the contents are enjoyed and suggestions followed...take care...sally

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  19. What a lovely, special gift to your family! Each one is delightful! I can just imagine the excitement in your children each day uncovering these treasures. Happy advent!

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  20. I absolutely love this!!! Will be making my own for next year.

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  21. I absolutely love this!!! Will be making my own for next year.

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  22. Dear Gillian, this is the best Advent calendar I've ever seen! So much love went into it, and I can only imagine it would have taken me MONTHS to do anything remotely similar, with so much detail and thought! I am sure your children will be over the moon with it, and remember it in years go come.
    Seeing that makes me almost a little jealous - I wish I had your creativity and wasn't as lazy as I am!

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  23. such a sweet advent, I'm sure they are going to love everyday in the lead up to Christmas x

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  24. This is such a fantastic idea - I wish that I'd thought of it when my girls were younger. Hot chocolate in a cafe after school - genius. Well done, Gillian; I'm sure Bella and Angus will thoroughly enjoy December. xx

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  25. Blinkin heck, remembering to get sweets to fill the socks on our advent calendar nearly gave me a breakdown! This takes advent calendar crafting to another level, hope the kids have as much fun as you did!!

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  26. Oh my goodness ..... this is just incredible, a work of art! and your getting a dog???! we have a whippet so very similar to a greyhound, they are so loving x
    love Jooles x x x

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  27. What a fabulous idea! And everything is so cute and cozy. Happy Advent!

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  28. That is absolutely delightful in every way.

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  29. I love this. I have wanted to do a box advent for ages, but have never seen any as beautiful as this. Love it. I live on my own, so it seems a bit indulgent making one for myself, so I will just gaze at yours and dream. Happy advent x

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    1. next year hook up with a friend and make one for each other.

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  30. Gillian, this is absolutely brilliant, you clever lady you x

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  31. This is a very, very special Advent calendar. I commend you for your efforts. It's going to be enjoyed by everyone in the family not only this year but for many Christmases to come. Well done! x

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  32. Wow!! My daughter does something similar with one of those quilted advent calendars.Not as beautiful though - her craft skills are still developing. You do realise you've started a family tradition?

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  33. Oh WOW Gillian, I want to be a member of your family! I don't think I have ever seen such a gorgeous advent calendar in my life. xx

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  34. Hi! You had perfect idea and made this calendar beautiful and very special! I'm new in your blog so like to ask, do you have Greyhound or will get new puppy soon? x Teje

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  35. Hey Gillian,
    I am in love with your advent boxes. Bella and Angus are so lucky to have such a thoughtful and wonderful Mum.
    Leanne xx

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  36. Oh this is so gorgeous! And you've given me lots of ideas of what to do with a whole bunch of small boxes I've hung onto 'because they might come in handy one day....'. Not an advent calendar, but definitely some tiny presents for some people who I know would enjoy them.

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  37. Wow. They are all so beautiful. I hope you enjoy opening them each day

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  38. Wow! How fabulous your Advent will be.

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  39. That is the most wonderful advent calendar! I love all those miniature items, like the tiny flask and fairy lights - did you have to buy a lot of little items to make up the boxes?!

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    1. Thank you! The only things I bought were the tiny flask, fairy lights, wreath and a basket. There were from a dolls house website. Everything else I found at home. :-)

      Gillian x

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  40. This looks amazing! it must have been such fun to make.

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  41. I love your boxes Gillian. You are making the most precious memories for Bella and Angus. Mrs Christmas arrived in our house on Thursday morning. Not sure if you remember her (from a blog post a while back). She is causing much excitement each morning. Your 17th looks very cosy! Have a lovely weekend, Bee xx

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  42. This is beautifully done Gillian and so thoughtful too. Enjoy your countdown to Christmas, especially the days you can put your feet up!

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  43. Brilliant, Gillian! Thanks so much for sharing your creations. Happy Advent to you and yours, too :) xx

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  44. You've outdone yourself Gillian! Your children are so lucky to have such a thoughtful (and talented) mom.

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  45. Brilliant. I love your advent idea. Makes me wish sometimes, I still had young ones. I've just done some catching up on your blog & enjoyed it immensely. Noticed your little pink cable car in one of the photos, which I remembered from last year. So cute. We've had technical issues of late & I can't either comment or read some blogs without getting weird messages, but so far this morning all is going OK. Have a good week & take care.

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  46. These are just amazing and do full of love! What an amazing advent calendar!

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  47. this is just beautiful - I wish it was an advent calender swap and I was your swap partner ha ha!!!! what imagination, I love the little stove with red santa socks!

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  48. I think it is truly enchanting, Gillian! What a lovely idea! Pati xx

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  49. Hi Gillian, you probably did go a bit over the top but I think that's about right... I used to love planning our daughter's advent calendar, the whole process was a delight, planning, making and watching her enjoy each opening. She now lives 300, miles away and has her own home so these opportunities are now behind us. Your obvious delight in the process brought back many happy memories. As a mum I'd encourage you to enjoy your 'over the top-ness' of this short season when your children are young enough to take pleasure in this delightful Christmas tradition. Well done... Karen x

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  50. You have created a collection of 24 boxes of love.
    Truly the most wonderful advent calendar.
    I hope every day is enjoyed.
    Lisa x

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  51. Lovely project, Gilian! the kids certainly will have sweet moments to remember in the future!
    Thanks for the inspiration all year long. I just love your blog.
    Merry Christmas, from Brazil :)
    Claudia

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