A Countdown to Christmas
Some time ago I purchased a naked wooden advent calendar box at a local craft show, with the intention of decorating it beautifully and creating a beautiful centrepiece for my Christmas Decorations. Needless to say, that box sat in my loft, undecorated for a couple of years, until a couple of weeks ago when I saw the most beautiful and perfect Christmas collection. I knew instantly that this particular collection would be the one to make my advent calendar.
That collection is called Tinsel & Company and is by Teresa Collins. If you haven’t seen it in real life then let me tell you it is so, so beautiful and that looking at it online simply doesn’t do it justice.
I bought a few of each of the papers (as I was unsure how many of each I would need for my advent calendar), as well as the Decorative Stickers, Decorative Brads, Die Cut Ephemera, Sequins and Decorative Tags.
My advent calendar started off looking very bare:
I began by painting each of the drawers. I chose three paints: white, silver and gold. There are 24 drawers so I painted 8 in each colour. I then painted the box itself in white. Some areas and drawers required two coats, where the wood had dark marks on it, but most of it only required one coat. Once dry I began decorating the drawers.
At first I thought I would be cutting panels for every side of each drawer as well as inside, but this made the drawers too big to fit back in the holes, as they were pretty tight to begin with and even tighter after adding paint. So it was just the front of every drawer that needed to be decorated. I cut a few squares from each different paper, cut out a notch with a circle punch and then embellished each one differently. Each one obviously had to have a number on it and I didn’t want them all to be the same so I used some numbers cut from one of the papers and also used a few different Thickers. I ended up with a few too many numbers that looked the same so I dug around in some older Christmas paper and found a red sheet that also had lots of numbers on it, so I added a few of those in too. After getting a number onto each drawer, I then decorated using small embellishments such as sequins, gems and wood veneer shapes.
Once I had decorated the fronts of each drawer, I began work on the box itself. I covered the sides and the inside walls with one of the papers from the Tinsel & Company collection (the Gold Stripes Foiled paper) mainly because it was easy to match up the pattern and my box was 14″ tall!
And finally I needed something to go in the middle of all those drawers. I wanted the centre to be a Christmas layout, preferably with a family photo, but I settled on a photo of my little ones all dressed up for Christmas last year. This choice of photo concerned me a little because my children will obviously change and grow up over time, so the photo would very soon become out of date. I therefore designed my middle layout with a generic title ‘The most wonderful time of the year’ that will suit any Christmas photo, and with the photo being slipped in, rather than fixed. I created a little shelf for it to sit in, and only half stuck the embellishments that go over the photo, so the photo can actually be removed and replaced at any time, without any damage being caused to the layout or box.
For my title, I used several different alphabet stickers: small red Jillibean Soup Alphabeans, gold circular ones which are Thickers in the Shimelle collection, and some older grey Thickers that I wanted to get used up. I actually wanted glittery silver but none I had were big enough or the right style, or I pulled out those old grey boring ones, covered them in glossy accents and threw American Crafts glitter all over them – they turned out so well!
The drawers are quite small so there’s only enough room in there for a couple of chocolates, but my little ones will be delighted with that. I may intersperse 50p coins or something for them to put into their money boxes occasionally, rather than them having chocolate everyday. This advent calendar will be the centrepiece of all our Christmas decorations, and as we’re throwing out all our existing decorations and starting fresh this year, I know what colours I’ll be shopping for!
- Tinsel & Company papers
- 6×12 Decorative Stickers
- Decorative Brads
- Die Cut Ephemera
- Decorative Tags
- Jen Hadfield Home + Made Gold Glitter Dot Stickers