Sunday, November 23

D.I.Y Advent Calendars

This year I decided to make both myself and Hayden an Advent calendar - each different in their 'degrees of chocolate'. I, personally, eat enough of the stuff so I wanted a calendar that was calorie-free. I decided to make this 'Cookie Cutter Calendar' with hidden tasks and messages. Our Christmas colour scheme this year is pretty anti-red & green, I'm loving bright colours and jewel tones with splashes of gold. So I used these colours for this Calendar and Hayden's too.
. . . and it worked so well that I made my Mom her own version too
It's so simple to do - you could do it as a family, get the kids involved...
You'll need:
Selection of Christmas biscuit cutters, some patterned paper, scissors, a pencil, a metallic pen (sharpie or similar), felt tips, a large sheet of white card, blue tack and a black fineliner
You can get Christmas cutters from most supermarkets at the moment - I found the plastic one a little easier to draw round as it was a bit less flexible
Use the cutters as templates to draw 25 Christmas shapes on the reverse of the patterned papers then cut them out (leaving 5mm border- so the shape is bigger than the cutter).
Spend some time arranging your shapes 5x5 on the card until you re happy with the order they are in then number each of them with the metallic pen. (I decided my numbers would run in order as I will get Hayden to help me 'open' my calendar each day, but the numbers could be jumbled like on a chocolate Advent calendar)
Draw around the cutters onto the card - with the right shape in the right place as how you'd arrange it. Try to space the shapes evenly
Get creative with the shapes on the card. Colour them in, draw patterns or pictures, get glitter happy, you could even stick a photo . . . Make sure, however, you stick inside the outline of the shape
On the 'wrong side' of the patterned paper shapes, I wrote suggestions for the day's activity - simple things, nothing to extravagant. As it was for an adult, I wrote things like 'Why not enjoy a glass of Mulled Wine' and 'Make a Christmas Checklist'. (Hayden had her own more child-friendly suggestions in hers - see below)
Using small amounts of blue tack, stick the paper over the ones on the card, that way they will be easy to remove without damaging and you can keep the calendar for next year
 And Voila!

As for Hayden's. . . Do you remember My Tree that I bought over a year ago for a Baby Shower that I was determined to use for anything and everything? The tree I haven't seen since January? Yeh that one. The idea of using it all year went a little off track but I dug it out for this project.
I bought her some goodies. I didn't want it all to be chocolatey goodness so I also added some little wooden toys for some variety.

I wrapped them up in parcel paper with the below suggestion tabs, stuck on some coloured paper numbers and strung them up with Baker's Twine.
Activity Suggestions - She is only 18 months (and doesn't seem to like 'organised fun') so they're quite simple and some are repeated . . .but I think she'll enjoy them all

Christmas is indeed coming . . .

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