Mar­sha Smith shows you how to turn sim­ple lit­tle boxes into a charm­ing ad­vent cal­en­dar that re­veals a de­li­cious treat each day lead­ing up to Christ­mas.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

cre­ate your own ad­vent cal­en­dar

“Have fun and let the fes­tive sea­son in­spire you to be cre­ative!”

What you need

24 small pa­per boxes Hot glue gun and glue sticks Scis­sors Fine-tip black marker pen Ad­he­sive num­bers Wooden al­pha­bet beads and scrab­ble pieces Lace fringe and pa­per Feath­ers But­tons White mod­el­ling clay (Fimo) Se­lec­tion of red and white rib­bon Var­i­ous strings and twine Red and white pompoms Felt and faux fur of­f­cuts Red and white acrylic paint and small brush Paint pat­tern sten­cils Choco­lates, mints and other good­ies to fill boxes 3M re­mov­able ad­he­sive wall tape.

Note: There are end­less op­tions when it comes to craft sup­plies but the above list is what was used for our cal­en­dar. You may have plenty of scraps and good­ies ly­ing around at home that make the per­fect dec­o­ra­tive ad­di­tions to your box cre­ations. Check out Look Sharp Store for loads of cheap and cheer­ful finds. The nat­u­ral boxes used in this project are avail­able in sets of three from Look Sharp Store.

Tips and tricks

1 The best way to start a project like this is to have a clear idea of colour and theme. Al­though there aren’t any rules, this cal­en­dar looks most ef­fec­tive when us­ing a limited colour pal­ette.

2 Lay all your ideas out be­fore you paste ev­ery­thing into place to get a good idea of the flow and how the boxes will look all to­gether in their cor­rect or­der. Try to get a good bal­ance of colour and weight.

3 Think about vary­ing tex­tures and lay­er­ing pieces as well. A good ex­am­ple of this is box 2 on the cal­en­dar. Red pa­per, a cut-out piece of lace and but­ton have been hot-glued down and wrapped a few times with some fine white string.

4 An­other great way to add pat­tern and tex­ture is to use pat­terned pre-cut sten­cils (see box 5). Th­ese are read­ily avail­able in the craft sec­tion of The Ware­house, art sup­ply stores and Spot­light. Use a sponge or paint­brush to dab on your coloured paint. Set aside to dry then add a sim­ple shape like a Christ­mas tree or bell cut from pa­per or felt.

5 Use old scrab­ble pieces or wooden beads to spell out fes­tive words or mes­sages (see boxes 4, 9 and 12).

6 If you want to num­ber all 24 boxes, cre­ate more in­ter­est by vary­ing the size of your num­bers.

7 Mod­el­ling clay is per­fect for mak­ing your own trin­kets and shapes, such as stars and candy canes (boxes 3, 7 and 19). Stamp a pat­tern onto the clay for added in­ter­est.

8 Fill boxes with treats for each day. Re­mem­ber they will be fixed to the wall so don’t over-fill them.

9 To put your boxes up on the wall, use 3M re­mov­able ad­he­sive tape or strips. If your boxes aren’t heavy, put a small piece of tape on the back of each box and stick. It may be a good idea to lightly pen­cil a mark on the wall where you want to put each box to en­sure that your tree shape is even.

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