Thursday, December 5, 2013

Large DIY Christmas Advent Countdown Calendar

I made a paper and felt advent calendar last year, but it was not as durable as I would have hoped, causing me to re-invent my advent calendar this year. Thanks to a large cardboard box, my little project didn't put me out a dime, as I already had paper and glue on hand.

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Cost: Under .99
Assuming that you have cardboard, scissors, box cutter, glue, markers, etc., already lying around, 50 sheets of origami paper runs about one dollar, so 12 sheets or so should put you out less than a buck.
Time: 60 minutes

*2 large pieces of cardboard, 28"x24"
*9 sheets origami paper, 3 red, 3 green, 4 white, and 1 yellow
*red, green, and black markers
*glue stick
*bottle of glue
*box cutter

Step 1 (two identical cardboard pieces)
Lay one piece of cardboard on top of the other and make sure they are the same size. Use a box cutter to make any adjustments.

Step 2 (make little squares)
Fold the green, red, and two sheets of the white origami paper into quarters and then cut along the fold lines, so that you will have 12 small red squares, 12 small green squares, and 9 small white squares.

Step 3 (glue 'em down)
Using the glue stick, glue twenty four of the squares in five columns with rows of five, leaving a gap in the third column of the fifth row and a space of about eight inches at the top. (see picture)

Step 4 (special star)
Use the yellow origami paper to make some kind of star or special shape for the empty space in the third column of the fifth row (the marker for December 25, Christmas Day....)

Step 5 (cut three sides)

Using the box cutter, carefully cut around each square of paper along the top, right, and bottom sides, allowing the left side to remain fully attached so that it can act like a sort of hinge. Make sure that each cut goes completely through the cardboard so that it can open like a door.

Step 6 (glue cardboard together)
Using the bottle of glue, spread glue on the second, blank piece of cardboard. Put glue ONLY along about eight inches of the top and then a thing line along the left side, right side, and the bottom. (you don't want glue where the little doors are suppose to open). Put the first piece of cardboard on top of the second and press down everywhere you have applied glue, ensuring good contact. Allow to dry.

Step 7 (making hinges)
Pull open the little 'door'
Make the little doors open-able! Press your scissors along the fold/hinge line on the left of each piece of paper and pull the door open.

Step 8 (decor)
Decorate! Use the remaining paper to create your own version of "Christmas Countdown". I made a little clock.... So inventive, right? Number each square for each of the 24 days before Christmas. (look closely- clearly my college education has done me nothing- I accidentally skipped number eleven, so my number eleven is at the bottom right of my calendar....)

Step 9 (fill 'er up)
Figure out a list of activities/games/treats for your countdown (my DIY Advent Calendar  from last year includes a list of ideas) and then write each day's activity on a small piece of paper, then stick it behind your little 'door'. Now you are ready for a super-exciting morning every morning before Christmas! (That is, if you have super exciting activities....) Have a Merry Christmas!

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