Sunday, November 25, 2012

Quick easy homemade advent calendar

This project was not borne out of a love of craft. Or a love of olde worlde charm. It started out as a hunt to find a chocolate-free calendar for my one year old. Yes I know he won't understand, but he does love to open things, and I thought a cute little traditional advent calendar would give us something new to open each day.

Could I find one without chocolate - no, you'd think even the pound shop would be certain to stock some cheapy nativity scene. It turns out its only about the chocolate this year. Unless you're a high end stationer offering one at 5 pounds a pop. So off I trundled to ebay, home of all things cheap and crafty.

I came across some little boxes, which I guess are usually meant for wedding favours and the like. I was charmed by their pretty colours and self proclaimed easiness to fold and snapped them up for just two pounds. When they arrived they were smaller, and more fiddly than I envisaged. But once I stencilled on the first numbers and slotted the little pieces of card together they were looking more like I imagined. Just try not to amuse a one year old at the same time, as we all know time consuming delicate work and a curious little boy do not good bed fellows make.

Without the help of someone small, but with the help of a big glass of wine and the latest episode of The Hour the rest of the boxes took about an hour to put together. Once I finally figured out that they simply slotted together and did not require fiddling about with glue (fun though that was, reminising about school days and spatulas covered in white PVA) the whole process was much quicker. Though the wine, plus pausing to rewind key scenes, did slow my progress somewhat. That and eating the 'fillings'...

You see, I had bought some cute little animal shaped biscuits to go in my cute little advent boxes. But I forgot to check for size. And, much to my horror they didn't fit. And woe betide any biscuit without a proper purpose in this house. We couldn't possibly run the risk of them going stale so unfortunately I had to eat them. All. In one go. At least I was ensuring my little boy would have a healthier advent treat. As I discovered approximately 5 raisins would fit perfectly into the little boxes, and could legitimately be given at snack time with no damage to my conscience or his healthy diet. And at no risk of mummy having eaten them all on day 1.

Nipped out to buy a festive tin on a recommendation from a friend, and there we had it. A cheap and cheerful, reusable advent calendar. How many years I will be able to palm off raisins on my little boy I don't know. But for a couple of pounds and something a little original, that can be made whilst enjoying wine and telly sounds good to me...