|The calendar: beautiful little one-of-a-kind boxes in a silver bowl|
Making TP Tubes into Boxes:
Collect used toilet paper tubes and ask friends to save theirs. You may also use paper towel cardboard tubes, cut into thirds.
|The new collectible: toilet paper tubes|
|Bend one edge of tube inward; pinch along the edge to make a crease|
|Bend opposite edge in same manner|
|Do the same thing to the other end of the tube|
Voila! You now have a little box. Through some miracle of physics or cardboard, the tube ends stay firmly closed until you open them. Now make twenty-five little boxes for each day of December leading up to Christmas. For a variation, you can make eight little boxes for Hanukkah.
Filling Your Boxes:
Advent calendars are supposed to have something inside them. That's the whole point. Stuff your boxes with whatever you wish. This year I've leaned heavily on chocolate because the little girl who will be the recipient of this calendar is revealing herself to be a chocolate fiend.
|Trader Joe's chocolate coins - just $1.99 buys you more than enough coins to fill all 25 boxes|
I also took this opportunity to rid myself of a nifty flea market find I've had around the house for years — a partial Noah's Ark set that includes Noah and about six animals, all made of ceramic in outsider art style. Go with the spirit of recycling and look around your house to see what you'd like to get rid of that might delight someone else if discovered in an advent calendar box.
|Ceramic camel and large chocolate coin|
|Flip side of day 20 - this box uses a complete TP roll. For smaller boxes made of half a TP roll, see below.|
Decorating Your Boxes:
I have printed out the days of the month on my computer, alternating red and green. I also printed out the same vintage Christmas images I used in a completely different, iron-on version for last year's Spectacular Walnut Advent Calendar. You can print out your own numbers or simply hand letter them. You may also find lots and lots of vintage Christmas prints online using Google image search. Or you may want to stick to ribbons and bits and scraps.
Below are the boxes I've completed so far. If you'd like to make a similar calendar this year, it's time you got started.
|Tinier boxes, each made from half of a toilet paper roll|
|The flip side|
Note in the examples above and below, the deconrations on the flip side of the boxes are different from the front, which doubles the fun.
|Days 3 and 10|
|Flip side of 3 and 10|
|A trio of little boxes|
|Flip side of trio|
|Days 2 and 17|
|Flip side of 2 and 17|
|Days 6 and 11|
|Flip side of days 6 and 11|
|Flip side of day 15|
Thirteen down, twelve to go. This first half took just one evening while watching a Netflix disc of The Walking Dead (I need something to do with my hands when watching horror films). The point is, with scissors, glue, and piles of bits and pieces in front of you, this doesn't take very much time.