A 29 year old Artist living and working in Lincoln, UK
With one month to go before the holly jolly season, it’s the perfect time to get planning how to treat that special someone.
The child inside me loves the countdown to Christmas as well as the big day itself (which is always over all too quickly!). I decided that I wanted to fill my own advent calendar to give to someone, with personalised treats for each day. After looking at the small and expensive existing ones, I knew I’d end up making my own!
So it’s also technically a reindeer, but I really wanted to say Christmoose! ok? ok..
I fell in love with the design of this one, but sadly it was too small for any of my ideas. Additionally, I did save money in making my own, but it does take a lot of effort!
For my version you will need:
6 little wooden craft boxes with compartment dividers (available on eBay for approx £15)
30 wooden buttons or similar (£1.50 off eBay)
Tools I used: A screwdriver, a glue gun, cutting mat and craft knife. Also a pen, ruler, masking tape and some scissors come in handy!
Some sturdy cardboard (about 60cmx50cm), and some layout paper (just for tracing)
Plus decoration of your choice. I needed a little white paint, and a roll of wooden vinyl adhesive paper (£3 per roll on eBay)
Also chocolate and coffee. ‘Cause you will get stressed!
Firstly, I took off the hinges and latches from each box using a screwdriver, and separated the parts as follows:
Boxes bases, compartment dividers and lids. You won’t be needing the screws, hinges or latches!
Then I arranged the 6 box bases into the basic reindeer shape, 4 for the torso and one vertically for each leg.
I glued these together with plenty of glue, using the lids as extra support on the back. (one on each leg and 3 across the torso)
Next, I glued the compartments in at varying the angles so that there were at least 24 compartments (I included a bonus two in the head, just because!)
Next, I used layout paper to trace the shape of the compartments so that I had a stencil for the doors at the front.
I neatened these using a pen and ruler. Drawing the reindeer outline around the compartments was the most satisfying part!
Next, you need to cut the stencil out with a knife, including the doors, leaving one side to act as the hinge. This stencil can be traced onto the cardboard in however many sections it takes (but the fewer the better!)
Once taped together, it needs to be cut out with the knife. Don’t forget to cut the doors again, leaving the one edge left as the hinge.
Simply masking-tape any big frays or faults in the cutting, and here you have the basic structure to your advent calendar. But don’t glue it yet!
Cover with whatever material you want, using the cardboard front as the stencil this time. Simply run your knife through the cardboard door slits one more time once it’s glued on, to pierce the new material in the right places. The wooden-effect vinyl works really well as it makes it more sturdy, waterproof and it’s self-adhesive!
Then you can glue your newly decorated front panel on, leave all the doors open to help you line it all up. Now it’s time for the decoration:
I found these little wooden plugs online that are the perfect shape for a little handle. And simply glued one to each door.
To number each door I cut some stencils out of A4 paper..
and sponged the numbers on at random. However it may be easier to just stick or write numbers on.
Now you can have fun filling your calendar with a variety of objects! Not just squeezing in some Quality Streets. I have filled mine with bars of chocolate, keyrings, mistletoe, underpants, jewellery, photos, trinkets, notes.. you name it!
Enjoy your countdown, and use it again and again! 🙂