My handmade Advent calendar

A few weeks ago I shared my prototype box for what I hoped would be my advent calendar.  The good news is that it's finished, but a few days into December. In preparation I'd bought a new die for my die cutting machine from Tonic Studios. Initially I was looking for a pillow box, but when I saw the Marquee Box I realised its potential and my plans changed.

I sussed out how it could work using the prototype, which I cut from the header page of some Christmas scrapbook paper, and as a fan of patchwork and colour, liked how it came out so have kept that in the final design.

The prototype box

Twenty four boxes is quite a few though. Each box needed two cuts of the die, so after a small workout for my arm and forty eight cuts later I was ready to assemble my boxes. The sheer number of these put me off for a bit, despite the start of the month looming. But with some pre-folding and a tray in front of the TV I set about sticking.

I'd tasked MOH to buy contents for half of the boxes, and I set about buying contents for the other half. Somehow all of our boxes have ended up with chocolate fillings, but that's no bad thing.

It did feel like a bit of a production line, and on more than one occasion I did wonder why I'd started, and if perhaps doing something for the twelve days of Christmas instead. But I'd started...

A collection of boxes, assembled and filled

And so I finished. A few days in to December!

I was able to make use of lots of things I had too, which is always a winner for me. I had the scrapbook paper, I recycled tissue paper inside the boxes, the stars which I used for the numbers were from many years before - I'd previously used them as decorative touches on gifts, tags and cards, and the ribbon that I used to close the boxes were left over from an earlier craft project.

So apart from the die cut and the contents it turned into quite a thrifty project. 

Our handmade advent calendar assembled and in place
a few more of the twenty four boxes of our advent calendar

I considered hanging the boxes, and wanted to use the silver pegs - that I've had for ages, and would you believe it there were 24 - and some bakers twine, which I've several reels of. The weight of the boxes though didn't really work for hanging vertically as I planned, and as we don't hang things on our wall, I was after another solution.

In the end I kept it simple and strung them together placing them under our television - the other place I'd considered was on top of a radiator, but knowing the contents that wouldn't work!

Looking from above at our handmade advent calendar

But I'm pleased with how they turned out, and it looks as if we've a village of festive boxes. Although not all of the paper I used was Christmas paper, however it all works together, and you can see the prototype box taking pride of place in the photo below (day 6).

Not all the papers I used were Christmas papers, but they all work together

A longer project than I expected but one that will provide fun - and chocolate - throughout the month. 

I love it - and I even got MOH involved too, as well as buying some of the contents, he was also chief number sticker on, as I thought I'd remember what was in each box, and so would lose the randomness of the contents! 

What do you think - would you make your own?