*Edited to answer a few questions: The scrapbook paper for the tops of these was purchased from Hobby Lobby. Also, I used Mod Podge underneath the paper, and also on top, to seal it. The size of the frame itself is 18x22 inches, and the size of the metal backing is 16x19. However, I don't think the size of the frame matters as long as you have enough room for all the boxes. I actually brought the frame with me to Hobby Lobby to make sure all the boxes fit.
Wa-hoo! Today's project has been over a month in the making. Ever since Chris from Just a Girl posted photos of her Halloween advent calendar, I have been excited to copy her for Christmas. I made a little tutorial out of this because I made a few mistakes along the way, and maybe I can help you from having the same troubles!
Start with these paper mache boxes. I got mine at Hobby Lobby when paper stuff went 50% off. They were 50 cents each.
The first step was spray painting them all. This was my biggest mistake. I'll be honest: I have no patience. There were 24 of these boxes, and 24 lids, and that means 48 little pieces that had to be individually painted. If I were to do it again, I think I would just leave them brown and call it "rustic." Again, this is probably just my impatience talking.
Next I got a cheap frame (Big Lots, $4.98) and painted it red. I plotted out where I wanted each box to go, so that the different shapes were spread out and not all clumped together. I also glued little magnets to the back of each box.
Then I added scrapbook paper to each box top, and a little number for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas!
My adorable husband had to intercede and help with the last part. He bought a piece of sheet metal to fit the frame, and spray painted it with black chalkboard paint. He popped it into the frame, added a grosgrain ribbon, and the advent calendar is finished!
I love it! I plan to put little treats in each box, one for each day. I figure this advent calendar will work well for multiple children, because I can just put a treat for each child in each box, and they don't have to take turns the way my sister and I used to do with our advent calendar! (Oh, the horror!) Or I could include a cute "family togetherness" project for each day, or a Scripture verse for us to read. It's nice to have enough space in the boxes for a variety of ideas!
And please don't tell, but this year's treat will be Nina's gummy vitamins. Hey, she's two. What she doesn't know won't hurt her!
Have a great weekend! We are off to get our tree tonight and will spend the weekend Christmas-ing the house!