It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I love advent calenders and have wanted to make one for years, but finding a reusable one with big enough pockets for 3 treats-one for each kid, is a mission. So I gave up and would buy the cheap disposable ones with the plastic-y tasting chocolate inside for a couple of dollars.
Recently while looking up Christmas craft ideas I came across this post on Pinterest
and thought it was perfect! After all it is completely made using empty toilet rolls, which I always have an abundance of because a) there are 5 of us, b) they are free!, and c) there are so many great crafts you can make with them.
Best of all, it is made with up cycled items AND I can easily fit 3 chocolates or lollies in the cylinders. Winning!
So here's how to make one:
First I gathered 24 toilet rolls. Squeezed one of the open ends shut and sewed it closed on my sewing machine. Like this..
Sorry about the photo, I had to screen shot it from my IG account. I had deleted it from my camera because I didn't want to be a weirdo who had pictures of empty toilet rolls on her phone!
You could also staple the ends shut or use hot glue.
Next I painted each one. I decided to do half of the rolls red and the other half green. I just used poster paints we had in the cupboard. The paint sinks in to the cardboard easily so I gave each one 2 coats and let them dry.
After this stage, I'll be honest- I had no idea how I was going to decorate them. All I knew was that I didn't want to go out and buy anything for this project. Then I looked through my Christmas gift wrap stash and found some ribbon to decorate them. I used a thick ribbon with a candy cane print which was perfect. So I measured and cut each piece to fit around the middle of the cardboard roll, then hot glued it in place.
Now to make the numbers. We had some Christmas printed paper which would be ideal, so I used a soft drink bottle lid to trace 24 circle shapes, then Mr 9 helped me cut them out.
Then I used some old scrap booking stickers which had numbers on them to put the numbers 1-24 on each circle, then hot glued each one on to a toilet roll. You could also use plain paper and draw the numbers on yourself. Just use what ever you have lying around :)
|Here's a closer look.|
I have a large pin up board we use for home ed, so this made a perfect base for the calendar and I used some pegs I got for free on Gumtree to clip them on. You could also just hang a few rows of string on your wall and peg each cylinder to the string. Or punch a hole in each cardboard tube and thread the string through each hole to hang.
My board was big enough to fit 4 rows, so I measured the string allowed for some draping on each row and pinned it in the back of the board.
|4 pins placed on each side of the back of the board. The string visible here is for hanging.|
Then added another length of string and looped it onto the top pins-this would be for hanging.
|Finished! I added a bow to cover up the screw in my wall.|
The calendar is finished and ready to fill. I've found one Freddo frog or small sized chocolate will fit inside or a couple of lollies. My kids like chocolate so I'm using some freckles, mixed buddies and a few small foil Santas I bought in last years post-Christmas sales. By the way, you can store chocolate for a long time if kept in a cool, dark spot.
We are all looking forward to the 1st of December - yes even the teens still want their advent treats!