Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Beads Advent Calendar


The 1st of December is rapidly approaching and the girls are very excited to start digging out their Advent Calendars ready to hang on the wall.
This year we will be reusing our felt circle Christmas Tree Advent that we made years ago, the kids love it and it has become a Christmas tradition for us to hang it up every year.
Previous years we have also had a: 
 This year I wanted to come up with another reusable advent calendar that I could change up each December.
I decided to create a count down where the girls could collect different Christmas beads each day, eventually creating a necklace they could wear on Christmas Day or hang on our tree as a decoration.
It was easy and inexpensive to make and a little bit different!
Bring on December.

* Christmas beads
* plastic shot glasses
(we bought packs of 40 for $1.50 at Hot Dollar)
* tissue paper
* washi tape or sticky tape
* scissors
* glue gun or craft glue
* string 
(we buy our red and white twine from Sammy&Lola)
* craft knife
* a backing board
(we used corflute from Bunnings but you could use cardboard or anything else you have on hand)

Gather up your plastic shot glasses, beads and whatever else you want to put inside your advent calendar.

I struggled to find large Christmas beads that were inexpensive so I ended up buying packs of wine charms ($1.50 for 6 at Hot Dollar) and using wire cutters to snip the rings and remove the charms.

The beads were perfect and very cheap when sourced this way. For each calendar I used 12 of the large beads and also 12 smaller round beads which I bought in bulk on Ebay.

Spread out 24 of your shot glasses and add a Christmas bead to each one. 
You can add other things too of course, I popped in the occasional chocolate Santa!

Cut your tissue paper into small squares and cover each shot glass using your tape to secure it. I thought this part was going to be quite tedious but surprisingly it took next to no time to do.

Once your glasses are covered arrange them on your backing board in whatever configuration you like.
I decided to make a wreath shape and cut some green cardboard to go underneath to add some more definition and colour.

Using your glue gun attach each glass to your board. It only took a few dabs of glue on the underside of each one to secure them well.

I used our washi tape around the edges of our boards to give them a nicer more finished look then used some of our letter stickers to decorate them a little more.
Using your craft knife make small holes in each corner and thread through your string/twine so the calendar can be hung up.

I decided not to number the cups but to let the girls choose which ones they opened each day. Instead I attached a vinyl blackboard sticker to one corner where they could keep count of how many days were left to go.

The finished calendar.
Each day of December the girls can punch through the tissue paper covering one glass and find the bead inside to add to their Christmas necklace.

This calendar can easily be reused next year by recovering the glasses again.

We have made two of these calendars so they can have them in their rooms if they want to, you could use one board for multiple children though and just add more beads to each glass.

We added a small hook to one side of our calendars to hold some twine. The girls can add their bead each day and then hang it on the hook until their necklace is finished on Christmas Eve.

A beautiful necklace to wear on Christmas Day and a fun way to count down the month of December!