Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Advent Calendar

Growing up in Germany for several years, we celebrated some traditions that aren't as common in the US. One of them was the use of an Advent Calendar. Though I have noticed that the chocolate versions have since made their way into our stores. As a kid the Advent calendars really served more as a yummy count down to Christmas than any spiritual reminders of the season (my chocolate never quite made it all the way until Christmas, lol). I wanted to find a way to combine both the fun of a candy/chocolate calendar with the story of the birth of Christ.
My solution was a mini muffin pan calendar. The concept of the muffin pan is not my own, I have seen several others out there. One of my favorite parts about it is that is re-usable!
The muffin tin is made by Wilton and I got it at AC Moore last year. I also purchased a couple sheets of magnets there as well which became the covers for the holes. I cut squares of magnets to 2 1/4" square, sprayed them with adhesive and adhered paper I had cut to the same size. I have to say the spray adhesive was the way to go here. It was fast and relatively mess-free, no glue squeezing out the sides and it dried quickly. I used several papers from the Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly 8" paper pack.

As you can see by the close up, I stamped the numbers right onto the paper. I used some Karen Foster snap stamps that are no longer available, but there are lots of number stamps out there. My magnets were on the thin side and I was afraid too much bulk would cause them to slide off. I did experiment a bit with some matching Cosmo Cricket adhesive chipboard pieces. They were light enough so I added them on about half the squares.
Here is a peek into the hole...
It is the perfect size for a Hershey's kiss, some Starburst or gumballs. But along with the candy, I plan to print up scripture verses to tuck inside. Verses about the wise men, the angels and the various parts of the Christmas story. I may also include some friendly reminders about how they can serve others this season. You know...like "don't hit your brother" or "take out the trash without being asked".
Our family is looking at ways to get less sucked into the commercial aspects and be more focused on God's gift to us. It seems especially difficult this week as Black Friday seems to be all you hear and read about. Baby steps I guess.
In all, this project took less than 2 hours start to finish. Probably more like an hour. There is time left for you to make one for your own family. What a fun way to prepare your kids for Christmas!
Thanks for stopping by!

15 comments:

Julie said...

What a wonderful project, Tracy! So bright and lovely!

I always loved advent calendars growing up--my Mom always made something for us, and I've always had them for my kids--love those chocolate calendars!

We're trying to go less commercial this year, too! The hard economic times are actually good in way--helping us to focus more on the Savior's birth instead of "stuff"--not such a bad thing...!

JeanFB said...

Tracy, this is awesome!! I love the idea of including the scripture. The advent calendars I used to have growing up always had the story of advent on the inside (back) of the door, along with the picture in the traditional spot (actually, I think most of the calendars that I had were made in Germany!). This is gorgeous and clever - such a treasure. TFS!!

Diana said...

Dude! This is so awesome. Beautiful beautiful! Way to stick to the important parts of the holiday.

ChristineCreations said...

Being German descent...we totally do advent calendars, I grew up doing it, so to see this adorable one is such a treat Tracy, it's beautifully done! Boy if I had more time....this just combines the truth of Christmas with the sweetness for kids. Awesome job!

Erica said...

I love this project. I have seen it done on a cookie sheet but never with muffin tins. The muffin tins are the perfect size to hold the goodies.

I see you are in the Buffalo area. I am in Kenmore. Are you near me?

Laura O'Donnell said...

this is a great idea!

Yipee! Thanks for coming for a looksi. said...

absolutely brilliant Tracy!!! I'm on to it!!! Thanks. I love the colors you used and the accompaniments every so often. Love the inspiration ideas. Nice time for praise and gratitude notes too!

Regina said...

hallo Tracy
habe gerade deinen Blog gefunden. Ich hoffe, du kannst meinen Kommentar lesen. Es ist schön, am anderen Ende der Welt eine Deutsche zu finden!
Bin ganz begeistert von deinen fantastischen Werken!
Der Adventskalender ist wunderschön geworden! Eine ganz tolle Idee!
Würde mich freuen, wenn du mich auf meinem Blog besuchen kommst.

Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland
Regina

stampqueen said...

what a great idea - hadn't seen this before - too bad my kiddos are too old for the cute stuff....

diane (cookiestamper) said...

So cute, Tracy! I have been wanting to try this with the cookie sheets but never got around to it since I have one I sewed many years ago. It always goes to the bottom of the to-do list and then I forget about it till the next year. LOL. But I'm glad I forgot 'cause I like the muffin tin idea. Great job!

Kirsten said...

Great idea! I totally cased you and gave credit on my blog. I am sooooooooo excited to give these to neighbors and friends! Thank you for sharing!!!

Crystal (crystalscraftingandrambling) said...

Wow, what a great idea!!
Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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vixen Made said...

Great idea! I love that used a muffin pan! I also shared this on my blog: http://www.vixenmade.com/2012/11/20-adorable-advent-ideas.html