Homemade Advent Calendar!

Like many folks, there are people I won’t be seeing for Christmas this year. One is my twin sister, who I have never in my 36 years been without for this long. It has been tough. To keep myself busy, and keep a smile on her face, I conspired with my mother, son, and younger sister to fill in a completely custom advent calendar. We all provided a few days’ worth of gifts tailored exactly to her interests, and I designed and assembled the calendar frame for it all.

Only one item wouldn’t fit into the finished calendar, hence the separate box.

This was a huge labor of love! If you’re interested in seeing how it all came together, here are some in process pics:

First, I built a five sided box for each individual gift, all the same height.

Then I arranged them into a rough rectangle and built a frame out of foam board and hot glue. This I wrapped around the sides with a strip of cardboard, then glued a big piece of cardboard on for the bottom. The individual boxes were then glued into place in their slots.

Then, the tricky part — designing the front. I used poster board, and measured each opening and cut them by hand. If the calendar was smaller I could have done it on my Cameo, but I don’t plan ahead that well! I left each “door” with the corners un-cut, to keep the doors closed.

Then I decorated the doors with their respective day numbers cut out using my Cameo. I slipped a little washi tape tag into each door to hopefully aid in opening.

Finally, I decorated the edges of the front with more washi tape, and duct taped it in place.

Then I cut pieces of cardboard to match each side dimension. I hinged them together with duct tape and then covered in wrapping paper, then glued it around the base. The excess wrapping paper was folded around for a neat finish on the back. None of which I have pictures of, so you’ll just have to bare with me.

I honestly am amazed that this crazy idea worked so well. I’ve learned a lot that I would apply if I was ever crazy enough to do this again. But for now, I can’t wait to see her reaction! I hope it brings her so much joy this season. And I also hope that it doesn’t get destroyed in shipping. I packed that thing so carefully, and paid a buttload for it to get across the country. (It was 15 pounds when done, I’ll let you imagine how much :dollar: that cost… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Fingers crossed!!

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Sooo fantastic! Well done on creating such an exciting experience for your sister :smiley:

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What a cool idea! I LOVE THIS!

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This turned out so good! What a lovely gift for a loved one. :heart: :heart: :heart:

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This is so very very cool and thoughtful! How could she not feel loved when this beauty arrives? :heart:

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What a lovely custom advent calendar!
And extra special since you collaborated with your family to fill it with goodies she will love :slight_smile:

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How clever!

What if Amazon offered an advent calendar gift card? It would have a cute picture on the front, and a small amount of money would be added each day… Just thinking. Don’t tell Amazon!

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WOW! This is super impressive!

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What a sweet and thoughtful gift!

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That’s glorious! :grin:

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Ohmygosh, this is incredible! Not only the beautiful finished piece but the thought and love you put into it. I bet it will be her most memorable gift this year…maybe any year! Well done, it’s beautiful.

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This is amazing!! In the fist picture I didn’t think it was so big!

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WOWZERS! What a fun and caring idea that you executed so amazingly!

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So, did the calendar survive transit? What did your sister think?

This is amazing and so well detailed. I love this idea and am super impressed with the time, thought, and effort you put into making this! I love all the numbers and the fact that they run in different directions. It’s really fun to look at!

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To my complete surprise, it arrived unharmed! She was so thrilled and sent us all an “unboxing” video each night of what she opened that day. It was such a fun way to stay connected with her and the whole family during December.

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Your sister must have been amazed, I am sure she had a thrill doing her unboxing video. It’s also neat that the rest of your family got involved too. What is the name of the number set that you used? Or is it something that comes with the Cameo?

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The Cameo lets you use any font, so that is just one I found online. Very handy!