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 that cost… )