Every single day my daughter asks 'How many more sleeps 'til Christmas?' So I decided to make an Advent calendar with the girls to help them countdown. We even put M&Ms in it so they get a little treat every day! I told some of you I would put instructions on how to make it... there are TONS of examples on the web, and a Tutorial from SCS. But here is how the girls and I did ours.
Mini Muffin tin
Red spray paint (or any color you want)
Cardstock in christmas colors
Patterned paper (if you want)
Asst stickers and diecuts or stamped images
Xryron magnet/laminate cartridge
hammer and nail
large eyelets (optional)
1. Measure the diameter of the muffin holes on your tin. Make sure its the mini muffin tin with 24 spots (for the 24 days until Christmas). Using the nail and hammer, punch two holes to hang your ribbon from. I used a hammer and masonry nail because I couldn't find anything else that would punch the metal. So use whatever you can to get a hole in the dang thing.
2. Spray paint your muffin tin with whichever color you have chosen. Please spray paint and let dry outside so you don't get sick from the fumes!
3. While the tin is drying, cut out 24 circles that are the same diameter (or a bit bigger) than your muffin holes. You can cut from cardstock or patterned paper, whichever you decide. My holes were a little smaller than 2.25 inches so I wanted a 2.25 inch circle. Of course of all the punches and diecut machines I have (Cricut, Sizzix, Cuttlebug) I couldn't find a 2.25" circle, so I got my CM Circle Cutter out and handcut 26 green circles! Yes, I know that was two more than I needed, but I messed up a few :P
4. Cut smaller circles out of contrasting cardstock or patterned paper. For my second white circle I used a 1.75" circle punch. You could even cut a scalloped circle, or a square, or any other shape you wanted. This will be the base for your numbers or images.
5. Glue the two circles together with the smaller one matted on the large one. If you are going to stamp on the circles, this would be the time to do it.
6. Next, I ran all 24 circles through my Xryon 510 using the magnetic/laminate cartridge. This cartridge puts a magnet on one the back and laminates the top. If you don't have this machine... stop right now, you cannot finish this project. LOL! JUST KIDDING!!!! You can buy magnet pieces or sheets to glue your circles on. The muffin tin is metal, so magnets would be best, but you could even put velcro on the pieces and the tin to get it to adhere.
7. I hand cut the circles (again) and had a laminated magnet. Next was the girls favorite part.
8. I got all my Jolee's and other 3D stickers out, and diecuts and some buttons (the gingerbread people) and let the girls go to town. I used my Ultimate glue to glue them on, even though they were stickers so they wouldn't fall off. This stuff is the best... I need to order more!! I seriously love it, it is like superglue, but it dries totally clear, so you can even glue down clear buttons and transparencies and such! Okay, enough plugging the glue... lol.
If you don't have, or don't want stickers and diecuts, you could put numbers on the circles instead for the countdown. Or (as long as its not laminated yet) you could stamp and color in images. Be creative, its your countdown!
9. Set large eyelets in the holes you punched in the tin in step one. I just glued mine in as I couldn't get them to set without smashing the eyelet. You could skip this step if you want.
10. String ribbon through the holes (and/or eyelets) and tie. I strung through and tied knots, and then tied bows with the same ribbon and sewed the bows on the knot so they face out and aren't twisted. VOILA! Hang your calendar on the wall and have fun counting down!
The magnets aren't the strongest, so we could only get about 10 M&Ms in the tins so the tops wouldn't fall off, but the girls now get a treat every morning until Christmas (what was I thinking!!! 24 days of chocolate!!)