Hello! Today I have a fun step-by-step Sizzix tutorial to share, for an interactive Advent calendar. Last year, I made a chest of drawers, which I use as embellishment storage. When I made it, I thought it would be fun to make a larger version as an Advent calendar, but didn't get to it in time.
If you don't want to make a calendar, you can turn this project into a great storage unit, by just using different patterned papers.
When we were small, my Mom made Advent calendars for me and my sister. Mine was a large Santa-train wall-hanging, hers was a freestanding fabric tree. Mom bought and wrapped small gifts and sweets and we got to open one each day, with the biggest one being on Christmas Eve, which is the main day when we celebrate Christmas. I have very fond memories of that calendar, and wanted my son to have something similar. This calendar has 24 drawers (10 x 11 in.), but you can easily make 25 drawers, by simply adding one more column, so that you have 5 x 5 drawers instead of 4 x 6.
This is all constructed using one die, Eileen Hull's Candy Drawer, which I love. Here are more projects I made with the Candy Drawer: Chest of Drawers, Shadow Box, Memory Game, and Gift Box.
I used cream mat board, you can use chipboard too, but I really like mat board. Die cut 24 (or 25) drawers, which consist of three parts. The Scoreboards dies both cuts and scores the material, which makes assembly easy. It is an XL die, so you need the extended cutting pads.
Apply strong adhesive where shown. I used Wonder Tape, but later realised I didn't have enough at home. Instead of using tape to attach the drawer to the base, I used glue and place a heavy book on top until the glue was dry. The two side pieces, on the drawer itself and on its box (the piece at the bottom) are easier to adhere with strong tape. Repeat until you have 24 (or 25) drawers and boxes.
Measure and cut a length of mat board, make it a bit longer than what you need, but try to get the width right. It should be 6.2 cm (2.5 in).
For this I used wet glue, to give myself a bit of time to rearrange pieces if necessary. When the Wonder Tape is stuck, there is nothing you can do.
Start by gluing the boxes at the base of the calendar. If you are making a calendar for 25 days, you need to glue five boxes. If you are making one for 24 days, glue 4 boxes. I glued two at a time and used clamps and a heavy book to weigh them down.
Continue, one row at a time, until you have completed the calendar. Remember to place adhesive in between the boxes too. Don't worry if it is a little bit uneven (check my lower right piece).
Measure carefully and cut side pieces for the remaining three sides. You could just use patterned paper, which I did on my chest of drawers, but since the Advent Calendar is so large, I wanted the extra stability. Glue one side at a time and use clamps to keep it together.
Paint the edges with Frayed Burlap Distress Paint.
When dry, sand the edges to give the calendar a worn look.
Paint the front edges too. If you want to you can paint the boxes on the inside too, but I didn't think it was necessary.
To prevent the drawers from falling through to the other side, I cut two pieces of mat board to make a wall for the back.
The vintage Christmas card images in Tim Holtz Seasonal Collage Mini Paper Stash were perfect for this project. Cut out and ink the edges.
The other side of the box. If your calendar isn't too heavy (once filled), you can hang it on the wall. Mine will stand on a shelf.
On the top, there are another three images. Remember that you don't have to make this into an Advent Calendar, it would be a really great storage unit for small embellishments.
Happy Christmas Crafting!!
Surfaces: Sizzix Little Sizzles Cream Mat Board 6 x 13; Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Seasonal Collage Mini Paper Stash, Seasonal Paper Stash
Dies: Sizzix: Candy Drawer
Ink: Distress Ink: Gathered Twigs
Paint: Distress Paint: Frayed Burlap, Antique Linen
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Bingo Game Pieces
Tools: Sizzix Big Shot