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Something I’m not too fond of is making crafty type things. Ok, I actually like making crafts, but not so much with my kids. Yes, I know that this qualifies me for worst parent of the year, but making crafts that actually look good* with a four year old can be very frustrating at the best of times. If we’re just painting or doing something where the end result doesn’t really matter everything is fine, but things that are more complicated rarely end up being fun for anyone…well, in my house anyway and we all tend to be a bit stubborn around here. Despite all that I still do the more complicated crafts once in a while and yesterday was one of those times and we made a home made advent calendar.

When I was younger my mother always made an advent calendar on a big piece of bristol board and cut out 25 different Christmas shapes which we would pick out of a bag each morning until Christmas. I loved doing this as a kid and thought my kids might like it too.

For some reason finding bristol board around here isn’t as easy as it was in Nova Scotia and yesterday I had no luck so I ended up buying an artist canvas. I also bought some tags and a gift bag to cut the 25 shapes out of, glitter glue pens and stickers for decorating, and a ruler.


Normally I would just go to town and draw my plan out directly on the canvas, but because crooked lines and oddly measured things are also a normal thing for me I decided to do a smaller calendar – to scale – on a piece of paper. I worked out all the measurements and everything fell into place nicely.


Then it was time to translate this to the canvas.


At this point I realized that all that “to scale” measuring did me no good because the 5 boxes that were supposed to be 7×7 cm ended up being four 7×7 and one 7.5×7.6 cm.


A little adjusting here and there and all the boxes ended up being somewhat even.


Next my helpful assistant came and we decorated the frame with stickers.


The glitter was next and I managed to run out of red and had to finish the date boxes with a dark orange, but you don’t even notice so I guess that’s OK.


Now we cut the 25 shapes out.


I ended up only having 22 or something so I went out later and bought a few more tags and we’re all set now.


This is the point where I realize that my other daughter who woke up from her nap half way through the decorating is suddenly too quiet. I turn around to find that she had gotten into some markers and had helped herself to a snack. A snack which just happened to be the last double chocolate muffin we were saving for Andy.


Then we left the calendar to dry over night and the next morning we had a fancy pants advent calendar that will hopefully last for a few years.


I think E is going to love this little tradition as much as I did. We already had a “practice run” and she can’t wait to do the first one tomorrow morning.

*I know. I know. Crafts with kids don’t have to “look good” and I’m not some nazi about it or anything, but sometimes when you put a lot of effort into making something it’s nice to have it come out looking like more then a bunch of scribbles, paint blobs and random bits and pieces glued everywhere.


6 Responses

  1. It looks great! I love that you documented the whole thing with photos. The look on your face is great–reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit.

  2. yay for traditions handed down from generation to generation. It is one of my favorite memories – I can still see you two as clear as if it were yesterday. The next favorite is the Conway Twitty Christmas album cover thing.

    love ya

  3. That looks so fun! I’m sure it will be a great memory for your girls every year when you get it out.

  4. Um…..is E wearing a grass skirt in the last pic?

    Very cute story.

  5. Amy, nope it’s a fairy skirt. 🙂

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