christmas · DIY · Writing

DIY: Star Garland advent calendar (From Abeautifulmess.com)

Hold up your wreath and inspect it for any gaps, which can be filled with leftover foliage. You might also want to print a little around the edge to achieve a strong circular shape. Don’t go overboard though, as you still want a natural look.

For a bit of glam, you could consider adding a few leftover baubles or weaving in some fairy lights. Finally, tie in some ribbon for hanging.

Step One: Decorate the outside of all 25 boxes. I chose to gold leaf rather than paint because I love the shine and texture gold leafing adds. Perfect for the holiday season! This was definitely a time consuming process, though, so if you’re not up for the task, you could choose to brush on paint or liquid gilding, or perhaps spray the boxes with primer and metallic paint.

If you choose to gold leaf the boxes, as I did, you’ll need to make sure you have enough gold leaf sheets for all boxes. I had plenty of sizing and sealant in one gold leaf kit, but I did end up purchasing additional sheets at Michaels to finish all of my boxes. I sliced the sheets into strips to help me conserve them when applying the sheets to the sides of the boxes.

To apply gold leaf, brush a coat of sizing onto the box, let the sizing dry a bit (wait about 15 minutes), then lay sheets of gold leaf onto the sticky sizing. Use a fine cloth to burnish the gold leaf onto the box, and try not to handle too much with your fingers. The oils from your hand will cause the metal to tarnish. Seal the gold leaf as soon as possible.

Work with just a few boxes or lids at a time, as letting the sizing sit for too long will make them less tacky, making it difficult for the gold leaf to adhere to the boxes. I found working with 4-5 boxes or lids as a time was a good amount for the time it took to apply the gold leaf.

Photo from: https://abeautifulmess.com click the picture to go on their blog and find some more fun craft projects to do this Christmas

Materials:
-star boxes—I used these 4″ paper mache boxes as well as these 2″ paper mache boxes.

-twine, string, or ribbon

–eyelet screws

–gold liquid gilding or gold leaf kit (leaf sheets + sizing + sealer—I prefer this for texture.)

-acrylic paint

–numbered stamp set or number stickers (I ended up using these American Crafts stickers.)

-ink pad (if using stamps)

Tools:
-scissors

-brush

-fine cloth (if using gold leaf)

Decorate the outside of all 25 boxes. I chose to gold leaf rather than paint because I love the shine and texture gold leafing adds. Perfect for the holiday season! This was definitely a time consuming process, though, so if you’re not up for the task, you could choose to brush on paint or liquid gilding, or perhaps spray the boxes with primer and metallic paint.

If you choose to gold leaf the boxes, as I did, you’ll need to make sure you have enough gold leaf sheets for all boxes. I had plenty of sizing and sealant in one gold leaf kit, but I did end up purchasing additional sheets at Michaels to finish all of my boxes. I sliced the sheets into strips to help me conserve them when applying the sheets to the sides of the boxes.

To apply gold leaf, brush a coat of sizing onto the box, let the sizing dry a bit (wait about 15 minutes), then lay sheets of gold leaf onto the sticky sizing. Use a fine cloth to burnish the gold leaf onto the box, and try not to handle too much with your fingers. The oils from your hand will cause the metal to tarnish. Seal the gold leaf as soon as possible.

Work with just a few boxes or lids at a time, as letting the sizing sit for too long will make them less tacky, making it difficult for the gold leaf to adhere to the boxes. I found working with 4-5 boxes or lids as a time was a good amount for the time it took to apply the gold leaf

Paint the interior of the boxes. It took me 3 coats of acrylic paint to completely cover the paper mache boxes I used.

Step Three: Add numbers to the box lids. I had intended to use stamps for this, but I couldn’t get any of my ink pads to work with the shiny metal surface created by gold leafing the lids. So I decided to use stickers instead. If you’re a scrapbooker like me, you’ll probably have a lot of random numbers from old sticker sets that you could use in combination with each other to come up with enough ones and twos for all of the days in an advent calendar

Thread the string or ribbon through the hooks and tie it in place. I spaced my stars about 5″ from each other.

Fill the boxes and hang up the garland in your home. I chose to hang my garland on a leaning ladder because I sadly don’t have a mantel to decorate. But I love the way it looks draped on the ladder!

Most of the lids fit snugly onto the boxes, but the looser lids are secured with clear tape. I might use tape on all of the boxes to discourage curious little hands from taking premature peeks at the surprises inside.

Day 1: Light-up Christmas lights necklaces

Day 2: Paint—Paint mini stain glass window decals

Day 3: Mini marshmallows—Drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie together

Day 4: Mini book—Unwrap a new Christmas book to read together

Day 5: Chocolates

Day 6: Colored beads—Make bracelets with elastic string

Day 7: Mini teddy bears

Day 8: Mini wooden peg people—Kids paint the pegs and Mom adds faces

Day 9: Life Saver candies

Day 10: Dice—Family game night

Day 11: Mini gingerbread house—Decorate gingerbread houses

Day 12: Mini deer figurines

Day 13: Mini wreath—Make pipe cleaner wreaths for the dollhouse

Day 14: Chocolates

Day 15: Jingle bells—Make jingle bell necklaces

Day 16: Life Saver candies

Day 17: Mini Christmas light bulb ornaments—Drive around to look at Christmas lights

Day 18: Mini gingerbread ornament—Decorate gingerbread cookies

Day 19: Dice—Family game night

Day 20: Wooden snowflakes—Paint snowflakes to make magnets for the refrigerator

Day 21: Disco ball ornament—Family dance party to Christmas party playlist

Day 22: Mini marshmallows—Drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie together

Day 23: Mini stand mixer—Bake cookies with Mom

Day 24: Mini pillow—Camp out in the living room beside the Christmas tree

Day 25: Mini book—Read the Christmas story together

I’d love to hear what kinds of things you put in your advent calendars. Since this is my first year making one, I have a feeling it’s on the ambitious side, and each subsequent year will be simpler and perhaps full of more candy! Ha! But we’ll see. Wish me luck! –Mandi

Credits //Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson.

Read more at https://www.idealhome.co.uk/christmas-ideas/how-to-make-a-christmas-wreath-christmas-craft-idea-christmas-73442#cH2dHfjzdle3qKbS.99

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