Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of Christmas traditions. Because my parents were divorced, I spent Christmases in different places, and when I was younger, my dad was deployed for a couple Christmases. It’s bittersweet because even though I don’t have any traditions from when I was younger, I still have a ton of lovely Christmas memories with lots of different people in several different places around the world.
One thing that I wish I would have done when I was younger is have a countdown to Christmas advent calendar. Companies have gotten so creative with advent calendars, and there are even advent calendars with wine and Harry Potter socks! Yes, please!
This year, I wanted to start a tradition of using an advent calendar, so I decided to make one for my boyfriend. There are tons of amazing ideas on Pinterest, but I decided to make a simple one for my first one, and I love how it turned out. Inside of each slot, I put a piece of chocolate and also a favorite memory that my boyfriend and I have had together. I’m such a cheeseball, I know.
24 toilet paper rolls
1-2 sheets of green tissue paper
1 sheet of brown tissue paper or kraft paper
Green and brown acrylic craft paint + paint brushes
Hot glue gun + glue sticks
Whatever you would like to put inside (I used different chocolates and papers with cheesy memories)
1// Paint 21 of the toilet paper rolls green.
2// Paint the remaining 3 toiler paper rolls brown.
3// While the toilet paper rolls are drying, cut the tissue paper into squares (about 3×3 inches). You’ll need 21 green squares and 3 brown squares. (I had some difficulty finding brown tissue paper, so I ended up using kraft paper since I already some from wrapping gifts.)
4// Once the paint has dried, use the double-sided tape to line the top of the toilet paper roll.
5// Loosely place a piece of tissue paper with the matching color of a toilet paper roll and push down on the sides to make the tissue paper stick to the toilet paper roll. Repeat this until all 24 rolls are covered. (Since the kraft paper was so thick, instead of using double-sided tape, I used the hot glue gun to glue the kraft paper to the toilet paper roll.)
6// Number each of the toilet paper rolls with the numbered stickers. I used a combo of actual numbers and writing the numbers out with letters. Be careful not to press too hard on the tissue paper with the stickers or it may rip.
7// Using the hot glue gun, glue the toilet paper rolls to the foam board. Don’t forget to put the goodies inside! (This was honestly the hardest part of the whole process. In hindsight,
it might be easier to hot glue the toilet paper rolls down first, but then you’ll have less room to secure the tissue paper onto the toilet paper rolls. Luckily, I only burned my finger once.)
8// Decorate as you’d like. You can add a star or some glitter or stickers or anything that suits your fancy.
Have you ever used an advent calendar before?