This time of year, kids can hardly wait for the man in the red suit to bring toys to all good girls and boys. One way to help kids count the days is with an Advent calendar. But why settle for an old-fashioned paper one? Make a 3-D sculpture that can hold a small surprise for every day between now and Christmas Eve! Plus, it's a great way to upcycle all those Altoids tins you've been saving.
What you need:
You can also read this tutorial on my blog: http://sassycrafter.blogspot.com/2008/11/christmas-countdown.html.
Step 1: Prepare the tree
Arrange 24 tins in a tree shape on a large piece of paper. Trace around the tree and around each tin. Cut out the tree pattern and use then transfer it onto the particle board. (Note: I actually did the layout directly on the MDF, but it's easier in the long run to create a pattern.)
Cut out the tree using the jigsaw, then sand rough edges and wipe off residual dust.
Spray paint the tree and the tins, adding extra coats if necessary.
Step 2: Attach the tins
Figure out which tin goes where by referring to your pattern, and then attach the tins to the tree with two-part epoxy. Apply number decals to the tins, add some candy or other surprises, and then count the days until Santa arrives!
Step 3: Count the days 'till Christmas!
Add a treat to each tin and count down the days until Christmas.
(Note: You could add decorative paper to the inside of each tin to give the tree a more festive look as the tins are each opened.)