This beer advent calendar is made from cardboard shipping tubes and a poster board printout, and makes a killer gift idea for your beer loving friend. This is a fun twist on the boring chocolate advent calendars I had growing up that were never very satisfying - to eat or to open. As an adult, my tastes are more refined. I still like chocolate, but I have a new mistress, and her name is beer.
Advent calendars being a wintertime seasonal item, I themed my beer advent calendar after the classic Windows game Ski Free. Also, my friend that is receiving this beer advent calendar is a huge computer nerd and would appreciate the nod.
Here's what I used to make mine:
Step 1: Cut tubes + glue
Beverage cans in North America are typically 4.5" high x 2.4" diameter. My tubes were about 3" in diameter, and each tube was cut into 5" long sections using a sharp hobby knife. With my 2 tubes I had enough for 24 equal sections and had two small remaining portions that were glued together to make 25 evenly high tube sections.
After cutting I glued 4 rows of 6 and let the glue dry completely. Then I stacked the rows on top of each other, staggered; resulting in a tidy matrix of tubes.
Step 2: Adding a 25th spot
Totally break all the rules and make your advent calendar as long as you want. Do it, the recipient is sure to thank you. I put my 25th day on the end of one of my rows and glued it in place. Then, the entire matrix was bound in duct tape as an extra measure to ensure it all stays together.
Step 3: Encase
Step 4: Make calendar cover
Being as this is a winter gift and I live in a mountainous area I chose a ski scene from my favourite classic Windows game, Ski Free. Since the recipient of this calendar grew up programming on old Windows machines, I know he'll appreciate the theme. it's nerdy nostalgia.
I made mine by opening an image editing suite and creating a new canvas. Using the dimensions I took earlier to make the box for the tube matrix the canvas has to be large enough for the front and sides. The first picture a layer superimposed to show face dimension and the cut lines at the corners. I lined up the image with the box underneath by marking the corners with a bare tree, an image seldom used elsewhere in the image. Once the dimensions were set I made a circle the same exterior diameter as the cardboard tubes I used. Then I copied them to recreate the physical matrix I made. Numbers from 1-24 were randomly assigned to each circle. My extra 25th spot was numbered specifically for that location and then decorated with a large Yeti.
I have included a blank version of my Ski Free image, and a sized PDF you are free to download and use. The PDF can also be edited in some image suites (Photoshop, GIMP), this file has all the layers I used in creating my image.
Step 5: Populate calendar
I left my 25th day open for a little surprise. Something other than beer.
Step 6: My extra day
Since my advent design was Ski Free I thought it only fitting that on the 25th day the Ski Free Yeti would come out and attack. After 24 beers and being attacked by a Yeti you may be feeling a little rough, so I included some Pepto Bismol and acetaminophen (paracetamol).
Step 7: Glue cover + back
I started by covering the back and sides of my frame with white poster board. You can make errors here and not worry too much as the front cover printout will wrap around the sides and hide most imperfections.
I used white glue on the tops of all the cardboard tubes. Cover as many tops as possible with a small bead of glue. If a small amount of glue falls inside the tubes it's not a big deal. Then, run a thick bead of glue along the outside frame.
Carefully line up the printout markers (as seen in Step 4 - mine were the dead trees) with the corners of the box and gently press in place. Since cut cardboard tubes had some variation the poster did not sit perfectly flat. I placed a few heavy towels over the cover for weight and let glue dry.
The corners were cut according to our 45 degree markings (as designed in Step 4). Theses edges are then glued to the sides.
Step 8: Incisions
Step 9: * bonus* first attempt
I have seen in some restaurants and bars when they ship new glassware they are packed in boxes that would work perfectly for this. Short, evenly segmented squares in cardboard. I gave up after a week of asking and went with tubes instead. Patience, good quality cardboard and a sharp knife may make this option viable for some.
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