I can’t take credit for this idea, but that just gives me the opportunity to praise it even more. Isn’t this clever?! I don’t know who first looked at their muffin pan and said, “24 cups…24 days to Christmas – it’s PERFECT!” but it really is. We recently had a crafting night at church and this was one of the projects. I didn’t even hesitate: I love advent calendars and I’ve always wanted to make one, but it’s been stuffed in my ‘eventually/never’ pile. I wasn’t going to pass up such a cute one with all the pieces ready to assemble!
By the way, you know all those paper projects you see online, perfectly and uniformly cut and put together? I’m onto you, ladies, I know your secret.
The secret? Paper punches. Really, it explains so much.
This project is very simple. You need 24 squares of stiff paper in various colors, numbers 1-24 on circles of white paper, and small strips of stick-on magnets. Embellishments like rhinestones, ribbons, snowflakes, hearts, and stars are optional, as is the “Christmas Countdown” strip at the top. We cut out our squares with a scalloped square paper punch, much like this one from Joann’s. Just glue the number circles to the squares, stick the magnet to the back, and presto! Advent calendar. You haven’t even damaged your muffin pan, so if you like, you can continue cooking with it the other eleven months of the year…although it probably won’t be as clean next year if you do that.
Now, an advent calendar is no fun without something to pull out each day. A mini muffin cup – even a deep one, like the ones we used – doesn’t offer very much room for candy or toys. After a little thought, I decided on miniature ornaments, which I of course plan to make. We’ll get a little tree for a table or shelf, and each day we’ll pull out an ornament to decorate with. The nice thing about that, as well, is that you don’t have to finish all 24 ornaments by December 1st. You only need one by the first, and another by the second, and so on. Fortunately, there’s plenty of time for that still.
We’re headed to Michael’s for ornament supplies today! (I’m excited, I haven’t been in a Michael’s for years!)