The commercial advent calendars are everywhere some are paper or more ornate but they all lack one thing. Your desire to provide much more for families: education, virtues, values, accomplishments, creativity and cherished family keepsakes. You can custom make your own on varied themes to suit your style and are multi-functional. The idea is to create a multi-purpose treasure that can be applies as a display, calendar, curio, ornament organizer and record of your families and friends most cherished times regardless the season. There are two functioning advent curios one that is very general used each year or one more specific to be modified year to year. The choice to spend money to make a more permanent piece to keep or recycle items around the home to make every year that is disposable just to provide a tradition of activity for children.
Wood or Craft Paper Curio cubby Shelf
Nesting boxes either shaker style wood or paper style
Multipurpose glue or hot glue gun
Ornament hooks & string
Pictures, Scrap Book Image paper and photos
Ribbon, String Beads, other Craft trinkets
Craft marker, Craft pens or stencils
Collection of your choice: Bible verses, proverbs, Lines from favorite books or even chores
Journal or composition notebook (optional)
Supplies can be found in many craft stores and even online. To save money you can even use broken Christmas ornaments, jewelry and old toys. You can even recycle used gift boxes and other odds and ends to make. Some supplies I have even scoured from yard sales, flea markets and even curbs during special neighborhood trash cleanup. The best resources are free from nature like leaves, seashells and nutshells.
Choice your curio shelf and boxes:
1) You can choose any combination cubby shelves you desire, or multiple to attach together to create a continuous collection for each year. The choices are based on your budget to go with wood and cardboard forms from craft stores. If you are recycler use shoeboxes, salvaged curio shelves and even wire and newspaper paste forms work.
2) Ensure the boxes can fit in each cubby the boxes can come in various shapes and sizes. You can glue wedges to hold round or heart shapes in each cubby. For the boxes you can buy the craft store versions or recycle old cardboard jewelry boxes.
3) Options you can attach a wall mount hangers on the back of your curio shelves or leave plan to tabletop display. The table top display options is much better if you decide to add on each ear attaching a new shelf for building a cubby per year permanent keepsake display.
4) Inside the back wall of each cubby decorate with either a matching accessory such as photos, stamps, written or painted descriptions for year, or etc. label where each box goes. If there is room on the shelf you can stencil in the name, date etc. The purpose is to keep it organized and create a time record or identity of names and other cherished memories.
1) Paint the shelf and boxes to match your particular style either the classic Christmas colors or favorite theme of winter blue. Yes, you can use glitter an ornate or stenciled words that have important meaning.
2) Decorate the outside and inside with your accessories using a glue or with adult supervision a glue gun. Ensure that any added decorations will not prevent the boxes from closing or fitting into their cubby in the curio shelf.
3) Have enough room in each box to fit items: chocolates, hard candy or even a small gift such as charms for a bracelet.
4) The lids of the boxes you can glue an ornament loop or punch a small hole to thread a ribbon to hang on the tree or ornament tree.
5) The inside of the lids use a marker and write a favorite saying either a poem, proverb, bible verse or line from a favorite book. You can even glue favorite photos or a persons name, positive messages of love, hope and inspirations.
1) Paint or decorate your journal or notebook with stickers and labels.
The finished product:
1) A curio display decoration that is organized to keep all your memories together.
2) An ornament organizer that is custom to your family that also can be expanded for generations.
3) A record of holidays, special moments and valued thoughts or ideas.
4) A means to share accomplishments, encourage good traits and inspire
5) The journal is used to create a written record to go along with your visual record of cherished holiday celebrations enter stories, reflections of the holiday season, photos and how the items placed in your curio mean to you, family and friends.
Here are some themes that you can create with this wonderful DIY craft and it’s not limited to children or the holidays. Be creative and you can do much more even create a treasure that can be displayed year round.
1) Classic Advent Calendar with chores or concepts to be good for children as they accomplish it they get the candy and the lid is hung on the tree to display their success.
3) Children’s photo collection with Santa Clause as a both a combo display and ornament organizer a perfect gift for grandparents and parents alike.
4) Little girl or wife’s jewelry gift record keepsake, it offers a green way of presenting a valued trinket, record the time presented and serves as a vanity jewelry display. It can be presented on a yearly or every five-year Christmas Anniversary gift pending the jewelry item.
5) A display and ornament nativity crÃ¨che, select a larger size and use each cubby to hold individual figurines for a nativity scene. It keeps the items organized, you customize with verses from the bibles first Christmas and create a record of expanding the collection each year. A great gift for a married couple starting out with the baby Jesus a practice done in France.
6) A collection of classic holiday storybook tales theme display and ornament keepsake. Reproduce images or illustrations glued on, favorite lines in the story and include information such as author, date first published. Great gift for book enthusiasts and encourage children’s reading you have stories like the “Polar Express to classics like “A Christmas Carol”. This is not limited to Christmas books but you can do fairy tale themes, favorite author themes and even comic books. “My favorite was the ugly duckling a great story perfect for kids having a hard time fitting in or dealing with school bullies.” Choose a story that fits a special moment or need in life.”
7) Family vacation theme if you travel for the holidays or even the summer you can keep a display record and ornament of memories using such things as photos, stamps from the places traveled and even small souvenirs. Those foreign coins you can’t exchange work well in this curio. As well as natural items from camping trips like pressed flowers.
8) Sports themes keep a record of participation in sports of trips to sporting events and you have a great display and ornament collection of your favorite team using old ticket stubs.
9) Marriage and Anniversaries you have a wonderful keepsake of shared love with photos, messages of love and the record of both good times and bad that as a couple you have outlasted together. You record a calendar of your greatest challenges and triumphs together you can keep a yearly record or five year record your choice. It’s also great for displaying how couples share loves greatest holidays; Christmas, Valentines, Anniversaries and special testimonies in life together.
10) Beer enthusiast you can create one in this theme using advertised beer coasters and bottle caps can even be used to make ornaments.
11) Car enthusiasts those little match box cars or hot wheels after Christmas a mini garage to store their cars, it works well with car enthusiasts as you can display classics and decorate the box with facts of car specs like year model, make and etc.
12) Garden & Kitchen enthusiasts and herb curio present seeds, as gifts with fresh dried herbs in clear plastic globes after Christmas can be used as a kitchen wall decoration. Paint classic herbs or glue reproduction antique images of herbs on the boxes and shelves. Replace the boxes with decorated plastic jars and you have a spice rack. Choose a larger shelf and place four decorated index cards for a recipe curio an index card box for Entrees, Sides, Deserts and Shared Recipes or divide into weeks like a calendar with meal plans great for busy moms.
These are just some of the endless ideas that you can do to keep a calendar of your life, family and valued experiences in one place to be shared with all you love. The idea came from looking at my father’s homemade shelf of our family’s testimony. Something he valued as a skilled carpenter making an elaborate bookcase that had some thirty cubbies to hold journals, albums and other mementos of our family each dedicated to a special family life event.
The thirty cubbies are like a calendar record to my family. This included children, marriage, holidays and celebrations in general. I wish that my camera was capable of sharing this great treasure but by making a smaller one you have a portable and passable treasure to members of your family and friends.
The idea my father had was simple display the things you value the most and openly share the things of great significance with others. These are the greatest treasures in life and they don’t come in boxes nor can be shelved but it sure helps you hold on to them forever and store them safely for years to come.