Sunday, 7 October 2012

Countdown to Christmas - An Advent Chest of Drawers

I am typing this with sticky fingers, so any typos you see are due to my fingers not leaving the keys... Right so I have found my Christmas making mojo (it was hidden behind last year's Christmas cards) and now I am ready to get on with the next project which is a little Advent chest of drawers calendar... Thomas Chippendale watch out!

I don't know about you but I am a sucker for crafting magazines, I love to browse through them, especially when someone I know is in there... better still if I did not expect to see them, take a bow Wendy Massey who is featuring in this month's Craftseller, as one of their "regular designers", well that is really thrilling as Wendy also runs Handmade Monday.  Anyway, at the moment most of the magazines are giving away crafting papers... but I don't make cards or scrapbook and I can only pass on so much which means I have to find a use for it and the Advent chest of drawers is it.
You will need:
24 match boxes... be warned they are hard to find, I cleared out our local newsagent!
Decorative papers... there are tons given away with crafting mags at this time of year
Brass headed paper fasteners (optional) and a map pin
Glue
Ribbon
Ruler
Paper scissors... if you even think of using your fabric scissors, that knock that you hear on the door is me coming to place you on the naughty step, you have been warned.
Heavy card, cornflake boxes work well
In the almost words of Mrs Beaton, first empty your match boxes, yes I realise that Bonfire night is not for more than a month so now you have a challenge to think what we can use them for... a model of the Titanic is not an option, nor is burning down London Bridge.
Put the boxes in eight groups of three, stacked on each other, remove the drawers as we do not want to inadvertently leave them stuck in there.  Glue the external packs together one on top of another, easiest way to do this is to dot  glue on two of  the box tops, you should now have eight groups... if you find that the frames lift then use anything to hand to weight them down.

Whilst they dry, we can move onto the next stage, choose two complementary papers, one will be used on the "drawers" and the other for the sides
Measure the height of the drawer and cut your paper to fit the front of the drawer and extending it just round the corners, dob a little glue on each end... don't over do it or the drawers will not fit back in.  Now I found paper with little hearts and decided not to put handles on my drawers but you can... use the map pin as an awl to poke a hole in the front of your drawer, then use a little pair of scissors to extend the hole, insert your brass headed paper fasteners. 
Now we are going to work on the frame, on each group of three boxes, cover one side with your other paper, start from the middle of the box, cover the side and take it underneath, then glue in place.  When you have completed this, lay out your first layer as shown below.  Then glue the next layer in place on top... you will be left with a hole in the middle... this is fine and you will be covering it up.
You now have a chance to decorate the sides... I found some wooden hearts and stars which I painted red and white to give it a Norwegian Christmas theme and stuck those on the sides... so check out those papers and stamps that you have and start decoupaging those blank spaces, think snowflakes, Christmas trees, mittens, boots, candy canes and gingerbread men.  
Make sure that you place them towards the sides of your box.  Insert the drawers and number them randomly, 1 to 24 ready for your little surprises.
Cut two squares from your card, a little larger than the frame you have created, cover these with paper...ensure you take the paper over the edges, this is particularly important for the top section.  
Glue or stick the the frame in place in the centre of your pieces of card.  When it has dried/set, tie up your little chest of drawers with ribbon... yes, you guessed it I raided the Jane Means ribbon hoard, nothing like red and white ribbons to say Christmas.
Finally fill the drawers... you might use chocolate coins or a really great idea is a set of promises for the recipients, if you have children, then how about "Today we will make Christmas cookies", or "Today you will go and see Fr Christmas", you get the idea.

So if you are looking for inspiration for Christmas, take a look at Handmade Monday, you can bet that Wendy and the other posters are already in the swing!

28 comments:

Wendy said...

I really love that idea Ros. I think older kids might even like to make their own, too. Thanks for your lovely mention x

Cocoa & Heart said...

Wow, this takes me back ! We used to make these at home, but then it was easier to get the match boxes - I remember saving them since usually september.

Kate said...

What a great idea!

Highland Monkey's said...

Such a pretty box.

Lyn said...

Wonderful advent calendar and I like the idea of filling it with promises rather than chocolate.

Mimi and Cakes said...

What a clever idea. You have the patience of a saint Ros!

tickledpinkcrafts said...

Brilliant! So clever!

say it said...

What a fab idea. It must have taken ages to make, but it looks amazing.

Made in Suisse said...

Loving the use of matchboxes...very clever!

CatkinJane said...

Great idea :)

MyTurquoiseQueen said...

A beautiful project. Now you just have to fill it, and keep the children away from it until Dec 1st... x

Ali said...

Wonderful advent box and a great tutorial. I had to wonder though. What have you done with all those matches? Hope your Christmas mojo continues.
Ali x

Free Spirit Designs said...

what a fun idea! and a great tutorial too :)

i've been using craft magazine papers this week too, its lovely to see how others are using them! x

Helen said...

Ros i love it! What a fantastic idea. I have been thinking of making an advent calendar for sometime. We have a lovely wooden one with ornaments in each of the numbered draws, but this would make a really fun one too. And quite a challenge to come up with 25 gifts...maybe something for the future when my girls are a bit bigger...:)

For Keep's Sake said...

Love love love!! It looks fab!!! :o)

fatmonica said...

I shall be out buying matchboxes at the weekend.What a fabulous idea!

Craftgirl Seventyeight said...

What a clever idea! And so festive! I wish I had the time to make two of these for my husband's kids - but then I would have trouble finding things to put in them!

Crafted by Carly said...

What a fantastic project! And a fantastic blog, too!!! I'm glad I discovered you! :-)
Carly
x

Wendy Poole said...

Was really suprised when reading further down the page that you made it from Matchboxes.

They colours you picked are really pretty too.

knitnrun4sanity said...

This is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing the great tutorial too.

Picto said...

Another great idea Ros, something I will make with my grandson when he's a little older, mmm now what can we do with all those matches?

Jan x

Clare Lewis said...

What a wonderful idea thank you, I'm so fed up with all the commercialised advents around now days. I might try making this with my little one and she can still fill it with chocolate

Kathryn (FreeXmasCrafts) said...

Love, love, love this! One of the most original calendars I've seen in awhile. : )

Love To Cook said...

You can get matchboxes on Amazon, I got a pack of 50 (perfect since I have 2 kids :)) for around $10. It makes the project a little pricier but, I plan to reuse these in coming years. Since I'm reusing, it's still WAY cheaper than buying pre-made ones.

ildiko420 said...

Wonderful. Thank you so much.

Hazel Raison said...

Wow, that's a lovely idea. I've seen matchboxes for sale at Baker Ross but they come in odd pack sizes if you're making an advent calendar (I think they do 30 or 90)

Pandora's box: indie handmade said...

This is very cute! Thank you for sharing it, I am definitely going to try it!

Peggy Gunnell said...

We made these in Sunday school when I was a child , but we used 4 inch tiles for the top and bottom instead of card board. That box lasted forever!