It seems hard to believe that it’s over a year now since I made an Owl Advent Calendar for Little Miss C (and nearly a year to the day since I blogged about it too). Master C wasn’t quite ready for an advent calendar last year, but even then I knew that I would need to do something for him this advent, so it was perfect timing when the team at Ocean Loans got in touch asking if I would like to be sent an Advent house from Hobbycraft and a nice gift voucher so that I could decorate it. This was of course back in early October and I was rather proud of myself for getting on to it straight away, but it’s no really surprise however that it took until last night to finish it though! At least it was finished in time though.
I have to admit that I found this one of the most frustrating craft projects I’ve done in ages. I think I’m just not someone who is destined to paint. I went along to Hobbycraft armed with my gift voucher and firstly set about looking for paint to use. I had in mind that I wanted a slightly Scandinavian look to my advent house, so instantly went for red and off white. A lovely staff member sent me towards the acrylic paint aisle, telling me it was the best stuff to use on a project like this. Now, I’m not sure if she was telling the truth or not as I found it an absolute pain to paint! It was so so hard to get a smooth finish to the house and even after several coats of paint (and allowing it to properly dry between them) some sections just kept looking like they needed more. Maybe I should have used some sort of primer or something? It’s certainly something I’ll be looking into before I tackle anything else like this.
With all the painting completely it actually wasn’t too much more work to add the finishing touches. Hobbycraft have great range of small wooden decorations that you can use to decorate advent calendars, or cards or other paper crafts. I really was spoilt for choice and I’m rather pleased to have some left over for other projects over the next month or so too.
Whilst there I also bought a box of numbers to go on the doors. And this is where doing a project like this late at night after a busy weekend with the kids can have its downfalls. Firstly, my advent house has 25 doors. The advent numbers I bought only go up to number 24. Without thinking though I started by sticking number 24 onto the largest door. Whoops!
It does mean that this particular advent calendar has a special bonus door with a picture of Father Christmas on that I can deploy on December 25th. That is assuming Master C can be distracted from his presents that day long enough to care.
The second slight mishap was surrounding the other numbers. In particular number 6. This box of numbers has two different colours in it – red and white. Perfect for my colour scheme you might thing – apart from the fact that as I’d painted all my doors white I felt I really needed to use the red numbers. But one of mine was missing! So, come the 6th December I’m really hoping that Master C doesn’t really notice or care about the colour change.
All the numbers and other decorations were attached really quickly and easily using my trusty glue gun that my mum gave me just before she moved house last year. It’s the first time that I’ve used it in anger, but oh my! I am already wondering how I ever coped without a glue gun in my life! I’ve already had it out again to fix a headband of Little Miss C’s and my brain is going into overdrive with other things I can now fix or make!
I’m actually delighted with the finished look and pleased that I managed to get it finished in time too. There’s more I could have done – like painting inside all the doors, but after me and the acrylic paint fell out I think I might leave that until another year when I have more time and better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Now I just need to fill it up. Last year LMC’s calendar was mainly just stickers and the odd chocolate coin or Santa and I think I’m going to do similar this year. A special offer on some stickers at the zoo’s soft play centre of all places means I’ve lots to choose from – and enough to ensure that both kids get the same or very similar each day. The additional fact that my sister sent both kids chocolate advent calendars also means that Mr C and I get to eat the ones that I had originally bought and earmarked for the kids. Bonus!
So what does your (or your kids’) advent calendar look like this year? And if it’s one for you to fill up yourself, what’s inside it?
Disclaimer: Ocean Loans sent me a Hobbycraft Advent House and a gift voucher in exchange for this blog post. All views and opinions included are my own. This post also contains an affiliate link – nothing to do with the previous part of the disclaimer, I just want to take advantage of anyone else who now realises they need a glue gun in their lives. Mortgage to pay, kids to feed, presents to buy etc etc…