Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent tutorial - recycled tins

For the past 4 years we have been doing advent calendars in my household, each year we choose a different theme and holder. We've had the traditional mini santa stockings, we've done mis-matching socks on pegs, we've done mini boxes and this year recycled tins. In fact, with 4 young children I find it challenging to come up with something big enough each year that will hold 4 x lollies on some of the advent days. Our advent is also different in that it doesn't contain lollies for each day, this is purely out of neccesity as the advent use to sag with the weigh of 4 x lollies x 24 days lol. Instead, each year, half the days contain notes and the other half lollies, it is all mixed up so my girls never know which day will be a note or which day will be a lolly.

The notes usually contain activities such as:
- See the Christmas lights
- Have a picnic dinner in the garden or on the living room floor
- You choose what's for dinner
- ice cream sundae for dessert tonight
- day at the beach today
- day at the pool today
- Make a gingerbread house today
- make Christmas cookies
- choose a gift for the poor from the wishing tree today
- $5 Kriss Kringle, you choose the gift and then swap with your sister
- Pick a movie to watch (can be a new DVD to rent or at the movie hall)
- Put up the Christmas tree, each child has to make an ornament for the tree
- Go to the zoo

Here is a cute tutorial of this years advent calendar, its very simple and costs little to no money and is environmentally friendly :-)

Step 1:
Gather your supplies, you will need
24 x empty, clean cans with labels removed.
Some fabric scraps
Some ribbon and lace scraps
Elastic bands
2” inch round scallop cutter
Some paper
Step 2: Pop your tin on some paper and draw a border around the shape of your tin which is 2”inch wider than your tin.
Cut out your paper circle as this will now be your template for cutting your fabrics.

Step 3 : Iron your fabric scrap and pin your circle template to the fabric and cut around the circle. You will need 24 circles, one for each tin.

Step 4: On your computer create the numbers 1 to 24 in fancy font and print out on an A4 sheet. Using your scallop cutter, cut out each number for each tin.

Step 5: Fill your tin with a treat or a secret memo (such as “tonight we will visit and see the Christmas lights”), then place the circle fabric over the opening of the tin and secure with a thin elastic.
Tie a pretty ribbon into a bow around the tin and elastic to hide it. Stick down your scallop paper with number and tie some pretty lace or ric rac around the bottom of each tin.

Step 6: Stack your tins into the shape of a Christmas tree, with no 1 on the top and the numbers 18 – 24 on the bottom.


  1. Lovely idea! The notes for activities are so much nicer than candies or toys. This is of course from a grown up's point of view but the ideas for notes that you selected are so much more special and will be remembered long after the candy is gone. I'm sure that your family will treasure the memories of your thoughtful traditions and pass them along to their children. Thanks for sharing.


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