And first up to kick off December is this fun, cute, easy and reusable MUFFIN TIN ADVENT CALENDAR!
I certainly can't take credit for designing this project - I have seen many variations of it online and at craft shows. I have always thought they were cute, so this year I decided it was my turn to have a go at making one! It was easy and best of all I was able to use things from my kitchen (the mini-muffin tin) and from my stash of scrapbooking supplies. The only thing I bought especially for this project was a peel and stick magnet sheet for the back of my date circles, which set me back $4.99 at Wal-Mart. (And really, although the magnets make it easy and fast to sick the numbers on the muffin tins, you could adhere them with double sided tape. But since I would like to re-use it for a few years, I thought it might make the paper circles more durable.)
Here's a list of all the materials you'll need:
- Mini-muffin tin - 24 muffin capacity
- Paper scraps in Christmas patterns or colors.
- Number 1 through 24 (like my FREE December Daily Date Circles) or an assortment of rub-on, stickers or chipboard numbers.
- Paper adhesive to attach your numbers.
- Coordinating ribbon(s) - about 12 inches.
- Assorted small embellishments like gems, stickers, rub-ons, buttons etc. (optional)
- Peel & Stick magnet sheet (handy, but optional)
- Drill (to drill hanging holes in your muffin tin if there is none already)
- 24 little treats to fill muffin tins.
So let's make it!
- First drill one or two small holes in one of the short ends of the muffin tin. The metal used in baking tins can be of varying thickness, so if you have a very thick, coated tin you may have to use a special drill bit. Mine was quite easy to drill through using a regular drill bit. I drilled a single hole in the centre, but you could also drill two holes about 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Prep your circles. Measure the distance between each muffin hole and decide on the size you want (I decided on 2.5 inches). Cut or punch 24 circles (or squares!) from your paper scraps. I used my CM Custom Cutting System to cut circles from the scraps that I used to make my December Daily Album, which was the "Christmas Party" line from American Traditional Designs.
- If you are using magnet backing, cut your magnet sheet into 24 circles the same size as your paper. (My circle cutter went through the magnet sheet easily, making short work of cutting the magnetic circles!)
- Now get your numbers ready. I used my December Daily Date Circles (which you can download, print and cut out using a 1.5 inch circle punch). Now you are ready to assemble your calendar!
- Peel off the protective paper on the back of each magnet and mount your paper circles on them.
- Before you adhere your number to the circles, take a few moments to arrange your shapes on the muffin tin. Once you like the arrangement of patterns and colors, start adding your numbers to each of the circles.
- If you like, add some small embellishments to a few of the date circles for some interest and variety. I added a just few snowflake stickers to the solid colored circles...the rest of the circles were colorful enough because of the patterned paper I used.
- Fill each of the cavities with a small treat, candy, coupon, note etc.
- Tie your ribbon(s) through the hole on the top of the muffin tin and hang it up! Each day remove the number square corresponding to the days date to share the treat! (Tip: As you remove them, pop each of your date circles in a baggie or little box to keep them all together and ready for re-use next year!)
Note: My older son is very excited to start this project...he watched me make the Advent Calendar last week and we talked a little bit about it's significance. To help him understand Advent a bit more, we are going to use "My First Read and Learn Countdown to Christmas" by Dr. Mary Manz Simon that I picked up at Chapters a few weeks ago. This colorful board book has a story, bible verse, prayer and activity for each day leading up to Jesus' birthday. I plan on combining the calendar and book into a little Advent ritual each morning!)
It's not too late to make one of these Advent Calendars... grab your mini-muffin tin and your paper stash and you can whip this up tonight in time for tomorrow! Have fun and if you make one, post a pic and send us a link!
Now, on to our kickoff prize! Since we had two lovely gals who posted our 12 Days of Christmas button on their blogs, I think they should each get a little goody bag! So, Julie and Nina - please email me your addresses and I will get your goodies off to you asap! Thanks!
Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 2 and some fun and easy Christmas card ideas. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don't miss any of the fun!