Tuesday, December 6, 2011

our countdown to christmas.

so, sure, we have many countdowns to christmas.  many.  but how can you resist making another cute one?  this one will end up in the trash in the end anyway..

we have darling countdowns that grandma pitcher made years ago, reminiscent of the ones she’d made for her own kids years ago.  they are sweet, and something I have used, but have had trouble with, with the girls at different ages.

with the ones she made for us, you tie each treat onto a long fabric strip with ribbon.  my problem usually comes in with my hands (thank you genes and arthritis..).  it’s always cold, and sometimes stormy, which is a great little story problem that equals aching hands in my situation.  the second problem is one, two, or three little girls, who like to steal treats prematurely.  then I get ornery because chances are, my hands are still hurting after the initial 75 treat tie-ons, and then there is one (most likely more), treat to tie on.

(now I shouldn’t blanket blame all three..  it’s usually a certain culprit..  ahemashleyahem..  who likes to take their sisters’ treats and say that they did it.)

(it is also partly my fault, as they inherited my sweet tooth.)

so I started thinking about this waaaay back in november, and came up with a pretty sweet solution.

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(bonus: it is also up cycling!!)

so if you can’t tell, we’ve been saving toilet paper rolls like they are spare change.

it didn’t take us long..  helps to have the hotel pitching in.

I placed three treats in each empty roll cardboard core thing, wrapped it in tissue paper (okay, merrill did), and then twisted the ends, and tied them off with some string.

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(okay, merrill did that part too.  my hands aren’t hurting!!  sweetheart.)

I printed off papers that are brand-spanking new from jessica sprague + heidi swapp (genius combo.  can not go wrong there.).  cut them to fit my rolls (got enough for 4 from each 8.5 x 11 sheet), and then taped them on the back side.  I finished each one off with a number to identify just how many more days until christmas, that I printed off and punched with a 1 inch circle punch and stuck that on with a glue dot.

getting them all hooked-up together wasn’t as easy as I initially thought.  I tried glue-dotting the heck out of them, but they just wouldn’t stay.  it was too heavy.  so I resorted to my trusty old glue gun.

worked awesomely.

I took a small piece of ribbon and hot-glued that to the top roll to use as a hanger.

now, all the treats are concealed, and safe, until the right day comes.

the girls tear off one side and there’s the treats!

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but really, I love these papers..

love these colors!!

trying really hard not to re-do the scheme of the tree this year….

and it would totally work, I re-painted the wall in the family room as one of my “keep yourself busy because merrill ditched us for two weeks” projects.

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links to jessica + heidi’s new collections here and here.

dudes…  they are totally on sale now too, along with a ton of other products!!!


Heather Landry said...

Oh how cool Mindy! I love that your husband helped you. He is so sweet! Your project turned out beautifully.

Bits and Pieces of Me...Emily! said...

That is the best advent calendar idea! I have yet to attempt one. We got one a couple of years ago and yuck..the chocolate was waxy and nasty, lost all desire for count Christmas ideas, but I just might do this next year!! Because I am far too lazy this year! :)

Cory and Kylee said...

Love it! So cute! i miss crafting with you!

MEK said...

oh what a cute idea

Jocelyn said...

Oh, my goodness!! That is the best advent calendar I have ever seen!!!! You are awesome!!!!

Ally's Corner said...

Pinteresting this. Love, Love this!!

Tracijoy0927 said...

I used this idea for my daughters advent calendar! On day two and its a huge hit! I put a scripture and a little piece of a candy cane in each one. Thanks for the great idea!

Jessi said...

I love this, but the paper needed to be hot glued as well, not just taped. The first day it was up rolls were ripping and falling on the floor. Did you have this problem?

Unknown said...

That is a great idea, thank you. Since it's almost Xmas -and I am a bit lazy right now-, I did this slightly differently. I bought New Years Crackers at the dollar store (and added some small gifts inside since the store bought ones have rather cheap stuff). Then I took two ribbons, double length and folded them in two. I then sewed (or you can glue) them at the proper intervals so the crackers cans be slipped inside with a ribbon holding it at each end. Then I sewed them on top of my chosen material. All done and can be reused next year! The kids love popping the crackers and the hats are a bonus.

Unknown said...

I love how a great idea morphs into an even greater one! I like the idea of doing the two ribbons, sewn at appropriate intervals to slip the roll inside.

I thought maybe I'd spray paint the toilet paper rolls, then glue either fabric, wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper onto the rolls.

That way, you can wrap your little treats in tissue paper and slip them inside each roll, tied at both ends like a tootsie roll.

Any that don't get too damaged could be refilled for next year, although I can see how you would enjoy doing them over again each year to get a totally different look.

Miss April said...

Gotta love that glue gun! Thanks for the awesome idea!

Gumbleflump said...

Feeling Christmassy even though it's still only October, but when you have things to make you need to start early! Just saw your lovely advent calendar on Pinterest. But what I found really interesting is that you open 25 first in a counting down the days to Christmas way - is that right? Is that a Utah thing or a USA thing, or just a quirky thing particular to your family? In the UK we open one first, corresponding with the day's date, and 25 on Christmas Day itself (some advent calendars only go up to 24). Thank you for your great toilet roll craft idea x

Unknown said...

Wish me luck - I'll be attempting this with my craft after school club of up to 20x 5-9yr olds. I'm hoping that 5 sessions/weeks of club between half term and the start of December will be enough time for them all. Fingers crossed!

Majmakle said...

I love this idea. It doesn't take away to much space, yet you can fit enough little goodies in it. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Your blog really very fantastic and all the information are very awesome on countdown to christmas and great it's really interesting all the topic about the work motivation.

Unknown said...

I am having the same issue. Did using hot glue to attach the rolls help?

KaKa said...

Awesome – and thanks a lot!

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