It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Cookie-Sheet Advent Calendars

You recall that a while ago, Emma and I stumbled across some very useful freebies being tossed by a local business. Freebies which have (so far) turned into an autumn wreath.

Well. CHRISTMAS is coming, and with it a gazillion and four Craft Opportunities. Craft Opportunities which require copious supplies. I could always pop down to Michael’s, but trips to Michael’s are never cheap. Too bad that business hadn’t put out any more freebies… And then the brainwave hit. Why I didn’t think of it years ago, I don’t know, but I have a friend, see, a Friend Who Owns a Design Firm. She doesn’t even just work there. She’s the Boss.

Really. I probably have direct access to samples galore, and prior to right this minute, it hadn’t even occurred to me to ask. What was I THINKING???

So I asked. And Marianne was thrilled. They were just in the process of CLEANING OUT THEIR LIBRARY! Really! And if I could wait till the end of the week, she was sure she’d have something for me.


“Something” turned out to be four boxes of stuff. Four good-sized boxes, each weighing about 25 kg. Urgh. But the stuff in there! I have wallpaper books, fabric books, upholstery samples, paint chips, and even samples of wood in various veneers. Bright, muted, bold, conservative, abstract, florals, geometrics, metallic, glittery, burnished, woven, glossy, matte, smooth, textured… you name it, I’ve got it.


Here is my first project: Advent Calendars, which will be early Christmas presents to the families. (Click on that first picture, and it will pop up much larger.)

Each square is a piece of wallpaper mounted on card. Some of the card came from the Giant Boxes of Stuff. When I ran out of that, I used a cereal box. Each square is backed with a piece of magnetic tape which I discovered at the hardware store. It comes on a reel, just like regular tape. Very cool. It doesn’t stick quite as well as one would like: I’ve had to re-glue several squares, and should probably go through and glue them all… but 24 times 4 is 96 squares, and you know what? That’s a lot of squares. A lot of squares, most of which have not yet come unstuck, not even once. I think I shall leave well enough alone.

I chose three sheets for each calendar, one green(ish), one red(ish), and one in a sparkly metallic.

The numbers are cut from a set of glittery metallic samples. (I don’t know what they’re intended for: wall covering? veneer? countertops? No idea. The book gives no indication.) After I cut them out, I stuck them onto the squares with hot-melt glue.

The lettering is done with a metallic silver Sharpie. Rather than put numbers on the trays, I opted for dots to indicate the general placement of each square. That way, families can decide whether they will start with all the number on, and remove one each day, or the reverse. They can have them out of order, or put them in order, whatever suits them.

There! Those will go home this evening.

Next up: the Hanukkah menorah for Lily.



November 26, 2010 - Posted by | Christmas, crafts | , , ,


  1. Do you have freecycle up there in the frozen north? It’s a website where people post stuff they want to give away. You just contact them and arrange a pick-up.

    Yes, we do, and thanks to this comment, I am now a member of our local chapter. Great thought, and thank you!

    Comment by jwg | November 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. This is just beautiful, Mary. Well done!

    You’re welcome. It was a fun project.

    Comment by Lynn | December 1, 2010 | Reply

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