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Advent Calendar 2016

December 1, 2016

Happy December 1st!

Last year we decided – because we really can’t have a tree in our small space – that we would make Advent calendars and fill them with little treats for each other. It took us a couple of months to cobble together all the materials, but last night we blasted Christmas music, sipped hot chocolate, and put the finishing touches on these:


Mine – sneakily filled by Michael – is hung over the gable beside the fridge with a doubled red velvet ribbon (because we didn’t want to nail it up.) I bought the antique frame years ago on Main Street in Vancouver. It usually hangs in my office.


And Michael’s – sneakily filled by me – displayed on our fridge. [Some of the magnets are slightly weak, so we’ll replace them next year].

We are pretty pleased with our efforts and I believe I shall annoy everyone for the next 23 days by posting the contents of mine every single day on Instagram and Twitter.

Our process (in pictures):


And so it begins. Two inch tin containers (Michael spray painted his tops), number stickers, and vintage pictures. [Magnets not shown.]


Close up of the tins and vintage pictures. We bought the PDFs from a seller on Etsy and printed them on thick photo quality paper.


Close up of the number stickers, tins, and inserts. We cut out the pictures, and glued them over the magnets we placed in the bottom of each tin.


Close up of Michael’s tins. He double spray painted the tops, first one colour, then another over the stickers. He then peeled the stickers off (carefully) but left the bottoms the original silver.


My numbering was a much easier process than Michael’s. I just stuck the stickers on the tins.


Close up of my numbers, the magnet board, and the antique frame.

And, finally, all that work for a tasty reward every day until Christmas:


December 1st – dark (53% Belgian) chocolate caramel with almond.

ETA (2017): we bought the metal tins from Uline. They have a bunch of different sizes. Ours are the 2 x 1.5 inch.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan Hayes permalink
    December 1, 2016 5:45 PM

    Those are awesome! I love the idea and the look beautiful!

    • December 1, 2016 5:46 PM

      I’m very happy with how they turned out!!

  2. December 1, 2016 6:31 PM

    Such a great idea, Meghan. Makes me feel nostalgic. I grew up in Germany and my brother and I had really nice Advent Calendars every year filled with treats and even more love, made by my grandma. I feel that the notion is catching on a little more here in Canada, I’ve seen some nice calendars around this year. But yours of course took the (cup) cake. 🙂

    • December 1, 2016 6:44 PM

      I’ve wanted something like this for awhile but they were always so expensive. Even making these wasn’t especially cheap but they are investment pieces. 😊

  3. December 1, 2016 9:06 PM

    They look gorgeous! I have a feeling much of yours will be chocolates 😉

    • December 1, 2016 9:11 PM

      Michael filled mine, but I bet you are right. 😋

  4. Kendall Jarish permalink
    December 1, 2016 9:20 PM

    I love this idea. It is so clever!

    • December 1, 2016 9:27 PM

      We toyed with a bunch of different ideas. Michael wanted to build an intricate house and tree, with doors that opened. Which I thought was crazy. I can’t imagine how long that would take. So the metal tins and magnets made sense. Especially in our small space.

  5. Netanya Jenkins permalink
    December 4, 2016 12:05 PM

    This is such a great idea! I might try it next year so that my husband can have a little taste of Christmas in a country that doesn’t celebrate!

    • December 4, 2016 1:37 PM

      It’s super fun to get a tiny gift from Michael every day.

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