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Got Styrofoam? Make an Advent Calendar

homemade Advent calendar Here’s another clever Advent calendar to make yourself, all thrifty and creative…

And I’m really liking this as a great way to re-use those styrofoam flats that are still widely used for protective packaging (like when you buy electronics gear), because many recycling programs won’t let you put them out in your recycling bin.

Anyway, this particular Advent calendar is the invention of a crafty Texas chick who goes by the name of burstandbloom on the Craftster forums. She’s thoughtfully provided a tutorial for making this advent calendar, with photographs of each step — but here’s the general idea:

  1. Cut out 24 circles from a block of styrofoam — and see how nice B&B’s calendar looks, with an asymmetrical arrangement of different sized circles! That took a little advance planning, for sure!
  2. Cover the raw edges of styrofoam with festive holiday paper, using a rough decoupage technique (glue it all down and shellac over it with Mod Podge or a similar clear protective goop), then embellish your calendar as you like.
  3. Cover a piece of thin cardboard with pretty paper and glue it on the back.
  4. Cut circles of cardboard large enough to cover the circle cut-outs in the styrofoam, and decorate them as you like, pinning each in place with a tab and a brad so they can be flipped up to reveal a tiny surprise inside.

homemade Advent calendar close-up You’re on your own for deciding what should go in each day’s hole in your Advent calendar, but I have faith that won’t be a big problem! You can’t go wrong with foil-wrapped chocolates…

B&B picked items that had special meaning for herself and her boyfriend — like a miniature cow, referring to an inside joke — or an object that signified a special holiday activity that she had planned for that day, like miniature cookie cutters for the day they’d bake Christmas cookies together or a tiny gift box for the day they’d be wrapping up gifts…

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