2016 Advent Calendar DIY

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It's that time of year again, where everyone is hitting the stores looking for the best deals for the holidays. As I'm furiously shopping for others (and let's be honest, for myself..I can't help it), beauty advent calendars are everywhere, from NYX to Benefit Cosmetics. As I drool over them, I noticed they can be quite pricey, and sometimes filled with maybe a couple of items that you want, and some things you definitely don't want. I've been in a crafty mood lately and thought, why not make my own advent calendar that I can personalize for someone. Beauty advent calendars is what spawned the idea to make this, but you can put anything you want in it. This year my boyfriend (Bryan) and I, along with our cat (Zoey), are going to do 12 Days of Christmas. Twelve days leading up to the Christmas, we each get to take turns opening a door and get a "stocking" stuffer gift. We put a price limit per gift of $1-15 and for Zoey, we're gonna fill her doors with treats and handmade catnip toys.

I had a lot of fun making this. Making the doors were the worst part, just because I had to map out each door before I cut them out. The doors will be the most time consuming part, but other than that, it's quite easy to craft this up!

My advent calendar is HUGE, because why not?! By no means do you need to make it this big, use whatever you have at home to make this the most cost-effective calendar. So, if you're in the festive mood and want to learn how to make your own (beauty) advent calendar, keep reading!

Some things you'll need:

Two boxes (Cereal boxes are a good idea)
wrapping paper
glue/tape
x-acto knife/scissors
measuring tape/ruler

1. Start with two boxes. The first you'll make your calendar out of and the other is just for extra cardboard you're going to use/cut up. The box I got from work, and it's 35"Lx24"Wx3.5"D, which is absolutely huge for an advent calendar. Feel free to make this as BIG or as small as you want! I suggest using a cereal box, that will work really well. 2. Wrap the first box however you like, I suggest using a glue stick to glue down the wrapping paper. (I did not do this, I wrapped it and taped it down, and then had to go back a glue down the paper on the doors).

3. Using the extra box, cut out two strips of your LxD and three strips of your WxD. Cut notches out halfway though the strips, three for the LxD and two for the WxD. Make sure the notches are evenly spaced out, as shown above.

4. Slot the strips together, and it should look like a grid, see above picture. This will act as the dividers for your calendar.

5. Before you slide the divider in to the box, just mark out approximately where the divider will be by setting it on top and draw the grid pattern with a pencil. After you've done that you can go ahead and slide the divider into the opening of the box. You can seal the box with some tape.

6. Mark out boxes using the gridlines you drew as a marker to where the boxes should be. I made the boxes smaller than the actual area of the grid, 17"Lx14"W and I did my best to put it right in the setting of each square of the grid. Use an exacto-knife to cut out three edges of the box, leaving the fourth edge, to create doors. You don't need to be perfect, I eye-balled the positioning of all the boxes here. Once you have some doors made, you can adjust the positioning of the grid inside now. Cut some triangles on the length of the open edge of the door for finger holes for easy access.

And there you have it! Label it with some numbers, and decorate it however you'd like! Honestly, I spent all night making this, while watching Gilmore Girl reruns and did not feel like making it super fancy.

I hope you try this out, it's a great way to personalize a gift, especially an advent calendar. And it also puts you in a festive mood leading up to the holidays. I have some great beauty gift ideas, and that post will be coming very soon. I know I haven't posted much, but you're about to get a barrage of holiday posts!

Please share your advent calendars with me, you can tag me on instagram, @kernh, or in the comments below!
Good Luck! Karen

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