Did you have a good Thanksgiving? We sure did. I ate too much food. I even had half a piece of Brownie Caramel Cheesecake. SUGAR! It has been almost a year since I had sugar, but this cheesecake has almost legendary status around here. It takes a long time to make, so I rarely make it. I decided I would allow myself a small taste to celebrate.
Now I am doing penance by upping the intensity of my workouts and really watching my diet. What do you think? Was it worth it? I can still taste the creamy lusciousness...
But now I need to think about Christmas. We like to do an advent countdown for Christmas starting on December 1st. We do a lot of things that are Bible related, but our advent is just for fun. I stick little candies or gifts in the container for each day. We have used everything from an old popcorn tin that I restocked each day, to little surprise filled baggies. This year, I wanted something different, but I didn't want to spend much money on it. It also needed to be able to hold surprises for 4 kids.
This is what I came up with.
It cost me $12. Most of the supplies were leftovers from previous projects.
If you want to make one, first you will need 24 boxes of large kitchen matches -- the kind that hold 250 matches. I got mine at Deals. They were in sets of 2 boxes for $1 each. Total - $12. Fine. The pre-made advent chests I found started at around $50 and the drawers were so small that I would need one per child. That means I would need to spend at least $200. Not fine.
Now, I have to warn you. Buying 24 boxes of kitchen matches will raise some eyebrows at the check-out counter. The employee questioned me as to my purpose for buying so many matches and told me he would be watching the papers for stories of arson. He was joking. I think.
You won't be needing the matches. I have some ideas for ways to use them. (If my ideas work, I will post a tutorial.) My sons also have ideas. Their ideas involve things like building huge matchstick houses and setting them on fire. Or making fireworks with them. I am keeping a close eye on them...
Now that your boxes are empty, play around with the arrangement until you find one you like. I almost used this arrangement, then decided to go taller. I used three rows across.
Get some glue and a paintbrush. I used wood glue because it is a little more tacky without being as expensive as craft glue. I also had it on hand. Which is handy. Oh never mind.
Take out the drawers.
Paint the side of one of the boxes and stick it to another box.
Repeat until you have finished the first layer.
Add a toddler to make things more interesting.
Now you will need to paint glue on the tops and sides. Keep adding boxes.
Make sure to keep leveling things up so it looks even and not like this:
Ahh. That's better. It won't be perfect. We are working with matchboxes, after all, but you want it as even as possible.
Next, cut some card stock or cardboard to fit the top, bottom and sides. This will help stabilize the structure and just make it look better.
I also made little strips to cover the seams, cuz I'm funny that way.
Spray paint the whole thing, including the drawers. I used a metallic silver. I would do this even if I planned to cover it with fabric or decorative papers, because there will be little bits of labeling that will want to peek out.
Glue some numbers on there. I just printed some up on card stock (numbers 1-24), cut them out and glued them on. Make sure they line up with each other, or your finished product won't look very neat.
I used bits of leftover ribbon to make drawer pulls. I cut pieces about 2-2 1/2 inches long, folded them in half and hot glued them to the inside of the drawer. Now my advent chest is ready to fill with goodies in time for December 1st.