Counting Down to Christmas

I love that Stampin Up has an Artisan Design Team. They come up some pretty amazing stuff (they are Artisan’s after all). A few months ago, Stampin Up featured one of the creations on their blog and it was amazing. It was an Advent Calendar Tree, using the Tiny Treat boxes. Have you seen these adorable 2” square boxes? Yes, they really are that small. But as most women will agree, good things come in small packages. (Usually sparkly good things.)

After I saw the Tree, I checked my stash and realized I actually had most of the things I would need to make it. I already had a pack of the boxes that I’d bought months earlier for a different project but just hadn’t gotten around to using yet. I had the Home For Christmas Designer Series Paper, and the Hello December 2015 Project Life Accessory Kit. I did not have the ribbon she used, but I certainly have enough ribbon in my stash that I was sure I’d have an acceptable substitute.

So, here’s how it all goes together. The boxes are 2”square, so you’ll want your pattern paper squares slightly smaller. I picked 6 different patterns and cut strips that were 1.75” wide and then cut them into 1.75” squares. Then I assembled all my boxes and lined them up facing the same direction. You get 26 boxes in a package, I used 25 for this project. Once I had all the boxes assembled, I started adhering the squares to the boxes. Pay attention to the orientation of your pattern paper and the boxes as you adhere the squares or you’ll end up with an upside down pattern. You will need four squares for each box: 1 lid and 3 for the sides that will show. You do not need to cover the bottom of the box or the one side that’s on the bottom as you won’t see these sides. I did use my 7/8” circle punch to cut out the notch on the side where the lid tucks in. Don’t number your boxes yet.

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Here’s how I broke down the layers –6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 1. I did take the time to place all the layers out on the table and look at them before gluing together so I had a good mix of the patterns and not too much of one all in one place. Don’t number your boxes yet.

The stand, or “tree trunk”, is actually the empty spool from the Real Red Pompom Trim. Yes, I took all the trim off and set it aside. I covered the spool with more pattern paper to make it more festive looking. Well, turns out the spool itself is not really wide enough to hold six boxes in a neat circle. So I used the biggest Circle Thinlet I had and cut out 5 of them. I glued all five of them together to give them some dimension so they’d hold up with the weight of the boxes. Then I glued it to the top of the spool. I used our new Tear and Tape adhesive to hold the boxes onto the big circle. The Tear and Tape is just on the bottom of the boxes – nothing on the sides or backs. Once I had the first layer down, I applied more Tear and Tape to the bottom of the boxes for the next layer and so on up until all six layers are glued together. By now your “tree” should be assembled.

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Here’s where the numbering comes in. On the Stampin Up blog, the numbers were placed in a random order all over. I like things a little more orderly so I started with 25 at the top and worked my way down each level. The numbers are stickers in the Hello December 2015 Accessory Pack. I stuck them to Very Vanilla cardstock, which I punched out with a 1” circle punch. Then I stuck the numbers onto our gold foil paper, which I cut out with our 1.25” scallop circle punch. I used dimensionals to adhere the numbers to the box lids.

The final flourish is the gold satin ribbon bow at the top, which matches beautifully with the gold foil scallop circles and the gold in the numbers.

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You could fill the little boxes with anything that’s small enough to fit… treats, chocolates, diamonds! Ok, maybe not 25 days worth of diamonds, but chocolates are definitely do-able. Just make sure that whomever is opening up the little boxes each day knows to be gentle or they may end up tearing off a lid.

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