Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holidays on a Budget: Advent Paper Chain

Advent calendars are used in many households. I remember my Grandma bringing one candy-filled, beautifully illustrated calendar for each of us every year. She always bought them at the Exchange, and they were filled with tiny, delicious German chocolates. Mmmmmm.

Having a little one around, we've opted for a more visual countdown to Christmas, a paper chain. Easy to make, colorful, and economical. You can have each of the children make a chain for themselves, or like us, have one larger chain displayed. This year, instead of stapling our chain to the wall, I've made it look more like an intentional decoration. I whipped together an adorable "holder", that the chains can be hung on year after year, and gives them a bit of a more finished look.

First, I cut 3 bell shapes out of some thin cardboard. I used an empty cereal box. Recycling! Then I spray painted them with some gold paint. I only did the edges of the back two, and only just in case they peeked from behind the top layer. You can paint the brown, papery side for a flocked looking bell, and the smooth side that was the outside of the box for a shinier bell.
Then, I simply glued the layers together. Three seemed to be the perfect strength, as well as gave me the perfect arrangement for my ribbons. I hung one shorter length between the bottom and middle layers at the top. This was my hanging ribbon. Then, between the middle and the top layers, at the bottom, I glued a longer ribbon that the last link in the paper can be thread through before stapling shut. Placing the ribbons on different layers kept the cardboard from having a big gap, or big bulges.