Christmas Advent Calendar

Last year I came across an advent calendar made from a muffin tin from Parents magazine. I pinned it to my Christmas Pinterest board and went about my day. I purchased the Lego Star Wars advent calendar this year and wanted a different way to present it other than the box it came in… Cut back to the muffin tin advent calendar.

The key is to purchase a muffin tin (or find one in your kitchen) that will be large enough to hold whatever gifts your will be giving. For me, that meant I needed a larger tin to hold the Lego pieces, which I found at Wal-Mart for about $10. The remaining materials needs are:

  • magnetic adhesive sheet (Quantity depends on the size of your muffin tin. 1 roll should be enough for a mini muffin tin. I needed two rolls for my project).
  • The Paper Studio’s All Seasons Three paper pack (or whatever paper you’d like to use for your background).
  • Time and patience.
  • * I used my Scan and Cut to cut my magnetic and paper circles, but it can also easily be cut by hand.
  • * I used an easel to display my calendar. If you find a muffin tin with holes at the top you could loop a ribbon through it and hang it from a wall.

Begin by cutting circles out of the magnetic adhesive sheet that will fit over the openings. I drew my circles in Scan and Cut Canvas (the design program for Scan and Cut for those of you that aren’t familiar with the program). They were 3.31 inches and then they were cut with the Scan and Cut, blade setting 7. This could have easily been done with scissors, but I am a perfectionist and wanted perfectly round circles. Since the magnetic adhesive I used came on a roll, my magnets weren’t flat so I stuck them in a book and under my ottoman for an hour or so to flatten them. 

Next cut out your circles from your patterned paper. I also used my Scan and Cut for this, blade setting 2.

Now you are ready to attach your magnets and your paper.

Once complete, you can number your circles with a marker, craft stickers, vinyl adhesive, whatever! I actually cut the numbers out of the center of the paper circles with my Scan and Cut.  I also decided I didn’t want the sticky exposed under the number cut out, so I stuck some back card beneath the numbers. (See photos for a better explanation).

And that’s it! You’re all done! This was a pretty quick project. It should have only taken a few hours to complete but I ran out of the magnetic adhesive, and the stores were already closed for the evening. After a quick run to Michaels the next morning I was able to get the finished product knocked out pretty quickly. Now the hard part was waiting until December 1st!  

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Star Wars Bookmarks

One of my favorite craft bloggers is Jennifer McGuire. I absolutely love just about everything she does. This particular project came from a post she did, Quick Die Cut Bookmarks, for teacher appreciation.

My son’s birthday was coming up and I normally send some kind of special treats to daycare/preschool with him. Now that he’s started Kindergarten the rules have changed. His school does not allow any type of sweet treats for birthday/holiday celebration. Crazy right?! So it was my duty, and being the mama that I am, I had to find something different AND fun. I took Jennifer’s idea, gave it a twist and made Star Wars bookmarks. Because who isn’t crazy about Star Wars right now?!

Instead of using a die for my bookmark shape, I created the shape, as well as modified the images and text in Photoshop. I printed the finished project on 80 lbs craft paper with a laser printer.

For this particular project, it was important I use a laser printer instead of an ink jet because I wanted to foil my images. I used my Heidi Swapp Minc to foil each bookmark. I originally wanted the text in one foiled color, the border in another, and the Star Wars character image a different color. After a very trying attempt (they did come out pretty well though), a co-worker suggested doing everything in one color. As much as I wanted to do it my way, one color made more sense and was SO much easier and quicker.  After all, I needed to make 25 of these bookmarks! And they came out awesome.

After everything was foiled, I cut the individual bookmarks out with my Scan and Cut, then used my Minc to laminate the bookmarks. Yep. The Minc foils AND laminates. I then used the Scan and Cut to cut out the finished project from the laminate sheets. I LOVE my Scan and Cut!  I just scanned my project, adjusted the margins and it cut each bookmark perfectly. This is definitely a plus for me because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to this kind of stuff.

*Note: You may think I could have saved time if I didn’t cut each individual bookmark before laminating it, and yes, I thought the same thing. So… what I learned the hard way was that each bookmark needs it own laminated seal around it. If you don’t have that, when you go to fold it, the laminate will separate.

If you’ve every worked with laminated projects you know that it doesn’t fold well. To fix this I completed the project about a week before my son’s bday. I placed a rubber band around the top of the bookmarks near the fold, put them in a book and put the book under a couch leg for some added weight. That gave them a pretty nice fold, but they still weren’t perfectly flat… which is okay. They will be flat when you place them in the book.

I added the finished project to a goodie bag with a Star Wars pencil, an eraser, temporary tattoos, and no candy (boo!) I did NOT create the goodie bags or do anything fancy to them. I found some Star Wars Rebel ones sale at Wal-Mart (thank you clearance!). I’m a pretty crafty mom, but I can only do so much.