The countdown to Christmas has begun, which of course means that DIY advent calendar ideas are popping up left, right and centre. And this year, for the first time, I’m sharing my very own, so if you’re looking for a Christmas countdown that is out of this world, then you are going to love this DIY starry nights advent calendar!
I’m not sure why I’ve never made an advent calendar before, but this year, after sorting out my craft drawers, I spotted this book-like box and instantly knew that I wanted to use it to make one. I wanted it to co-ordinate with my navy blue and copper Christmas decor, and having loved all of the celestial-themed things this year, I decided to go for a starry night design on the front. One of the great things about making your own advent calendar is that you can fill it with whatever you want, and if you’ve got some special treats in mind, you can customise it to make sure the boxes are big enough to fit it in. Although I had forgotten that I had it, the box is from Homesense and is made from a really thick cardboard, which means once I’m done with it, I can throw it away safe in the knowledge that is biodegradable! I love how it turned out, and am especially pleased with how the sky turned out on the front! Keep reading to find out what I used and how I made it...
First of all, measure the inside of your box. You’ll need its, depth, width and length. Decide how many days you want to count down, and then calculate how big each of your smaller boxes needs to be. Using these dimensions, create a box template using a free online tool, and then draw and cut this out from cardstock.
Score along each of the lines and fold along each of these. Be sure to fold along each of the tabs. Next, use glue along each of these tabs to stick each of the sides of the box together. Be sure to leave the top open, so that you can pop your presents inside.
As you’re making your boxes, keep popping them into your calendar to make sure that they fit snugly. I kept measuring throughout so that I could create different templates for different sized boxes. Once you’re happy with your number of boxes, and their fit, put them to one side.
Next, grab your acrylic paints and mix up whatever colour you would like your advent calendar to be. As I’m having navy and copper decorations this year, I decided to use similar colours on my advent calendar, and so mixed up a dark blue. Leave it to dry completely after the first coat, before painting a second coat.
Take your smaller boxes and paint some of them copper and others blue. Once they’re completely dry, arrange them into how they will be in the calendar, and decide how you would like to number them. I chose the biggest box to be the last day. Using a white marker, draw numbers onto the blue boxes, and with the black marker write numbers on the copper boxes. I then outlined the black numbers to make them stand out more.
To create a starry night or galaxy effect on the front of your calendar, mix up a darker blue in the acrylic paints, and use a sponge to build this colour up in the top left and bottom right hand corners. Next, mix up a lighter blue, and build this up in some parts on top of the darker blue. Similarly, add some white to create a cloud like texture.
Once this is dry, use the white marker to add dots all over your paintwork. Then, randomly draw on a few larger spots, and draw lines through these vertically and horizontally. Finally, use the bronze sharpie, to write your Christmas message, or the recipients name, across the front of your calendar. To protect your paint work, spray with a clear sealer in a well ventilated space, before popping your boxes back in.