A Wintry Advent Calendar

When these new Shadow Box Drawers were released by Kaisercraft, I was determined to make one up as an Advent Calendar. I love the little central section and decided I wanted to make a little wintry scene in it and wanted to make the whole calendar feel more wintry than Christmas themed, if that makes sense.

Shadow Box Drawers

Most of the Kaisercraft Christmas Collections are feature the traditional colours of Red & Green so I picked papers from two of the collections to give me the colour scheme and effect I was after. I chose papers from the Just Believe Collection and the Turtle Dove Collection.

I started by painting the MDF parts with Kaisercolour Soft Moss. You don’t need to paint any bits that will be covered with paper, so on some of the sections you only need to paint the edges (this saves time and paint). I also painted the inside of the little boxes to match.

Shadow Box Drawers - detail 2

I love all the very traditional images on the ‘Maids’ paper from the Turtle Dove Collection. I picked the images that matched my colour scheme, so just used the little squares that were mainly blue in colour. I did have to use three sheets because of this though, but that was my choice. I also used on every other box the ‘Starlight’ paper reverse from the ‘Just Believe’ Collection.

Please see our previous Advent Calendar post for details of how we assembled the little square boxes.

Shadow Box Drawers - detail 1

I consciously arranged what papers went where on the boxes, I don’t do random lol. For the central section of the Calendar I used part of the ‘Drummers’ paper from the ‘Turtle Dove’ Collection, there is a little image on the reverse that was perfect for my wintry scheme. I also used the larger tree from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Woodlands set and the Kaisercraft Wood flourish ‘Iron Fence’. For my snow I used Cotton wool covered in Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles, this gave a great frosty feel to it. I also covered the tree in Kaisercraft ‘Ice Blue’ Rhinestones and added some to the front of some of the boxes. To finish off the edges of the little drawers and the advent Calendar I used the Ranger ‘Pearl’ Dabber. The last thing I did was to add tiny numbers to each of the boxes – for this I used a little section from the ‘Wish List’ paper from the Just Believe collection.

I am really pleased with my Advent Calendar and the wintry feel to it – I hope you like it too. Now I just to fill the little drawers with chocolates 😀

All your comments are very much appreciated.

Chrissy xXx

A 25-Drawer Advent Calendar

One of the latest additions to Kaisercraft’s Beyond-the-Page product line is their fabulous 25 Drawer Treasure Chest. It makes a really useful storage unit but I decided to decorate one to create a beautifully extravagant Advent Calendar.

I painted all the MDF parts of the 25 Drawer Treasure Chest with Kaisercolor Acrylic White paint before assembling them. I decided to give it a slightly whitewashed look by applying thin coats of paint (although, due to the large size of the chest, it still needed two tubes of paint). I assembled the MDF and glued it with EvoStik Wood Glue and then covered the sides and top with pieces of Bazzill White cardstock (which covers the visible parts of the joints) and decorated with Silly Season Rub-ons.

The drawers are made in a similar way to the smaller drawers of the Kaisercraft BTP Advent Calendar (see step 12 in our previous post for details) but I used the Silly Season papers and covered the drawer fronts in squares from the Milk & Cookies and Gingerbread papers. I then finished the edges of the drawers with a White Paint Dabber and a few rhinestones. The chipboard numbers are supplied with the Treasure Chest – I painted them with the Paint Dabber and applied Crystal Lacquer.

25 Drawer Advent Calendar closeup

On top of the chest I created a Reindeer and Sleigh scene using some of Kaisercraft’s latest Wood Flourish designs. I filled the Sleigh will presents cut from the Presents Foil paper and decorated the Reindeer with a Flourish Background Stamp and some Hot Pink Rhinestones and used an old necklace as reins.

A 25 Drawer Advent Calendar

I hope you like my large size Silly Season themed Advent  Calendar – it was great fun to make is a nice contrast to the vintage looking Advent Calendar in my earlier post.

Making a Kaisercraft Advent Calendar – Part 2

In part 1 of this post we outlined how we painted and assembled the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar. In this post we describe how we decorated the Advent Calendar with the recently released December 25th collection from Kaisercraft.

You can, of course, use a wide range of different papers to decorate your Kaisercraft Advent Calendar but I wanted to give it a vintage feel to match the photo I planned to use at it’s centre. As described in the previous post, I had already covered the drawers with papers from Kaisercraft’s December 25th Collection and painted the whole calendar in Kaisercolor Raw Umber paint. This post continues from that point.

  1. I started by applying a little gold paint around the front edges of the drawers using a Ranger Acrylic Paint Dabber. This gives them a slightly distressed, vintage effect and adds a little sparkle at the same time. I printed out the numbers 1 to 24 on a colour printer and glued them to the front of the drawers before applying some Crystal Lacquer to give them shine. Decorated Drawers on the Advent Calendar
  2. I decorated the outside edges of the calendar with strips cut from the reverse of the Wish paper (P719) from the December 25th collection. The calendar is just slightly longer than the paper so small corner pieces are needed to fill the gaps. I also cut some “wrought iron” corners from Pinecone Bazzill Cardstock using the Cricut Expression and the “Ornamental Iron 2” cartridge to further decorate the corners. Then I used the Gold Paint Dabber again to add some sparkle to all the front edges of the calendar.Advent Calendar Edge decoration
  3. I decided to decorate the centre of the Advent Calendar with a Christmas photograph from the past. I started by cutting a piece of the Noel paper (P718) slightly smaller than the central area, distressing the edges and colouring them with the Paint Dabber. I mounted it in the centre of the calendar and layered on a square of the reverse of the Wish paper and then the photo (printed in sepia tone). The date plaque is a Kaisercraft Square Bookplate Wood Flourish (FL332) coloured with a Brown Ink Pad and distressed with the Gold Paint Dabber. The date itself is printed on a colour printer onto a scrap of the Wish paper.Advent Calendar - orner decoration
  4. The present decoration in front of the photo is a ScrapFX Present Corner Chipboard Shape (2009278C). The presents have been decorated with scraps of paper, coloured with Ink Pads and embellished with coordinating December 25th Jewels. The ribbon scroll is coloured with a Lipstick Ink Pad and then Red KindyGlitz Glitter Glue. The Chipboard Shape is glued to the corner of the calendar using Crystal Lacquer as a glue.

The completed Advent Calendar
I hope you like the end result and it inspires you to create your own unique version of the Advent Calendar. Oh, and in case you are wondering, the little girl with the brand new doll on her lap in the middle of the photo is indeed me. Every time I look at the photo it makes me smile – and I think that’s what any Christmas decoration should be all about !

Chrissy xx

Making a Kaisercraft Advent Calendar – Part 1

We’ve had a few requests from customers to provide instructions on the best way to make the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar so we’ve painted and assembled one and written this (rather long) post – hopefully you will find it of use.

Actually, this is the first of two posts on this subject – this one describes how we have assembled the main part of the Calendar and drawers. The next post describes how we decorated it.

There are probably other ways to assemble the Advent Calendar but what we’ve written below certainly works for us. If you have any further suggestions please feel free to get in touch.

  1. Once unpacked the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar will contain one sheet of chipboard numbers, 25 chipboard drawers (24 for the calendar and one spare), a large MDF base (or back) board and a number of other MDF parts as shown in the picture below. The two parts marked A below are joined by tabs and are 32.6cm long – just a few millimetres longer than the four parts marked B which are 32cm long. There are two shorter parts marked C and 20 parts marked E (joined into two sheets of 10).Some of the parts of the Advent Calendar
  2. We would recommend that the parts are painted before they are separated since they are much easier to hold that way. If you are using Kaisercolor Acrylic Paint then, for dark colours, you will probably need to apply only two coats while lighter colours such as white may need three coats. You should not paint the tabs since they will then be more difficult to insert into their respective slots. The part marked D on the picture only needs its edges painted while all other parts should be painted on both sides (although, as mentioned, tabs should be avoided). The picture below shows the same parts after painting.Advent Calendar pieces after painting
  3. The backboard is also best painted at this stage. You should paint all around the edges but you do not need to paint the back or the centre if you intend to cover it with paper. Try to avoid getting paint inside the slots in the board since it will make assembly more difficult.
  4. The best way we have found to separate the tabbed parts is using the Tim Holtz scissors but you can also use a strong, sharp craft knife (in which case it’s best to make a V-shaped cut from one side and gently separate the pieces). Tidy up the cut edges, especially on either side of each of the small pieces (marked E on the image), using a sharp knife or a file.
  5. We’ve found that the tabs can sometimes be very tight to assemble – they are tight fit to start with and, unfortunately, the paint can cause the MDF to swell slightly making them even tighter. We would recommend using a sharp knife or file along each side of each tab to make them into a wedge shape (as shown in the picture below) – this makes them much easier to put together.Cutting the tabs into a wedge shape
  6. The next image shows the painted back board and indicates where each tabbed piece goes on the board. Place the back board flat on a strong desk or table and insert the tabbed parts carefully before pushing them home firmly. You may need to place a piece of scrap wood (or something like a strong coaster) on the top edge of the parts to push them home (but make sure you don’t push them over sideways and break the tabs). We would recommend assembling parts C (marked in yellow) first, followed by parts B (marked in green) and then parts A (marked in red).Assembing parts onto the back board
  7. The small tabbed parts (E) should be inserted after A, B and C. Again, place the back board on a firm surface and push the parts in firmly using a scrap piece of wood if necessary, making sure that they are all aligned vertically and the individual gaps for the drawers are all the same size.
  8. If the tabs were particularly tight to assemble then glue may not be necessary. However, we would recommend that you apply a little wood glue or PVA glue to the back of each of the tabs to fix them permanently (and to the corners of the Calendar if necessary). We use Evo-Stik Wood Adhesive (available from Homebase) for this because it is very strong, dries clear and is extra fast acting to save time.
  9. Because the back board is slightly larger than the main body of the Calendar, it may cause it to lean forward slightly. The part labeled D in the first picture can be glued to the front-bottom edge of the Calendar to correct this lean if required.
  10. After gluing it may be necessary to touch-up some areas of paint (for example around the outside edges) – now is the time to do this. Once the main part of your Calendar is completed it should look something like the image below :The completed Advent Calendar frame
  11. There are probably many ways to make the drawers for the Advent Calendar but the best way we have found is by sticking each corner of each drawer together with short strips of double-sided tape. The same tape can then be used later to stick the paper onto the drawers.
  12. To cover each drawer you should cut a strip of paper the same height as the drawer and long enough to wrap around three sides plus a few millimetres at each side of the front. Squares to fit the front of each drawer can be cut from the specially designed Kaisercraft 12×12 papers (e.g. the Believe paper from the December 25th collection or the Milk & Cookies paper from the Silly Season collection) or from other papers of a suitable colour. To cut the finger hole into the square, turn it over and use the drawer as a template to mark the shape of the finger hole before cutting it out with a small pair of scissors (curved nail scissors work especially well).Making the drawers for the Advent Calendar
  13. The cover each drawer, remove the backing from the double-sided tape on the drawer, optionally use a glue stick to dab a little extra adhesive onto the chipboard and then wrap the paper around the drawer before sticking the square on the front. The next image shows each stage of this process.The stages in making the Advent Calendar drawers

At this stage you should have a fully assembled Calendar and 24 fully assembled drawers. From this point onwards there are many ways to decorate your Advent Calendar to make it unique. In the next post we’ll describe how we decorated ours.

Beyond-the-Page Jewellery Storage

While I was tidying up a bedroom recently I decided we needed something to keep a few bits of jewellery neat and tidy and had a crazy idea of making the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar / Bits’n pieces drawers into a Jewellery Box.

I decided to use the After Five collection as this will match the new colour scheme in the bedroom. I could not find any colour matched fancy hooks to hang the necklaces and bracelets on so decided to cut up some wood flourishes and fix them to the inside of the unit using Crystal Lacquer (which makes a very effective glue). I really like the end result – they are perfect for my little bits of jewellery.

Jewellery Storage Unit made from Kaisercraft Advent Calendar

The drawers are perfect for rings and larger heavier necklaces and brooches – I’ve covered the outside of each one in a strip of paper from the After Five collection and added pearls to decorate them. I left the inside of the drawers plain but you could line them with felt to protect your jewellery if preferred.

I added strips of the Debutante flocked paper from the After Five collection around the edges of the unit and a small vanity mirror in the corner (if you prefer you could add a larger mirror to cover the full size of the inside panel of the unit).

Here is a list of the products used in this project:

An Airy Fairy themed Advent Calendar

I’ve seen a couple of examples of the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar finished in a non-Christmas design. So, with a daughter who loves to collect anything to do with fairies, I decided to use the Advent Calendar to make a fairy themed trinket box with a difference especially for her.

An Airy Fairy themed Calendar

I painted all the MDF parts in Blossom Kaisercolour Acrylic paint before sticking them together with wood glue.  I then gave the whole thing another two coats of paint to cover up any errant glue. I’ve used a single sheet of the Sparkle paper (P364) from the Airy Fairy collection layered over a piece of Wisteria coloured Bazzill cardstock in the centre of the calendar. I’ve then layered the largest three fairies to give a 3D effect and applied loads of rhinestones and a coat of Crystal Lacquer for some sparkle.

An Airy Fairy Calendar

The drawers on the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar are made of chipboard (that is, extra thick cardboard). I used double sided tape to hold them together after folding them into shape. I could then simply remove the backing from the tape, rub a glue stick over any exposed bits of the chipboard and then stick the paper on the outside of the individual drawers. Each of the drawers is covered in strips of the Sparkle, Fantasy and Whimsey papers from the Airy Fairy collection and I’ve finished them with a few rhinestones and Airy Fairy Brads. I’ve also drawn on some “stitching” on the front of each of the drawers for extra effect.

My daughter uses the drawers to store her jewellery and “lucky stones” – it’s the perfect trinket box for her pink and lilac bedroom.