One of my favorite Christmas traditions is an Advent calendar. I love counting down the days until Christmas. Up until this point, E has been too young to really appreciate a Christmas Advent calendar. So, now that he is old enough I was so excited to make him a special Christmas count-down.
I actually spent about an hour roaming around Joann Fabrics trying to find the inspiration for this project. That’s when I found these awesome metal note boards. Most people use these for message boards but I knew that it would be perfect for this calendar.
I absolutely love how this calendar turned out, but I must admit that it did take a bit of trial and error. Hopefully, you will be able to learn from my mistakes and it will save you some time.
How to Make a Magnetic Christmas Advent Calendar
Time: 2 days
- 2 metal note boards
- 1″ hole punch
- 1.5″ hole punch
- Magnetic bottle caps
- Sticker paper
- Resin Hardener
- Disposable Medicine Cup
- Mod Podge
- Scrapbook paper
I created the number labels on my computer and then had them printed on sticker paper at Staples. You could print these on regular paper and glue the circles on, but I found the sticker paper was much easier. Plus, by having them printed at Staples you get a professional quality laser print and it only costs about $0.50 per sheet.
I then used the 1.5″ hole punch to punch out each of the circles. I then arranged them in the shape of a Christmas tree on the metal note board.
Since when you arrange the 24 circles into the shape of the tree, you will be short one for the top of the tree. This is why I used the glittery wooden star at the top — plus, it just looks nice!
Next comes the part that will take the most work and be the most time consuming. You will want to set aside an hour or so in order to complete this step.
I found these great bottle caps with magnetic backs in the jewelry section. I found the embellishments in the sewing section since they are actually buttons. I clipped off the shank part of the back so that it would lay flat inside the bottle cap. I bought several packs of these embellishments so that I could have a good mix of bottle caps.
For each bottle cap, I used a 1″ circle hole punch to punch out a background. This gives the embellishments more contrast and made them stand out. I secured the background to the bottle cap with a drop of Mod Podge. Once the Mod Podge has dried, I arranged the embellishments inside of the bottle cap.
Now, for the resin. Read these directions carefully because once you mix the resin you will only have a couple of minutes before the resin starts to set. I tried several different kinds of resin but I had the best luck with Castin’ Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin. I tried Easy Cast and although I mixed it exactly as the directed it never fully hardened and was just tacky. However, with the Castin’ Craft it hardened right away and did an excellent job. The only downside is that it SMELLS. Use it in a well-ventilated area.
Using the disposable medicine cup, measure out an ounce of resin. Then add in 15 drops of the hardener. Mix the two together really well with either a toothpick or a paper clip. Make sure that you scrape the sides and bottom of the cup in order to make sure that everything is mixed well. Then it’s time to pour.
Pour the resin mixture into the bottle cap, completely covering the embellishments. I pour enough into the cap so that it has a bit of a dome on top. I also want to note that shortly after pouring the resin your embellishments may float to the top because of an air bubble underneath them. Just push them back down gently using the paper clip or the toothpick.
If you do end up with any surface air bubbles on the top of the caps, just exhale gently over the surface of the cap and it should break any bubbles. Don’t use a hair dryer or any other device as it may actually end up blowing lint into the resin.
After pouring the resin, you will need to keep the bottle caps flat for at least 24 hours in order to allow the resin to completely harden and dry.
The second metal note board will be where you will stick the bottle caps after they have tried. You will then take one and move it to the tree for each day of the month.
I then used the ribbon to attach the two boards together. I then made a hanger at the top so that the calendar can be hung on the wall. Then, hang it up and let your kids enjoy!