Saturday 1 December 2012

And we're off!

The day dawned, cold and overcast with an icing sugar sprinkling of snow on the ground. After a ballet class, a short restorative visit to the bee bakery, some eggy sandwiches and dispatching Z2 off with the husband to get a birthday present for the party we were due at later, Z1 and I were ready to start to conquer Christmas. Dun dun daaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

I'd woken up thinking about ways of perforating egg box craters so that they could be easily torn off as Advent calendar doors. I'd envisioned intact egg cartons* glued closed after placing the chocolates inside, with the egg craters projecting upwards from the lid as well as down. Dear readers, this is not how egg cartons are made (at least not the ones I have). With easy stacking in mind, rather than easy Advent calendar making, they have flat tops. To further annihilate the feasibility of my plan, the egg craters are not sealed off from each other fully, so just turning the box upside down was not an option.

egg cartons, egg boxes, craft, crafting
Oh yes, the egg cartons
were not identical
I sat down at the kitchen table with the egg cartons in front of me to figure out what to do. I tore the lids off along the seam and put the egg crater parts upside down on the table. I decided they could be glued onto some cardboard from one of those cereal boxes I'd saved. Another obstacle became apparent - one of the egg cartons had raised bits so that it didn't sit flat. Pah! I attacked it with some venom using a scissors and cut the cereal box to size as a tray for both cartons. I drew around a coin for number labels for the craters. Preparation done.

Painting went smoothly. I had sponge tip brushes, we had red, green and sparkly pink paint and I cut out the number labels while Z1 painted away. We discussed whether ninjas were real, where they learned to be ninjas, whether our neighbour is a ninja and if teenage mutant ninja turtles really exist as we worked.

Once the paint was dry we stuck the number labels on. The relief I felt when I realised that we didn't need to fish any particular number out at any given time as they didn't need to be in order was disproportionate to how difficult that task would have been.

Hershey's kisses, Christmas, craft, chocolate, Christmas chocolate
Z1 expertly filled each egg crater with two Hershey's Kisses, colour-coordinating them carefully. The three silver-coloured sweets mentioned in the previous post? Well, two went into the day one egg crater and one went into Z1's mouth. She was remarkably restrained in her   begging requests for sweeties.

As I squeezed the glue around the edges of the cartons ready for the base to be attached, Z1 said it was very like We're Going on Bear Hunt. I am sure she is right but I have absolutely no idea what she meant by that, even after her explanations.

With that, it was done. My morning musings on perforations were ready to be put into action. I got a pin and began to carefully pierce evenly spaced holes in the first crater. I quickly realised that I most definitely did not have the patience to do this for 24 craters and that I was not even sure it would be an effective method of making the craters openable. The pointy scissors was nearby so I decided to make larger holes with that, through which Zed-sized thumbs could be inserted to rip off the top (formerly the bottom) of the egg craters in order to access the chocolate in a slightly more violent manner than I had pictured. Some craters were a bit too squishy from wet paint to do this. This will be dealt with when we get to those craters. Z1 was eager to open crater number one. The thumb insertion method worked with a bit of help from me. Once I decided that the opened crater looked like a volcano (rather than a torn egg carton), I felt a lot better about this method and, as I type, am pleased I used the phrase "egg crater" rather than "egg hole" throughout this as it ties in nicely with the volcano idea.

So, with a heart bursting with pride, I present to you the first craft in the Conquering Christmas series, our delightful, beautiful, volcano-reminiscent Advent calendar made from egg cartons.
Advent calendar, countdown calendar, Christmas, egg box, egg carton, craft, crafting with children, craft for kids
The finished product complete with torn
open hole where '1' used to be. Z1 didn't completely
cover the cartons with paint. So there.

*I've settled on cartons rather than boxes


  1. That's great! I love how it turned out.

  2. I love this! So creative and original! WOHHOOOO CHRISTMAS!!!

    1. Thanks Lulastic! Only a week to go! (Also, the advent calendar is going strong - a few times we've discovered a chocolate has migrated from one compartment to another but the cardboard has become more brittle and easier to rip off with time so it's all good)