The Charlie Brown Advent Calendar

This Thanksgiving I decided it would be fun to make an advent calendar with my five year old niece.  She loves crafts.  And candy.

The idea of an advent tree came to mind and so I picked up some square dowels at Lowe’s and got to work figuring out the measurements.
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I really only needed two dowels with cuts for branches at 4, 6, 10, and 14 inches long.

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Then I used some wood glue and applied it to each side (the trunk and branches) of the tree.

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Since we didn’t have small clamps to hold the joints together I delicately laid a cook book on the structure to press the pieces together and allow it to dry.

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The resulting bond was surprisingly strong.  I then applied a little more glue to the base that Howard made with a drill and chisel and put it in front of the fire to dry.

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After drying overnight, I applied two coats of white paint.  I debated using green but thought white would be a good base so it would be decorated in different colors in future years if the  project was successful.

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When my niece saw the advent tree she was so excited to decorate it and immediate hid it from her brother until he went down for nap.  When all was calm, we assembled 25 little candy packages.  I used candy gift bags but cut off the bottoms and used the cellophane paper to make four squares from each bag that I turned up into little pouches.  Then I tied the bags with paper tags from Staples and some ribbon.

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My niece did an outstanding job of numbering each tag and hanging the candy in order on the tree.  She also added a sticker “angel” to the top of the tree.

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The tree was a fun activity for us to do together but I might assemble the bags in advance next year if there interest in decorating it again. Overall it took about a half hour to make the little candy pouches but I could tell that my favorite five year old was loosing interest when she asked if we could stop after the number 14.

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Photo credit: Annie Morris

I’ve always been an advent calendar lover but didn’t make myself an advent tree.  Instead I lucked out when the mitten advent calendar from garnet hill was marked down for Black Friday.  It arrived this week and I immediately hung it on our stairs.  I thought the calendar would be small enough to put over the mantel but they are much bigger than I anticipated.  Either way, I think they look pretty cute.

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We have plans to decorate the house this weekend.  Tell me, do you have an advent calendar? And is your tree up yet?

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