Chalkboard Advent Calendar

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Overview

Made from simple and upcycled materials, this Advent calendar is inexpensive and easy to make. The kids can join in on the fun -- with adult supervision -- for a few of the steps. Then, as they count down to Christmas, the kids can move a magnetic ornament to the tree each day. Finally, on the 25th, they can put the star on the top of the tree.

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Cut Paper Circles

Search through old magazines, Christmas cards, wrapping paper and scrapbook paper for small colorful images, including one bright star. Punch 25 1-inch circles with a circle punch or draw circles and cut with scissors.

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Glue Images into Bottle Caps

Put a dab of clear adhesive in the center and around the edges of a bottle cap. Set an image in place and press to secure it to the glue. Repeat with remaining images and bottle caps. Set aside to dry.

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Add the Glaze

Drip glaze into each bottle cap. Work slowly and do not shake the bottle. If bubbles appear, prick them with a straight pin. Set aside to cure overnight.

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Prime the Chalkboard Paper

Cut a piece of chalkboard paper sized to cover your piece of sheet metal or the front of the refrigerator. Using the broad side of a piece of chalk, cover the paper with chalk. Erase the chalk with a rag or paper towel.

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Draw the Tree

Make a tiny mark at the center of the paper. Starting at the center and about 3 inches down from the top of the paper, use a bistro marker to draw a series of swooping lines, each slightly longer than the previous one. Repeat in the opposite direction. Add cross hatching and a star at the top of the tree.

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Add the Numbers

At the bottom of the page, write numbers 1 through 25. If you're not confident in your penmanship, use a bistro marker to color on acrylic stamps and then stamp the numbers on the calendar. Lay out a row of bottle caps to make sure the spacing works before committing to it.

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Decorate the Edges

This step is completely optional, but it does enhance the overall design. You can draw a freehand design around the edges of the calendar, or trace around large ric rack and then color it in.

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Glue On the Magnets

Put a dab of clear adhesive on the back of a bottle cap and press a magnet in place. Repeat with remaining bottle caps. Set aside to dry.