Charlie Brown Christmas Advent calendar
Jo challenged me this year to an Advent calendar showdown! We both started with the same 25-compartment chipboard box from Hobby Lobby, and each transformed it using our own inspiration. She created a retro Santa Advent calendar with hers, and I focused on one of my seasonal favorites, the movie A Charlie Brown Christmas. I made the box into a replica of Snoopy’s doghouse, decorated for Christmas, and added a few more fun touches along the way.
In addition to the blank box, I used Americana Multi-Surface in Cottonball, Lipstick, and Turf Green. I also grabbed some Americana Decou-Page and a green pine sprig I found in the floral section at Hobby Lobby.
I basecoated all of the boxes with Cottonball. I probably could have skipped this step, but I wanted to be sure the brown didn’t show through the paper.
Then I painted all of the inside of the box with Turf Green.
I used the side of my brush to dab white paint onto the edges so that there was a nice white frame around all the compartments.
I painted the outside of the box white, then made sure to let all the paint dry for a good long time so that I didn’t risk the boxes sticking when I put them inside.
To decorate the fronts, I made a mosaic of the most classic scene from the movie, where all the Peanuts gang is standing around the tree, singing. I also made some funky numbers for labeling the days of the Advent countdown. To make it easy for you to reproduce at home, I made a handy Charlie Brown Christmas Advent calendar printable for you to download for free!
I printed the pages onto regular white paper and cut the pieces out. For the numbers, I just cut a general oval shape around each one.
The most important part of this step is keeping the tiles in order and properly numbered. I suggest stacking the numbers on top of the corresponding pieces so you don’t get them mixed up.
To account for the rounded notches in each box, I started by holding a paper tile onto the front…
…then I flipped it over and traced the curve…
…then I cut it out with scissors. I double-checked to make sure it fit, then I used that one as a template to cut them all out.
I used the Decou-Page to attach the image tiles to the front of each box. I applied one coat of the glue, stuck the paper on, then brushed over top to seal it in.
The numbers went on the opposite side of the boxes as the image, and were glued on in the same way.
Next is the tricky part of the construction, but fortunately I’ve got all the measurements to share! I cut a piece of cardboard box to 13″ tall and 15″ wide. Then, along the 15″ side, I measured from the left and made marks at 1.5″, 7.5″, and 13.5″.
I scored lines at these three places and folded the cardboard.
When it was all folded up, it was the perfect base for the roof for Snoopy’s house!
I put a very liberal amount of hot glue on the top of the main box…
…then added the roof, holding it firmly in place until the glue was completely cooled and set.
To create the second layer of the roof, I cut another piece of cardboard that was 6″ wide and 13″ long. I scored right down the middle and folded to create a peak.
A little more hot glue near the crease…
…and the peak of the roof was ready to stick right on top. Again, I held it until it was completely cooled and set. Cardboard can be pretty resilient, and you don’t want it popping off while the glue is still melted!
One more piece of cardboard finished it off, and that was a 18″ x 6″ piece that I glued to the bottom. I put the box/house over to the side to make room for something special on the left.
And that something is my Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I just used a simple, fake, pine sprig and twisted the end of the wire into a loop. I attached the loop with a huge glob of hot glue, and held it forever until it was fully cooled and set. So cute!
Then I painted the roof red, and it was really starting to come together. What a transformation it made to add that pop of red.
Time to add some finishing touches! I wrapped a small scrap of blue fabric around the base to resemble Linus’ blanket.
I got a little battery-operated string of 20 lights and wrapped them around the roof, tucking the switch and extra cord inside.
Then I popped all the boxes into the slots, in order.
Finally, I added a “1st place” ribbon just like the one Snoopy won on his house, and I hung a big red ornament on the scrappy little tree.
Okay, you see the numbered boxes, but what about that image mosaic? The fun part is that it’ll be revealed a little bit at a time. Each day, you take the numbered box out and open the prize. Then you flip it around and stick it in the other way, showing a piece of the picture.
Eventually the whole image will be complete as the last piece is displayed on Christmas morning.
So what do you think about my response into Jo’s Advent calendar challenge? I’m not necessarily saying mine is better than hers, but… well… it DOES have a ribbon on it saying 1st place!