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The (mini) Advent Calendar

I always pride myself in my ability to start and finish things, really focus and get it done.  But then Miss Kitty came along and some of that focus ceased to exist.

Last spring/summer (2014), I purchased the Kaisercraft Advent Calendar Kit from Amazon.  I knew full well that I wouldn't get to it by that Christmas.  Then I fell into the mini trap and poof! I had no spare time.  It stared at my in my crafting cupboard and I decided that the only way to tackle it was to make it a mini project, that way I could improve my skills, try new things and blog about it.  It was good motivation.

Talk about a project that kept going, and going and going.  And did I ever once think to look on Pinterest for helpful hints on how best to assemble it? Yes! But AFTER I had finished it.  Genius.

The Empty Shell

I spray painted all the MDF shell pieces with flat white (because I had several cans), and then sealed it with a clear satin spray.  The boxes were all assembled and painted Decoart Antique White, scrapbook paper applied to the front of the boxes and then all sealed with a clear matte spray.  The letters were painted silver then silver sparkles were glued on.  Way too sparkly for me, so I sprayed it matte too.

The Mini Scene

The Floor

The floor is my first foray into.....flooring.  Ha.  I used iron-on veneer from Home Depot.  The best $3 I spent in a long time!  I cut and stained a few strips in a nice grey stain.  I wanted it darker, but after 2 coats I sensed it wasn't going to get darker on the veneer, so I called it a day.

Pampers box saves the day!

I lay the floor in staggered  pieces.  The wood block in the picture was used to press down on the veneer after I put the hot iron on it.  I was impressed I didn't a) burn the veneer b) burn myself and c) burn the calendar box.

The Fireplace

The fireplace was purchased from Dreamdollhouse2014.  I sanded it, primed it and painted it in CIL "Romance," my favourite shade of white!  The bricks were painted a standard medium grey acrylic and sealed with a semi-gloss water based urethane.

The fireplace's inner workings really excited me with how they turned out.  The metal "mesh" base the logs sit on is actually a metal dollarstore pencil holder.  I cut a small piece (the holder) and used cardstock for the legs.

The "wood" is actually dried sedum (plant) stems.  I was cleaning out my garden and noticed how similar the stems looked like birch.  Over the winter they were buried under snow and ended up dried and bleached out.  I couldn't believe my luck (and I hope you're not thinking, is she #$%@%$& blind? that doesn't look like birch).  The ashes were the bits left after trimming the sedum, and I just painted them grey and black once glued in place.

The Window

The window came from thestylehome on Ebay.  It's wood and has an acrylic sheet. Great value for the money.  It came with pieces to trim the window, but since I was just gluing it to the box, I used the pieces as the bottom part of the window frame.

I puffed up like a peacock when my husband thought that it was a picture I had printed.  Nope, ol' Picasso here painted it.  I've never painted anything like that before and I was pleased how it turned out.  I painted it on a thicker painting paper with water colour paint, then sealed it with a satin spray paint.

The Tree

The tree was pilfered from my Christmas village scene.  Fortunately, we had taken the boxes out to get to something, so I was able to get at the good stuff.  I cuff off the back branches to get it relatively flush into the box.  Helpful tip alert! Sure, the trees little foamy bits are annoying when they fall everywhere, but when you clear satin spray paint it you might have a panic attack.  The spray paint eats the foam.  Thankfully this didn't eat all the foam and made it easier to decorate the tree.  

The decorations are decorative buttons that I added a bit of paint to.  The Grey Luster Girl blog had a great tutorial and template for the star.  I used gold cardstock and glued 2 of the stars together to make it 3D, then I clear coated it.

The tree skirt was burlap cut to fit and trimmed with a jute string trim.  Yeah for Michael's dollar bins!!  The presents were foam board wrapped with scrapbook paper.

The Stewart Dollhouse Creations Kits

Stewart Dollhouse Creations makes some fantastic kits, especially if you are interested in baking and booze items.  I was also drawn to the site because it has easy ecommerce and their shipping costs to Canada is not triple the cost of my order.  It's also my first kit ever!

These are the 3 kits I used.  

Amazingly easy to assemble.  I had a lot of fun with the log cabin kit.  First, I thought, lets paint it.  Then I added some "snow" with cotton ball bits and glue.  And to finish it off, I thought, why not make a tiny fence with wood slivers.  Then I added shutters and painted the interior.  Sigh.


I have to say making accessories for me, well, Forest Gump said it best, "we goes together like peas and carrots."  I enjoy it a little too much and then have zero capacity to stop having accessory fun.

The candle was fun.  I think my husband thought I was shooting crack in my work space as he walked in while I was making it.  I had a white substance (crushed up tea candle wax), a large tin can and a BBQ lighter, the makings of a felony arrest. Haha.  I gently heated some shaved wax and rolled it.  Then used a pin to push in a single black thread (wick) and put it in the jar.  Voila! My illicit candle.

My garland is made of snowflake buttons.  I had originally planned to use cardstock and punches, but then I spotted the buttons at Fabricland and thought, woo hoo!  I stiffened a jute string with white glue and then threaded the buttons on and glued them into position (and tacked them to the fireplace for stability).

The logs on the shelf are, again, sedum.  But these were in my back yard and are less white and bleached then the sedum at the front of my house.  I sealed them once glued in place since they are delicate.

And finally, my cookies, plate, and candy canes came from Zanetti International on Ebay.  The pop can came from Michaels.  I would have put a beer bottle or a run and coke, but while I try to be realistic, I tried to remain wholesome for the sake of appearances. 

The mirror is from 2014 Dollhouse.  I simply painted it white and rubbed some grey oil pencil on it to burnish the details.  The decorations on the mirror are also buttons.

There you have it!  My 3 month mini side project done!  Mind you, its been done for a while, I've just been slow getting the post together.  Now back to the dollhouse attic!