The new advent calendar:
Last year after christmas I saw an advent calendar in the sale in Sainsburys - 24 little wood houses, the roof of each house lifts off so it can be filled with treats.. nice smooth surface for painting... well I couldn't NOT buy that could I?!
I love the end result, but they were a bigger job than I thought - TWENTY FOUR HOUSES... count them: TWENTY FOUR!! I'm just saying because I painted 18 of them with 2-3 layers of paint...(so technically that's 36 houses!) the festive spirit may have started to fade at some point - but it was worth it.
The first thing I did was number the inside of the houses before I painted over the number on the outside- to keep the combinations evenly spaced - this was important if they were hung numerically along a banner - I wouldn't want to houses the same scheme side by side (not that I'm OCD or anything!)(ok, maybe a little bit)
House scheme A: 1,5,9,13,17,21
House scheme B: 2,6,10,14,18,22
House scheme C: 3,7,11,15,19,23
House scheme D: 4,8,12,16,20,24
It was the only way I could keep track of what I was doing!
I decided on colours - fairly neutral - Chalk, Snowflake, French Roast, Metallic Glaze, Slate and Annie Sloan Graphite chalk paint (I bought to paint a piece of furniture, its a lovely dark dark grey)...
I bought a couple of packs of snowflakes in Matalan that I wanted to use on the houses (I always head there at christmas - they often have really nice bits and pieces), book text and corrugated card board (there's always corrugated cardboard isn't there lol). The originally the houses were just painted - I wanted my make-over to have a bit more texture.. oh and glitter - there has to be glitter!
Here are the finished houses - they all follow the same format - snowflake on the front (attached with Matte Medium), snowflakes (JM07) stamped in Metallic Glaze stamped on the back with the number in Chalk or Black Archival ink on the back.. The number are a MaVinci stamp set called Fortress - I like this font because its a little bit distressed.
House scheme A: Graphite house, with a Chalk room covered in book text that has been washed with diluted Chalk paint. The bottom edge of the house has been glittered with Stampendous Frantage Crushed Glass Glitter in Gold.
House scheme B: Painted in Chalk, and the roof in Graphite.
I thought the roof was too plain so I covered it wood effect scrapbook paper.. which was too white so I diluted a very small amount of French Roast and paint the roof... several times... until I achieved the colour I wanted...
House scheme D: Slate roof, dry brushed with French Roast to break up the colour, & the ridges were edged with Stampendous Frantage Crushed Glass Glitter in Silver (seems to be more of a very pale gold - very pretty). The house was covered in book text and white washed to soften the text.
House scheme D: Slate house, with a Chalk roof covered in fine corrugation cardboard that has been 'peeled'. I lightly dragged Matte Medium over the roof and sprinkled on Cosmic Shimmer Iced Snow Glitter Jewels - the glitter is translucent so is only seen when the light catches it.
Don't tell the other houses but I think 'House D' is my favourite - its grey (love grey), the glitter is so subtle, pretty & christmassy! (its closely followed by the book text house in my affections).
Here are the roofs:
... and the houses on the tree.. the plan for 'opening' the advent calendar is the houses are hung with numbers facing out, they once opened they re-hung with the snowflakes facing out...
These were quite a lot of work but were fun to decorate, and will come out for several christmases to come.