3D Thursday: something advent-agious?

A few days ago a friend told me she had bought herself an advent calendar with a difference. Instead of pictures, or chocolates, it would give her daily presents of a favourite cosmetic brand. I have to confess to a touch of the green-eyed monster here as it is also made by one of my favourite brands, but at nearly £70 including delivery it is not in the budget for this year.

However, the idea of a daily treat for adults through December sounded pretty attractive. Why should the kids have all the good stuff? I think it would be fun to make an advent calendar for your other half, sister, brother, parent(s) or friend. Anyone, really!

So I pulled out my Tonic Advent Treat Squeeze Box die set. I have had this for a long time now – from whenever it first came out, I think. It is one of my all-time favourites, and still available. The box takes moments to make and all the recipient has to do is gently squeeze two opposite corners for the treat to fall from the bottom. And of course you can keep them plain or gussy up as much as you like.

squeeze-box-tgrio

If I am meeting girlfriends for lunch at Christmas I will make a few up and load them with a swanky truffle or wrapped sweets. You can also use them for small gift items such as makeup or jewellery, but maybe not for anything too precious as one squeeze and it could be lost! Also you don’t need to confine their use to Christmas or Advent: just leave the numbers out and you have year round table favours or dinner party treats, or just gift wrap. I have seen them, or something similar, made into Santa, or Rudolph, or a bee, a pig, a cow…Pinterest has loads of ideas for novelty triangular boxes.

This one is the simplest. Just gold card, a scrap of red I had previously embossed and a ribbon loop. You can omit the loops of course if you don’t plan on hanging them on the tree. I just like the extra texture and detail!

squeeze-box-plain-gold

This one is made from a scrap of Anna Griffin card. I wanted to use invisible thread to hang the jingle bells, but I can’t see it anywhere! Clearly it is living up to its name. I made do with white thread, which then broke on me once I had the bells in place, so a bit of keyhole surgery was called for. I had added a second holly leave but then decided it looked like the box had aspirations to be a windmill, so I removed it.

squeeze-box-silver

This third one is a bit more vintage looking. The paper is from Trimcraft’s North Pole collection. I bought it last year but I have seen it still around this year too. Personally I like a bit of glitter with vintage, but I know it is not for everyone. I had tried the number 4 in one of the other papers from the pack but it just lacked impact, so I cut another from red and glued it over the top. Maybe those last three words describe the effect well!

squeeze-box-north-pole

Of course if you fancy doing something like this you don’t need a die. Any small boxes, bags or envelopes can be adapted and decorated, ready for your advent treats!

 

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Easter is early, so I am late.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Totally true, but who wants to hear it?? I think ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ sounds like so much more fun. Picture it, literally. Fun, right? Dangerous and possibly catastrophic but what a buzz!

Here is my paper folding equivalent, rustled up today. A small milk carton type box to house one familiar gold chocolate bunny and some mini Easter eggs. I could have fitted two bunnies in, but we all know that is not a good idea.

bunny box

 

Easter Treat Favours

These little pouches are very easy to make, even at the last minute. You just need some small plastic bags, which cost almost nothing (mine are self-seal but it’s not vital), strips of card or thick paper, ribbon or baker’s twine, double sided sticky tape, a hole punch and a small die, or you could use a punch. Mine are for mini eggs, hence the cavorting  bunny, but you could use hearts for valentines or weddings, stars or reindeer for Christmas etc.

Mini egg favours

Cut your strip of card about .5cm wider than your bag and twice the length, plus 3 cm. Confused? This is to allow a 2cm flap to fold over at the top and a little clearance at the bottom once you stick the bag in. All will become clear.

So my bags are 6cm wide and 7cm tall and my strip of card is 6.5cm wide & 17cm long. I score the long side at 2cm and 9.5cm and crease well on the score lines.

If you want a die cut window, now is the time to do it. Remember to cut it from the section between your two score lines, with the 2cm ‘flap’ at the top. If you are using punches, or the die cut rather than the negative, you can stick it on now too, or later if you wish/forget.

Stick a narrow strip of double-sided tape on the inside of the same (front) section, close to the 2cm score line. Use a strip a bit smaller than your plastic bag. Stick the top of the bag to this. Fold up the bottom or back section, and fold the flap over to cover it at the top.

Punch holes in the top, making sure they are within your 2cm flap. Wide apart or close together, big or small, depending on your choice of closure. I like the sweetie bow look, which for these took about 23cm of ribbon, with a little wiggle room for trimming afterwards.

Do it in stages and they are very quick. They look really nice in a mix of cheery patterns and embossed card in spring colours. This year I went gingham crazy but anything works and if I had more time I would dilute the gingham a bit! Always last minute…