Every year I buy everyone in the family a chocolate Advent calendar for December, and every year Lance opens his window and tosses the crappy piece of chocolate into a bowl which will remain there for the entire month of December and into January when I put the decorations away and either toss the chocolates out or one of the kids eats them. I had to come up with an idea to get him enjoying this whole "lead up to Christmas" thing, and what does a man like more than anything? Beer! Especially with all the crazy craft beers that they're making now. I started saving up Pringles cans. I'd seen a pin. It looked simple enough. By mid-October I had almost 20 cans saved up and had even gotten as far as decorating one with Mod Podge (and it looked pretty cool), then I went to the liquor store. I had a plan... Decorate a can, buy a beer for it, then by the time all 24 were decorated, I`d have all the beers that I needed and could figure out how to make them stick together. Here`s where it all went wrong. The craft beers were way too big for the Pringles cans, and the beers that did fit were boring! Back to the drawing board!!!
I figured that I`d make them out of PVC pipe, so my daughter and I trecked off to Home Depot where we found a 10ft pipe that was 3" wide for about $14. Basically I'd need two and half of those and then I'd have to decorate them which would probably end up costing about $40+ to do it that way. I had almost given up, then at the dollar store, we spied a wine cylinder! Ermahgerd!!! I grabbed 25 of these beauties for $30 and the best part... I wouldn't have to decorate them much! They also had a numerical wall border with numbers 1-25 that looked like it would be the perfect size for my days, and I was right!
I came home and got to work.
|Organizing my pretty boxes into colors!|
|The first row, done!|
I took the strings out of the lids and put them aside (I used them later) as it would have looked silly with strings all over the place. I then started gluing them to each other. I found it best to remove the lids, then glue them to the next one in the "upside down" position as some cylinders were a smidge taller than others, and I didn't want the front looking all uneven. This way, the uneven part would be at the back and no one would ever see that part!
After I had stacked and hotglued all 25, it was time to fiddle around with the lids. See how perfect that wall banner was? I cut the circles out and they fit easily into the lip of the lid. I just had to slide them in and wiggle them about a bit to make them fit perfectly. I didn't even have to use glue!
|See how beautifully uniform the front is?|
|Cutting out circles when I 'm supposed to be working!|
|See how they just kind of slide into the lip neatly?|
|All stacked, and waiting to get numbered!|
|Finding fun beers is fun!|
I wrapped each beer up in red or green tissue and used the strings from the boxes to secure them, then I popped one into each box and put the lid on. I haven't quite bought all 25 beers yet because I'm waiting for the Christmas Crafts to make it to the stores so I can buy the elusive "Ugly Sweater" beer and hopefully "Santa's Butt". Next year I think I'll buy 6-ish per season so he has a nice mixture of Summer/Spring/Fall/Winter beers to open, but I know he'll enjoy whatever it is I put in there. Note the ACDC beer? Neat!
|Here it is in all it's finished glory! I used some colored laser tape that I found at the dollar store to decorate it.|
Roll on December 1st. I don't know who'll be more excited to open the calendar. Lance or myself! Needless to say, this is more personal than the Craft Calendars that they sell at the Liquor Store as I get to pick and choose what beer goes into it, and 650ml > 355ml. ;)