Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Christmas Countdown Candy Calendar

This idea has been a year in the making and I am very excited to be able to reveal it here on my new blog.  Last Halloween I came up with the idea of having the kids pick out 25 pieces of candy from their loot to make an advent calendar.  At that point I didn't know what materials I would use to make said calendar, but I thought it couldn't be that hard.  Little did I know...

The long and short of it is that I couldn't find the right type of box to work with my vision and it ended up being more complicated/work than I had intended.  I thought surely someone has thought of this before and I could go to Michaels and purchase a pre-made box or kit.  After a frustrating search I even pitched my idea to Michaels hoping they would develop it (but it doesn't work that way).  I was so obsessed with this idea last year that I thought I would take it to Dragons Den and it would be a great success.  But my practical husband eventually got me to see that, while a good idea, perhaps not a big money maker.

I eventually used a large egg carton and then covered it with a sheet of cardboard that I painstakingly cut out doors and attempted to hold together with tape, and while it served its purpose,  it was neither sturdy nor long lasting.  

So this year I began thinking again of what I could use and when a trip to Michaels to peruse their bead containers proved futile (they don't have individually opening segments), my Mom suggested a pill container.  (It always helps to talk to your mom - about anything and everything).

Again, I went on a hunt to a number of different pharmacies before locating this,

a 28 sectioned pill container.  While the compartments aren't that big it was the right concept, so I picked one up and had the pharmacist order me 3 more (I have 4 kids - I'm thinking down the road).  When asked if the container was for personal use, I somewhat hesitantly described my idea.  The pharmacist thought it was neat (confirming that it is genius and not silly).  He even suggested another alternative, which I will demonstrate in a few.

So here is what I have fashioned after all this.

Since the compartments didn't hold very large pieces of candy, I had my kids pick out the smallest pieces they could and then opened the bags with small candies and put them directly in the compartment.  This was exciting for them because they got to choose which doors to put the candy in and eat any pieces that didn't fit.  Another thing I should mention should you choose to fashion your own, is that the rows of boxes come out of the frame so I used double sided tape to keep them in.  And fancy it up with some stickers - be as creative as you like.

So here is the alternative the Pharmacist gave me - for about a dollar each they would supply me with blister pack material to make a disposable calendar.  While this is cheaper, the sections are not very big, but I think the fact that the candy can be punched out the back is fun.  I decided to make one up as an example and use it for my younger daughter this year.  I still bought 4 monthly pill packs because I think this is something I will do every year and therefore reuse the containers.

After I searched for the pill boxes at pharmacies I came across this at the dollar store (of course - isn't everything at the Dollar store?)  The compartments are smaller and not colourful but if you wanted a cheaper alternative, there is one.

They also had really large weekly pill boxes at the dollar store and I thought if you somehow combined them in to 4 you could fit a decent sized piece of candy in each one.  But since I have 4 kids I thought a smaller sized container kicking around was more reasonable.

Of course I plan to start letting them count down on December 1 and then there will be 3 bonus days - maybe we'll count down to their Dad's birthday which is on Dec 29.

So, after way too much thought and effort put forth, I am happy with the finished product.  My intention for starting this blog was to share this particular idea and put it on Pineterest.  When I searched advent calendars on Pinterest, I actually saw a few other ideas that are along the same lines and I realize that while my idea is not completely unique, it hasn't been done just like this.  

Here are a couple of links to other ways of making a "reuse halloween candy to make an advent calendar".

There are some very cool, unique ideas out there, some very decorative and crafty.  It makes me want to try some more, but I like that my kids are involved in this, it repurposes the Halloween candy and they each have their own to open.

Side note - People who make Easter and Halloween Advent calendars, have great intentions, but should come up with another name as Advent is specifically for the "coming" or waiting for Christmas - just a personal pet peeve - sorry to be critical.

I will end with a quote I found that I think sums up my reason for starting this blog.

"A half-baked idea is okay as long as it's in the oven." ~ Author Unknown

With a Bushel and a Peck of Love ~ Stephanie


  1. If only Halloween candy would stay long enough in the house to do this!
    I love the idea!