I am lucky to know some very fabulous and creative people. One of them is my friend Anya, who somehow found time between parenting her son and working as a jeweler's assistant to make this elaborate advent calendar two years ago. It uses a 25-nook typesetter's drawer (sometimes called a printer's tray) as its structure. Each space is covered by a paper square, stamped with a number, and attached to the tray by a tiny glue dot. I like the non-traditional colors and motifs, which give it a happy, playful vibe.
Each day, a new square is removed, and a tiny scene revealed. Here's December first:
Anya used cut out illustrations from vintage books and cards, along with dollhouse miniatures and other toys she's collected. Many of the scenes have nods to her family's special interests or stories . Anya's favorite bird is the chickadee, who shows up in December third.:
I particularly like the use of a section of wool sweater as a snowy mountain, here:
I also like this 8-pack of the teeniest of rooms.
And here, I love the miniature lights framing the house, the milk and cookies left for Santa on a toothpick-legged table, and the stocking, which is an exact replica of her son's full-sized one.
I just adore the whole thing, especially how obviously full of love it is. Which is what the holidays are all about.
If you are now feeling super inspired to make one for your own family, do a web search for "printers tray" or "typesetter tray" and see what you can find. From what I've seen, eBay has much better prices than Etsy, though Etsy is where Anya found hers; they may have a nicer selection than the 'Bay.
Of course, if you don't want to spend a bunch, you can always build your own multi-cubby display out of paint sticks!
Happy sugarplum dreams...
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.