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$5 Holiday Gift Ideas | DIY “12 Days of Christmas” Advent Calendar Tutorial

Reported by Maria del Pinto

12 Days of Christmas

My fourth project for the $5 Holiday Gift Ideas Challenge was a gift for a friend’s son, who is a great fan of the “12 Days of Christmas Advent” calendars. I know he already has three chocolate ones, so I thought I would make one that was a little different. This Advent Calendar project for kids is so quick and easy to create that it can be done in just a few hours!

I went to the 99¢ Store and purchased the following:

  • Frame: $1.50
  • 1/2 of a Package of two bows: $.50
  • Package of Christmas Sticker Boxes: $.99
  • Package of Novelty Holiday Eraser Shapes: $.99
  • Package of Party M&Ms: $.99

Total Cost: $4.97 (before tax)

I needed a few additional supplies from my stash as well:

  • Glue Dots
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Pen

Instructions:

Cut a piece of last year’s leftover wrapping paper to fit in the frame, and put it into the frame.

Next, take twelve of the sticker boxes and add either candy or an eraser to each.

Attach the boxes to the frame using glue dots (glue dots are pretty strong and work well for this type of project).

Using a pen, number the boxes from 1 to 12.

To finish the project, use one of the bows in the bow package and attach it to the top of the frame.

There’s more to come in the $5 gift challenge! Maria will have one more idea for you tomorrow so don’t miss it!

$5 Holiday Gift Ideas | DIY Christmas Candy Bouquet Tutorial

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Christmas Candy Bouquet

I really loved all those cute holiday candy bouquets that I saw last Valentines Day. So for my third project, I decided that I would try to make a more simplified Christmas candy bouquet version to have on hand for any last-minute holiday gift needs.

I went to the 99¢ Store and purchased the following:

  • Holiday themed lollipops: $.99
  • Package of Chocolate Santa’s: $.99
  • Red Chalkboard Mug: $.99
  • Candy Canes: $.99
  • Poinsettia: $.99

Total Cost: $4.95 (before tax)

Additional Supplies are needed from your stash:

  • Foam (any semi-hard foam will do)
  • Duck Tape
  • Wooden stir sticks or popsicle sticks
  • Colored Tissue Paper
  • Scotch Tape
  • Poster Foam Mounting Tape
  • Toothpicks or bamboo skewers
  • Glass marbles or clean stones (to weigh the cup down)

Instructions:

Wash and dry the cup. Place some marbles or stones into the base of the cup to weigh it down. Then place the foam on top of the stones. (If you don’t have any foam then you can use a piece of Duck Tape. Just cut two pieces of Duck Tape long enough to cover the diameter of the coffee cup. Cut each piece into 4 strips, then use the strips to create a grid on the rim of the cup. The tape that is visible can be covered with tissues if necessary.)

Duck Tape Grid

Next, prepare the candy. Using the foam mounting tape, take the Santa Chocolates and attach them to the wood sticks. Then do the same with the Candy Canes.

Santa Candy Stick

The next step is to position the candy. You want to place them in the cup at varying heights to create a dome shape. Be sure that you can easily see all of the candy. Just push the wooden sticks or Lollipop sticks into the foam. (If you are using the Duck Tape grid, then just place the pieces filling in the holes in the grid.)

Next take the tissue and cut it up into 3” squares. Fold along the diagonal to create a triangle. Then fold the triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.  Then pinch the folded end of the triangle and fluff out the open end.

Triangle Fold
Triangle 2

Use the Scotch tape to attach the tissue to a toothpick or skewer (glue will work too but it takes longer). Use these to fill in any empty spaces and to hide the foam or tape.

To finish the project, I wrapped the chalk sticks (that came with the cup) in some tissue and placed them within the bouquet.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the 4th installment in the $5 holiday gift idea series of dollar store crafts!

$5 Holiday Gift Ideas | DIY Candy Cane Centerpiece Christmas Tutorial

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Candy Cane Vase Craft Project

My second project was for my daughter, who wanted a Candy Cane Centerpiece like a lot of ones she’s seen on Pinterest.  Most of the ones on Pinterest did not have directions. Those that did had really complicated directions that she just wasn’t ready to try out.  So, I decided to make her a more simplified version.  I also made sure that the steps were very simple so she could easily make another one on her own.

From the 99¢ Store, I purchased the following:

  • 3 Packages of Candy Canes: $ 2.97
  • White & Red Poinsettia Sprays: $ 1 .98

Total Cost:  $ 4.95  (before tax)

A few other tools & supplies from your stash are needed as well:

  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Duck Tape
  • Poster Foam Mounting Tape
  • A clean pickle jar
  • Some glass marbles (to weigh down the jar)
  • Foam
  • A piece of ribbon
  • Toothpicks

Instructions:

Wash and dry the glass jar.  Wrap some duck tape around the outside of the jar to cover the center.  It is easier for the adhesive of the foam tape to stick to the Duck Tape than directly to the glass.  (Tip: The Candy Canes will cover the duck taped area anyway, so it won’t be obvious.)

After you have finished wrapping the jar with the Duck Tape you will then fill the bottom of the jar with about a ½ inch of glass marbles.  Then place the foam pieces inside of the jar. I inserted it in two pieces and used toothpicks to attach them to each other so they would stay in place.  Then place three rows of the poster foam mounting tape onto the outside of the jar.  (Tip: This will ensure that the candy canes are securely attached to the jar).  Peel off the remaining protective cover from the foam mountain tape.  Begin to attach the candy canes to the jar.

Once you finish attaching the candy canes, take a piece of ribbon and wrap it around the candy canes.  Adhere it to the candy canes by using a piece of the poster foam mounting tape. (Tip:  If you live in cold climate your adhesives may not function well.  I discovered that you can wrap a rubber band around the candy canes before you add the ribbon to help keep the candy canes attached to the foam strips.)

Then, using a wire cutter, prepare the poinsettia by cutting the stems of three white poinsettias at about 8”.  These will be the central focus of the floral centerpiece.  Place them into the center of jar by pushing the stems through the foam.  Then cut the remaining red and white poinsettia stems to 6 ½” in height and arrange them around the central poinsettias to finish off the project.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the next $5 Holiday Gift Idea!