Friday, November 18, 2016

Altoid Advent Calendar

Are you ready to be bombarded with pictures? This is a biggun'. Well, the actual thing is quite small... but it's almost epic in it's awesomeness!

I've thought about creating an advent calendar in an Altoid tin for a very long while, and finally set my mind to it. I'm really, really proud of how it turned out and I'm so excited to share it with you.

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

The outside is sweet and jolly lovely. A wee wreath made with a snip of Wired Pine Needle Stem with the teeniest bow and Star Sequins. The corners are frosty with layers of glitter and faux snow. That little gnome can be found on this Santa is Outside Collage Sheet.

But the inside... oh the inside!

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana
*Gasps! Claps hands! Jumps up and down* LOOKY AT THAT! Can you even stand it?!

Get a load of all those little drawers. Each one with a little surprise tucked inside.

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

I'm going to be honest. This was an enormous pain in the bum to make. It took a gazillion times longer than I had anticipated. I'm a disaster for measuring and straight lines, so those little boxes were a nightmare. And, because it's sooooo tiny, any wobble or imperfection throws everything off (and believe me, there are imperfections a-plenty here.)

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

But let's not focus on the rump pain. Let's look inside... 

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

Once the drawers were created, the next issue became what the heck would fit inside them. Some of the drawers contain dollhouse miniatures like the tiny tankard above. 

Altoid Advent Calendar (detail) - Nichola Battilana

One of the drawers contains a small collection of lucky charms. (Three is when something becomes a collection, right?) If you decide to tackle a similar project, charms and beads are a great option for filling those small spaces.


Another drawer is filled with shiny stars.

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

There's an itty book of sketches.

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

And a chocolate kiss made with a chocolate chip and snip of foil! 

(Confession: in reality I'm distraught because it's a butterscotch chip inside. The horror! The fairies must have eaten all the good and proper chocolate ones.)

Altoid Advent Calendar (detail) - Nichola Battilana

Of course I couldn't not include glitter. This glass vial was from a vintage set that contained the tiniest watchmaker gears you can imagine. Even though it was already so very small, I still had to cut and file it down to fit it in the drawer!

Considering the recipient is helpful for ideas too. This piece is on it's way to a fellow who once made a giant circus peanut, so I've included handmade fairy sized versions.

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

Jim also happens to create work using Altoids (and other) tinsso I absolutely had to include this...

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

Perfect, no?!

Finally, on the last day of the count down, the little doors are popped open to reveal a message of seasonal glad tidings.

Altoid Advent Calendar - Nichola Battilana

What do you think? Do you love it?! I love it! I'm so damn pleased with myself it's obscene. Ha!

Thinking of making your own? I don't have a tute, but here are some pointers:

• Give yourself a lot of time.  A LOT. I mean it. This thing was nuts to make.
• Be as organised as you can be with your materials.
• Keep your working area clean (ha! I know.)
• If possible, gather more items than you need for the drawers. Having many options is really helpful.
• A small snip of tissue tucked into the drawers helps to keep small loose items in their place.
• Creating drawers of differing sizes not only adds visual interest, but allows you to include items of various sizes.
• Tweezers. Get some. Use them. Love them.

Other supplies used in this piece:
Narrow Gold Fleur Dresden Borders*
Tiny Dot Dresden Borders - Gold*
Wallflower 12x12 Paper Stash
Flat Brass Drawer Pulls - Set of 16
Old Fashioned Grocery Rectangular Tins

Be sure to let me know if you create your own version of this project and show off your mad skillzzzz. Start now and you may be done by next Christmas ;)

I love you THIS much!

33 comments:

  1. Oh my word, this is the most fabulous creation! You are a rock star! What an absolute treasure filled with treasures :)

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  2. You are amazing! Your work is awesome.... but you exceeded everything with this!!!!!!! This is the cutes thing ever!!!!

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  3. I so enjoyed reading your description of the project and the procedure-you are so colourful, Nichola! I suck with the whole measuring thing too-my best day in scrapbooking etc was when I discovered tearing and distressing-lol! Love this to bits and you totally rocked it!

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    1. I too am a fan of tearing and distressing. Yay for grungy, shabby projects am I right?!? Thanks for the nice words :)

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  4. All I can say is WOW! I LOVE advent calendars and this one takes the cake!!! :) So many lovely little treasures and surprises to uncover! And all those TEENY DRAWERS!! EEEEEEEEE!!!!! If you don't mind me saying so, when it comes to arty-crafty-making-wizardry, YOU are a Mad-Mage!

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    1. YOU should totally make an advent calendar! I can totally see you creating one with bits that come together to tell a story or form a village.

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  5. Just when I think you can top yourself in tiny awesomeness, you go and do something like this. Love it! Now, can you make a little advent calendar in that mini tin from drawer 1? Please, and thank you.

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    1. lol I've had a few people request an insane mini-tin. I think I need to recouperate from this one first.

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  6. wow girl! Your talents never cease to amaze me!! This is the coolest advent calendar ever!

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  7. Incredible. Once again you blow me away with your talent. 👍

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  8. I LOVE this! I have a bunch of Altoid (and etc) tins saved up because I have been thinking of making a tin advent for a long time - but one tin per day. I LOVE that you made the one tin into the advent. It is so tiny and wonderful!!!!! Those little drawers with those teeny treasures! This is just amazing!

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    1. I've seen some pretty amazing calendars made with groups of tins and you could fit loads more things in there. Like candy... lots and lots of candy.

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  9. I love it, love it, LOVE it! I always enjoy seeing what you make and this might top everything. You have such a wonderful imagination and attention to detail.

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  10. So...I held my breath the whole time, waiting for the big denouement. What?! No denouement? You didn't show us what was in the 24th!!!!!! Arrrrgggghhhh!!! I must know!!!!
    But really, it is fabulous. Beyond anything you've done previously. I looove it.

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    1. That's driving a few people nuts. Cross my heart, it's just a nice little holiday greeting... but because this is a gift I gotta keep some parts a surprise!

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  11. I, too, would be a very proud and puffed up Mama of such an amazing work of art....and also mad as a hatter after all the challenges to get to the finish line!! Yay you!!! This wonderful cool treasure fills me with many waves of glee. I would have fits every day opening up each tiny box to discover the special treasures! You are wonderful and Jim the Peanut Altoid Man is a very lucky person. xoxo

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    1. He is totally lucky! Ha! I'll tell him you said so, so it must be true. But really, this was a lot of fun to make, and I do hope it's just as much fun to open.

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  12. You SHOULD be obscenely pleased with yourself!!! That is phenomenal!!! OMG. Such detail and...tinyness!!

    Great job!! I love it!!
    Lauri

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  13. OMGAwd!!! You are the bomb Nichola!!!! I cannot believe how this turned out- absolutely incredible- you should be over the moon pleased with yourself!! Your teeny tiny creation deserves a right pot in a museum of the finest miniatures- just saying! Love love love it! And love you for sharing the love! xx

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  14. This is so AWESOME!!!!! I love miniatures and I do believe this tops my chart thus far. I would never have thought to do this but you have now given me a challenge. A REAL CHALLENGE....whew. Love how you scattered the numbers and all the different sized itty bitty drawers. I'm sitting here with the biggest grin on my face. And the little candy kiss.....oh my, too cute. Thanks for your tips and sharing this absolutely wonderful creation. I have a large collection of tins now calling my name :)

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  15. You are a total genius! This is amazing, in the truest and actual meaning of the word. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  16. My jaw literally dropped and hit the desktop when I clicked on the link. Should I be surprised that it would be an amazing project...nope. But this is simple amazing, breathtaking, over the top. You are the queen of patience and anyone who has ever created in miniature has to have an overload of them. This ranks up there with my top ten projects ever! Wow, just wow! Your brain must never shut off...lol! I use to have a miniature business so I know the difficultly in this creation. When I would be ripping out my hair my Dad would say "soldier on." My daughters and I love Advent Calendars and I've saved everyone I purchased for them. Love the circus peanut which made me laugh and would be perfect for a drawer in my younger daughters calendar. All those tiny gifts are lovely especially the butterscotch chip, its the preferred flavor of my fairies. Lol! I have a stack of these tins sitting on my desk waiting for the perfect project. Now you have my brain busy with ideas. By the way, I love your tattoo.

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  17. Oh my gawd - that is amazing! Definitely worth all the pain-in-the-bummery.

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  18. Oh, I am jumping up and down and squealing, too! I love minis, but my WORD, those are MINIS!!! Love your advent, and your tiny little altoid tin is amazing! I hope Jim loved it as much as we all do!

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