To begin my project, I collected paper towel and toilet paper tubes until I had enough to make 24 little houses, which turned out to be just 2 of each type of tube. (I may or may not have unrolled half a roll of paper towels and piled them on the counter because I was WAY too impatient to wait to get my hands on that roll, but that's neither here nor there.) I first tried cutting up the tubes with scissors, but that didn't work at all. It just mangled the fairly flimsy cardboard, much to my dismay. I ended up using my largest butcher knife to saw through them. It worked like a charm, but probably looked pretty odd. I wish I could have gotten a picture of myself sawing away at toilet paper tubes with a huge knife.
Once the tubes were cut, I moved on to decorating and assembling them. I really liked the white houses, but the red and green roofs don't really fit with my mostly green and blue decor. To solve that little mismatch, I just used some scrapbook paper I already had in the right colors to create roofs for my little village. I also didn't bother cutting out doors or windows, but painted them on instead. Here's a close up shot of the houses:
After all the houses were assembled, I painted a number on each roof and arranged them on "hills" around the nativity scene. For my hills, I just piled some books and covered each stack with a floursack kitchen towel.
I think they look snowy. :) Was there really snow on the hills of Bethlehem the night Jesus was born? I doubt it. However, I think my little town of paper-towel-tube Bethlehem is pretty darn cute, inaccurate though it may be.
Doesn't it look good? It's so fun to see Lily climb up on a chair and search for the house with the right number on it. Even though she already knows what's under them (a Hershey's milk chocolate nugget), she's so excited to peek under each day's house.
I'm going to try to scrounge up a long, short box to put the little houses in once it's time to put them away, since I'm certainly keeping them! It'll be so fun to see James joining in the fun next year :) Do you have an advent calendar? Have you ever made one? Let me know!