Here is a really unusual idea for a home-made advent calendar - but it is extremely popular with the kids, who love the surprise of untying the ribbon each day and seeing what has dropped below! Get the kids to help you make and decorate their own "cones" and then add the treats yourself...
You will need:
Large sheet of card
Christmassy printed paper
Ribbon and lace to decorate
Ribbon to tie candy on (lots we used about 7-8yds or 7m)
24 pieces of wrapped candy
Gold or silver card Glue
Draw an arch from one corner of the large sheet of card to the opposite long side (1/4 of a circle). The easiest way to do this is lay the card in front of you in landscape position. Tie a piece of string to a pencil. Put the tip of the pencil on the top left corner. Hold the string on the bottom left. Keeping the string held down draw a line around in a circle keeping the string taut.
Cut along the line and discard the large piece of card.
Decorate the card by gluing on lengths of ribbon, lace and other trimmings.
Using a pen, make 24 holes in the card. (Putting a lump of sticky tack on the other side of the card as you press through makes this easy, but younger children should be closely supervised). Don't put any holes too near the point of the cone.
Cut 24 circles from the printed paper, write a number from 1-24 on them, and punch a hole in each.
Cut lengths of ribbon about 25cm or 1 foot long. Tie a piece of candy in the middle of each ribbon.
Thread the ends of each piece of ribbon through one of the holes in the card from the back to the front, so that the candy is caught on the back side of the card. With the ends of the ribbon at the front of the card, thread them through one of the paper circles and tie a bow.
We did the top ones nearest the point first.
Roll the card into a cone and tape or glue to secure (this is quite tricky and an extra pair of hands helps).
Finish off any threading through the bottom lot of candies.
To finish, cut two stars from gold or silver card. Glue them together back to back sandwiching the point of the cone between them.
Every day you can undo a bow and a piece of candy falls down inside the cone. Simply lift the cone to get the treat!