By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar, Editor-In-Chief
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This past weekend in the middle of my karva chauth fast, I was actually craving chocolate. As any South Asian woman does in the middle of her fast, right? Then I got to thinking: what holiday is coming up where we get a whole whack of chocolate that I can stock up with? I was fresh out of chocolate in my cupboard when all I could think of was the dark creamy gift of sugar. ‘Darn, we don’t get chocolate until Christmas!’ I thought and I kept thinking of those Christmas advent-style countdown calendars I used to have as a kid where as luck would have it, you’d get one chocolate a day!
You know where this is going right? But wait! Eureka, Diwali is around the corner, why not create a countdown to Diwali, with chocolate! (For the kids of course, it’s for the kids…)
So in an effort to find a way to create a fun activity with my daughter while I fought off the urge to eat, and talk a bit about Diwali with her, I created a fun way to do both with this DIY calendar idea. It’s so simple to make, gives crafty kids like my daughter a great outlet to create something fun. The bonus? It can actually be used for other cultural holidays during the year too!
I wanted to create something visually appealing that she could hang up in her room as we counted down the days to the biggest festival for Indians and one of the biggest festivals for our family too.
Time to make: an hour (if your little one is doing all the cutting maybe a bit longer, as in my case you can’t use scissors during Karva Chauth so my daughter did all the cutting as you can see from some of the pictures)
Level of difficulty: 3 out of 10
Level of fun: 8 out of 10
Sugar required at end of project: depends on when you start the project:)
Here’s what you need: (all of these items can be purchased at Michael’s stores)
Decorative stick-on letters and numbers
9 coloured mini tins with magnetic bottoms
strip of magnets (package of 6 in each from Michael’s is great)
Chocolate or bite-sized treats
Step 1: Take your shadow box and remove the glass portion completely from the box. Then remove the frame so all you’re left with is the compartments. You’ll want to store this glass cover somewhere safe once you’re done with the calendar. Keep the frame close by as you’ll need it for the end. Next stick one square adhesive magnet in the middle of each compartment.
Step 2: Next we’ll make the decorative lid tops. Using the bottom of each tin’s lid, trace a circular cut-out from the decorative paper. Since you have 9 tins (or you can make a 12-day, or 6-day countdown too depending on when you start your project) cut out the appropriate number of circles to place on top of each tin’s lid.
Step 3: Once you’ve cut out the 9 circles for your lids from the decorative paper, start labelling them with numbers. Using your stick-on numbers, stick one number in the middle of each lid going from 1-9.
Step 4: Next, we’ll put the lid tops onto the tins. Put a strip of double-sided sticky tape on the back of each paper circle. Next stick each paper circle to the top of each of the lids. Now you have your tins for each of the days which will house one treat in each tin.
Step 5: Once you’ve decorated each tin with the decorative paper circles, you can start putting them into their separate compartments. Each of the tins has a magnetic bottom which will sit nicely on top of the square magnets you’ve put in the middle of the shadow box compartments. Slide the original fram of the shadow back on an securely fasten it into place.
Step 6: My shadow box had 12 compartments so I covered the last three with a sheet of decorative paper and simply used stick-on letters to write the phrase: “9 Days to Diwali.”
Step 7: Next, get your favourite chocolates/treats and put one into each tin. My favourite during this time of year is Purdy’s Diwali themed chocolate (add more). The reason we keep the glass removed is for easy access to the tins as we count down to each day before Diwali.
Step 8: Add in a bite-size treat to each tin, wrapped. I love Purdy’s Diwali chocolate boxes which have everything from coconut barfi chocolate to mango cream to much more! you can get Diwali twos which are small boxes of two chocolates which work too.
You can wrap each chocolate up in colourful foil or just pick another treat you’d like to put in each tin.
Voila! You’re done. The best part about this project is you can use it for any South Asian festival and also Christmas. Just adjust your countdown with your shadowbox compartments and easily peel off paper to replace with other paper on lids. The shadow box can also be used to put keepsakes, or other small items on display if you decide not to use the calendar idea for another festival.
All you have to do is tell us what your favourite Diwali dessert is in the comments section below and we’ll draw one lucky winner on Oct 21! Be sure to comment with a registered email, first and last name so we can contact you before Oct 21. ****Prizing available to Canadian Residents only
Happy Diwali everyone! Here’s to a sugar rush for all of us masalamommas!
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