Saturday, December 8, 2012

Creative Christmas Countdown: Naughty or Nice Gift

Open the can to discover which list you happen to be on this year!

A can full of coal for those who have been naughty...
A can full of kisses for those who have been nice!

Creative Christmas Advent Calendar
I am thrilled to be sharing this tutorial as part of the Creative Christmas Countdown,
a virtual advent full of simple holiday activities for you and the kids

I had all of the supplies I needed for this project on hand (all but the Hershey Kisses... I mean, who can keep those in the house longer than a day or two, right?).  Best of all, my 9 year old daughter did most of the work herself.  Now my kids are eager to make more to give to their friends as Christmas gifts.  And please, if you could ignore the fact I'm in need of a manicure, that would be sweet of you.  This mama has no time for those luxuries right now!  So here is my simple How-To!

Materials Needed
  • Soup Can (Pull-tab tops work great, but aren't necessary)
  • Red Paper (I had sparkly red wrapping paper that worked beautifully!)
  • Black Paper
  • Double-Sided Tape (or Glue)
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Coal (Only if you are making these for friends who have been naughty!)
  • Can Opener
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun


1.  Prepare Your Can!
Remove the bottom side of your can (if there is a top and bottom).  Empty the can, wash and dry.  Make sure to keep the lid!

If you happen to have a can opener that separates the can lid rather than cut it, like the OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener, this works best.  If your can opener cuts the lid, just be careful of little fingers!  It is likely best to fill the can and close it before decorating the outside to avoid any cuts.  You will also want to take some extra care in protecting the edges when you glue the lid back on!

Pull-tab cans work great!  You remove the bottom of the can, leaving the pull-tab in tact.  I had a couple of these cans on hand, but realized the bottom of the can had rounded edges that couldn't opened with the can opener.  I've bought Dole Pineapple pull-top cans in the past that worked perfectly for projects like this.

2.  Wrap it Up!
Measure your can to decide what size of rectangle you will need to cut from the paper to cover it.  Our can used a 4" x 9" rectangle.

My quilting ruler came in handy to cut the red paper. You can use any kind of red paper you happen to have on hand.  I had this beautiful, sparkly red wrapping paper that was perfect for the project.

Attach your red paper to your can.  We used double-sided tape, which works great.  If you are using glue, over lap the ends of the paper (make sure to cut your length long enough to do so) and glue it in place.  Hot glue is also a quick and easy choice.

Here is Charlotte wrapping up the can!

We now have two red cans!

For the belt cut a 1" strip of black paper.

Wrap around the middle of your can and secure with double-sided tape or glue.

For the belt buckle, the wrapper from a Hershey Kiss worked perfectly!  A great excuse to have to eat one!    Carefully unwrap your Kiss, and flatten the foil.  Fold it in half to cut a belt buckle that would fit the belt.  Glue your buckle in place.

3.  Fill the Can!
We cut a rectangle of paper that would fit the circumference of each can.  Write "Naughty" for the cans you might fill will coal (or something to represent coal), and "Nice" for the cans you will fill with Hershey Kisses.  Place one card into each can, with the writing face down... remember, you are filling the cans from the bottom.  You want the can reveal "Naughty" or "Nice" when it is opened by the person receiving it.

After placing the "Naughty" or "Nice" card, fill it up!  We used charcoal for the "Naughty" can and Hershey Kisses in the "Nice" can.

If you choose to use real charcoal, let me warn you, it is pretty messy!  If you are making Naughty cans, you could replace the charcoal with rocks you have painted black, or black candies instead.

Or how about a twist??

My friend, Shelly suggested adding the coal AND the kisses to one can!  Ummm, why didn't I think of that?  Sort of like the holiday fortune teller.  What will you see when you open the can?  Instead of you deciding what the person opening it will find, leave it up the chance.  All you need to do is add a divider into the center, to keep your coal and your kisses separate.  I would just cut a disk from some cardboard to do the trick.  I love this variation!

4.  Seal it Up!
I was a little short on Hershey Kisses... Oops! Guess I ate too many while we were crafting!  Because I didn't want them shuffling around, allowing the "Nice" card to slip from the top of the can, I stuffed a red napkin into the can before I put the lid of the can back on.

I used a glue gun to reattach the lid, however, I would recommend using another form of glue, such as E-6000 Adhesive.  The glue from a low temp glue gun cools very quickly when it comes into contact with the metal of the can, so you have to move very quickly to set it in place.  The second time making these we used the E-6000.  It works perfectly!  I used a toothpick to apply a little bit of glue around the inner rim of the lid and set it into place.  Just hold some pressure on it for a bit before moving on to the next step.

If you are using a cut lid, I would recommend using a hot glue gun to reattach the can.  This will give you the extra filler to make up for the cut.  I would also go over the cut edge with a line of hot glue once the lid is in place so make sure all of the sharp edges are covered.

5. Top it Off!
We cut circles from paper to add to the top of the can (the side that was not glued back into place).  That way your friends would know which end to open.  On each circle, we wrote "Naughty or Nice?".  You can use double-sided tape or hot glue to add this to the top of your can.

And there you have it!

A fun and simple gift that your children will enjoy making and sharing with friends!

So what will you find in your can?
Naughty or Nice?


  1. That is such a great idea. I love it. x

  2. Rachel, these are so cute! I love it!

  3. Such a fun idea! And looks like the girls LOVED making them!!!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  4. My daughter loves doing DIY projects too. I will help her create this homemade gift for her best friend.

    -Imogen Marmion

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