Christmas calendar 2023

A project I finished just-in-time this year for Christmas were 3 wooden calendars that I made for my children:

A wooden Christmas calendars

I made them from 3mm plywood and used a laser cutter to cut the parts. I made the drawings in LibreCAD - it was the most complex undertaking I did with it so far. I had no idea if my plan would work out, but it did. I am very happy with the result.

I started out with the grid of the boxes:

A grid of boxes

It didn't go smooth at all; a lot of the nudges and holes were in wrong places and I ended up with lots of fixes:

A list of layers with fixes

The assembly was a bit tricky; due to the irregular structure however, the pieces were quite stable and I didn't need to glue them together - though I later used glue to make the assembly easier. But the first one is still holding together in large parts without glue.

A grid of boxes

The biggest uncertainty were the door covers; I didn't know how to make them not fall out. I first intended to make wooden door handles:

Door covers with wooden handles

but I later decided for metal handles that I bought from a local arts and crafts store - it's actually some special screws for book binding.

Door cover with metal handles

Disassembled door cover

For the final touch, I drew some Christmas themed pictures on the doors using Krita and engraved it during the laser cutting process:

Doors with engravings and metal handles closeup

The final result after a good week of evening shifts looked quite nice:

A wooden Christmas calendars

I only had to fill them now with sweets and toys (3 times the almost same):

The calendar contents

Last but not least, this here was my inspiration:

The inspiration

This is the calendar that my mother made for me and my siblings when we were children. I think it's a lovely idea and I am happy that I could make something similar for my children.

Oh - how did I make the doors not fall out all the time? I added glue to the sides of the doors until they were thick enough to hold with friction. Some pieces are still a bit loose, but some are also a little too tight - and here it paid off to use metal handles, because they are sturdy and can hold the force of pulling the doors open.

Merry Christmas!