Saturday, November 27, 2010

Matchbox Advent Calendar Tutorial

Matchbox Advent Calendar 
When we moved into our brand new house, my husband was not thrilled about the idea of putting a nail in the wall for an advent calendar. To keep the peace, I went on the hunt for table top advent calendar ideas. I came across this idea and fell in love with it. Although these do take a considerable amount of time to make - I love making them. I gave four away last year. I am making it a tradition to make and give at least one of these to someone who might need a little holiday pick me up.

24 matchboxes (You can probably find empty craft ones somewhere, but I bought these at a $ Store)
24 brads for drawer pulls
Desired Cardstock
Desired Embellishments
4 wooden beads (optional)
thin cardboard (like from a cereal box)
hot glue gun
glue stick

Here's how you do it....

1. Empty matchboxes if applicable. Place them in eight piles of three.

2. Prepare all pieces for gluing. You will need
- base: 1 thin cardboard, 1 patterned paper (4 1/4 " x 4 1/4")
- top: 1 thin cardboard, 1 patterned paper (4 1/4 " x 4 1/4")
- layer stabilizer: 2 thin cardboard (3 1/4 x 3 1/4)
- rectangle cover: 8 patterned paper (2" x 1 1/2")
- covers for drawer (optional - you can paint them or leave them the color they are. You can cover just the middle ones with paper or paint them so it is not as much work).
*All measurements approximate. These were the measurements according to the boxes I had. I have found that different stores and      different years the matchboxes have been different sizes.

3. Start gluing. Glue the thin cardboard and patterned paper together for the top and the base with lots of glue from a glue stick or whatever adhesive works for you. Trim to approximately 4" square, or desired size. Set aside for later.

4. Hot glue the matchboxes together in the pile of three's PRESSING FIRMLY but gently to make for a tight fit, and making sure the drawers are as square as possible.

5. After all the boxes are glued together in sets of three - TAKE OUT THE DRAWERS and set aside for later. Arrange two sets of four into a square as shown in picture to the right. Working with one layer at a time, arrange the boxes as square as possible. As quick as possible, put hot glue on the top of the boxes, then put a line of glue long the edges of the stabilizer and adhere to boxes, again arranging them as square as possible before the glue sets.

6. Glue the two layers together, making sure the box is secure and as square as you can get it.

7. Glue on all patterned paper. I start with the panels first. Before you glue them on, make sure the paper is the right size. Make the necessary adjustments. Glue on top and base. Embellish as desired. Glue wooden beads on bottom for pedestals.

8. Prepare the drawers. I put a piece of foam in the drawers (I found one from a fancy brads package). Poke a hole with a push pin. Insert the brad slide the drawer into an empty slot. I wrote the numbers on, but you can use stickers, stamps or print numbers out on your computer.

9. Add desire goodies to each drawer. My personal favorite is chocolate. The Hershey miniature chocolate bars are a perfect fit.

Advent Calendar Collection


  1. Wow, Sue what an amazing post!! Love all your pictures and directions! will be sure to check back here every day. I need to be better with my blog!!

  2. love it.......wish I was crafty when I see things like this. However, I can admire and live vicariously ..........:)

  3. So pretty!! We made similar while ago but I like yours better :)

  4. This is so cute and so creative. I can't wait to get started! I'm trying to plan ahead this year so that I have time to do projects like this!

    I would love it if you would share this at my new 12 Days of Christmas in July linky party. You can link up here:

    I can’t wait to get organized for a peaceful and frugal holiday season!

  5. great way of making them. I make them as well, just differently x