Create a one-of-a-kind advent box using small matchboxes.
What You Need
12 large matchboxes
Thin chipboard, such as a spiral-notebook back
Small foam brush
Assorted number stickers and rub-ons
Small embellishments, such as metal charms, chipboard accents, arrows, brads, and rickrack
Thick crafts glue
6-inch length of 1/4-inch-wide ribbon
How to Make ItPrepare the Matchbox Drawers
Cut each matchbox in half with a serrated knife, cutting through the outer shell and drawer at the same time.
Remove the 24 drawer pieces from the shells.
Measure the width and height of a drawer front.
Use these measurements to cut 24 rectangles of chipboard. Tape a chipboard rectangle to the cut end of each drawer piece, enclosing the back of the new smaller drawer.
Using the same dimensions, cut 24 rectangles from patterned papers to cover the drawer fronts.
Brush decoupage medium onto the back of one patterned-paper rectangle.
Smooth the rectangle in place on the front of a drawer. Repeat for each drawer; let dry. Add the numbers 1 through 24 to the drawer fronts with stickers or rub-ons. Apply two light coats of decoupage medium over the numbered drawer fronts, letting the medium dry between coats. When they're completely dry, embellish the drawer fronts.
Cover the Matchbox Shells
Measure the depth of a shell and the distance around it.
Use these measurements to cut 24 rectangles from patterned papers.
Use decoupage medium to secure a rectangle to the outside of each shell.
Smooth the paper in place and run your fingers along the corners to lightly crease the paper; let dry. Apply two light coats of medium to the outside of the shells, letting the medium dry between coats.
Assemble the Calendar
Insert a drawer into each shell.
Referring to the photograph, arrange the boxes in a tree shape. When you're pleased with the arrangement, glue together the surfaces that touch.
Before attaching the top box, cut a small slit through the center top of the shell.
Fold the ribbon in half and knot the cut ends. Working from inside the shell, thread the folded end of the ribbon through the slit and pull until the knot rests against the shell.
When the glue is completely dry, fill the drawers with tiny surprises.
Crafting the calendar is only half the fun. Now it's time to fill it! You'll find several ideas in the photograph, and here are a few more: stickers, coins, jewelry, movie tickets, handwritten messages, and invitations to special activities or events.