Marsha Smith shows you how to turn simple little boxes into a charming advent calendar that reveals a delicious treat each day leading up to Christmas.
create your own advent calendar
“Have fun and let the festive season inspire you to be creative!”
What you need
24 small paper boxes Hot glue gun and glue sticks Scissors Fine-tip black marker pen Adhesive numbers Wooden alphabet beads and scrabble pieces Lace fringe and paper Feathers Buttons White modelling clay (Fimo) Selection of red and white ribbon Various strings and twine Red and white pompoms Felt and faux fur offcuts Red and white acrylic paint and small brush Paint pattern stencils Chocolates, mints and other goodies to fill boxes 3M removable adhesive wall tape.
Note: There are endless options when it comes to craft supplies but the above list is what was used for our calendar. You may have plenty of scraps and goodies lying around at home that make the perfect decorative additions to your box creations. Check out Look Sharp Store for loads of cheap and cheerful finds. The natural boxes used in this project are available in sets of three from Look Sharp Store.
Tips and tricks
1 The best way to start a project like this is to have a clear idea of colour and theme. Although there aren’t any rules, this calendar looks most effective when using a limited colour palette.
2 Lay all your ideas out before you paste everything into place to get a good idea of the flow and how the boxes will look all together in their correct order. Try to get a good balance of colour and weight.
3 Think about varying textures and layering pieces as well. A good example of this is box 2 on the calendar. Red paper, a cut-out piece of lace and button have been hot-glued down and wrapped a few times with some fine white string.
4 Another great way to add pattern and texture is to use patterned pre-cut stencils (see box 5). These are readily available in the craft section of The Warehouse, art supply stores and Spotlight. Use a sponge or paintbrush to dab on your coloured paint. Set aside to dry then add a simple shape like a Christmas tree or bell cut from paper or felt.
5 Use old scrabble pieces or wooden beads to spell out festive words or messages (see boxes 4, 9 and 12).
6 If you want to number all 24 boxes, create more interest by varying the size of your numbers.
7 Modelling clay is perfect for making your own trinkets and shapes, such as stars and candy canes (boxes 3, 7 and 19). Stamp a pattern onto the clay for added interest.
8 Fill boxes with treats for each day. Remember they will be fixed to the wall so don’t over-fill them.
9 To put your boxes up on the wall, use 3M removable adhesive tape or strips. If your boxes aren’t heavy, put a small piece of tape on the back of each box and stick. It may be a good idea to lightly pencil a mark on the wall where you want to put each box to ensure that your tree shape is even.