So I supposed I’m a little spoiled when it comes to being published. This matchbox Advent calendar is the first DIY craft project I ever sent to a magazine. And it was also the first one ever published! Don’t be discouraged if you’re still trying to get published… I’ve had a LOT since then that were rejected. Just keep trying!
NOTE: This was first published WAY back in 2008 so some of the photos are extremely poor quality. I’ve learned a lot since then.
This Advent calendar was made with 25 little matchboxes that I decorated and slipped the Advent reading for that day inside.
Here’s Day 1. (Guess whose first Christmas that is? Yep, me!)
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Supplies for Matchbox Advent Calendar
- 25 small matchboxes, empty
- paint (I used Avocado Green and Red Iron Oxide.)
family photos or other vintage photos or Christmas illustrations (copies!)
LOTS of scraps of paper, tiny trims, & bingo numbers
- decoupage glue, matte
- swirl rubber stamp
How to Make a Matchbox Advent Calendar
I made these several years ago and didn’t take step by step photos so I’ll just explain how I made them.
First, paint half the boxes red and half green. They’ll need at least 2 coats. Let dry in between coats. Paint inside and out. Find bingo numbers to coincide with the days of Advent. I didn’t have bingo numbers for some of the days so I cut the squares out of the old bingo cards, too. Lay out boxes, alternating between red and green. For now, just lay the numbers on the boxes. Don’t glue them down yet.
Cut rectangles of scrapbook papers, vintage wrapping papers, or music to fit inside the boxes. Choose your images. Digitally edit if needed (crop, or change to black and white or sepia tones). Size photos to fit the boxes and print.
Collect all your paper scraps and trims. Tear some of the papers and use the patterned scissors for others. Play with these and the images until you’re happy with how they look. Stamp swirls on some of the papers and photos. Ink some of the edges. Glue everything down. I also covered the entire box with decoupage glue before adding the dimensional pieces.
Punch a small hole in the top of each. Thread a ribbon, string, chenille stem, or ornament hook through each. Print Scripture verses, cut, roll up, and put one inside each box. We displayed ours on an evergreen garland on our staircase. Beginning December 1 open one box each day and read the Scripture verse inside.
Here are some photos from the magazine:
Scriptures for Advent Calendar
I’m working on a Scripture list that you’ll be able to print, cut out, and insert into your matchboxes but if I don’t get it finished in time for Advent here are a few places to get a list:
- Advent Calendar Scriptures — Printable
- Not Consumed has a printable Advent reading plan.
- Daily Advent reading plan
This is a part of our 12 Days of Vintage, Upcycled, Recycled, and Repurposed Christmas series.
I love bingo cards and wooden numbers. Wouldn’t these make a great Advent calendar?
So, what did we do with all the matches? We stuffed them all in one large matchbox and didn’t have to buy matches for a LONG time!
More Christmas Crafts & DIY Projects
If you like this matchbox Advent calendar, check out these DIY projects, too:
- Candy Cane Christmas Gift Tags
- Wreath Christmas Gift Tags
- Vintage Silver Coaster Christmas Ornaments
- Homemade Vanilla
- Christmas Necklaces with Personalized Gift Box Inserts
- Mixed Media Christmas Ornament Tutorial
- Homemade Vanilla Sugar
- Christmas Ticket Banner
- Christmas Playing Card Banner
- Vintage Gameboard Christmas Card Album
- ALL my Christmas projects in one place…
Leave a comment and let me know how you do your Advent calendar.
‘Til the next project,
Ann @ Duct Tape and Denim
DIY Matchbox Advent Calendar was first published on December 6, 2008. Republished Jul 18, 2017, & July 22, 2020.