{Tutorial}: Matchbox Advent Calendar

 

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No detailed pictures this year.  I intended to get another set made up this year (again) to replace the images that I had lost from the original post, but life is so busy.  But I think you can work out what you need to do from the written instructions from 2007:

This is a wonderful craft project to do with your children or grandchildren. I like that the boxes are large enough for more than one little treat or trinket. With six children, my choices were to either let one child have a treat each day, or to get six calendars… Neither of those options appealed, so I decided to make a calendar that the whole family could enjoy.

First, gather your materials. You’ll need:

25 Angel Images (or whatever images you’d like.)
25 matchboxes (I’m using white, but you could use black or gold – remove and save matches)
1 1/2 yd 1″ wide ribbon (violet is a good choice, but you could use red, or any other you like)
Mod Podge
Paint Brush
X-acto knife
25 small round (or any shape you like) adhesive backed tags from the scrapbook supply
Scrapbooking Pen (I’m using “le Plume” in black)
String (I’m using linen cord)
Sharp darning needle or drill fitted with small drill bit
25 Decorative brads (I used antique furniture style ones)
beads, flat-back sparkles, glitter (optional)
Thumb tacks or sticky dots for hanging (should be able to hold weight)
Fillers (we used smarties and some other goodies – see end of tutorial)

Step One: Cut out your angels with the X-acto knife:

Step Two: Mod Podge each angel to her own box and let dry.

Step Three: With your pen, marker, or paints (you could even use pre-numbered stickers!), write the numbers 1 through 25 on your tags. Place them on your dry angel boxes in an arrangement that pleases you.

Step Four: Remove inner boxes and poke or drill two holes, about 1/4″ apart. Insert string and tie a square knot on the inside. Be sure to trim the tails before pulling up through the top.

Step Five: Re-insert inner boxes and set aside.

 

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Step Six: Mark your ribbon in the centre, then every 7cm. You should have 12 marks either side of the centre mark.

Step Seven: Carefully make a tiny snip in the ribbon at each mark for a brad to pass through.

Step Eight: Insert Brads.

Step Nine: Fill Boxes! For most of the days, we filled the boxes with smarties – one for each child. We didn’t want anything that could melt.

We have several significant feast days during Advent, so we tucked in appropriate surprises for those days, just to add to the excitement!

Silver Coins for St. Nicholas Day (dimes), Honeybee Stickers for St. Ambrose, Tiny silver medals of Our Blessed Mother for Immaculate Conception,

Tiny Silver “Precious Feet” pins for Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tiny Hand-dipped candles for St. Lucia,

We doubled up candies for Christmas Eve, and Papa will put a surprise (as yet unknown to even me!) for Christmas Day!

Step Eleven: Fix your ribbon in a window or along a wall and hang the boxes on the brads. You can go in order left to right, or mix it all up to make searching a bit more adventurous.  You could also hang your matchboxes from a tension rod, or dowel style curtain rod.

 

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Have a blessed Advent!

RESOURCES:

Images – Dover Publications CD

Matchboxes – click link above for online ordering.  Also available at party supply stores, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby (wedding section)