Matchbox Advent Calendar

Matchbox Advent Calendar. Children will have a great “time” making this Advent Calendar. See why.

Matchbox Advent Calendar

A matchbox advent calendar counts the days until Christmas Eve—starting on the first of December and ending on December 24th. These calendars come in different shapes, sizes, and themes. Each day, a little door or window is opened—often revealing a special treat for children who greatly anticipate the coming of Christmas. This particular advent calendar is made with boxes— which can be filled with tiny goodies. Every day is a surprise. What will that little drawer reveal? That’s up to you. It’s all part of the magic of this heartwarming holiday.

More than a matchbox advent calendar, this unique holiday craft is also a clock that can help you teach little ones the time. The numbers on the matchboxes correspond with both hours and dates. Your children or grandchildren will love to play along—as they will soon understand that every 24 hours brings them one day closer to Christmas. Go ahead, put on some holiday music and make this advent calendar a family affair. They’ll be more than happy to lend you a hand in no time!

What you need to make a matchbox advent calendar:

  • Poster board (OR) any other type cardboard
  • Doily (14 inches)
  • Gift wrapping paper (in either solid colors or Christmas themes)
  • 24 empty matchboxes
  • 24 brads for drawers
  • 1 brad to hold the clock hands
  • Stickers with Christmas/winter themes
  • Stickers (OR) glitter glue for the numbers
  • String (about 16 inches for hanger)
  • All-puporse glue
  • Scissors
  • Compass
  • Thick darning needle

Making a Matchbox Advent CalendarInstructions:

Draw a circle of 13.5 inches on your cardboard and cut it out. If you want to cover it with paper, use your compass to draw two circles on the back of your wrapping paper—one that’s 13.5 inches in diameter and make the other 14.5 inches. Cut out the outer circle. Cut the lines between the two circles about 1 inch apart all the way around. This will be the edge that gets glued to the back of your cardboard. (SEE BELOW.)

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Center the doily on the front side and glue it down. Cut out two clock hands—one about 3 inches long and the other 2.5 long. Both should be a half inch wide. Center the large clock on the doily and glue it down at the 12 o’clock position. Use a brad to attach the smaller clock hand on top of the larger clock hand—in a way that it can be moved.

Take the tray inserts out of the matchboxes. Have the matchboxes covered and glued with wrapping paper and glue them evenly in a circle— starting with the 12 o’clock matchbox. (This will serve as the inner circle of matchboxes. Outer circle will come later.) The distance between the brad in the center and the lower edge of the matchbox should be 3 inches. With a darning needle, set the string just above the 12 0’clock matchbox—sewing from back to front and then front to back and tighten. The two loose ends are in the back. Make a knot and  use is as a hanger for the clock.

(Click on pictures to enlarge.)

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Now, glue the outer circle of matchboxes onto the clock. (These should be set flush with the inner matchboxes.) Make a hole with your darning needle on one end of each matchbox drawer.  Attach one brad to each drawer and put the matchboxes together. (SEE BELOW.) You’re now ready to decorate the matchboxes. You can either write the numbers with glitter glue or simply use numbered stickers.

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You are ready to fill up the drawers of the matchbox advent calendar with some goodies.



Want to make another advent calendar? Try this one!

(Click photo for instructions.)

Displaying Matchbox Advent Calendar

Adent Calendar Instruction

An Advent calendar that is truly unmatched.

Advent Calendar Instruction

The Advent calendar is a special themed calendar that helps children eagerly count the days until Christmas. Whether used religiously or not, the calendar has special doors or windows that reveal a special treat, poem, or picture. This particular hanging calendar is made of matchboxes—so the contents inside slide open to the delight of every child who waits with great anticipation for December 25 to arrive. Children can create their very own advent calendar with these following advent calendar instructions. This year, Advent begins on November 27, so let’s get started now, shall we?

What you need:

  • 24 empty matchboxes
  • Stickers with Christmas/winter themes
  • Stickers with numbers
  • All-purpose glue
  • Paper (either solid colors, gift wrap, foils, or whatever you wish)
  • 2.5” metal ring (available in arts & crafts stores)
  • Scissors
  • Christmas decorations (like the wired pine branch shown in picture)
  • 24 brads (multiple varieties and themes available in arts & crafts stores)
  • Ribbon 80” x 2.5”

Instructions for Making Adent Calendar


Take the matchboxes apart. The outside will be decorated, the inside will be used as a drawer.

Start to glue your paper around the boxes. (I used two-sided foil—5 7/8 x 5 7/8 sheets—available in the origami paper section of your arts & crafts store)

Cut overlapping edges away. Glue the seam in the back.

Use the numbered stickers (1 – 24) and glue them onto the boxes.

Take the inside box and make a small hole on the side to attach the brads. Put the boxes back together.

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Decorate the boxes by your own choice with the stickers.

Take the metal ring and wrap it with the wired decoration of your choice— pine, or ribbon, or decorative cord, or just leave as is.

Wrap the ribbon on one end around the ring and either glue or tack it together.

Place your decorated boxes on the ribbon—about 4 inches below the ring—and line the rest next to each other, underneath.

Leave a tail of about 4-5 inches from the bottom.

Now that you have your matchboxes in place, glue the back of the boxes and some on the bottom side so that it affixes to next box underneath.

Use the rest of the ribbon to make a bow.

Stabilize the bow in the center with wire (or wired deco pine) and attach it to the metal ring.

Now fill the boxes with some goodies and your advent calendar is ready to hang. DONE!


Hanging your Adent Calendar  Advent5