Saturday, November 23, 2013

Magnetic Matchbox Advent Calendar

Since December 1st is just around the corner, I'm re-posting one of my most popular holiday projects! This year I'm trading advent calendars with my friend Katie who has two kids.  I'm going to fill up their boxes and she's going to fill mine!  Everyday will be such a surprise!

I'm so excited to share this project!  After vainly searching for a cute, functional, and price perfect advent calendar, I decided to create my own out of matchboxes. In total, it cost me less than $10 to make!

DIY Magnetic Matchbox Advent Calendar

Each box has a magnet on the back making the refrigerator the perfect spot for my countdown to Christmas!  I also placed a magnet on a small shiny star as the topper for my advent tree!

Here's what you'll need to make your own Matchbox Advent Calendar:
-25 matchboxes (I purchased a package of 10 for $1 at the Dollar Store)
-Scrapbook papers of your choosing
-26 small self-stick magnets (one for each box and one for your star...purchased from the craft store)
-Small star ornament for the top, if you choose!
-Glue stick, scissors and/or paper cutter

For the numbers:
-1 inch paper punch
-Printable sticker paper (I purchased mine at Staples)

Cut your strips of paper slightly larger than the width your matchbox, then wrap around and glue the ends on the back.  Make sure to crease the edges as you fold the paper around the box for a crisp look. Next, peel and stick a small magnet on the back of each box. 

As for numbers, you could use glitter glue to write each number or if you have a fancy electronic paper/vinyl cutter machine, cut out your numbers with that! I designed a circle dot template with numbers in Photoshop and printed the design onto sticker paper.  You could use any word processing program to print out numbers on sticker paper, too!  I then used a 1 inch paper punch to cut out my numbers. FYI, the number '20' is a different color in the picture above because my birthday is on December 20th!

Finally, the fun part...filling each box! I've decided to ask 25 friends, family members, and coworkers to each write a message or Christmas wish for me on a slip of paper and put one in each box.  Then each morning I'll get to open a box and read a special message!

Other ideas for filling the tiny boxes include small candies, riddles or jokes, $1 dollar bills, scratch lottery tickets, pieces to a small puzzle (one piece per box),  or Christmas trivia.

Here's a great idea for how to use all those matches...
could be a nice gift from someone with a fireplace!

 Once your boxes are covered and filled, arrange them into a tree formation on your fridge!  You could also stick them in a frame backed with cork and use push-pins inside each box to secure if you want to forgo the magnets.  This would also make a great gift!

 I can't wait for December to begin!

I'm linking up to the following parties:
UndertheTableandDreaming The DIY Show OffThe Girl Creative Visit


  1. This is local store is going to run out of boxed matches, cause' I have to make one for everyone! I'm a new follower, so stop by and see me and follow if you like.
    Warm wishes, Lori @

  2. Love it!!!!
    I hope you will come link this up to the CSI Project. The challenge this week is Advent Calendars. You could take home the top prize or the great giveaway. Come over all week for tutorials and enter the FB giveaway!

  3. This is so cute!! And it works so well on your fridge. What a great idea!

  4. Super cute - I really love the fact that it's magnetic!

    I'm visiting via the CSI project

  5. I made these but still need the numbers. Where do you buy printable sticker paper??

  6. Wonderful comments...thank you! Chelsea, I purchased the sticker paper at Staples so you could check there or maybe JoAnn Fabrics if you have one near you! Glad you liked the project!