Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boxy Advent Calender Tutorial!

Good morning! As promised, I am posting the tutorial to my Boxy Advent Calender. This is my first tutorial, so I apologize in advance if I miss some steps. If you have any questions at all, please contact me and I will clear up any confusion!

  • 24 small cardboard boxes I got various shapes (hearts, ovals, stars, squares, etc.) from Hobby Lobby for $0.99 each. Grab a couple of extra... just in case!
  • Bulletin board- mine was 17in x 23in -and thumb tacks (or strong magnets if you are going the fridge route!)
  • Acrylic Paint, sponge brush, and painter's tape.
  • Holiday scrapbook paper
  • Modge Podge (or similar substance)
  • Stencils or Stickers for the numbers (make sure they will fit on the little boxes)
  • Scissors (or Xacto Knife with mat)
  • Pencil
First, I taped off the cork part of my bulletin board so I could paint the frame. I did one coat of bright red. Then I decided it didn't look good with the paper choices I made, so I painted over it very thinly with green. There are little peeks of red showing, and it ended up looking great. Check it out in the final product!

While that was drying, I started the boxes! (Note: if you want to paint your boxes, go for it! I like the way it looked unpainted though. If you do paint them, make sure they are completely dry before you start any of these steps!)

Take the lids off of each box and trace them on the back of your pretty paper. I had a few of each shape, but every box was different. I ended up tracing each lid individually so that the paper would fit perfectly on that box. Once they are traced, cut them out!

Modge Podge it up! 
Paint a thin layer on the lid.

Paint a thin layer over the top!


Place the paper on top of the sticky lid.

Let them dry-- you will know when they are dry because the Modge Podge will be completely clear and shiny! It doesn't take long, just be patient! Please! :) Ok, thanks!
Time to let them dry-- some look like they already are!

Once they are totally dry, break out your stencils! (or stickers! or whatever you are using for numbers!) I used stencils and white paint mixed with a tad of gold for some shimmer. This takes time. Practice before you start!
Just dab over the number. Once you get it perfected, it is easy schmeasy!
On a side note, if you do happen to mess up a tad, have a damp sponge handy. Wipe the paint off quickly, and dry off the lid. Modge Podge makes a very forgiving surface!

When the numbers dry, you are basically done. But now you have to make a decision. What type of calender do you want? There are two ways to progress here. (Gosh, it feels almost like one of those old mystery books you would read as a kid with a "pick your own ending!" I always cheated and read both. Shh!) Anyway, there is Fridge Style and Bulletin Board Style. (I felt the need to use my uppercase letters there. I don't know...) 

First, I will show you the Fridge Style. All you have to do here is use some super strong glue (I used Gorilla Glue) and glue the strong magnets to the back of the boxes. Let it dry OVERNIGHT. Trust me. :) Once they are dry, you are done! Congratulations! Put them up on your fridge and admire your work!

Alternatively, you can rock the Bulletin Board Style! For this one, take the thumbtacks that you have and press them through the back of each box (in the center, towards the top). Then, press into the bulletin board! Ta da! Check it out!

Now, I am working on a list of things to fill the boxes with. Since Lil'bug will be only 17 months old, there won't be candies and things. I am thinking more along the lines of fun activities we can do together. Read Christmas stories, look at Christmas lights, have a Christmas music dance party! I will perfect my list, and add it here closer to Christmas.

Thanks for checking out my first tutorial! I am completely open to feedback! <3


  1. Looks super cute! I'm going to have to pull this one out during the holiday season for sure. :)

  2. love this! I think I will be doing a fridge advent now! thanks for helping me out with a fun idea that will fit into my tiny space!