Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Matchbox Advent Calendar and Instructions

I've made another matchbox Advent Calendar, and have been asked in the past for instructions on how to make them - so here is a brief explanation with stage by stage photos which I hope will be of help!  

I will leave this post at the top for a bit so please scroll down past this for other posts.


First take 24 matchboxes.  Empty out the matches and separate the drawers from the boxes.

Next choose the colour you want to use, and paint the drawers.  I used acrylic paints.   You only need to paint one end as the other end won't be seen, but do go round the corners and edges etc. as bits are visible when it is assembled.

Now paint the sides of the main part of the matchboxes as the edges of these will be seen when it is finished.

You will need 24 brads for drawer handles.  Carefully make a hole in the centre of the front end of the drawers - it is very easy to push too hard and bend the box.  

For the top and base, you will need 2 pieces of 4" x 4" thick card, or chipboard or similar.  Cover these with your chosen papers, making the edges neat underneath.  I also cover the underneath of the base to hide the folded edges.

Now you can start assembling.  Stick 3 boxes together 8 times, so you end up with 8 stacks of 3.  I use an ATG gun to stick mine, you can use double sided tape too.  It needs to be quite strong to hold everything together, so I don't recommend using something like a glue stick.

Cover one side of each stack with your chosen papers.  I leave a small margin round the edge so the paint shows making a border.

Now this is where it can get tricky!  Stick together 4 stacks, making sure the decorated sides are on the outside and the drawer openings are the painted ends.  If you haven't got this bit quite right you can paint the edges now.

Attach this first assembled piece to the base, and put the drawers in.  You should end up with alternating pieces of patterned paper.  Alternatively you can just use one pattern of paper if you think you might get confused!

Now do the same again, and stick the second completed stack to the first one, making sure all drawers and sides are in the right positions.   Finally add the lid to the top.  This is where again you can touch up bits with paint where the colour of your matchbox might be showing through.

Now all you have to do is decorate your calendar with your chosen embellishments, and add numbers to the drawers.

Here are 2 more I have made in previous years.  I hope these instructions are clear enough to help!


Louise said...

Absolutely fantastic Lesley x

ju said...

These are gorgeous Lesley and could be adapted just to make pretty little niknak drawers too. Ab Fab!! xx

* Shaz * said...

Wow!! these are fantastic Lesley great tutorial too, thank you for sharing xx

daisy said...

It's gorgeous Lesley & the instructions so clear. Hope you are enjoying your countdown to Christmas xx

Sonia said...

Wow Lesley, BRAVO!!!
Totally GORGEOUS!!

paperfun said...

Lesley, this advent box is gorgeous!!! Your directions are very easy to follow. Awesome job!!!!


LindaJay said...

oh Lesley they are gorgeous. Thank you for putting the instructions as I've been thinking about doing one of these for a while.

So talented.


CraftyLoops said...

Wow, this is an incredible idea. Ive just become a new follower after seeing your beautiful DT submission on Craft your days away. Wow, Im so glad to have found your blog. Lee x

Posh Cat Crafts said...

Oh Lesley this is absolutely stunning thank you for the Tutorial too! If its ok with you can I share a link on my tutorial blog?

Lesley said...

Hi Tamara, yes that's fine, thank you! xx

karen said...

OMG you make it look so easy - must try. Fantastic tutorial.xx

AngelaC said...

What a fantastic project Lesley and excellent tutorial too!

nessy said...

oh my gosh ~just stunning!!
vanessa xx

made by fifi said...

fab you must smoke a lot!!! :O) xx

made by fifi said...

lovely by the way xx

Amanda said...

This is a great project and a fab tutorial!


Joy said...

Fabulous!!! Great tutorial, thanks xx

Pam said...

I am very excited thank you so very much for the directions on how to make this. I am so going to be making this for gifts this year! This is so clever and I can make them to fit the person that I am making them for

Martine said...

Merci beaucoup pour ce partage. Très joli calendrier de l'Avent, simple à faire et que je vais réaliser cette année pour mes petits enfants. Peut ensuite servir à ranger des petits trésors ...
Amical salut de France !