I can remember as a child getting the advent calendars with a little piece of chocolate hidden within the perforated square of each day in December. Not the easiest way to do an advent calendar with three kids still at home.

What do you mean we have to take turns?

Last year I really wanted to make a fun advent calendar come to fruition,
but other creative deadlines didn’t allow me the luxury.

But this year?

Oh yeah baby!

(whoops . . . i was obviously experiencing a dyslexic moment.
22 + 23 should be switched in the pic. oh well. lol)


Price: $12

This concept is very unique in that it’s just so darned flexible!

So many choices.

The ‘calendar’ is actually comprised of little open boxes,
which are hidden behind the tag shape. So it’s a tag, with a secret behind it.

You can put candy in there, a little note, gum, a Hot Wheels car maybe, Lip Smackers lip gloss . . . anything fun and small . . . or even bigger if you want to make the boxes bigger!

I made mine (and the shapes are sized this way) at 1.75″ wide and 3″ tall and the box is about 1/2″ deep. Of course, in the wonderful land of die cutting, you can always make it bigger.

My plan is to get a 16×20 frame–no glass–and string three rows of wire to hang the boxes from with  clothespins spray painted in red and silver…maybe white….maybe black too. Of course, there are sooooo many ways you can display and/or use them!

Tie them to a garland with string.
Hang them from a string of lights over your mantle.
Use those IKEA hooks.
Skip the box and just use the tags.
Use them in your December Daily . . . or any Christmas page.

The list could go on and on!

I also used a mat silver cardstock that I’ve had for like ever . . . along with shiny silver cardstock.

You can also cut boxes from your own holiday paper. I liked the cardstock method and sticking to red, white, silver and black . . . but it’s all up to you!

Here’s some tips on making it:

Cut 21 white cardstock boxes (7 pieces of cardstock) and 3 red cardstock boxes (1 piece of cardstock)
Print the 8×10 candy cane background found in the PROJECT_Print_Files and use to cut some of the pieces.

Note:  Since first creating the kit, I moved the candy cane backgrounds into the PROJECT_Print_Files directory so that all print files needed for the project will be in one directory. They were formerly in the PNG directory.)

Assembling the BOX.

  • Assemble decoration first on textured/decorated side.
  • Adhere the reinforcement.
  •  Assemble the box by placing adhesive on the very bottom rectangle section, the two side squares, and one side of the back–all on the textured side of the cardstock.
  • Flip it over, and roll up the bottom portion of the box so that the pieces form the ‘tuck in’ part.
  • Fold the side of the box with the adhesive inward first, then fold the outside on top of it.

Adhere the Santa image, ‘making a list’ and ‘one’

Adhere ‘2’. Wrap string around, thread ‘ho ho ho’ and tie in a knot.

Adhere ‘three’ background tag shape. Adhere ornament and add real ornament hook and rhinestones. Adhere ‘believe.’

Adhere candy cane background tag shape. Adhere ‘4’ to red circle and adhere behind ‘Noel’. Adhere ensemble to box.

Adhere a small section of foam between the two slits of gingerbread man cookie cutter. Thread small grey strip through slits and secure to foam. Adhere to box. Adhere ‘five’ on top of that.

Adhere ’06’ and accent with star gem or rhinestone.

Use a pop dot under the wing and adhere to bird. Add ribbon and rhinestone, if desired. Assemble domino. Adhere bird and domino to box, tucking the legs of the bird behind the domino.

Cut notches on the center sides of the ‘8’ card. Wrap string around and adhere to box. Tie a ribbon in a knot, trim ends and attach to box with a glue dot.

Adhere paint strip card to the right side of the box. Adhere ‘9.’ to left side of box.

Adhere definition word strip to left side of box. Adhere tree. Adhere ‘TEN’. Add star gem on top.

Adhere ‘Be Good’ and ’11’ as shown.

Adhere  card to box and secure with staples.

Adhere music to black background and adhere to box. Adhere ‘thirteen’.

Adhere grey tag portion to box. Adhere ‘deck the halls’ to base of grey piece. Adhere ‘CHRIS’ and ’14’ as shown.

Align ‘with boughs of holly’ with the  title on the 14 box. Adhere ‘TMAS’ as shown. Add large star, having the right edge hang over a little. Trim. Adhere ‘fifteen’ title. Add red star gem.

Adhere grey tag piece to box. Adhere snowflake so that a small portion hangs over the edge. Trim.  Wrap string around, thread ‘sixteen’ and tie in a knot.

Adhere Bingo card to box. Tie knot in ribbon, trim ends and adhere to box with a glue dot.

Adhere ’18’. Adhere ‘dear santa’ so that it overlaps the left a little and trim. Secure with staples.

Adhere candy cane portion to top of box. Adhere ‘nineteen’ to base of the candy cane piece. Adhere ‘Joy.’

Adhere ticket, ’20’ and holly in that order.

Adhere grey/white definition piece to box. Adhere ‘twenty one’ as shown.

Place paper clip on stamp. Tie ribbon on top of paper clip. Adhere ensemble to box.

Adhere candy cane background to box. Adhere ’23’. Wrap ribbon around and accent with snowflake charm or jingle bell (which is what I wanted, but opted for the snowflake since I didn’t have a bell available).

Adhere ’24’, ’twas the night’ word strip , and star gem.


Here’s how the kit comes:

The composite cut files are set up similar to the This+That kits and can be found in the PROJECT_Cut Files directory. I have it put together as I created it–in the color scheme I used. But you have total freedom to mix it up if you’d like :) The cut files are shown here in color for reference, but won’t appear that way when you open them.

countdown_cut1_0088 is 7.87″ wide
countdown_cut2_0088 is 7.5″ wide
tag_box_x3_0088 is 8.08″ wide


The composite print file looks like this and can be found in the PROJECT_Print_Files. It comes as an 8×10 file, so there shouldn’t be any issues with a photo developer accidentally changing sizes, if that’s where you’re choosing to print it..

And FYI, I didn’t save all those PNG images individually. I only saved some of the cards, music, and words that I thought might be used as a larger image in other projects.

When I get my ‘just the right’ frame, I will put it all together and share!