Thursday, November 19, 2009

Candy Box Advent Calendar

Well here is my project with the leftover boxes from our Halloween advent calendar.

I wanted to capture a sort of "Grandma Moses" type scene incorporating the city skyline as the boxes reminded me of skyscrapers.

If this seems daunting you can easily adapt this to a 12 days of Christmas calendar or even the last week before Christmas calendar.

As always you can click on any picture to see larger.

Materials Required:
24 0r 12 Halloween candy boxes
large piece of corrugated cardboard for the base
2 sided adhesive foam, glue dots or glue (even Velcro)
2 copies of printout of hiding places

Take your candy boxes and open along the seam they used to glue them together.

Turn inside out and re glue the long seam....use some clothespins to hold in place while the glue is setting up.
We are turning our boxes inside out as they are easier to paint this way (will only need 1 coat).

On the computer or by hand make a list of 24 hiding places in your house. Make sure you have 2 to keep as a reference and one to cut up. Cut the list into strips and put one in each box...make sure to write the # on the box somewhere so you can keep them straight. You can put it on the back and redo it on the front once you start painting.
I prefer this type of Advent calendar because it gives me more freedom with the treats that usually go inside the boxes...this way I can make them any size...I can substitute in tickets to Christmas show or activity....I tend to use
ornaments a lot...even our old heirloom ones...the child selecting that particular box will get to hang that special ornament on the tree. The kids love it because they never know what they will get and they enjoy the treasure hunt with the hiding places.

After you have put the slip of paper with the hiding place on it in the box refold the ends and glue into place. Use some elastic bands to hold it together while the glue is setting up. If your worried the kids won't be able to open the boxes you could just use tape or just tuck the ends in and leave the box open on one side...easier to access for those little fingers.

Using the large piece of cardboard as the backing plan out where the boxes will go and sketch out your design.
It doesn't need to be to could just do a landscape background and turn the boxes into snowmen or penguins.

You can trace around the boxes to have a plan of where everything goes while painting. I originally had 25 boxes but changed it to 24...just painted over #25.

Start painting your scene...paint your boxes to match. Make sure to put the number of the box somewhere on it where the kids can find it.

Attach your boxes with adhesive foam, glue dots or glue. You can even use Velcro dots so you can take the box off to open it if you want.
I used 2 sided adhesive foam as I intend the box to stay stuck to the background...the kids will just open the boxes from the side.

You can coat your calendar with a coat of Mod Podge if you want for a shiny look.

And that's it. The kids can't wait!

Give it a try and the kids can even create their own.
See you next time.


  1. Oh my goodness! What a delightful Advent. A bit tedious but then, at least I for one, like tedious work. Or play :)

  2. What a great idea!! I am definitely going to make one (hopefully this year, but I might not be thinking realistically...)

  3. A cute idea, adaptable for a number of things. I like it!

  4. Gail!!! This is amazing. Oh dear. Amazing!

  5. Fabulous idea and the execution is wonderful. I love the scene you created!

  6. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

    I am in awe! This is genius! Charming. Imaginative. And I wish I had one on my wall just exactly like it!

    Well done, Gail.

  7. Pam was reading my mind. This is brilliant!

  8. Thanks so much everyone...can't believe your incredible are spoiling me!

  9. This is brilliant. Kudos to you, I would never be able to finish a project like this and have it turn out this good. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. WOW! This is really, really amazing. I I love that you incorporated the candy boxes. It's goreous! Thanks so much, I'll be linking to this.

  11. I'm in awe!!! Absolutely incredible!

  12. NICE! I love how it. I bet your boys love it. I also love the scavenger hunt part of it.


  13. ohhhh... what a fantastic find! Beautiful and so inspiring!!!

  14. I loved your Advent calendar and was inspired to make something similar with my can see our version on my blog.

    love your blog!

  15. Hi Gail!

    You have a truly wonderful blog!! Amazing!

    I was wondering, would you like to join in my "monthly" Get Crafty? This month's them is ManMade.. and I think your advent calendar would fit perfectly - also, any inspired adult have plenty of time to make one!!!

    Here is Nature Get Crafty as a reference!

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    (info (at) redtedart (dot) com

  16. This is really beautiful, too bad we didn't end up with any tiny boxes!

  17. We've got the whole school collecting up our Smarties boxes now!! Can't wait to try this out!

  18. Hi Gail,
    I made my own version of this with the Little Town of Bethlehem.
    It turned out GREAT and my kids are beside themselves with excitement to start tomorrow...
    THANKS as ALWAYS. I so enjoy running with your many creative ideas.