Picture of Advent Calendar
I've been looking around for an Advent Calendar for my kids, but couldn't find one that really suited my tastes and price. There are some very nice ones out there, but all too expensive in my opinion. This one is pretty easy to make with only a few tools.
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Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials

Picture of Gather Tools and Materials
I was originally going to make the entire Advent Calendar out of wood, but it was December 1st when I decided to make it and it would take too long to make all the boxes and or doors like other Advent calendars. I decided to use some watchmaker tins that I had bought from Harbor Freight. I think they are a pretty good solution, however you have to watch the sizes of the prizes as some may not fit.

Here are the tools I used:

- JigSaw (you could also use a coping saw...will just take longer.)
- Drill with 1 3/4 inch hole saw. (This happened to fit my tins perfect, if you use some of the other options below, you will need to adjust the hole size accordingly.)
- Orbital Sander (again...sandpaper will work fine...just takes longer.)


- 3/4 Plywood about 24 inches square - Available at most Big Box home centers.
- Watch Maker Tins. You can try finding the big ones I used at your local Harbor Freight, but mine said they were discontinued, and I can't find them online. Luckily I found probably a better solution here: Lee Valley Tools They have a set of 56 cases of various sizes for about 15 bucks.
- Paint
- Spray On Polyurethane (optional)
- Christmas Craft Paper
- Marker or Paint Pen
- Glue or Epoxy

You can obviously use something other than Plywood, but it's what I had around and seemed to fit 25 tins in the configuration I wanted. In retrospect I should have used a pine board as the plywood edges were difficult to dress up. If you used a pine board you may need to change the proportions of the tree to fit the reduced width of the board.
twighahn4 years ago
one couold put gifts inside the tins for each day like a partridge on a pear twig on day one etc.
the machine4 years ago
these looked like dip tins. i laughed.
Fifibear4 years ago
Thanks for this - it's a great idea. Now to go hunting for little tins...
adidame7 years ago
Wow! This look great! Thank you for sharing.
Doctor What7 years ago
Something to do with all of the leftover altoid tins I havn't used yet!!
All you need to do is glue them to the board, so it is easier than cutting out all those holes.
Cornflower7 years ago
Why don't Advent calendars start with Advent? I thought this was a December calendar until I looked it up on wikipedia, and they all start on December 1. It's a great piece with very clear photos and instructions that I might try next year.
activegeek (author)  Cornflower7 years ago
Thanks very much. I realize this is a little late, but our kids were just allowed to catch-up to the current date when we gave it to them. They were pretty happy to open 5 at one time.
saski7 years ago
Finally, an outlet for my container fetish.
Crash21087 years ago
A 2 is not a backwards 6.
ahhhh, very nice! i love it!