Do you love the idea of opening a gift every day until Christmas? Heck ya, who doesn’t?!

Advent calendars have been a long held tradition during the holidays for a good reason…they’re fun! They count down the days till Christmas with anticipation and excitement!

The great thing about advent calendars these days is that they come in MANY forms including diy (do-it-yourself) versions. In this post we’re going to show you how to make our gift box advent calendar that’s been popular with our customers for many years now.

Since you’ll need to have the calendar ready to go for December 1st, now is the time to start!

Advent calendar supplies-

advent calendar

The supplies you’ll need to make our gift box advent calendar are-

Making your advent calendar-

advent calendar

Before you start assembling your advent calendar, use your marker to number your stickers. This is so much easier to do on a flat surface then when the labels are on the boxes. Number the stickers #1 through #25.

advent calendar

Now, before you go any further, choose which way you’d like your gift boxes to open. For this advent calendar sample, we chose to have the “doors” open down (see photo below).
advent calendarWe had a customer say that she created her advent calendar with the boxes on their sides so the doors would open just like an actual door, from left to right. This is totally up to you to decide. Just make sure ALL the boxes are opening the same way. It’s easy to make a mistake, believe me!
You can now attach the labels to the lids of the boxes. Open all your gift boxes with the lids closed so you can see all the numbers.

advent calendar

To start assembling your advent calendar, arrange the gift boxes in five rows of five boxes. Make sure the gift boxes are in correct number order! For example, the first row should be boxes numbered #1 though #5, next row should be #6 through #11 and so on.
Attach the gift boxes together using the double sided tape as shown in the above photo.
advent calendarNow it’s time to stack your 5 rows of boxes. Start with the bottom row, which is boxes #21 to #25. Stack row #16 to #20 on top of the bottom row. Keep stacking until you end up with box #1 at the top.

advent calendar

Take your gift wrap and cut a length that will go all around the outside of your advent calendar. Fold it into a band that is approximately the width of your gift boxes (3″ wide).

advent calendar

Wrap the paper around the outside edge of your gift boxes. This just gives your advent calendar a nice co-ordinated finish. Now add your ribbon around the outer edge as we did in our sample, if you’d like. Or, simply add a bow to the top of your advent calendar.

Get creative!

This diy advent calendar can be customized in so many ways. You can change the colours and the accents that you add. Think about the person that you’re giving it to and what they like-

  • superhero/video game/book characters for kids
  • animals for young kids
  • glam/spa for moms/girlfriends
  • sports theme for dads/guys

The possibilities are truly endless!

The size of gift box we used for our advent calendar is really ideal. You can fit small toys, chocolates, candy, socks, hair accessories and so much more.

Or, include little notes or “coupons” for fun activities you can do together (ice skating, a movie, ice cream).

For larger items that don’t fit into the boxes (books, clothing), do a treasure hunt. Write your clues on notes that can be put in the boxes. This is my son’s favorite…he loves running around the house trying to figure out where the gift is!

Get creative and have some fun making your gift box advent calendars!



Here’s an updated version we did using a slightly larger 4″x4″x4″ sized box.

advent calendar



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Anna is Vice President and Director of Marketing at Essential Packaging Inc. For the past 24 years, along with her husband of 25 years, David, she has helped to grow the company from a home based business into a thriving retail and online enterprise. Her love of creative packaging, marketing and small business life has lead her to the wonderful world of blogging. Now she writes on her 2 blogs, A Beautifully Wrapped Life and A Small Business Life. She enjoys kayaking with her son Matt, hikes with her constantly shedding Yellow Lab Soda and her 5 backyard chickens. Connect with her by CLICKING HERE Find out more about Essential Packaging at