Monday, October 24, 2011

Inch Box Advent Calendar Tutorial

I’m so happy to finally have this tutorial ready to share with you. I came up with the idea for this project two years ago. At the time, Stampin’ Up! didn’t have the petal card punch and the 25 & Counting advent calendar set to make this project feasible. So it sat in my notebook just waiting for the day when the stars would align and make it possible.

I named this calendar an “Inch Box Advent Calendar”, because that is the size of treat that will fit in each box. The easiest things to put inside are Hershey’s kisses, but other small wrapped candies will fit in the boxes as well. If you would like to give bigger gifts, you can always put a note in each box with a clue to the gift’s hiding spot.

The dimensions for the finished calendar (without topper and feet) are: 5-3/4" W x 5-3/4" H x 1-1/8" D. I have created both a step-by-step photo tutorial and a video tutorial for this project.

Step 1: Calendar Base
1. Start with a piece of 10-1/8” x 10-1/8” piece of card stock.
Score at 1-1/8”, 2-¼”, 3-3/8”, 4-½”, 5-5/8”, 6-¾”, 7-7/8” and 9”.

Step 2
2. Turn one quarter turn and score at 1-1/8”, 2-¼”, 3-3/8”, 4-½”, 5-5/8”, 6-¾”, 7-7/8” and 9”.

Step 3
3. Cut off the corner squares and the two adjacent squares. (you will be cutting off 3 squares from each corner. Also, cut along the 4 score lines as shown to create 4 inner tabs.

Step 4
4. On the outer strip, cut slots 1-1/8” inch down (to the first score line) on each of the four sides (4 slots per side). Make the slots about 1/16” wide by cutting down on either side of the score mark and then cutting away the little strip. This will ensure that there will be enough room for the dividers to fit properly.

Step 5
5. Fold ONLY the outer two score lines on each side. The middle score lines will NOT be folded.

Step 6
6. Put a piece of score tape on the outer five tabs of each side (20 total). Also place a piece of score tape on the square opposite the inner tabs (4 total).

Step 7
7. Remove the score tape liner on the four inner tabs. Pull the tabs over to the scor-tape to form a box. Bend back the remaining 20 outer tabs. Set aside.

Step 8*: Calendar Dividers (make 8)
8. Start with a piece of 2-¼” x 6-5/8” piece of card stock. On the 2-¼” side, score at 1-1/8”.

Step 9*
9. On the 6-5/8” side, score at ½”, 1-5/8”, 2-¾”, 3-7/8”, 5", 6-1/8”.

Step 10
10. On both 2-¼” ends, cut up along the score line 1/2" (to the first score line). Make the slots about 1/16” wide by cutting down on either side of the score mark and then cutting away the little strip.

Step 11
11. Fold the strip along the score line length-wise.

Step 12
12. Before proceeding, make sure you have all 8 strips made to this point. Split the strips into two groups of four.

Step 13: Horizontal strips (use 4 strips)
13. On the long side (with the strip still folded), cut the middle four score lines halfway up from the open side of the strip. Make the slots about 1/16” wide by cutting down on either side of the score mark and then cutting away the little strip. This creates slots that are large enough for the strips to form a grid without bending.

Step 14
14. Here are the four finished horizontal strips.

Step 15: Vertical strips (use the other 4 strips)
15. On the long side (with the strip still folded), cut the middle four score lines halfway down from the scored side of the strip.

Step 16
16. Here are the four finished vertical strips.

Step 17: Interlocking the strips
17. Take the eight strips and form an inter-locking grid pattern.

Step 18
18. Bend the outside tabs along the score lines.

Step 19: Assembly
19. Place the grid in the middle of the calendar base.

Step 20
20. Start removing the scor-tape liner from the tabs one at a time. Fold down each tab to adhere. This photo shows four of the top tabs folded down and adhered.

Step 21
21. Finish removing the scor-tape liner and folding down the tabs.

Step 22: Box Fronts
22. Punch a Petal Card Punch piece out of card stock. Please Note: The Petal Card Punch requires a lot of pressure, in order for the piece to be punched properly. I usually load my card stock into the punch, push down and rock back and forth from the lever end to the opposite end. This will ensure all parts of the piece get punched out and that all four score lines show up.

Step 23
23. Place scor-tape on one of the petals.

Step 24
24. Stamp your advent calendar image and punch out with the 1” square punch. Layer the image on the square part of the Petal Card piece with the scor-tape towards the bottom.

Step 25
25. Repeat steps 22 to 24 until you have 25 cupboard fronts created.

Step 26
26. Remove the sticky strip liner from the first cupboard front and adhere to the top left corner of your calendar grid. Please Note: Look at your grid before adhering your first cupboard front. Orient your box so that the rows with the grid cuts on the back are horizontal and the rows with the grid cuts to the front are vertical To close the cupboard just tuck the top and side tabs into the box opening.

Step 27
27. Add the rest of the drawer fronts to complete the calendar grid.

Step 28
28. Decorate the rest of the advent calendar as desired.

*Step 8 & 9 Shortcut: Cut two pieces of 9” x 6-5/8” card stock. On the 6-5/8” sides, score at ½”, 1-5/8”, 2-¾”, 3-7/8”, 5", 6-1/8”. Then on the 9” sides, cut into four 2-1/4” strips. Then score the 8 pieces on the 2-¼” side, score at 1-1/8”.
**The “Letters to Santa” designer series paper is also available as a digital download (item# 123140).

Stampin’ Up! Supplies
click on the product for price and details

Please Note: Since I posted this tutorial several of the products I have used to make the advent calendar are no longer available. The first three items on my supply list are only available as digital downloads. These images can be downloaded, colored digitally and printed out to be used in place of the stamped images. The petal card punch retired, but is currently on the clearance rack (nov 2014).

Petal Card Double Punch
Petal Card Double Punch

Retired Items: Cherry Cobbler Quilted Ribbon** (124105), Silver Brads** (104336)

*now only available as digital downloads
**no longer available

Shop Stampin’ Up! online anytime, just click HERE.

Thanks for visiting!! I love reading your comments!!


  1. thanks so much for sharing this awesome project! this will be on my inspiration blog post tomorrow.

  2. Brenda this is absolutely brilliant! Unfortunately we don't have the stamp set you used in Australia but I love your idea.
    Absolutely ingenious to use the petal card punch that way, I've always wondered what you'd use it for. A wonderful tutorial.
    Thanks for sharing your brilliance.

  3. I have no words to describe how wonderful is this!
    Congratulations for your work!
    It´s amazing!
    Thank you for sharing with us!
    Best wishes,

  4. Brenda - you are unbelievable! and to share this with all of us is just incredible and so very generous of both your time and efforts! Your directions are extremely clear - THANK YOU!

  5. Brenda-This is outstanding... Thank you so much for sharing. I bought the set and didn't really know how to go about making the calendar but your directions are excellent and I love the outcome. My granddaughters will be thrilled. Thank you for going to all this trouble to share....

  6. Absolutely stunning!!! Wow! I just love what you did! Thank you do much for the tutorial!!! I can't wait to try this, I am more than anything, grateful for generosity to share with us!

  7. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project. By looking at it I wouldn't think I could tackle it but with your clear directions I am going to give it at try! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  8. This is awesome. I had to sit down and create one myself right away. You can see my take on my blog - Thanks so much!

  9. Loved it too! You make it sound very easy and I've made the "box" already. I can't buy the stampset eather, but I will work something out.
    greetings, Petra

  10. Wow I think my head might have just exploded LOL in a good way. I am not sure if I have this much paitence but this is the CUTEST thing ever!!! I just might have to give it a try because your instructions are so awesome. Thank you thank you thank you!

  11. This is great. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent. I have two grandsons that are going to love this.

  12. Brilliant just Brilliant!
    QBee, Thank you so much for making this tutorial available to us.For those of us who are very limited in funds (Soc. Sec. Disability funds and others) this is like getting a present. Many are now selling their tutorials and that is fine - but it leaves many not able to buy them . I have bought some from $2-$5 but now those have gone up to $15 and even $20.
    Kudos to you for sharing your creativity and talents. I will be making this!

  13. This is stunning.I have no words to thank you for the tutorial.

  14. Wow, thank you so much for going through all the trouble to do the videos and the written instructions!! I think the photos show which pieces are horizontal and which are vertical a bit better than the video. This is amazing! I don't have that set or the punch, but this certainly makes me want to get them. Since I don't have scor tape, but sticky strip, I learned a tip from another lady about just making a long strip along the whole side of the box, then cutting out your slits rather than having to do 20 tiny pieces. This is really gorgeous and you made it look so very simple!! Thanks so much for putting the email feed on your blog.

  15. This is gorgeous!! What a beautiful piece of creativity! Congratulations!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this is a wonderful video. Wow it is detailed and easy to follow...

  17. This is THE most spectacular project I have seen done with the 25 & Counting set! I had no interest in purchasing it until today! Stampin' Up! should give you extra commission for the huge increase in sales they will receive because of your project AND your detailed instructions on assembling it! WAY TO GO!!! :D

    (That was a lot of exclamation points in my comment but you deserved them ALL!)

  18. Wowzers!!! Such an amazing and creative project!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Love this so much, would love to try and make it but OMG.... awesome project xx

  20. I found your blog & this tutorial through & LNSDemo only group. Oh my! What a find!!! This is spectacular!!!! I bought the die that went w/ the stamp set, but not the stamp set. That is about to change!! Thank u so much for the excellent written & video tutorials! I hope to make a couple for my grandchildren!

  21. Wow, what an awesome project and thank you so much for making the tutorial. I've already made one advent calendar using a picture frame but I'm going to make one using your project. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

  22. Brenda,
    This project is soooo much fun. Thank you for sharing.

  23. what a great project!!!! Thank you for all the time you took sharing it with us!

  24. Wow!~Wow!~Wow! This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing the detailed instructions. You did a lot of work. So generous! Your project is just so cute!

  25. Debbie in MinnesotaOctober 26, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Thanks for the great project. I will try it. The directions seem pretty easy to follow.

  26. Oh My!! Incredible! TFS this wonderful project. Your tute is super easy to follow too!

  27. Wow, this project is great!!! Thank you for sharing this with us. This is a great idea...hopefully I can do it one time...unbelievable.

  28. AMAZING! WOW! Thank you sooooo much for sharin!

  29. I thank God for engineering people like you! I could have never figured it out in a million years.

  30. OMG, You are a genius! I love this idea. Thank you so much for creating the tutorial and video.
    Linda in NH

  31. WOW WOW WOW! Brilliant idea, thank you for sharing and creating the tutorial.

  32. I hate myself now for not getting that punch! :( this is an awesome idea... Love it...I'm now a follower :)

  33. I made it up last Saturday and it is perfect! Thank you! for sharing your talent. It is really easy if you follow the well written instructions and video. Thanks again.

  34. Found your site tonight while following a link for the Advent Calendar. It is wonderful, as are your other tutorials. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and ideas.

  35. Qbee, I was looking for the directions on how to make the advent calendar in the mini calendar using the 25 & counting stamp set, BUT you have definetly changed my mind on what I am doing with my already purchased stamp set! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for having the video and step by step directions!!! You did everything but make it for me, lol. Well done and thank you again!

  36. Great tutorial. I made mine last night and it was so easy to follow along. I can't wait to share it for my class. Thanks for such a great idea, you are very talented.

  37. Hi, I am your newest follower and love your blog! I have been going through all you articles and am so sorry for your loss of Bella, she looked so cute! And I love what you have done for her to make it as comfortable as possible, she looked so cute in that stroller! We have cats and have lost a few, so we know how painful it is when you lose a companion, they are part of your family so a big loss when there gone!

    Found your blog via Dawn! And I am glad.

    Love this calender, it's a lot of work and if I had more time I would have loved to make one...perhaps next year :)

    I have a blog as well, if you want to look just go to

    The Netherlands

  38. I didn't think I wanted this stamp set, but this advent calendar convinced me that I NEED it! What a beautiful project! It's so economical instead of the wooden ones.

    Thank you for sharing this WONDERFUL tutorial!


  39. I also want to say that you are AMAZING! I was finding myself down in a design rut and not getting the christmas spirit. This has lifted my spirits. I already have made one this evening and all my kids now want one of their own. They LOVE it. Even my 13 year old son thinks its great and wants one. Thank you for blessing us all out here in blog land. I hope you are blessed greatly for your generosity and hard work with sharing this project.

  40. Wow this is fantastic. I am thinking I am going to have to find some time to CASE this. We don't have the stamp set in Australia but I am sure I can work around it. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  41. This is absolutely amazing. Thanks so much for sharing all the dimensions with us. And thanks for taking the time to figure it all out. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS ADVENT CALENDAR.

  42. I am at a loss for words on this project!!! WOW WOW WOW!!! I will be featuring this project on My Crafty Picks #42 with a link back to your blog on 11-13-11. Make sure to stop by to check out all the picks and to pick up your blog badge to display on your blog for being featured!!

    If you wish to decline please email me by responding to this comment to let me know.

    Thanks and take care
    Tiffany Bauer

  43. Wow! What a fantastic tutorial!!!!! It is SO EASY to understand and copy - even if you don't speak English. Great, really GREAT!
    Thx a lot for this effort. :-)

    best rgds from Germany

  44. I saw this on the blog of heather, and I love this idea. I'm going to make one very soon! It's so cute and love the finishing touches. Thanks for sharing it!

  45. I just love this!!! I haven't made one yet, but I really REALLY want to! LOL I've also linked this on my blog because your tutorial is outstanding.

  46. Absolutely LOVE this! I am definitely going to have to make this one! Thanks so much for sharing! Your tutorial is wonderful!

  47. Brilliant!!! OMG! You are sooooo clever! I have to try this! I will link you in my post.
    Hugs, Dena

  48. Thank you for the great Idee and the wonderful tutorial! I love it! The second Calender is in work!
    Many Greatings from Germany

  49. Hi! Just wanted to let you know I am featuring this in a advent post in my Delightful December series. You can come by and grab a featured button if you like!

  50. Love it! I am part way through the project. I made a simple error of counting (I have 36 slots) but have realized I will make it a full month calendar of 1-31! Life gives you lemons, make a few extra boxes! =) Thanks for sharing the tut.

  51. Oh my goodness,you're amazing. Love love love your advent calendar. Thanks so much for sharing how you made it. Warm wishes, Di

  52. Hi Brenda, thanks so much for this tutorial. I have made the valentine size one today but used it as a Christmas gift box. Next will be the advent calendar. I have placed a link to your tutorial on my blog xx. Thanks so much for sharing xx

  53. Hi, this is Great!! I don't have the punch but I'm sure I can adapt something I do have. Thanks Kylie for the link to this terrific tutorial.

  54. This is an engineering miracle! Thank you so much for the time & effort you put into it, and for sharing it with us! I hope I can make one of these myself!

  55. Oh my goodness this is awesome - thank you for the fabulous tutorial, I'll definitely be trying this ans I've just become a follower:-) TFS

  56. Brenda, thank you! What a clever and creative person you are. Can't wait to try this myself!

  57. you are just the Legend! Thank you so much for sharing this freely.

  58. question: is it hard to "open" the "drawers"?

    1. Hi Michelle, Thanks for you sweet comment. You asked is it hard to open the drawers. Not really. The brads are there so that you can hook your finger nail on them and pull them forward. When you're closing the door you just have to tuck back the three tabs and align the door with the edge of the advent calendar. I suppose if you have big fingers it might be harder to open and the brads are definitely a must so that you have something to pull on. I hope that answers your question. :)

  59. Hi Brenda - thank you for this awesome tutorial and all your other creations. I wanted to let you know I used this tutorial and if you would like to check it out here is the link:-)

    Have a great weekend.

  60. You are so talented and generous to share this all with us. Would you like a donation for your hard work. Thank you so much for making me smile with all your great projects. Tricia

  61. Brenda, you have amazing creativity! I've been looking and looking for an advent calendar that I could make. I already bought the stamp set, in hopes that I'd be able to use it to make an advent calendar... someday. Well, thanks to you, my "someday" has a date! This will be my 2013 Christmas project. It's perfect! THANK YOU for sharing it.

  62. Hello, what a beautiful advent calendar! Unfortunately I can't buy the petal punch in the UK, is it possible to hand make the petals? If so..what measurements should I use?

  63. Amazing tutorial will be making this for my grandchildren thanks for sharing x