Vintage Coke Crate Advent Calendar

I don't know about you, but I'm LOVING this series so far.  Christa, Heather and Christina have had amazing projects!  They are all gorgeous and very frugal...I want to do them all!! 

Have you ever done an Advent Calendar? It wasn't until I was in college that I had even heard of one!  Crazy, right? There are so many great ideas out there, and they've always looked like so much fun, but I've never done one with my children. 

This past weekend, I mentioned to my hubby how much I wanted to do an Advent Calendar, but didn't know what I could use to make one.  Ya'll, he is brilliant.  In less than 10 seconds he said, "Why don't you just use your Coke crate, it has 24 holes."  That man.  He just has the best ideas.  =)

So we talked it over and devised our own little Advent Calendar using my vintage Coke crate that I found at a yard sale. 

 To make the boxes, you will need:
  • cardstock (we chose white for the boxes)
  • colorful scrapbook paper
  • number stickers
  • circle punch (or a circle cutter, or just trace and cut w/ scissors)
  • scissors
  • glue stick

First, we created our own box templates that would fit the cubes in the crate.  And since we like to share, here is a printable pdf  so you can make your own!  We printed 24 of them on the white cardstock.

After you get all of the templates printed, The boxes are very simple to make....
1. Cut them out!
2. Fold along all solid lines.
3. Put some glue on the little edges and stick the box together.
4. Voila!  You have an adorable, miniature present box. =)

5. Cut out a circle from your pretty scrapbook paper.
6. Stick a number on it...
7. Then glue it on the box!  (I actually glued mine on the bottom of the box so I didn't have to worry about the lids popping open)

Most advent calendars are numbered "1-24", but we decided to do ours backwards so we can also count down the days until Christmas.  When a cube is finished, we'll just turn it to a blank side. Hooray for not having to answer the "How many days is it until Christmas?!" question!  Well, at least I won't have to answer it quite so much. =)

In the cubes are slips of paper, candy or a tiny present.  These aren't exactly in the order we are going to do them, but this is what is going to be in ours....

Advent Calendar Ideas:
1.  Decorate the Gingerbread House
2.  Christmas Craft
3.  Candy!
4.  Bake cookies
5.  Take cookies to a friend/shut-ins
6.  Play a game 
7.  Watch a Christmas movie
8.  Put on a Christmas play 
9.  Read Christmas story and sing carols
10.  Make "Who" pudding
11. Watch the cartoon Grinch
12.  Go see Christmas lights
13.  Hot Chocolate
14.  Candy!
15.  Color Christmas picture
16.  Make Christmas Ornament
17.  Write Christmas cards for shut-ins
18.  Christmas Colors Dress-up Day
19.  Tiny Present in box
20.  Make Paper Snowflakes
21.  Shop for new toys and to donate 
22.  Christmas picture day
23.  Make a Birthday Cake for Jesus
24.  Skype with Grandma and recite Christmas memory verses and sing

I really like doing it this way because then hubby and I can put the activities on our personal calendars and plan ahead so that we aren't scrambling to do them!  

 The advent calendar has found a home on the kitchen counter beside the gumball machine.  That whole area is driving my kiddos crazy.  And I'm not finding any pleasure in that at all. {ahem} ;)

Isn't it fun to create a solution and then fall in love with the results?  My favorite part is knowing that this will help us be intentional about how we spend our time this Christmas season.  It's far too easy to get to New Year's and think, "Where did December go?!" 

I hope this will inspire you to make an advent calendar if you've haven't already. Even if you don't have a coke crate, you could still do little boxes and fill a cookie sheet or a large shoe box covered in wrapping paper!  There are so many possibilities!

What is the tradition in your home?  Do you have an advent calendar?  What are some of your favorite family activities for this time of year?

Here are the other projects from "A Homemade Christmas".....


  1. Great Post! Since you said I had the best ideas, here are my ideas for the advent calendar activities:

    24. Buy a Glock
    23. Buy an IPad
    22. Buy a Truck
    21. Buy a Macbook Pro 17 inch...

  2. ^^LOL. hey, if he's willing to provide the $$, I say go for it! ;)^^

    this is a great tutorial! love the coke crate and the beautiful, vintage style. totally fits with the rest of your gorgeous home! great job. :)

  3. Great idea! We must have been thinking a alike- I posted about our family's count-down today too! In November I wrap up all of our Christmas books and we unwrap one each night before bedtime. It's a tradition that the kids won't let me NOT do anymore! (Not that I want to stop- we love it!)
    Isn't it fun seeing our children get excited about our creative ideas?!

  4. Love your advent calendar, Laine! I've done one since I was little & we do it now with our girls. Don't think I've ever seen one this creative! Great job! We may have to try this one next year! =)
    ~Angela Mansell~

  5. LOVE IT!!! So crafty you two!! :) And my hubby seconds all of Stevens ideas from above! ;)

  6. Oh Laine, I LOVE this! I think I might do this for me and my hubby- seems like December flies by and we just don't do things that make lasting memories and take time to stop and enjoy the season. Think this would be a good way to do it. Will have to think of some more activities for us that we can add to it. But you have a great list too.

    I won't have time to work on it until Monday so we may have to start a day or 2 late but that is ok, better late than not at all :)

    Thanks for the free printable too!

    1. I love your idea Christina. Josh is doing 25 days of Christmas for me. Maybe you and David could come up with something together or you could surprise him too!=)

  7. Love this! We have never done a Christmas countdown like that before. This year my husband is doing 25 days of Christmas for me though. I am so excited about it, but it is also making me think ahead to what I can do for the kids and him too.

  8. This is so cute!! Very good idea and so cool that you designed your own box template!


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