DIY advent calendar: Nativity scene

2011-11-21

It is a dear tradition in our family to get the kids an advent calendar. Now, for this year I wanted to make something myself rather than buy a run-off-the-mill calendar. And of course, being an advent calendar, it should be related to the story of Christmas.

Voila, enter the DIY nativity scene advent calendar:

The calendar consists of 24 match boxes, each covered with a cut-out figure. Here is the complete tableau:

The match boxes themselves contain candy (in small quantities – I’m all for keeping materialism to reasonable limits, especially around Christmas).

Now, you may wonder why the boxes aren’t numbered, just like they should be for an advent calendar. You can of course do that, but for this year I will do it differently for my kids: Each day, they get one of the boxes (the ones shown, plus enough additional sheep and shepherds to get the 24 complete).

In this way, the nativity scene is gradually revealed, until on Christmas, it will be complete. Which in my mind is much nicer than just having it sitting in the living room long before Christmas.

If you want to make this yourself, the good news is that it’s extremely straightforward: Just print the PDF template (see below) on sturdy cardboard, cut it out, and glue it to (empty) match boxes. The template is for boxes that are roughly 35 x 50 mm in size. Fill the boxes with sweets, and you are good to go.

Upon request, I have made another template for the three wisemen:

And an angel:

angel

Here is the 2-page PDF.

And if you prefer the template in PNG format, here it is.

Comments

    1. admin, Reply

      The boxes are regular matchboxes – you should be able to get them in any hardware store.

  1. Mimi Zwonull, Reply

    Hi, super, vielen Dank für die super Idee und die PDF.
    It’s a brilliant idea and it can be a nice gift for kids. Thanks for sharing your talent.

  2. Pingback: DIY: Portal de Belén original |

  3. Pingback: como fazer um presépio de caixas de fósforo | coisaseideias

  4. Eroca Brawne, Reply

    I love your work. I’ve been cutting, folding and glueing paper since I was a small child and still love it, your designs are thoughtful and clever!

  5. Susie, Reply

    Fantabulous! You truly put thought and heart into what you are generously sharing with all of us. Love your talent and kindness. Blessings to You and Yours from Port Huron Michigan

  6. jet, Reply

    aaaw this is so brilliant, i like it, thank you for the sharing and the templates. I love and like it !!!!;-D

  7. Mike, Reply

    Just completed the whole Nativity set. Looks great.

    Yes, an angel would really round out the whole Christmas tableau.

    Thanks for all the cool things on your site.

  8. Dixie, Reply

    Oh my. I’m so excited that your responded to my comment. We are planning on doing this nativity activity with our little ones during our Sunday School hour lesson/party on December 7th. We will print a corresponding Bible verse to go with the illustration and glue it inside the matchbox, so they can retell the Christmas story themselves. I would be so delighted and GRATEFUL if you would do an angel for the set. I showed the idea to a co-teacher and she is over the moon for the idea. Our kids are going to love making such a treasured keepsake for the years to come. Again, deepest gratitude for sharing this.

    1. admin, Reply

      The Bible verse idea is great! Thanks for sharing – good luck with the Sunday School on the 7th!

  9. Dixie, Reply

    Would love an angel. These are beautiful. Thanks SO much for your generosity to share them.

    1. admin, Reply

      Chances are slim, unfortunately, as I am very busy with a couple of other things that, well, have to take priority.

  10. Pingback: Christmas ~ Crafts (Nativity) | Paper Gifts for Estefany

  11. Pingback: Paper Nativity « Commotion from the Ocean of Life

  12. Pingback: Maak je eigen kerststal | Gespot voor jou!

  13. Susie, Reply

    I was never into the various “open the window” type of Advent calendars. This, though, Genious! I love how you share it with your children.

    1. admin, Reply

      Good point – if I can find the time, I will make them before the Christmas season comes around.

      1. Leslie, Reply

        Not online wise men, but, camels, Angels, palm trees (?), there are many other items that could be used to fill up the 24… LOVE THIS!!!!

  14. Ronelle Capelli, Reply

    Thank you for sharing your talent with all these printables for us to do and play with.

  15. Ginny, Reply

    Where have you been all my life? Everything here is awesome. But, this nativity scene…I’m in love. Thank you so much for making this available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>