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Matchbox Advent calendar

Not how I’d originally planned to make it, but I like it.  I’d gone to spotlight to get some Xmas scrapbooking paper… they didn’t have any.  Nor did they have any kind of numbers to use…. nor anything to use as doorknobs for the drawers.  Pathetic!  I did get those wing pin things, hoping they would work, but they don’t…. but more on that later.

So… to make it, I started off by painting 24 matchboxes (just the outer part) white.  they took several coats.  Then I stuck groups of 3 drawers together.  Then cut out strips of scrap fabric (I was cutting out Xmas pads today) to go in each drawer.  I put glue on the front and inside front of the drawers and stuck the fabric on, I didn’t bother gluing it down all the way into the box, but the fabric extends to cover the whole inside (if that makes sense).

Now….  Matchboxes are normally opened by pressing the back of the drawer part to make it come out.  When assembled you won’t be able to do that, so it’s VERY DIFFICULT to open the drawers without some sort of knob or thing to pull.  The wing pin things I mentioned (those pins that have two “wing” bits that you bend over to keep the pin in place), aren’t knobby enough to use to pull the drawers out.  OK.. well they kinda are if you put them in so they are a bit loose and you can get your nails in behind, but they don’t work as well as I’d hoped they would.  But you can use them to hold a section of ribbon and use that as a tab to pull on, which works brilliantly!

but I didn’t like the way the ribbon overhangs the drawer below, I thought it looked messy…particularly when they all have one… and the ribbons get caught in the drawer below… and to be honest, poking holes in the boxes by hand (I didn’t have a suitable hole punch) was a PITA!

Another option for you, is to take some ribbon and glue or stickytape it to the bottom of each drawer, so that it’s sticking out a little and you can pull that to open the drawer, which also works well and doesn’t have as much messy overhang as attaching the ribbon tabs to the front(except the ribbon them pokes directly out, rather than down)

There’s probably other options to help open the drawers, feel free to suggest some… You’ll be wanting to make sure the glue is dry before you slide the drawers in so they don’t glue themselves shut.

If you want numbers, put them on.  I did want numbers but I couldn’t find any… and I didn’t want to hand draw them, or print them on the computer, so buggerit, we’ll just randomly open a drawer a day… not like it really matters which is which anyway (though I was toying with the idea of having a different line in an Xmas poem in each drawer, which won’t work unless you open them in order)

Also cut sections of fabric to cover one side each of the stuck together matchboxs(covering where the striking stuff is)…(so you need 8) but don’t glue those on just yet….  You first need to assemble the boxes to work out which sides need the fabric covering them.

So arrange the matchboxes like so, and cut a piece of cardboard the same size as that square they make. (actually, cut 2 and keep one aside)  Glue them onto that piece of cardboard, and glue the fabric onto those exposed sides.  A tip for you… leave/put the drawers in for this bit, so the boxes have enough rigidity to withstand having a coffee mug or something put on top to weigh it down while the glue sticks.  Then put glue on the tops of the matchboxes and glue your next layer on, making sure you’re alternating the drawer/flat sections.  Weigh that down while it dries too.

I used 3 fabrics for mine, 2 were red and one was green, so I have a red & green theme, so I made sure each side had one green and one red flat section, and I made the drawers so that they alternate in colour too.  Once that is done, stick fabric to the other square of cardboard you cut that is the same size as the top of the assembled cube.. and glue that onto the top.

If you wanted a box for day 25, you could just cover the matchbox in fabric and stick that to the top… I didn’t bother.

(These pics were taken before I added the drawer pulls)

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