When planning my blogmas/crafty Christmas series, I knew I wanted to make an advent calendar. I had a browse on pinterest and there were some nice ideas but lots of things seem to be overdone. I couldn’t see this anywhere, and as I like to make my life difficult, I thought I’d make a geometric pattern tree that involved making 25 small triangle boxes and glueing them together. I know typically advent calendars only go to 24, but for this shape to work mathematically you need to make 25 boxes. It’s not perfect by any means but I’m really happy with how it looks!
This actually doesn’t take too long to make once you get into the rhythm of it – each box should only really take you 5 minutes to cut out and assemble – but I am quite bad at doing repetitive tasks where you need to focus (seriously, I’d cut out one box then go to the fridge or walk around my house) so I did half one day, half another.
I used two shades of green card to create the boxes. You could use all the same colour but I really wanted it to look obviously geometric. The card doesn’t need to be very thick as at the end, the boxes will be glued together which will give them more strength.
I created a net (download), then printed and cut this out. I washi taped one edge of the net to my card, then cut around the net using a craft knife, ruler and cutting mat. You could do this with a pair of scissors but I’m not a very neat scissors user and these do need to have some accuracy. I cut 14 of the dark green, 10 of the light green and also cut one out of yellow card to be the star on the tree.
You then need to score the boxes for folding. You can use a scoring board and boning tool for this if you have one, but I just used a ruler and lightly pressed with my craft knife. I don’t recommend just folding them without scoring first as you really need the edges to be folded quite crisply. At this stage, if you want to just write the numbers onto the boxes, you should do this now. As I wanted to have glitter numbers on mine, I left this until I’d made the boxes as I wanted to handle them as little as possible once they were glittered.
Stick your boxes together along one side using either strong, quick drying glue or double-sided tape. Once they are all assembled, if you want glitter letters, paint the number onto the ‘door’ of the box with glue and shake glitter over it. Tap off the excess. You can use a clean paintbrush to try clear off any glitter that doesn’t want to tap off. Glue your pom poms on and let dry. These aren’t just decorative, but are used to help open the boxes. Arrange all of your boxes into the order you want, then glue them one by one onto an A3 piece of card. Also glue the sides of the boxes that will be touching each other. Once this is dry, you can cut around the shape of your tree.
DIY Geometric Tree Advent Calendar
Download the net and print it out
1 x A3 dark green card (for backing)
3 x A3 OR 7 x A4 dark green card (for boxes)
2 x A3 OR 5 x A4 light green card (for boxes)
1 x A4 yellow card
24 small red craft pom poms
1 small yellow craft pom pom
Step 1. Download, print and cut out the box net. It should fit twice on A4 paper, or 5 times on A3. Cut out 14 dark green boxes, 10 light green boxes and 1 yellow box.
Step 2. Score the folding lines into your card, and fold along all of these lines crisply and put the box together without glue, to ensure it all fits correctly. Making every box 100% accurate is difficult so in some instances, you might need to trim the flaps of the ‘door’ to fit in the box properly.
Step 3. Assemble the boxes using glue or double-sided tape on the flaps of one of the triangles and sticking to the box sides.
Step 4. Using a small paintbrush, paint the box number onto the door with glue, cover with glitter and tap off the excess onto a piece of paper. Clean up around the numbers with a clean paintbrush. Numbers for the dark green boxes are: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24. Numbers for the light green boxes are: 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 23. Paint the number 25 on the yellow box.
Step 5. Glue the pom pom onto the tip of the triangle that opens. This will be used as a handle. If any of the doors of the boxes have gone inwards, you can pull them out with the edge of your craft knife. As long as they aren’t pushed in, you will be able to open the boxes with the pom poms.
Step 6. Arrange your boxes in the order of number you want, then take each one and glue it to an A3 piece of card. If the box will be touching another box, glue the side too. This will give the tree strength and mean you can stand it up.
Step 7. Fill your boxes with goodies. I used little lindor truffles.