Last year I made matchbox advent calendars for my boys and for one of my nieces. They can be seen here. While I loved that they were home made the "drawers" were very small and hard to put any treats in besides candy. I decided to pass those onto my girls (they are happy with a piece of candy or a sticker) and make my boys new ones with bigger "drawers". I could not find a good template online so I just played around with it and ended up making a box that is 2.5 inches wideX 3.5 inches long and 1.5 inches tall which is perfect. I can even fit a deck of cards in there! PERFECT! I had a lot of fun making these just because I love doing things like this for them.
I used Jolly Holidays for the tree on top (cut at 4inches) and then added some iRock gems and some snow writer marker snow (love that thing). I printed their names directly onto a patterned card stock I had then used a Creative Memories tag punch I had to make their names. Since I used patterned papers to make pretty boxes I did not want to decorate the outside of the Advent calendars. In all they are about 10 inches tall and 7 inches across. They loved them and get so excited to open a drawer each night :) (so far they have received candy, tic tacs, Christmas playing cards, a hex bug and some erasers :)
At least next year I will just have to fill them (and maybe make new/bigger ones for the girls :)
PS: All you really need is some paper and maybe a piece or two of cardboard for in between the layers. I used a a few sheets of paper from a stack of Recollections Christmas paper and just some plain red and green paper Recollections paper I bought at Michaels on sale :)