Count down to Christmas with a DIY Booze Advent Calendar! Filled with 25 mini liquor bottles, this project makes the perfect holiday gift for a friend who loves making cocktails. Learn how to make your own, with free printable labels at the end!
I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I’m already counting down the days until Christmas.
I’m extra pumped this year! I’m looking forward to decorating our new place, and of course to see my family. (Both of my sweet siblings are coming home this year!)
When I was a kid, my aunt would give me an advent calendar at the beginning of December. Inside each numbered door was a little chocolate to help count down one more day to Christmas.
It was always the perfect little treat to tide you over just one more day.
So when I heard about booze advent calendars a few years ago, I knew I needed to make one for myself.
But you know how busy the holidays get, and it never seems to happen! But this year I decided to do it.
The idea behind this booze advent calendar is that each day you open a box, and inside is a mini bottle of liquor inside.
You can drink it neat, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail.
Save it for your Airplane Cocktail Kit if you like! (One of my favorite gifts to give ever.)
This calendar makes a perfect gift for a friend who loves to mix her own drinks. It’s also totally fine to make it for yourself, like I did!
All in all, it’s a really amazing way to try some new types of brands of liquors that are out of your comfort zone. And you can reuse it year after year.
This booze advent calendar is an easy afternoon project, and I’m going to walk you through how I made it, so you can get in on this goodness too.
I decorated mine with washi tape in gold, black and white patterns, but you can totally get creative. I’d love to see how you make yours!
If you want to make your labels like mine, I have a free printable at the bottom of this post!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a printable material list.
- 25 3x3x3-inch cardboard boxes
- 25 2-inch diameter circle labels (free printable below!)
- washi tape
- crinkle paper filling
- 15×20-inch piece of sturdy cardboard
- 1 15-inch piece of grosgrain ribbon
- 25 mini-bottles of liquor (no more than 5 inches tall)
How to make the booze advent calendar:
Scroll to the bottom of this post for printable instructions.
Assemble your cardboard boxes. Make sure each crease is crisp and sturdy. (I forgot to get a picture of this!)
Arrange the boxes in five rows of five, and make sure each one is facing the same direction.
Then, decorate each lid. I chose geometric patterns of washi tape in gold, black and white, but you can have fun here. Use markers, paint, stickers — the sky is the limit!
Next, add the labels. Make your own or check out the free printable at the end of this post! (And while you’re doing this, plug in the glue gun.)
You have a choice of how you label each box:
- Count up: You can label them in numerical order from 1 to 25. The top row would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, the second row would be 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and so forth.
- Count down: You can arrange them to count down from 25 to 1. The top row would be 25, 24, 23, 22, 21; the second row would be 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, and so on.)
- Go crazy! Lastly you can number them randomly like I did. You can use a tool like random.org to help you pick which box gets which number. (I kept #25 in the center on mine!)
I had some debate about this with friends. About half voted for order, order, order, and the other half said that half the fun of an advent calendar is hunting for the right door! So, I leave this up to you.
Once you have the boxes how you’d like them, start gluing each box together. You’re going to create five rows of 5 boxes each.
With the glue gun, draw two lines of the glue on the side of the box, then quickly adhere the box to the one next to it. Be careful to get the edges to match.
Allow the glue to cool & dry before moving onto the next.
Once you have all five rows glued together, glue the rows together. Draw two lines of hot glue all the way across the side of a row, then quickly adhere it to the adjacent row. Line each row up carefully so the edges match.
Allow the glue to cool/dry before moving onto the next row.
When your grid is complete, attach a piece of cardboard to the back with hot glue. This helps to make the calendar sturdy. (Remember, it is going to fit 25 mini bottles of booze!)
I also added a piece of decorative paper and a bow to mine! (I actually cut up an old file folder to use for the top piece. The holes at the center were perfectly sized for the grosgrain ribbon.) This is totally optional.
Then, fill it with booze! You’ll want to add crinkle paper for padding, so the bottles don’t roll around or break.
Close up the boxes and you’re ready to display your booze advent calendar! I do not recommend hanging it, especially since it will be heavy with all the bottles inside.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to enjoy your booze advent calendar, or gift it to someone who really needs it. (You know you have a friend who would absolutely adore this!)
I hope you enjoy counting down to the holidays with a cocktail a day. I’ll be toasting you each day until Christmas! //susannah
P.S. Here’s that PDF download! Print out your own 2-inch diameter circle labels like mine. (I used Avery 22807 2-inch diameter circle labels.)
Pin this DIY Booze Advent Calendar for later!
- Assemble the cardboard boxes. Make sure each crease is crisp and sturdy.
- Arrange the boxes in five rows of five boxes each, and make sure each one is facing the same direction.
- Decorate the lids with washi tape (or your preferred decorations).
- Top with lablels numbered 1 to 25. The labels can be arranged randomly, in order counting up from 1 to 25 or counting down from 25 to 1.
- Once you have the boxes how you'd like them, start gluing each box together to create five rows. With the glue gun, draw two lines of the glue on the side of the box, then quickly adhere the box to the one next to it. Be careful to get the edges to match. Allow the glue to cool & dry before moving onto the next box.
- Once you have all five rows glued together, glue the rows together. Draw two lines of hot glue all the way across the side of a row, then quickly adhere it to the adjacent row. Line each row up carefully so the edges match. Allow the glue to cool/dry before moving onto the next row.
- When your grid is complete, attach a piece of cardboard to the back with hot glue. This helps to make the calendar sturdy. (Remember, it is going to fit 25 mini bottles of booze!) Decorate the top of the box with ribbon, if desired.
- Fill each box with the crinkle paper for padding, then a mini-bottle of liqueur. Make sure the bottle is well-padded, especially if it is glass.
- Close up the boxes and you're ready to display your booze advent calendar! Cheers!
I do not recommend hanging the advent calendar, especially since it will be heavy with all the bottles inside. It will work best displayed on a flat surface or leaning against a wall.
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