Every year I give my children a Christmas calendar. I buy 24 small toys and wrap them in Christmas paper before I hang them up in a fabric Christmas tree calendar which has been passed down for generations through my family. Last year I threw it out in anger on the 3rd of December.

On the third day of the Christmas calendar, my youngest son received a pink Super Mario 1up mushroom plush and started crying. Wrong color. My eldest son got a Waluigi, but since he had expected another Super Mario Character, he started crying. I almost started crying too, since I had failed so miserably in raising my children.

This year I won’t cry. I have created my own Christmas calendar from a case of beer cans. Let me show you how!


First, let me put this story about Waluigi and the 1up mushroom behind me. This is an image of the plushies that made me and my children cry last year. I am a bad dad, apparently.

Waluigi and a ping 1up mushroom

How to build a Christmas calendar from a beer case

Stuff needed to create your own Chrismas calendar from a beer case

This is what you need:

  • One case of 24 beer cans
  • A color printer, or at least a black and white one. Well, you could paint your own image as well.
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A sharp knife or a scalpel
  • Folding rule

How to do it

  1. Find an appropriate image. If you don’t have a good image on your hard drive, feel free to ask my friend Google. Use the “search tools” on the Image search to find a large image. This will look good when you print it.Google search to find good pictures
  2. Select an image that suits you. In my case (pun intended) I have chosen an upright image by Yatharth. I was also thinking about a landscape image by Adrianna Calvo. The reason that I went for the upright image was to make the beer cans stay in position a bit better. Because I hold my blog readers in high esteem, I have prepared both the images for you down below.
  3. Measure the beer case with the folding rule. My box of Heiniken measured 402 x 271 millimeters.
  4. Open the picture that you have chosen in an image editing software.
  5. Change the size of the image to make the shortest side of it the same size as the beer case. I am not talking about the short side of the beer case. If the picture’s dimensions differs from the box you need to cut away the side that is too large.
  6. Cut away the larger size so that the dimensions matches the beer case.
  7. For your own help – draw some lines in the image editing software. You want 24 boxes of equal size. If you draw the lines out of place you might accidentally cut your beer can open.
  8. Mark your boxes with numbers from 1 to 24. Remember that you need to take one horizontal level at the time. If the first hatch is in the bottom of your Christmas calendar, gravity will fill the hole when you remove the first can. Only one can per day, remember!?
  9. Print the images. I used Word for this. Add the image twice on two separate pages. Then set the image size to the one I intended. On the second page I rotated the image 180 degrees – there was a button to rotate the image 90 degrees, which I pressed twice. By doing this you are able to print the lower side of the image as well. Make sure that there are no margins in the page layout.Word layout to get the full christmas calendar image on your beer case
  10. Cut out the printed pages as well as you can. Compare the size of the papers with the beer case so that you don’t cut in vain.
  11. Glue the paper carefully to the beer case. It’s important that the whole page is filled with glue, since we will cut it later.
  12. Wait for the glue to dry.
  13. Cut the hatches out with your sharp knife or scalpel. I bought my scalpel from Ali Express for a couple of bucks.

That’s it! Your Christmas calendar is ready to use. When a can is empty you can rinse it out with some water and put it back into the case. This will make the following days’ hatches on the same level easier to use.

Ah, that’s right. I have prepared two images for your Christmas calendars that you may use. Those are the same images that I linked from point 2 above, and credit is due to those who made the original images. You are free to use the images by the same licenses that are given in the respective link above.