I found the little boxes in the party favors aisle (in the baby section, no less!). They are mint green with white plastic handles. They came 8 to a package, so those cost $3. I found a bag of "Christmas Table Scatter" with glittery green foam pine trees which made a perfect box decoration ($1), then I added the numbers 1-24 using red and green permanent markers. KID 1 decided an A-B-B pattern would look nice (red-green-green) for the numbers, so that's what we did. I tied the boxes onto a length of wide red and green plaid ribbon using strips of fabric and various ribbons (all of which I scrounged from my craft closet). You could also just hang the boxes on the Christmas tree and let the kids hunt for the box of the day.
I think it turned out pretty nice! Here's the whole picture:
And a close-up:
I'm pretty happy with my dollar store Advent calendar! Now those little boxes are just begging to be filled! Our dollar store had small bags of chocolate coins and wrapped Christmas chocolates that will be perfect treats, and I've already got my list of daily Advent activities written on slips of scrapbook paper to stuff into each box. We're having so much fun with our Advent countdown!