I have two separate but distinctly fond memories of advent calenders as a child. The first advent calender that I ever had was in the back of a book. It was a beautifully illustrated pop up Christmas book. Turn a little wheel and the moon shone and the sun sparkled. I must have pushed the tab that made Santa’s sleigh fly over a hundred times.
At the back of the book were twenty five little doors all waiting to be opened on the countdown to Christmas. It didn’t matter that by the third year I had memorized them all. I still looked forward to peeping under the flap to see which little piece of the Christmas story would be underneath.
Skip forward a few years and I had replaced my obsession with my beautiful story book for an obsession with chocolate. You mean I get to eat chocolate every day of December leading up to Christmas. Why hadn’t someone told me this before?
It didn’t matter that the chocolate inside my advent calender tasted like cardboard. I was a kid and just the thought of getting a piece everyday made me over the top excited.
This year I made my own advent calender and, you guessed it, I combined beautifully illustrated vintage images with chocolates, lollies and other goodies. The child inside me is jumping up and down with glee.
It’s pretty simple to do and I’ll be providing you with all the free printables you need. So if you haven’t got an advent calender prepared yet you might want to take a look at the tutorial below and get cracking, there’s still a few more days to go.
25 Envelopes/Paper bags (really anything that forms a little pocket that you can pop your images/goodies into)
25 Printable Advent Numbers
25 Vintage Christmas Images (more about these in the tutorial)
200gsm card stock
Single hole punch
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ADVENT CALENDER:
1. Print out the advent numbers onto adhesive paper and cut them out.
2. Prepare your envelopes. I used envelopes that sealed at the bottom (you can see the back in the image above) so I cut off the tops to create an open packet. Peel and stick your numbers to your envelopes/paper bags or whatever you have chosen to hold your goodies.
3. Using a single hole punch, punch a hole in each of the top corners of your envelope.
4. Now your envelopes are ready for stuffing. To get your vintage Christmas images head on over to the Graphics Fairy. There is an amazing collection of illustrations for you to pick from. Trust me you could lose a whole lot of time trying to decide which 25 images you like best. It also happens to be where I got the Laurel Wreath that I added to my printable advent numbers.
Load your images into what ever word processing programme you have and resize them to make sure they will fit into your envelopes. Print onto card stock. I used a 200gsm matte card.
5. Add your images and goodies to your envelopes. I added chocolates, individually wrapped biscuits, lollies and balloons.
6. How you string up your advent calender will depend on the space you have so it might be best to decide exactly where its going when you get to this stage. The width of the wall I used allowed me to do two rows of 10 and one row of 5.
Get your ribbon and thread it through the first hole in your No. 1 envelope ensuring that the ribbon goes behind the envelope and pops out again on the other side. Repeat this for all your numbers.
7. I used detachable adhesive hooks to tie up my advent calender so that I can easily remove it once the holiday season is over.