Christmas Past Advent Calendar

Around the holidays families have all different traditions, customs and celebrations. One of my favourite things to do when preparing for Christmas is to put together a family advent calendar. It’s such a fun way of celebrating the season every day leading up to Christmas.

This year I used the absolutely beautiful, Christmas Past collection to create our Advent calendar and it turned out stunning! First I’ll walk you through how I made it and then I’ll share how I fill it.


Supplies you’ll need:

Christmas Past Patterned Paper Pack
Gold Shimmer Cardstock
Grey 12×12 Solid Cardstock
Beige 12X12 Solid Cardstock
2-way Corner Rounder
The Tape Runner
12-inch Trimmer
Multi Purpose Tool
All Purpose Scissors 
Mini Clothes Pins & String – which can be purchased at a local dollar store

In the Christmas Past Paper Pack there is one design that has the numbers one through twenty-five pre-desinged in squares. To get started, you’ll need to cut those numbers out and use the 2-way Corner Rounder to do a inverted corner round on all four sides of all 25 squares.

Next you’ll need to grab two pieces of Gold Shimmer Cardstock. You’re going to cut 25 squares measuring 2-1/2″ X 2-1/2″. You’ll again punch inverted corner rounds on all four sides of all 25 squares. (*You won’t need the entire second sheet of Gold Shimmer Cardstock, so I chose to cut it into photo mats for the holiday photos I displayed around my Advent calendar — see photo above)

Using The Tape Runner, adhere the number squares to the Gold Shimmer squares.


Next, you’ll want to create your envelopes. These are the perfect size for a family bulletin board while still allowing you the flexibility to actually fit something inside if you like.

You’ll need to cut  your Grey Cardstock and your Beige Cardstock into 6″ squares – you’ll need a total of 25. Once you have them cut you’re going to use your 12-inch Trimmer and Multi-Purpose Tool to score all four sides on a 45 degree angle at 2-3/8″.

That may sound complicated – but with the fantastic guide lines on the 12-inch Trimmer it is actually so easy! See the photo below on where you will find the guideline for the 45 degree mark. Since you’ll be doing lots and lots of scoring at the same position I always find it easier if I put a piece of coloured tape at my measurement point so that I just have to line up the corner with the tape rather than look at the measurement lines each time.


Once everything is scored you’ll notice that there is an overlap in the score lines, so you’ll want to take your All Purpose Scissors and cut out the small notch so that your envelope folds up nice and flat.


To complete your envelopes you’ll just need to take a strip of Christmas Past Patterned Paper cut down to 2″ X 8″ and wrap it around the envelope, once you’ve folded the flaps in. Secure the strip of patterned paper using The Tape Runner. Next you’ll want to rotate back and forth between the Grey envelopes and Beige envelopes and attach your number squares that you made earlier.


The last thing you need to do is fill each envelope! There are so many options of what you could do, here are some ideas:

  • A saying or a quote that could lift up everyone’s day each morning in December. It could be a bible verse, an inspirational quote, or even a funny joke!
  • Family activities – each day could be another activity that you’ll do as a family. It could be something as simple as – We’ll have a picnic by the Christmas tree with only the lights on the tree shining, Let’s watch Elf as a family, or We’re going to carol at the retirement home down the street and share the joy of Christmas!
  • A compliment a day is a fantastic way to share the love around the holidays. If you’ve got kids old enough to participate you could split up the days and have them write a compliment for each person in the family – once they are all put into the envelopes it’s a surprise who the compliment is for and from each day of the month!
  • A photo from holiday’s past. Each day you could open up the envelope to reveal a memory and reminisce on the fun times you’ve shared over past holidays.

Personally, I like to throw in a mix of different things – a few activities, a few meaningful verses to reflect on, a few photos, and some silly fun in between. It keeps things unpredictable and fun :)


I hope you feel inspired to create some memories with your family and carry on traditions over this holiday season!


10 thoughts on “Christmas Past Advent Calendar

  1. Love the calendar! And thanks so much for ideas to go into the envelopes. So often I’ve seen cute ideas for the calendars, but nothing about how to fill them or an inkling of what is going on behind the box, envelope, or number. This project seems so doable! Thank you again. :-)

    1. Hey Barb! This is totally doable! It’s not a super quick project but it is certainly fun to make and it’s enjoyed for a whole month by the whole family!

    1. It is about 4 feet tall by 5-1/2 feet wide. It was actually in one of the bedrooms when we bought our house and looked so beaten up and ugly that we almost threw it out. At the last minute I decided to use up some left over paint and see if I could bring it back to life and now 6 years later we still use it all the time and it is hung right in our kitchen!

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