Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Ribbon and Envelope Advent Calendar (Christmas Advent Activity)

I wanted to show you a craft tutorial for my simple Ribbon Christmas Advent Calendar and Advent Activity Ideas before December gets too much closer. This is a very easy afternoon craft project, and you may already have many of supplies on hand. My kit was an old MOPS craft that I never got around to making, but after seeing how excited the girls were, I wish I'd done it sooner! (Disclaimer: pretend like you don't see the white drywall "mud"--we're still in the midst of DIY work)
DIY Ribbon and Envelope Advent Calendar from Serenity Now blog
Christmas Advent Calendar with Ribbon and Mini Envelopes, from Serenity Now

Supplies you'll need:
DIY Advent Calendar Supplies, from Serenity Now

-25 mini envelopes (they sell them at the craft store)
-50 squares of coordinating scrapbook paper, sized to fit your mini envelopes
-Length of ribbon (will depend on the size of your envelopes)
-Glue stick
-Colored pens (optional)
-Stamps and ink (optional)
-Tape (optional)

Here's how to make your own:
How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now
1. Cut your patterned paper to fit your envelopes.

2. Glue one square to the outside of the envelope, on the front.

How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now

3. Cut 25 plain white cards (for writing on) and size them just a bit smaller than your patterned paper. Run some colored ink along the edges for embellishment.

4. Glue or tape the white cards onto the front or back of the paper to go into the envelope.
I ended up taping them to the back of the patterned paper so I can switch out the writing from year to year without messing up the patterns.

5. Your patterned paper with the attached white card will go inside your envelope.

*I had some darker/solid patterns that I wanted to use on the outside of the envelopes, so I made sure to use some little white squares on the outside for the dates:
How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now

You could do one or two patterns, but I had a few more:
How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now

How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now
6. Stamp or write a number on each of the 25 outer envelopes, 1-25.

How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now

7. Print out your "master list" of Advent activities and plan which day of the month you want to do each activity.
Write the activity for each day on the blank card you included in each envelope. You could just decide the night before and put your activity in the corresponding envelope then.

How to Make an Advent Calendar, from Serenity Now

I used small wire Command hooks to secure our completed advent calendar to the wall. I tied a knot to hold the ribbon on each end, and I looped the center over a hook in the middle because I wanted a "curvy" line without sagging. I also created a quick little paper Christmas sign with PicMonkey to cover the hook in the middle.

You'll have to excuse the poor has been rainy and COLD...bad lighting makes it hard to get good photographs!
DIY Christmas Advent Calendar, Serenity Now blog

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar, Serenity Now blog

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar, Serenity Now blog

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar, Serenity Now blog
DIY Ribbon and Envelope Christmas Advent Calendar, Serenity Now blog

Michaela Byrd spent most of Tuesday playing with some nesting dolls and eyeing the project on the wall, wondering what I could have put in the envelopes. Luckily, Natalie was at school all day, so she couldn't sneak any peeks.
DIY Christmas Advent Calendar, Serenity Now blog

I did a lot of Googling to come up with our activities, but I wanted them to be simple things that wouldn't cost a lot of money or cause a lot of extra stress on my part. We already do many of these things, but it's fun for the kids to be surprised with an activity for the day:

Letter to Santa
Make Christmas Cards for Teachers
Wrap Gifts for your family
Help decorate the tree
Get hot chocolate and drive to see Christmas lights
Make pine cone bird feeders
Christmas Movie Night!
Fancy Dinner
Read the Christmas Story in the Bible
Build a Gingerbread House
Go Christmas Shopping for daddy
Choose your favorite Christmas books for story time
Bake Christmas Cookies
Visit Santa
Help Mommy with the Christmas Cards
Make a list of 10 things you are thankful for
Get dressed up and go to Christmas Eve church with candy canes
Color some Christmas pages for the fridge
Make paper snowflakes for the windows
Have a picnic by the Christmas tree
Take a plate of Christmas treats to the neighbors
Tell us about some of your favorite Christmas memories
Look at old Christmas pictures
Celebrate Natalie’s Birthday with dinner out!
Have a Christmas Tea Party

Does your family have an Advent calendar? What are your favorite activities?

*This post is part of my Season of Serenity at Home Christmas series. Click that link to find out more about the series and to see all the links for the series posts!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. 


  1. Amanda, it turned out so cute! I love how easy it is to make and cute it looks hanging on your wall! We have an advent calendar that I made a few years ago, but I starting to think I want to try something new this year.

  2. This is so cute, Amanda!! I love all the papers, and your activities are great! I made a simple one this year too, posted about it yesterday. My kids can't wait until Saturday to get started!

  3. I'll be the third to comment, CUTE! This year I won't be making an advent calendar, but I'll definitely be doing some of the activities you shared. Thanks for some new ideas! =)

    ~ Catie

  4. As children, we loved getting an advent calendar each year. I like the patterns you chose for your design and the fact that it can be used from year to year. I also like that your girls get to do a Christmas activity. The activities will be fun, plus they'll help to make Christmas memories. An activity is much better than some calendar designs that reward the child with candy or a toy each day.

  5. your kids are lucky you are so crafty and do this fun stuff!! Advent cleaners are always fun...
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
    and happy Advent!

  6. This looks like such fun! I think I'll have to store this away for future years with Henry.

  7. This is adorable, Amanda! Love those nesting Santas, too. :)

  8. This is so sweet!! I love the way they look all clipped to the ribbon - so festive and sweet!

  9. both my children are allergic to dairy (just to begin with, we tackle 9+ allergies inour house) so we cant do the normal chocolate advent calendars, so i did the same thing this year except i included some books, dvds and cds as well so some days we get one of them and others we do an activity, same ones as you, decorate the ouse, christmas carols, christmas colouring, making paper chains, its going well so far, mr 3 is so excited each day to get or do something, loving it!!!

  10. What a lovely calendar! The paper you used is so pretty! I've never had an advent calendar, as a child or an adult. I don't think I even knew what they were for years.
    Debbie :)


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