Advent Calendar Printable!
I’ve been wanting to make my own advent calendar since forever. Now, I realize not everyone is a graphic artist like me and can’t be bothered with cutting and folding and all the fussiness that is creating a paper advent calendar. Have no fear there are lots of other ways to make one out there. In fact I think one such craft will be featured here soon. But if you do like cutting and folding and making things with your hands then this is the craft for you!
Here is what you will need:
1. Your SAJ Advent Calendar Printable
2. Your SAJ Advent Calendar Score Template
3. An exacto knife or sharp blade*
4. 24 four-and-a-half inch square sheets of paper (Origami paper works great. Regular text weight paper is great too, just don’t use card stock. You need it thin so you can fold it many times.)
7. A straight edge or metal ruler
8. 24 pieces of bite-size candy or small gifts
9. white glue or double stick tape (not shown and optional)
10. lots of time and patience
Now let’s get started! First you’ll need to print out your advent calendar page and score template. I printed mine on medium weight card stock. It’s not necessary but it will hold up longer when little fingers are trying to bust open the little doors to get their surprises.
Once you have your print outs, line up your scoring template over the advent calendar so that all the little door cut outs overlap the numbers. It should line up so that the edges of the paper are aligned but check to make sure.
Now score both sheets by pressing firmly with the backside of your exacto knife onto both sheets of paper at the same time. Make sure you do this on a protected surface like a mat or a cutting board so you don’t end up cutting scratches all over your table or desk. Not that I’ve ever done that. Ahem.
Remove your template page and double check your scores on the calendar page. You might have to go over a few to make sure they pop open easily for little kids later. You can also score a hinge for all the doors at this time too. That will make the little doors fold open neater when they open. Try not to cut all the way through though because the element of surprise when your child punches through the little door is the best part of an advent calendar.
Now it’s time to make your boxes. Are you ready? This might take a while so you might as well queue up your favorite television show because you’re going to be sitting for a while. But it’s worth it. Plus, by the time you finish you will be an EXPERT at folding boxes and let me tell you, it’s a handy skill.
Did you follow that? Here are a million youtube videos if you need one. It’s fun and easy. Give it a try!
Create an assembly line. It will go faster.
After you have created 24 boxes, you need to position them over the advent doors. The easiest way to do this is to attach them to your score template. If your printout is shredded from all that scoring you did earlier, print out another one.
You will have four columns and six rows. The rows from top to bottom can be taped together by simply putting a small tab of tape in the center of the top and bottom sides. There is a little bit of space between the columns horizontally though so you can attach the columns to the score template paper with white glue or double-stick tape.
Now it’s time pop in your candy or toys or little notes! (I did this step out of order so don’t pay attention to how close my boxes are. They should still be in the arrangement you put them in, on your scoring template.)
When you have all your boxes filled, and secured to your scoring template, now you can add your top advent calendar page. Secure it to the boxes by adding tabs of tape on the sides. You’ll want to tape down all sides. The more tape you add, the longer your advent calendar will hold up and little fingers won’t be tempted to sneak in through the sides. Glue could work well here too, just make sure you allow enough time for it to dry. If you want to hang your advent calendar up you’ll want to add a bead of glue around the rim of every single box and really let it dry. I skipped that step myself.
Now you’re ready to present your homemade advent calendar to your child. They’ll say, “No way! You made this for me?!!” and then they’ll promptly rip it all up and you’ll wonder why you spent so much time on such a crazy craft project. Or, you’ll enforce traditional advent calendar rules and gloat over your craftiness for twenty-four whole days! I vote for the latter.
Difficulty Level: Super Difficult. Consider it a CHALLENGE. I double dog dare you to do this craft.
Appropriate Age levels: Adult and/or ridiculously crafty and insane.
*Keep sharp blades away from children.
Published November 29, 2012. Last updated November 29, 2016.