String Art Advent Calendar

String Art Advent CalendarCan you believe it’s already time to make an advent calendar? The holiday season is upon us! 

If you’ve never made an advent calendar, try it this year! Advents are a fun tradition because they give your family something to look forward to each day. My friends with small children tend toward candies and small toys on their advent.

This year for Jeremy and me, we decided to fill each day with a fun activity. Each envelope holds something like a new recipe to try together, a cheerful spot to visit, or a special album from our childhoods to listen to while we eat dinner.

There are endless ways to fill your advent calendar, so choose what best fits your family and routines. The purpose of an advent is to pause each day and appreciate this season that flies by way too fast.

We are working again with our longtime supporters at Canon USA to bring this project to life.  

Here’s a video of how I put together our advent tree! (It’s super easy!)

The video shows the basics of how to make everything. This isn’t a super technical project and most of you could probably figure out how to make it just by looking at it. I did, however, want to back up and explain a few extra tips… especially printing on envelopes!

How to print on envelopesI use this technique to print on any small paper, tags, envelopes, or special paper for my scrapbooks. This is one of those techniques that you’ll use all the time after you try it the first time! We’re using my go-to printer in the office, the PIXMA iP8720 printer, because (1) I LOVE the color accuracy, and (2) the wide format makes it possible to get more numbers on one page. 

1. Print whatever you’ll eventually print on your envelopes to just a regular piece of photo paper. These will become your markers for where to tape your envelopes! At this stage you can make sure your spacing works and there is no overlapping.

Mark the top of your paper, and note whether you need to send the top through first like I did (so your numbers don’t print backwards).

2-3. Tape envelopes over every number. Be sure the number is completely covered because your new numbers will print in the exact same spots.

4. Send the envelope-covered sheet back through your printer and you’ll have beautiful printed envelopes! 

Printed numbersPrinted numbersDownload the printable here: 8.5″ x 11″or 9″ x 13″  

How it looks from behindHere’s what the back of the wood looks like. It’s about 2′ x 3′. If you are comfortable with hammer and nails, you could make one out of 3-foot planks from any hardware store. Or you could just buy a larger piece of plywood that’s already the size you need.

Nail art placementOne last thing! This sketch shows how I did the nails for the string art. I nailed the pink nails first and then just filled in straight(ish) lines of nails between each point. I added three extra nails into the middle just to give more places to wrap the string for a fuller look. 

And here are some photos of the finished project! 

String Art Advent Calendar String Art Advent Calendar String Art Advent Calendar Cheers to the holidays and to taking time to enjoy each day. xo! Elsie 

Credits: Author: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes and Elsie Larson.

  • Fab! I made an advent calendar to house my Lego advent calendar from last year. I printed the outlines onto gold and silver card back-to-front and then painstakingly cut them by hand before gluing onto white card. It took ages, but I’m really pleased with the results – and it looks good on our shelving unit! Thank you so much for inspiring me!


    Rach xxx

  • Thanks! Did you have to create the backboard yourself, or did you find some handmade?

  • I agree with Tara. The string tree looks amazing as a stand alone, and I really want to make this! I can’t wait to make this! (I don’t actually have the materials quite yet, but have seen this made before) Advent calendars are always a joy to use, especially with young children. It always makes me smile as I watch their eyes light up when they discover the contents of a certain day. I love putting small candy, such as hershey’s kisses or skittles, and want to try to incorporate this tradition into this craft.

  • Hi! Comments automatically close on posts after one month due to spam issues. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have though! Send us an email at: support AT redvelvetart DOT com 🙂 -Jacki

  • Wow! I really want to try this! It looks great, and I might want to give one to my parents for Christmas…
    Are you aware that quite a few of your project’s comment sections are closed to the public? I was wondering about what materials to use for the DIY Collapsable Playhouse, but since the comments are closed, I could not ask.

    C.I.C Girl

  • This is amazing! Just in time for christmas!
    I think I’m going to try doing this one, except maybe swap out the wood with maybe a board that I can find at my local DIY store!

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • This is an awesome idea guys and pretty easy to make too.

  • Officially going to make my very first advent calendar with your numbers. Thank you! -Victoria

  • Officially going to make my very first advent calendar with your numbers. Thank you! -Victoria

  • I use it ALL the time for things like tags and stickers for my scrapbooks. 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • Yes- I’ve seen it both ways! Honestly- you don’t really need the 25th day, but I included it anyway! 😀

  • I am doing activities- so for example, “let’s get holiday lattes today.”, “let’s drive around and look at Christmas lights tonight”, “let’s listen to a holiday record while we cook dinner”. Small, but intentional activities!
    xx- Elsie

  • Haha! Thank you Carolyn. :))
    I hear you! I have to start everyone SO early to keep up- especially this time of year!
    xx- Elsie

  • I’ve been looking for a great advent calendar idea and I LOVE this. It’s so fun. Plus the printer trick=genius. 🙂

  • I love this Suzette photoshop action that you used for these photos….it sets such a gorgeous tone/mood! I will have to check out your Lightroom Collection! 🙂

  • The tree is some awesome wallart. I have a calendar already, but think of tiny ornaments to display by placing them in the string?

  • Really cool and unlike a lot of DIY advent calendars it can be used year after year. Love it!

  • Such a nice idea! It is obvious, but I never noticed it before – in Europe (depending on the country), we would only have 24 cards… Lucky you, you got one more day! 🙂

  • This is a really cute idea. I love string art as it’s easy to make and the result is different every time!

  • Wow this looks awesome, thanks for the idea! 🙂 Xoxo from Slovenia

  • Love this! And your idea of filling the envelopes with fun things to do together each day will make this season even more special – thanks so much for sharing!

  • this is super cute and looks easy to make! thanks for this idea 🙂

  • This is the cutest idea! I love that you do activities instead of candy or toys; I would LOVE to do that this year especially since our little is not old enough to eat candy and cares more about boxes than toys at this point, haha!

  • First off, I love the string tree even as a stand alone. Super cute! But I also LOVE the idea of putting something inside the envelopes that’s a special experience to be shared. I have kids and have only ever done the inexpensive chocolate candy advents, but was thinking this was the year to go all out and do little packages or prizes each day. I have a friend who will put coins and small toys, but also maps to larger items that won’t fit into the pockets of her advent calendar, and I thought that was a great idea too! So much fun!!

  • This is so cute! I love the idea of doing activities rather than candy or toys. My daughters are 2 and the advent calendar is a tradition my husband grew up with (I’ve never done one) so we’re going to start doing them this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • So cute! I actually just started my advent calender to day. My mom and I decided to do a tea bag one- a different flavor of tea for every day! ^_^

  • Hi Elsie,

    Love this. I have never done an advent calendar before but always wanted to. Can you do a post of ideas to for the envelopes? I don’t want to do candy or anything like that. You are so good at that stuff 😀

    Thank you!

  • Hi Elsie, I love your downloadable PDFs — thank you! The 8.5×11 version seems to be missing the numbers 19-24. Just thought I’d let you know what it looks like from my end! -Victoria

  • Hi Elsie, I love your downloadable PDFs — thank you! The 8.5×11 version seems to be missing the numbers 19-24. Just thought I’d let you know what it looks like from my end! -Victoria

  • This is so super cute! And cheers to you for being on your game enough to have an advent already – I always start thinking about it somewhere around December 4…oops!

  • This is such a lovely calendar! Fabulous job. Love the colors!

    Warm Regards,

  • I adore this! Such a game changer. I had a felt tree on the wall idea, but I love this more and it seems easy to store for next year. Thanks!

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