Try This: Colorful Paper Advent

Colorful advent made with scrapbooking paper!Hi friends! I'm so excited to share a fun and simple idea for creating an advent calendar today! Since we don't have kiddos, but I really wanted to make this, I asked my friend Katie if I could make one for her little cuties! She was all for it and sent over some of her favorite photos for us to print. The photos felt like a needed touch to make it more personal, so it seemed like another great candidate for our Canon USA collaboration. It's so much fun and really simple too. You can knock it out in an evening! 

Supplies needed: 13 pieces of double-sided 12×12 scrapbooking cardstock (I used my Project Life designs), 6-8 6×4-inch printed photos, a sewing machine or a stapler, clothes pins, twine, number stickers and goodies to fill the 25 envelopes!Envelope 1To make each envelope cut two pieces of paper: the first 6×7 inches and the second 6×5 inches.Envelope 2Next, fold the larger paper over the top of the smaller paper to create an envelope.Printing photosPrint six to eight 6×4 inch photos. We printed ours out, 2 at a time on Canon 8.5×11-inch semi-gloss photo paper with our MG7120. We've actually gotten in the habit of using the Pixma Printing Solutions app for printing almost all our photos. You can use these in the place of the 6×5 pieces on some of your envelopes. (In case you are curious—that missing inch will not make a difference in the final envelope because the flap covers over it.)Completed envelopesCompleted envelopesNext use your sewing machine to stitch around the bottom three sides of the two papers, creating an envelope! If you don't have a home sewing machine you can use a stapler to secure the three sides instead (each side will need 3-4 staples). I love how cute and colorful they are! Your little ones will love seeing their photos from the year included on the envelopes!Advent goodiesNow comes the ((extra)) fun part… filling the envelopes with prizes! We chose an assortment of party store prizes including candy, fruit snacks, tiny stationery, temporary tattoos and small games. You can also include notes with activities to do that day like "make hot chocolate", "look at holiday lights" or "shop for Christmas gifts"! Stuffing advent goodiesColorful advent made with scrapbooking paper! Colorful advent made with scrapbooking paper! Colorful advent made with scrapbooking paper! We hung the envelopes in five rows of five. The last step is to use letter stickers or stamps to label each day. Your family will love this tradition. I can't wait to share it with our little ones someday. XO! Elsie

Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman

  • I made our advent calendar this year totally inspired by yours! The kids are loving it and I love how easy it was! Thanks for the idea!!!

  • I am using much similar PRODUCTS, I thank you for the detailed information about this.

    Industrial Staple Pin Manufacturers.

  • THanks for the inspiration girls! I have made my own Advent Calendar following your instructions and we love it. I have it on my blog here.

  • Love this! I hope I can do some more productos for next year’s advent calendar…really inspiring!

  • I LOVE this idea! I was trying to find a neat advent calendar for my kiddos, I think this ones the winner!

  • What a fun and special project!! I never would have envisioned an advent calendar taking this form – so colorful!


  • cute, cute , cute – I can’t wait to have kiddos and do this fun stuff with them!


  • Oh my stars! I’m so in love with this and it’s so easy. A definite do! 🙂

  • What a great project. We have done something very similar for our 25 day countdown to xmas, starting next week. But our paper advents are not photographs, (which I love) they are paper stars glued together with glitter, and paint and a bit more of a christmassy vibe to it!

    BTW – LOVE your smiley sweets you have used!!

  • I’ve been shoving this d.i.y. project further & further down my priority list for so long! Thank your for re-inspiring me! 😉

    <3 Carsla
    Founder & CEO of Connect-the-Cloths
    A stylist’s, foodie’s, & writer’s blog in development.

  • It’s really pretty to spice up a plain wall! It’s such a pity we don’t have advent here in Singapore ):

  • It’s cute and all, but any reason in particular why you didn’t try to make it more festive or Christmas-y? I’m not getting the X-mas vibe at all.
    Also, I thought advent calendars usually only went up to 24. Any particular reason why you guys decided to include Christmas Day?

  • These are really cute! I’ve always had trouble getting my machine to sew through paper, though. Any suggestions?

  • Love this calendar!

    If anyone wants to join in with #ShareAdvent I’d love for you to take part:

    Anna x

  • So sweet! And such a fun way to celebrate advent! Love it!

  • I love advent calendars, what a great idea!

  • This is so cute! I think I might make one of these for my Grandchildren. I love it!

  • What a cool idea! I was just looking for a unique way to make an Advent calendar and your idea is so eye-catching and fun. The idea of using photos is especially lovely. Thanks so much!

  • So adorable and so clever…I love any ideas for sharing/using photos!! Thanks for the great idea!

  • I don’t think you have to be a kid to enjoy advent calendars! Couples could do this by picking either odd or even days and filling the envelopes with secret little surprises that they know the other will enjoy.

  • This is such a wonderful and cute idea! I love all the colors.

  • Love this idea! I think I have a DIY project for this weekend 🙂 Thank you for the tip!

  • Stealing this for my wedding punch! Such a good idea!
    p.s LOVE the piano!

  • Aw I miss having an advent calendar and punching it out for the chocolate!

    xo Jennifer

  • What a cute project Elsie! So colorful! I bet they were in love the minute they saw it! 🙂

  • I am teaching English in Japan and when I mentioned advent calendars I got the biggest eyes and the english equivalent to, ‘Say whaaaaat?’ After seeing this lovely post I know what I am making and bringing to my students on Monday. Lovely calendar!

  • Hey Ladies! Love this idea.Love ya’lls page! Love your photo app.! When will it be available for everyone? All my girlfiends have the iPhone app., but I’m just not a Mac girl. Any who, thanks for all the awesome inspiration!!! Much love and happy holidays!
    ~Sarah M.

  • What a fun idea! I really like this. If I had children I would most definitely make this for them.

  • I love this idea! And you can put all kinds of fun stuff in them! I seriously can’t wait for you all to have babies of your own, the DIY’s are gonna be so awesome haha

  • Your paper designs for Project life are so pretty. I love all of the colors. Tiny clothes pins are so cute!


  • What a cute idea, I have been thinking about advent calendars for my kiddos, I will have to keep this in mind!

  • This is so cute! The pictures really will make it exciting for the kids to open up their presents every day!

  • I’m so making this! A friend of mine has her birthday soon so I think I’m gonna make this calendar for her, and make it about the days leading up to her birthday. Thanks for the great idea! – Lily

  • This is such a fabulous idea! Love the personal touch.

  • Fun! And what a lovely way to make use of all those photos for a display that’s accessible, engaging, and cheerful. I imagine that’d be great for ‘grab bags’ at a dinner party – packages would be identifiable by the photos on the outside of them. 🙂

    ~ lauriel

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  • I love Advent calendar and yours is fabulous! Not to mention that there is place for plenty of chocolate!

    Thanks for sharing your idea.


  • I am not the craftiest person out there, but this is something I think I could do! Love the colors and patterns on the paper, too!

  • Love the idea of a giant advent calendar!

  • This is such a wonderful idea! And it looks absolutely gorgeous! x

  • This is THE BEST idea! I just love all the colors in the scrapbook paper you designed. It’s so fun and unique:)

  • Love this idea! Such a great and easy way to celebrate the season!

  • My craft evening tonight was making new pouches for our 12 days of Christmas! Love this idea though! Hmmm I might do this instead haha!

    Lulu xx

  • I love it also but I think our daughter much more as she plans to make an advent calendar for her boyfriend and she is looking for some good ideas in this matter! So I will show her this post as soon as she come back home 🙂

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Wow, what a fun project! I’ve always enjoyed handmade advent calendars over the store bought cardboard chocolate kind!


  • i have to say, my absolute number one favorite so far of advent calendars! from start to finish! thank you for the inspiration

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