Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tutorial: Mini Page-A-Day Advent Calendar

One of the holiday traditions that I love, but can never get my act together in time to make, is the advent calendar. The calendar embodies the idea that Christmas is not just a day, but a season, and offers a little treat to celebrate every day of it. Even if the treat is only a terribly waxy piece of chocolate, I still get a kick out of opening the little doors and discovering what is inside.

This year, I'm planning ahead and actually making an advent calendar for the husband. Since I don't have time to make something big and intricate (such as this gorgeous creation), I opted for a simpler design: a small scale, page-a-day-type calendar. With the help of a craft punch and some padding compound, this calendar came together quickly and has customized treats for the husband (because he, unfortunately, does not appreciate waxy chocolate). I'm looking forward to seeing his response each day as he rips off the top square to get a new little surprise!

Whether you add surprises to the calendar or not, the mini page-a-day design is an easy and small way to count down to Christmas. And I hope my tutorial shows you that it's not too difficult for you to put together yourself!


A sheet of red cardstock
A piece of cardboard
1 inch square craft punch
1/3 inch numeral stamps
An inkpad
A pen
Padding compound
A brush
Adhesive magnet
A rubber band

-Cut 26 squares out of the cardstock using the craft punch. Set one aside for later.

-Cut one square out of the cardboard. Set aside.

-On one side of the red squares, stamp the numbers 1 through 25.

-On the other side of each square, write that day's surprise. It can be anything from treating the recipient to a mug of french press coffee (or hot cocoa) to renting their favorite Christmas movie. Small presents always go over well, but there are plenty of ideas that won't cost you anything extra: making a special dinner, free reign with the TV remote for an evening, doing their daily household chores for them, etc.

-Make a list of each day's surprise, so you don't forget and can prepare anything special ahead of time.

-Assemble the calendar, stacking from bottom to top: the cardboard square, the red squares from #25 to #1, and the extra red square. Wrap the pile with a rubber band.

-Paint the padding compound onto the top edge of the stack, making sure to apply it all of the way to the edges. (I inevitably get compound on the front of the top red square, which is why I suggest adding the blank square.)

-Prop the stack upright and let dry for at least 30 minutes.

-Apply a second coat of padding compound. Again, let dry for at least 30 minutes.

-Tear off the top blank square.

-Stick the magnet to the bottom of the calendar, adhering it to the cardboard square.

-Give it to the recipient on December 1st and watch their face light up each day as you give them a special gift.


Mary Beth said...


Cupienda said...

This is adorable. I've been doing advent calendars for my sister for several years now. It's so much fun!

Unknown said...

You are adorable! I love the idea and the crafty-lady that you are!

nest full of eggs said...

adorable !

Bianca said...

Love it, so very clever! I'd never heard of padding compound, thanks for the link.

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