Free Advent Calendar!

As my Christmas gift to you this year, I have decided to create a customizable paper advent calendar that you can download for free!

Because my baby could be born in December, a lot of people have commented that my poor son might have a December birthday! But as a December baby myself, I know that mothers and families can do a great job of making a December baby feel special. My mom did a great job, and apparently I looked forward to December every year as the “present month.”

Part of what made my birthday so special was our Christmas advent calendar. My mother had made (or bought?) this craft at some point that allowed you to put in a slip of paper with an activity for each day leading up to Christmas. I remember that December 1st was always “make a paper chain for the days till Christmas.” Other activities included getting and decorating the Christmas tree, making gingerbread houses, watching “A Christmas Carol,” and driving around to see the Christmas lights. And December 10th was always “Arlo’s Birthday” and December 15th was always “Alma’s Birthday.” What could make a kid feel more special than to see that their birthday was its own, separate event??

If you’d like to use my Christmas advent calendar, here’s what you’ll need:

1. A frame. The current measurements of the calendar fit perfectly into Ikea RIBBA frame that is 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 (matted to 11 1/2 x 15 1/2). (The image can be sized down and cropped to 8.5 x 11 dimensions without losing any of the design.)

2. A professional printer, if you’re going to print out the large version (it will need to be printed on 12×18 paper). A color printer if you’re going to print the smaller version.

3. An xacto knife to cut around the ornaments.

4. 25 event ideas leading up to Christmas!


Download the two images. (Click on the images to go to the full size versions. Then right-click and choose “Save Image As…” and save to your computer. Make sure you have both the colored bobbles and the black and white background.)

Crop and resize images to fit the frame that you are interested in. (Most basic photo editing programs that come with your computer will allow you to do this.)

Print the two images. I strongly recommend cardstock. (The background image doesn’t have to be printed in color—you won’t see any of it. It’s just there to be a guide of where to write in your events.)

Write the Christmas events on the background image in the numbered bobble silhouettes. Have fun with this!

With the xacto blade, cut around each bobble on the color copy. Leave the top of the bobble attached.

Match up the front and back precisely. Tape them to the picture matte, if using.

Remove the glass from your frame. Insert the artwork and enjoy! Each day, lift up the appropriate bobble to discover the day’s activity underneath.


Leave a comment
  1. C.

    You are awesome. Seriously, seriously awesome.

  2. That is so cool. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

  3. This is just what I need this year! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you for sharing. It is darling.

  5. Wow, this is gorgeous! I’ll be linking!

  6. Couldn’t take without saying thanks- and complimenting. I found it from a link from nicole’s blog (I’m a photo student- and so looking forward to photoshop in the new year). The calendar is gorgeous. Thank you, thank you.

  7. Thank you so much! This is fantastic… too bad I just found it. I will definitely be using it next year!

    Best of luck with the baby! I can’t wait to take Illustrator from you!

  8. Alma, is there an email address I can contact you through to discuss adoption announcement cards?

  9. Uncovered your blog via msn the other day and absolutely adore it. Carry on the excellent work.

  10. Samone

    Thsi is great – thankyou! Ive saved it for next year

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