Advent Calendar

by Beate Johns

Make your own Advent calendar to help ease the anxiety of waiting for December 25.


  • One 16" x 20" blank Canvas
  • 24 metal tins (2" diameter Wilton® favor tins were used here, available at Michaels in the wedding favor section)
  • Patterned Paper
  • Coordinating Cardstock
  • Number and Letter Stamps
  • Ink
  • Strong and regular adhesive (SNAIL and Terrific Tape)
  • Ribbon
  • Paper cutter
  • 24 Velcro™ dots


  1. Step 1

    Cut 24 2 5/8" squares of patterned paper and 24 3" squares of cardstock.

  2. Step 2

    Lay out cardstock pieces in four rows with six pieces each.

    Add patterned paper on top. If more than one patterned paper is used, lay them out in the pattern you would like to have when the calendar is finished.

  3. Step 3

    Apply adhesive to the back of the patterned paper.

  4. Step 4

    Center and adhere over cardstock square.

    Repeat with all 24 squares.

  5. Step 5

    Apply strong adhesive to the back of all cardstock squares.

  6. Step 6

    Line bottom left square 1/2" up from the bottom and left side and adhere to canvas.

  7. Step 7

    Line bottom right square 1/2" up from the right and bottom edge and adhere to canvas.

  8. Step 8

    Adhere the remaining squares.

    Here, the spacing is 3/8" between each square and each new row.

  9. Step 9

    Cut two 2 1/2" x 12" pieces of coordinating patterned paper and adhere them to a 2 1/2" x 18 7/8" long strip of cardstock.

    ( I cut a 2 1/2" x 12" and a 2 1/2" x 10" piece of cardstock and pieced them together to get my 2 1/2" x 18 7/8" long strip. The patterned paper was taped over the cardstock strip to make it sturdier.)

  10. Step 10

    Stamp calendar title and tape down. Add embellishments if wanted. Here, letters were stamped in pigment ink and embossed with clear embossing powder.

    Adhere patterned paper strip to the top of the canvas with strong adhesive.

  11. Step 11

    Adhere a bottom piece of Velcro in the center of each square.

  12. Step 12

    Cut 24 1/2" x 7 1/2" strips of patterned paper.
    Add a small piece of strong adhesive on each end and regular adhesive in between.

  13. Step 13

    Tape one of these strips around the bottom of each tin.

  14. Step 14

    Add one Velcro top on a bottom of each tin.

  15. Step 15

    Stamp numbers from 1 - 24 and adhere them to the front of your tins.
    I stamped mine in Chocolate Chip, Old Olive and Real Red Craft ink and embossed them with clear embossing powder.
    I added punched out layered punched out circles under each number.

  16. Step 15

    Stamp numbers from 1 - 24 and adhere them to the front of your tins.
    I stamped mine in Chocolate Chip, Old Olive and Real Red Craft ink and embossed them with clear embossing powder.
    I added punched out layered punched out circles under each number.

  17. Step 15

    Stamp numbers from 1 - 24, cut them out and adhere them to the front of each tin.

    These are stamped in Chocolate Chip, Old Olive and Real Red Craft ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. Punched out layered punched out circles were layered under each number.

  18. Step 16

    To hang the calendar, cut two 30" pieces of ribbon.

    Add a 1 1/2" long strip of strong adhesive on one end of both ribbon pieces.

  19. Step 17

    Adhere ribbon piece on each top side of the canvas board. Reinforce with small nails or thumb tacks if needed.

  20. Step 18

    Fill the tins and let the count down begin.

  21. Step 18

    Fill the tins and let the countdown begin.


    Use a magnet board instead of canvas and magnets instead of Velcro dots.

    Line the holes of a mini muffin pan with decorated cardstock circles and add goodies inside.

    Use paper mache boxes instead of tins.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Advent Calendar. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Beate you are so talented! This advent calendar is so fun and creative. Thank you for sharing your talent and creativity with us.
Ellen  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 9:57 AM
This is wonderful. I have been planning to make a Christmas countdown calendar for my granddaughter and today I said to myself - do a computer search for ideas before it's too late. I got to the computer and this project idea was waiting for me. I'ts adorable - thanks so much!
attherookery  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 9:58 AM
a ton of work but so much fun to make and for the kids big and little to enjoy
shelley  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:09 AM
I'm just wondering if you could tell me which number and letter set you used here...the whole project is just too cute! Like many others, I have been wanting to make an advent calander for my three boys. This will definately be it!!
Barbara  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:12 AM
So cute! Love it and can't wait to copy it!!!!
Kensy  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:19 AM
WOW...what a great tutorial!!! We be making one for my kids! Beate is awesome!
Alexis R  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:42 AM
This is a wonderful project. We were just talking about advent calendars the other day (we may make one for Hallowe'en, which is also a favourite holiday in this house!). Just wanted to say that also has these tins (watchmakers' cases). We're also using them for wedding favours for my sister's wedding (with printed M&Ms;). Thanks Beate for all you do! You're really an inspiration to me!
Ardyth  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 11:15 AM
Wicked Cute!!!! I was going the Ali Edwards route, but now I'm totally using a canvas for my boxes....

LOVE IT!!!!!! You rock!
Alison  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 11:30 AM
So cute! I bought a set of these favor tins last year and haven't used 1!! Now I know they were waiting for an important project like this!! Thanks Beate!
BTW- I bought my tins at AC Moore in the wedding isle...
Janice  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 11:50 AM
You are an absolute inspiration! I love all your projects! This one is just incredible! I cannot wait to do it with my daughter.
BTW: I am new to this world of SU! How do you find the time to balance life and SU!? I am doing it as a hobby but would love to do more with it.
Evelyn  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 12:20 PM
I'm soooo happy you shared this project with us! My LSS had a class for an advent calendar that I couldn't fit into my schedule--I was looking online for something to do at home. This is perfect and looks easy to create! And the materials are going to be easy to pull together. My 3 year-old is going to love this! I'm so excited. Also... the tins enable me to put any kind of prize inside... not just candy which she gets enough already...
Amy  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 1:11 PM
Thank you for posting this! At my local SB store they had one and I wanted to take a picture of it. They wouldn't let me...I had to sneak back with my cell phone to do it! This is way nicer and thanks for the detailed instructions!! 2 Thumbs Up!
Patti  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 2:02 PM
Hi all! In Canada (not sure if this store is in the US too) you can also get these tins at Lee Valley Tools. Check them oput on line if there isn't one in your area (
Diane Cooper  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 2:49 PM
You might try the "Container Store" for the tins.
Debbie Loyd  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 3:27 PM
Beate: This is so beautifully amazing. What a wonderful idea you've had. It turned out brilliantly. Well done. Yowsa baby, you smart.
Darth Debby  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 4:53 PM
Hi Beate -

This project is fantastic! What fun!
My boys are going to love it when I finish! smile

Many Thanks - Maria
Kitchen Sink Stamps  |  Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 6:17 PM
I got very similar tins at Crate & Barels ( sp?)close out store in Old Towne Alexandria, VA last month,, I dont' think I have enough tho So I'll head to Micheals. :}
I bought them knowing I would find a use for them lolol
I'm going to tweak this a bit to take less time but I am hoping for thes ame great results :}
kim  |  Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 6:34 AM
Oh Beate, this is beautiful! Thank you so much for the step-by-step tutorial. It's so inspiring. It makes me think --yes, this is do-able! Catherine a.k.a. muffincards
Catherine G.  |  Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 6:55 AM
For those looking, the Wilton tins can be found in the wedding section at Michael's. They were 19.99 for a bucket (seen in the first picture of the tutorial) of 30 tins.
ArlaMo  |  Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 10:43 AM
This is amazing!!! Such a fantastic idea, and one that I will be making for my daughter at some point! Thanks for yet another great tutorial
Chalem  |  Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 10:47 AM

Page 2 of 4 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >

You need to be logged in to comment