I love advent calendars because I adore secret treasures hidden in small places and the excitement of counting down the days to a favorite holiday (such as Christmas, birthdays, etc.). Over the years I have filled the little cubbies in our Christmas advent box with an assortment of candy, ornaments, and notes of activities or events happening during the month. However I found last year our schedule was so jam-packed and constantly changing that we did not attend all the events or do all we planned. Moreover, since sweet treats are everywhere during this time of year, having even more in the advent box seemed a bit much.
This year I am taking a simpler approach. Since I am a fan of beautiful and exotic paper and am always looking for a project that involves patterned paper, I am going to make envelopes from origami paper for each day and hang them from a string. If you want to make it even simpler, pre-made envelopes would work just fine. I plan to fill twenty five envelopes with a different word (e.g., snowflake, fancy, candle). Since my boys love stories, I think we can take turns using the “word of the day” in a sentence at breakfast or in a bedtime story—maybe on Christmas our family challenge will be to use all twenty-five words in a story. This way we do not have to remember (or stress if we forget) to make the cookies, eat the chocolate, or build a snowman (especially when there’s no snow on the ground).
Find more advent calendar ideas on Kidoinfo and learn how to make an embroidered felt one on whip up. I will let you know how mine turns out. You need to have twenty-five interesting words, so feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. See my list of words here.
- 6-inch origami paper squares (available at any art-supply store or Michaels Craft Stores)
- Plain paper for word cards (index cards work well)
- Clothespins (small ones are available at most craft stores)
- Long ribbon or string
- Circle stickers
1. Make paper envelopes. (Template)
I use 6-inch origami paper squares. These work well because the paper is pre-cut and available in an assortment of beautiful patterns. You can also choose any colored paper or wrapping paper you have at home or use pre-made colored envelopes and decorate them with stickers. To simplify each envelope, I am not cutting the notches shown on the template.
2. Make word cards. Cut twenty-five sheets of paper to fit inside each envelope. Measure your envelope to determine what size paper you’ll need. My origami envelopes are approximately 4 inches square, so I will cut 3.5-inch squares to fit inside. Write a word on each card (or print from your computer) and place one card inside each envelope. Seal with a sticker (numbered 1 through 25).
3. Display. Hang string on the wall, mantel, or molding, and clip all the envelopes up in order from 1 to 25 (or place envelopes in a box in chronological order).