Paper Holiday – Advent Calendar

by Grace Bonney

First, thank you Grace for this opportunity!

Next, hello out there. I like to make things. I design and create a line of paper ‘luxuries’ and letterpress cards and started my business, d.Sharp, 8 years ago. I also have a blog where I write about and share all sorts of things. I live in my hometown of Portland with my husband and two sons, and work in a carriage house type studio a few steps from my back door.

Here is my studio when it’s, ahem, clean:

As paper is my favorite medium and Christmas one of my favorite times of year, I have had a great time working on some fun paper projects to share this week. Although the holidays always seem to come upon me too fast, {wasn’t it just Halloween?} I am determined to be on the offensive this year and start celebrating early with an Advent calendar for my kids. Starting on the first of December, each numbered envelope will hold a small treat or a note describing a holiday activity for the day, like going to get a tree or making candy encrusted graham cracker houses.

For this Advent garland, I used open end envelopes and clipped them to baker’s twine. The numbers were printed out on a full sheet { 8.5 x 11} white adhesive label and cut out. Alternatively, these numbers could work as individual tags, printed out on card stock, to trim a pile of small gifts for Advent. To make your own Advent labels, I created a PDF to download here.

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  • i love the advent calendar ideas AND your studio!

    quick question – the honeycomb/beehive shelf (lower right photo) in your studio caught my eye – is it a special piece of furniture, something you found, custom-built? i love pieces like that!

  • Your idea is so pretty! We have a felt advent calendar with pockets to fill (and I’ve done no planning yet for filling them – yikes!).

  • denise! blogging in the big time now! can’t wait to see what you write about. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • I love love love this idea. Do you have any plans to sell this in your etsy shop? I’d use your .pdf, but between getting ready for Thanksgiving and a monster trip to Canada next week, I’ve got zero time.

  • thank you for sharing the pdf! i am making on this weekend and have been debating stamping the numbers or printing and you just made this so much easier and prettier! thanks again!

  • Thank you all!

    Yuri – Hi!

    Julie , your question – the honeycomb thing on the wall is galvanized metal that is riveted together. I found it at a rummage sale and was told it was for bottles from a winery. I still kick myself that I didn’t buy the other 2.

  • Awesome calendar idea, and a great tutorial – while working in the printing industry I do market research looking for inspirational products, and your ideas are really well thought out to keep the customer interested.

  • Love the envelope Advent calendar! I was looking for an easy, quick one to share at our church’s Advent Festival. This one is great because if they don’t finish it at the Festival, they can easily take it home to finish. Plus it is easily adaptable – envelopes can be decorated and the display options are numerous! THANK YOU!!

    A request though – there are 28 days in Advent this year – any chance you can post some more of your super cute numbers?


  • Can you tell me where you bought envelopes that open at the end like that. I haven’t been able to find them.

  • I quickly made one of these up yesterday (first day of December so cutting it a bit fine) and, thanks to your pdf, it was really quick and easy. I made mine with silver envelopes, the numbers are on tags and tied with purple twine, then pegged to more purple twine. Love your idea and love love that you shared it. Thank you.