Thursday, November 7, 2013

DIY Christmas advent calendar by Heritage Makers

Today I'm going to show you how to make this cute thing.  

This is an advent calendar (countdown to Christmas) with activities behind each of the windows which open.  You can see the two at the bottom left are open.  

There are activities like "string popcorn for the Christmas tree" and "watch a favorite Christmas movie" and "take a blanket or food to a shelter" and "drink hot chocolate"--but because these pages are printed using Heritage Makers, you can change any of the activities you want before you submit it for publishing.

The total cost for this project is about $9.  And it doesn't take long to make!

Okay, here's what you need for this cute advent calendar:
  • Heritage Makers template 36277.  Search for this template in your Heritage Makers account, then make it your own if you like by personalizing it.
  • one 12x12 tile   The one I used is called a "vinyl composition tile" and it says "commercial floor tile" on the box.  These are available at home improvement stores.  You can also use a ceramic tile--it really could be anything, it just needs to be 12"x12" and not bendable.  
  • an Xacto knife  (as well as some cardboard or something that will keep you from cutting up your table)
  • permanent double-sided tape (The directions given on this project's pages say to use Tacky Glue, but I've done it both ways, and the double-sided tape doesn't wrinkle like the Tacky Glue does.  Go with the double-sided tape.)

STEP 1:  get the beautiful part
Login to your Heritage Makers account and click "template gallery" at the upper right.  Search for 36277.  Place the template into your account by doing a search for it in the Template Gallery.  Once you find it, click on it.  Then click "personalize."  

Once it's copied over to you account, you can also change things in the design if you like--change the activities to fit your preferences, etc.  Or just leave it as-is.  

This project is make from two 12x12 scrapbook pages, the outside part you see, and in the inside part with the words "behind the doors."

UPDATE 2022:  Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe discontinued at the end of 2020).  For the time being, it's most likely easier for you to order these pages from me than it will be for you to order/make them in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions or to order these cute pages! 

STEP 2:  adhere the page with the activities (the one shown on top here) onto the tile

Find the Heritage Makers page with 24 activities on it (the one with instructions in black printed at the top).  Just put double-sided tape on the back of the page and line it up nicely on top of the tile.  Press down.

STEP 3:  cut the windows on the other page so they'll open

Using an Xacto knife (and something underneath to protect your table), cut the TOP AND BOTTOM of the windows, and cut DOWN THE CENTER.  DO NOT CUT THE SIDES.  Or you will be sad.

STEP 4:  fold the windows open using a straight edge

I just used a little wooden block, but you could use a ruler--just fold open the windows, pressing against your straight edge.  Leave the windows open.

STEP 5:  adhere the open-windows page to the page on the tile
I tore off 1-2" pieces of double-sided tape and cut them (with scissors) in thirds (in strips), then placed them around each window and door.  Taping all the way around each window and the door is important so it's strong when you open and shut the windows in the future.

If you look REALLY closely, you can see my strips of tape around the windows.  Trust me, they're there. 

Once it's all taped around the windows and door as well as around the edge of the page, just place this page on top of the page that's on the tile.  Press down to make the tape stick.

And you're done!!  Super cute, super fun, super fast!  (super cheap gift!)  Enjoy!!  

Only 48 days until Christmas!  :)

UPDATE 2022:  It won't look exactly the same, but an other option for creating your own digital scrapbook pages and making them into an advent calendar just like this is to use Artisan digital scrapbooking software by Forever.  You can learn about Artisan here: