There are definitely a lot of different advent calendars out there - the cheap chocolate behind a flap, a collection of new ornaments to hang on the tree each day, a tiny treat or gift in the cups of a mini muffin tin, a series of fabric pockets that you move a little marker to and from, a covered picture that is revealed each day, a pile of books that you unwrap and read each day, buckets, mittens, stockings, jars... the list goes on and on.
There are also a plethora of envelope advents on the internet too, so I'm not even going to try to pass this off as an original idea. Either way, here's my freshly-made version:
It's comprised of 24 mini kraft envelopes ($5 from Michael's), 24 die-cut tags, scrapbook paper, ribbon & string, and random paper & fabric embellishments (simply made with punches, stamps etc). All of the envelopes are mounted on a 20"x24" foam poster board ($1.25 from Dollarama) covered in 4 pieces of scrapbook paper.
Each envelope is completely random and different from the next, but I alternated red/green/red/green.
Coincidentally, the label die-cutter I already owned fit perfectly in these little envelopes. I used my computer to print 2 labels on 12 pieces of 4.5"x6.5" off-white cardstock, then ran them through my Cuttlebug... SIMPLE! The most important thing with your printer is that your scale is correct and your words will fit in the tag cutter. Try to avoid having a long middle line, so it doesn't get a hole punched through it.Once they were cut out, I aged them with a sponge and "Distressed Ink" pad.
There are a lot of options, but here are the activities I chose that suit our family:
Wear Special Christmas Pyjamas to Bed
Make a Christmas Decoration
Make Hot Apple Cider
Make a Gift for Your Teacher
Make a Craft with Mom
Recycle Something into a Gift or Decoration
Write a Letter to Santa
Mail All the Christmas cards
Build a Snowman or Snow Angel
Bake a Gingerbread House
Decorate the Gingerbread House
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Decorate the Outdoors
Donate to the Food Bank
Donate Toys & Clothing to Charity
Give Gifts to Neighbours & Friends
Go to a Holiday Event Together
Go Ice Skating
Drive Around to Look at Decorations & Lights
Read a Christmas Book
Color a Christmas Picture
Call Grandparents and sing a Christmas song
You could also use a photo pr picture on the tag to explain the day's activity - like a snowman stamp to symbolize that you should make one, or a picture of Grandma to symbolize that you plan to go visit her...
You'll notice that there are hardly any numbers on my envelopes... Well you see, I've "misplaced" my #1 stamp. So I've decided to wait until I find it, or a new set of numbers. I figure if I never find it and stamp the rest, it's going to be quite obvious that I had to make due with something else for the other half.
I think this board also needs something around the edges, to cover the white foam board. Perhaps a ribbon, or some fabric. We'll have to see what I come across.
Here are some other great blogs/sites with creative advent calenders
that I've come across in my search for inspiration:
(I love her envelopes, and the idea to put $5 gift cards or movie tickets in them)