Every year, I find myself picking up one of those chocolate-filled calendars to help my son count down to Christmas. And every year, I think, "I could do this better."

This year, I decided to start early and make my own Advent calendar. I decided I wanted to do something quick and easy for my first, so I purchased a kit from We R Memory Keepers that included everything I needed to make a tree with tiny boxes in which I could store my own chocolates. In an evening, I was able to put it together, decorate it and be done – just folding and adhering was all that was required. I loved that I could customize my decorations to suit my tastes. With the release of the new We R Memory Keepers box punch board this fall, it’s even easier if you want to make a box-style calendar without a kit or template die. calendar 1

This experience left me wanting to do even more, so I decided to make an Advent calendar that I could give as a gift to family members. I just love my We R Memory Keepers envelope punch and decided against doing another box design and opted to instead make an envelope-style calendar. I used my We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board to make tiny envelopes that I could fill with a small, flat chocolate.

I wanted something smaller than the smallest gift-card-sized envelope measured on the envelope punch board, so I cut a 4” x 4” square, lined one corner up at the 2” mark on the board and punched and scored my board as usual. It made a cute little square envelope that was just about 2 1/2” square.

I’d purchased a piece of paper with holiday countdown numbers on it with a vague idea of doing a December Daily, but decided to use it instead with my Advent calendar. I trimmed each number to fit the front of an envelope. Using red and white Doodle Twine, I cut about 6-8” lengths (I varied each piece so I’d have different lengths), knotted the bottom and attached using a star-shaped brad.

I decided to use two pieces of green cardstock as the base. I overlapped them to make the length closer to 20”, and then used two pieces of 12” x 12” chipboard to make it sturdy. I adhered the cardstock to the chipboard – note that you’ll have about four inches that’s still visible of the chipboard – and then freehand cut a curved design on the top. Using a piece of darker green cardstock, I cut a strip 5” x 12”, then used a scallop punch by EK Success along the bottom of the longer side. I adhered it to the chipboard, allowing it to overlap slightly over the lighter green cardstock and allowing some to overhang over the top of the chipboard. Then I cut slits in the top of the strip to fold it over cleanly, fitting it to the shape. I thought this gave the top of my calendar an ornament-like appearance.

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I edged the entire calendar with some red ribbon I had in my stash, then cut the word 'Christmas' on my Cricut (Boys Only font) and adhered it to the top of my calendar. I also cut a Christmas tree (Stretch Your Imagination cartridge) to decorate the calendar. I added a star on top of the tree, using a foam dot to give it a little lift.

Then, I randomly attached my envelopes using brads. The twine is loose enough that it will be easy to turn over the envelopes and get the candy out when it’s time, without tearing my work.

I finished things off by using an eyelet on the top of the calendar to make a hanger, which I hid behind a decorative ribbon from my stash. Finally, I used Diamond Stickles to decorate my tree. Closer to Christmas, I’ll slide chocolates in for my son to open as he counts down.