DIY Christmas Gift: Paper Envelope Advent Calendar

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s officially time to start decorating for Christmas, woo! Today I want to share a super cute, super simple gift idea: an advent calendar.

I made “JonMarke’s 25 Days Of Christmas” as a gift for my husband last year. Each envelope contained one of three things: something I love about my husband, a “kindness” (like “I will take the trash out tonight!”), or a fun Christmas/Date Night idea. And he loved it!

Christmas Advent Calendar

I found the idea for this craft on The Dating Divas and immediately fell in love! So I created my own version for JonMarke last year.

What I love about this advent calendar is that you get to focus on your spouse or significant other for an entire month, and they get to remember that they are loved each and every day. :-)

DIY Christmas Gift Advent Calendar

If you want to re-create your own, here’s what you need:

  • 25 cards and envelopes (I found a couple of packs of blank Christmas cards for $1 per pack; win!)
  • about 5 feet of ribbon
  • 25 clothespins or paperclips
  • tacks, hooks, nails, etc. for hanging it on the wall

Disclaimer: This is a “pre-blog” craft, so I didn’t actually take any photos of the process. I only have a few of the calendar once it was hung on the wall, and even those aren’t that great. :-( But, on the bright side, as I was lamenting this fact to my husband last night, he said “I still have all of those cards from last year…” and we went and pulled them out from a bag in his nightstand! So I was able to take a few photos of the individual cards because my husband is awesome!

The first thing you need to do is decide what is going to go inside each card. These are the three types of cards I used for JonMarke’s advent calendar (I did about 1/3 of each split across the 25 days):

  • A compliment, or something I love about him
  • A kindness or little gift (i.e. “Today I will cook AND do the dishes!”)
  • A fun activity for us to do together
Advent Calendar - Compliment

Compliments/Things I love about him

Advent Calendar - Kidness


Advent Calendar - Date Night

Christmas/Date Night activities

The easiest way to set this up is to look at your calendar while you do it. I knew there were some nights that JonMarke had to work late, so I used a card with a compliment on those days rather than a date night activity. After I figured out which type of card would go on each day, I typed up little paragraphs for each card. Then I printed and cut them out, and glued one into each card. For the envelopes, I typed up “Day 1”, “Day 2”, etc., cut those out, and glued them to the front.

Once you have all your cards, you just need to hang them up!

I used 3M hooks, clothespins, and a long, red ribbon. We had also kept a few pew bows from our wedding earlier that year, so I hung one of those on each end of the ribbon. We don’t have a wall long enough for all 25 envelopes, so I had to curve it around a wall into our kitchen. :-)

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

My husband totally loved it! He was like a little kid on Christmas morning every day of December when he got to open his envelope. :-)

And apparently he loved it so much he still has all the cards. (Awwww!)

Do you do an advent calendar every year? There are tons of great calendar ideas out there, what are some other fun ones you’ve seen? Advent calendars are awesome even if you don’t use one as a gift. They can help get you in the Christmas spirit, plus they can be a fun decoration for your house!

If you’re looking for a few other Christmas crafts, check out these tutorials!


I link up at these awesome parties!

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you subscribe to free weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

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  1. says

    Wow, that’s just fantastic! I’m sure your husband DID love it! What a great idea. And what a great husband to save all those cards…it obviously meant a lot to him. And I’m also impressed by the fact that he does all those chores! :) You’ve got a good one, and it sounds like he does too. Love this idea, and I could see doing a version of this for the kids too.


  2. says

    This is such a great idea!! I think I might try something for my husband related to the 12 days of Christmas this year, but I keep this advent calendar in mind for next year! Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime. Pinning this.


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