Recycled Paper DIY Advent Calendar – Part 3 (A Tutorial)

My DIY Advent Calendar is finally finished! You can click here to see Part I (Days 1 through 6) and click here to see Part II (Days 7 through 15) .

I used the customizable advent shadowbox from Silhouette. The 25 compartment shadow box comes with 25 different box templates and 25 different drawer templates that the Silhouette will cut out onto any paper of your choice. You can use them to make a new advent calendar theme each year.


Doesn’t it look all pretty now that it’s finished! I can’t wait until tomorrow until Boo gets to start opening them up!


Here are the rest of the days I just finished up and what I filled them with:

Day #16: A bracelet of jingle bells.

Day #17: A photo locket charm and a little cross.

Day #18: A Christmas “slap” bracelet.


Day #19: A shepherd charm and a handmade little sheep charm.



To make the sheep charm I used polymer clay, toothpicks and a black magic marker:



I cut and colored the toothpicks for sheep legs:



And cut a little metal piece to turn the sheep into a charm:



The polymer clay is easy enough to shape and I just stuck the legs in the bottom and the metal loop in the top. A few minutes in the oven at 275 degrees cures it:



Day #20: A mini first sewing kit:



Day #21: Boo loves crafting with “googly eyes” so I filled a jar with them:



Day #22: A holiday Go Fish game:



Day #23: Mary, Joseph and Angel charms…..and some stick on earrings.



Day #24: A holiday ornament craft. I opened the package so it would fit in the box:



Day #25: A candle so Boo can sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and blow it out Christmas morning. I also added a Jesus charm to the top.



Phew….the advent calendar was a lot of work but totally worth it! Such a fun tradition to start! Next year can be an entirely different theme!





  1. Lil Miss Red T-Shirt says

    That is so adorable!

    I love all the intricate little treasures inside each. I want one!

  2. says

    WOW! This is awesome! My little ones would love this!!! I love how there is so much meaning and thought put into it. I especially love the googly eyes! So cute. :)

  3. says

    I have to warn you – making advent calendars is addictive 😉

    Honestly, my mom gave me the first one when I was 4 years old, and even now that I’m 35, I still get a wonderful advent calendar each year. In the meantime, she wraps the gifts in two different colors so my husband and I can take turns in opening them.

    You did a wonderful job with this calendar, I’m sure Boo will be excited each and every single day!

  4. says

    This is awesome! I love the neutrals of the kraft paper and thank you so much for the treat ideas! We just finished ours yesterday and i was wondering what to put into the pockets. t.xoxooxo

  5. Amber says

    Hi Ashley. First, prayers for your continued recovery, you brave and determined lady you. Thank you for choosing God and choosing joy and sharing that! Second . . . AWESOME advent tree! You rock! I collected trinckets for our older 3 all summer long at garage sales and store sales (and even confiscated forgotten party favors after they had been left about (shhh!). I kept our tree shaped calendar hidden in our closet and just filled the boxes throuout the year as I found stuff. I am SO excited to take it out today! It’s getting tricky to fit 3 things in a drawer, though. And next year it will need to be 4! I think I may need to start hiding clues for them to find their treats!

    Also, wanted to share that we use a book called “Advent Jesse Tree” when we open our advent boxes. (You can find a free printable version at Anne Voskamp’s blog, too). It is so fun because each day there is a short devotional to read. It takes you from the very beginning of the old testament clear to the the birth of Jesus. Each day helps us to focus on why Jesus needed to come to Earth! It has added a layer of special meaning to the opening of our advent gifts and the countdown to Christmas!

    Blessings this season!


  6. Maryann says

    Oh, wow! Great job!! Our kids did “Advent boxes” for years and I never branched out to anything like this!! I think I usually put in candy or quarters!! :) Thanks for sharing. You have some great/lovely things there!

  7. Kblue says

    It’s so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your ideas. I just love it. What a special way to celebrate. The candle is my favorite.

  8. says

    Thank you for all your amazing projects.

    Having read parts 1 and 2 of your advent calender make I was inspired to make one for my three children to use. Way less stylish than yours but (fortunately) my audience isn’t as critical as I am.

    Finished nearly in time, (end of school on the 1st) but had to resort to filling with sweets instead of lovely little trinkets like the ones you have made/bought. See the finished results here!

    All the best.


  1. […] you seen my friend Ashley’s calendar? Or have you read about Soshawna’s? Pretty neat stuff out […]