Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY origami advent calendar

Right folks, it's time to get crafty. I love Christmas craft. At primary school when the last couple of weeks of term rolled around and we started to wilt in the summer heat, out came the red textas and the cotton wool for the making of toilet roll santas, and the macaroni for decorated jars. This was the kind of schoolwork I liked!

I've grown up just a wee bit since then, but not enough to leave the pipe cleaners behind altogether. I still have boxes of lovely papers and more markers than the average Officeworks store. But in recent years I haven't really roused them very often.

Well this year I'm back with a vengeance. Remembering how much I loved them as a kid, I decided to make an advent calendar for my young niece and nephew. I think it's so cute I thought I'd share the process with you all.


The project can be completed from start to finish in about three hours. You’ll need the following:
  • Preloved children's book(s) or old magazines - 25 pages of at least 16 x 16cm in size
  • Numbers 1-25 printed on paper (printable attached)
  • 2 metres of string
  • Washi tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Ruler and cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Upholstery needle 
  • Little goodies for hiding in the cups

How to make the advent calendar

I used old Golden Books for colour but you can use any paper.
  1. Remove the pages from the books and cut each into a 16 x 16cm square
  2. Make 25 cups by following these instructions for making an origami cup
  3. Use double-sided tape to stick the numbers onto the front of each cup
  4. Use washi tape to stick the flap down on the back of each cup
  5. Thread your upholstery needle with string and thread the cups onto the string by piercing a hole in each side. Start with number 25 and work backwards
Now for the fun part. It's time to fill the cups ready for December's treasure hunt. As this calendar was for little kids I filled mine with chocolate coins, puffy stickers, plastic jewellery, and little tree decorations. I made a second 'grown up' calendar for some friends and filled it with handmade chocolates and decorations. Double-sided tape sealed the deal to close up the tops of the cups to avoid peeking.

That's it! All thats left to do is to hang it as bunting over a mantel or bookcase and countdown til December one.

And remember, no peeking!


  1. This is soooo pretty... I love it! And I think that even non-crafty folk like me may be able to do this?

    1. Absolutely Miranti - it's really simple for such a bright and cheery outcome. I've just uploaded a printable for the numbers to make it even easier. I'd love to see the result if you make one!


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