Easy DIY Scrappy Shabby Chic Advent Calendar


Before you dismiss this as a super scrappy, mission: impossible project, hear me out. This is actually a REALLY easy, anyone-can-do-this craft wrapped in a Martha Stewart package.  Using the right embellishments you can make anything look amazing.

Alright so here we go, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Blank Advent Calendar
  • 3+ pieces of scrapbook paper
  • 3 yards of 1” lace
  • Assorted gems
  • A paper bag or kraft paper
  • 44” of burlap ribbon (at least 4” wide)
  • Assorted number stickers
  • Spray adhesive
  • Standard Hole punch
  • Fray Check (optional)
  • Mod Podge

Ok, so for the advent calendar, you have a couple options. I got the tree shaped advent calendar here.  I also like this advent calendar too. It’s more affordable but a little less sturdy.


Ok, so once you have your calendar, now it’s time to decorate! I picked this paper stack up at Michaels. I would pick something that’s similar to the décor already in place at your house.


Next, we’re going to make a template for your scrapbook paper. Using one of the drawers, draw around the outside edges adding about a ¼” on each side.  Then, punch a hole about where the drawer pull is. You might have to do this a couple times to get it just right. Then cut the template as shown.


To make sure the template fits, slide the opening around the drawer knob until the hole is around the knob. If there are no blank areas showing on your drawer face your template is good! The purpose of the template is so you know where to punch your hole for each piece of paper –  it just makes the whole project sooo much easier.

Ok, so using the template cut out a piece of paper for each drawer, hole punch and all. Hook them on to each drawer so you get an idea of the layout and how all the paper will work together.


When you’re happy with your layout,  gently lift the paper from the drawer face and paint a thin layer of mod podge underneath. Press the paper down and spread the glue out making sure that it bonds really well together.  (If you’ve never used mod podge before, click here first for in-depth mod podge how-to’s.)



Trim the excess edges. Do this step pretty soon after gluing, because if you wait too long the paper will get soggy and be much more difficult to cut and won’t trim as neatly.


After you’ve mod podged all the paper underneath and you’ve given your drawers at least 30 minutes to dry,  mod podge them again on the top. This will seal the paper and make things much more durable. You could even do 2 or 3 top coats if you really want it to last, but be sure to give each coat time to dry in between.


Now it’s time to decorate. To keep things simple I just added gems, lace, or craft paper. That’s it. To make things easier, plan out your layout before you adhere anything. Figure out what embellishment looks best with what paper and try to keep the embellishments distributed evenly.


The easiest way to get your gems straight is to buy the ones that are connected together and come with adhesive already on the backs. Use your spray adhesive for the lace and craft paper.


For the lace I would cut it a little longer than the box and then trim the edges to make it flush. Use a little bit of fray check on the ends depending on what kind of lace you pick.


Here’s a picture to show you what I did for the decorative trim. These are the only variations on the entire calendar; see what I was saying earlier? Easy!  (I’ll explain the circle under the ‘24’ in a little bit.)


Now that you have your embellishments on, it’s time for the numbers.


Initially I used stickers for this part, but if you have double sided adhesive, glitter, and a silhouette die cut machine I would definitely recommend that route. It’s much more customizable and less expensive.  If you do choose to use a silhouette make sure to measure the space below your trim. My lace boxes had about ¼” less space to work with.

Another note, if you have darker colored paper such as green or red, it may be harder for your numbers to show up. For boxes with darker paper I used my mod podge cap and traced partial circles out of the paper bag/kraft paper and put the numbers on top of that so they’d show up better.


Now it’s time for your tree trim! I LOVE this part because it takes a cute project and makes it adorable!  So the tree advent calendar is about 2” deep.  I cut two 2” strips of the burlap and then sewed the edges with a ¼” seam allowance. (You can also use fray check, I’ve also heard of people using hot glue.) This will make it so your burlap doesn’t fall to pieces because it’s so loosely woven.  Next, I sewed the lace on top going down the center.


Next, hot glue it to your tree. You can do it straight down, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can add loops so it looks even more Christmas tree-y. To do this, hot glue the trim to the top. Next, gather your loop the way you like it and hot glue the part that touches the wood, and then the fold next to that. I just glued the center parts –  you don’t have to go all the way out to the edges. Do this all the way down and repeat on the other side making an effort to make the loops symmetrical.




If you want, you can add a star to the top for a finishing touch. I used this shape from the silhouette store.

Wasn’t that fun!?! Now go conquer the rest of your Pinterest fantasy list you craft goddess!


lindsayLindsay is a mother by day; artist, blogger, crafter by night. She is currently obsessed with photography, nail art, and trying to fit dinner somewhere between all of that. Her goal for this year is to find a cure for short-nap syndrome and ‘That’s Mine!’ disease.
Blog: www.twobobbinslater.com
Twitter: @TwoBobbinsLater

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Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy is the owner and editor of My Crafty Spot and loves to find the latest crafting creations to create and share.

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  1. Erin your Advent Calendar is the nicest I’ve seen so far! I’ve picked it as my favorite this weekend at our DIY party 🙂 Your wooden snowman was another of my favorites.