When my son was old enough to understand Christmas I started to search for an Advent calendar that wasn’t just chocolates. So I made a felt one with hand-drawn Advent cards to fit in the pockets. On the cards are traditional Christmas activities that I wanted to share with him. It’s ten years later and doing an activity a day doesn’t work with his schedule, but I still love the cards. And since they never had dates on them, they’ve become Christmas Activity Cards that you can use at any time before Christmas. But they still work with the Advent calendar too!
Do You See Your favorite Christmas Activities?
Here are just some of the fun holiday activities on these cards.
- Make a Gingerbread House
- Decorate the Tree
- Make Hot Cocoa (with all the fixings!)
- Go to the Tree Farm
- Sing Christmas Songs (and have a dance party)
- Watch Christmas Movies
- Go Sledding
- Buy Toys to Donate
- Go Shopping for Presents
- Visit Santa at the Mall
- Go to Christmas Eve Services
- + More
There are three pages of cards with 9 cards each. That’s 27 cards for 25 days.
There are some extra activities, so you can pick and choose your holiday plans.
So I’d love to have you download these DIY Christmas Activity Cards (or Advent Cards) and then include them as a new tradition with your family.
Design Your Own Christmas Activity Cards in Procreate
I also have the card template in my Procreate section of my Free Library if you’d like to make your own cards in Procreate. In fact, I’m making that a challenge this week in my Procreate for Cricut and Silhouette Creators Facebook Group.
My hand-drawn originals from 10 years ago are lost, but I had pictures to go by. With those, it was a snap to draw replicas in Procreate on my iPad. The originals were black and white so I colored them with watercolors and colored pencil brushes in Procreate. Then I created an SVG file that matches the images so that you can cut them out with a Cricut if you have one.
Note: If you don’t have a Cricut, you can use a playing card to trace around the cards and cut them, or you can use a paper cutter.
A Full Page Print then Cut Workaround
Cricut’s print then cut feature won’t allow you to do a full-page print. So to get around that with this tutorial we have the PDF and an SVG.
But this also means that are no registration marks for your Cricut to go by when it cuts. To make sure everything is as accurate as possible, I created the card PDFs with a .25″ margin at the top and left.
Why a .25″ margin? Because Cricut automatically places the SVG in the top left corner with a .25″ margin at the top and left. So this way the SVG and PDF automatically align!
Note: Home printers don’t always feed straight. so your cut may still be a little off. To help with that I added a white border area around the color images. You can also cut a blank piece of cardstock first, and use it as a frame to make any fine adjustments that are necessary when you cut the PDF’s.
How to Make DIY Advent Cards
Supplies and Materials
- Download the Free Advent Card PDF’s from my Free Resource Library (there are 3 pages)
- Download the Advent Card SVG file from the Free Resource Library (if you plan to cut them with a Cricut)
- Home Printer (or take the files to a copy office like FedEx Office- I did this)
- Cardstock I used a heavyweight glossy
- Scissors or…
- Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore Air 2, Explore 3, Cricut Maker 3
- Light Grip (blue) Cricut Cutting Mat
- Computer or iPad to use with Cricut Design Space
Step One: Download all 3 Advent Card PDF’s and the optional SVG file.
In the Creative Resource Library on this blog, you’ll find a TON of really cool free resources to create with. Under Project Templates and Designs, you’ll find the Advent Card PDF files, as well as the SVG file. Again, you only need the SVG if you plan to cut these out with a cutting machine. If you’re planning to cut them out by hand then you do not need the SVG file.
Step Two: Print out the PDF’s
You can do this by opening the files and then sending them to your home printer, OR you can save the files and take them to a print office. I actually had mine printed at FedEx Office because our printer doesn’t play well with cardstock. I try to work with it, but there’s no love. ?
Step Three: Upload the SVG to Cricut Design Space
If you plan to skip the Cricut and hand-cut these cards then you can skip the next steps. However, if you are planning to use the Cricut then you’ll want to upload the SVG file into a new canvas in Cricut Design Space.
To do this, open up a new canvas in Cricut Design Space and select “Upload” from the side toolbar. Next, select “Browse” and grab your .svg file. In your uploads select the new file and click “Insert Image.”
Step Four: Select All and Make Adjustments
Now that you have your image uploaded to your canvas in Design Space, you may want to change the color. To do this, first, choose “Select All” on the top toolbar.
Then you have the option to go to the colored square to the right of the drop-down action menu that says “cut” and choose your color. Click on the colored square and then choose a lighter color. (This is optional but helps us to see it better when we get to the next screen).
With everything still selected, click on the “Attach” option at the bottom right of your screen.
Finally, in the top toolbar change the height of the image to 10.4″ This will adjust the width proportionally. Then, click on the “Make It” in the top right corner of your screen!
Step Five: Cut a Sample Template from Cardstock
On the next screen, you’ll see a mat and on the left of that, you’ll find a drop-down menu of sizes. Choose 8.5″ x 11″ (Letter). Take a piece of blank paper and place it on your mat to match the image on the screen. Then choose “Continue” on the bottom left of your screen.
Cricut will automatically place your SVG in the top left corner of the mat allowing a 1/4″ margin at the left and top of the mat. I adjusted the PDF’s so that they are aligned to the top left corner as well. This means you don’t have to guess at how to get the SVG and your printed image to match up.
On the next page, under the Materials Setting, choose your type of cardstock. I tested the cut with a piece of lightweight cardstock that I had, and used that Material Setting but with More pressure.
Load your mat and when prompted, press Go.
When it’s done cutting, Unload your mat, flip the mat upside down and gently peel the outline of the cards away from the mat without tearing it.
Then, use this template to check your placement of the PDF’s on your mat. You may need to adjust your paper placement slightly so that the images and the cuts align.
Step Six: Cut out your Card Designs.
Follow the same steps as before, but be sure to change your Materials Settings before you cut if you are changing the type of paper.
To do thi,s you just click on the type of material you selected last. This will bring up your material options.
Align your paper on the mat, and then press down and smooth your paper so it adheres well to the mat.
Load your mat into the machine, and then follow the prompts again on the screen to make the cut.
Step Seven: Check the Cut BEFORE you Unload the Mat
This is super important. Before you unload the mat gently try to peel up a couple of the cards to check the cut.
IF they have not been fully cut then stop, and press the “Go” button again to repeat the cut. You can unload and then reload the mat and then repeat the cut, but you risk your alignment being off.
Once it’s cut cleanly through the paper Unload the mat. Flip the mat upside down and gently peel off the cards and excess paper.
Step Eight: Cut the Other Two Advent Card PDF Sheets
Repeat steps six and seven for the other two PDF’s. Isn’t that easy? I love the crisp clean and uniform shapes that cutting with the Cricut gives me!
And Done! You Just Made Your OWN Christmas Activity Cards for Advent, or the Holiday Season!
Projects like this make me happy to have this blog. It’s such an opportunity to be able to share ideas like these cards. Projects that I hope you’ll both love to make and love to use. And maybe even love to give. So I hope that you’ll enjoy these Christmas Activity Cards either for Advent or just during the holiday season.
Want to Make A Felt Advent Calendar?
I actually just saw a super cute felt advent calendar that Sweet Red Poppy makes with her Cricut. She shares the project on her blog, at Learn How To Make a Felt Advent Calendar. Mine was a no-sew and although she sews a background, you can skip that if you’re only going to use the cards and not put little presents in it.
For More Inspiration…
Check out the other Merry Maker-mas Projects! For the 25 days before Christmas, I’ll be featuring a new holiday project each day and you’ll have the chance to win either a Cricut Maker or a Silhouette Portrait machine. There are other prizes too- so be sure to check that out!
Also, if you would like to know more about Procreate I have a playlist of my Procreate tutorials on YouTube. I also have tutorial posts on this blog that teach you How to Draw stickers in Procreate, How to Draw Snowflakes in Procreate, and soon-to-come is a post on how to use reference layers in Procreate to create cut layers in Cricut.
Love this? Share it!
If you found the tutorial for this tutorial for How to Make DIY Christmas Activity or Advent Cards helpful please share it either on social media or by pinning the image below to Pinterest. I really appreciate your help with this! Also, if you have any questions about this project please ask by commenting on this post, through my contacts email, or by leaving a comment on my YouTube Channel. I’d love to help!
Thanks for Reading,