easy advent calendar made from screen printing


advent calendar drawer pulled out revealing toy
I’ve had an undecorated set of brown cardboard advent drawers hiding out unfinished in my craft room for the past year and a half. It’s one of those projects that’s always nagging in the back of my mind because I hate having grand aspirations and then not following through with them – it’s always about the lack of time rather than the lack of creativity! With the holidays right around the corner I promised myself that this project would definitely get finished before December this year.
supplies for making an advent calendar

A couple of weeks ago I got this HUGE haul of Martha Stewart Paints, stencils, silkscreens and accessories from Plaid Crafts. It was just the fire that I needed to get my butt into gear and get advent calendar crafting…seriously though, how could you not be inspired by all these goodies?!?

I started by giving my brown advent calendar a quick coat of spray primer since those pesky little cardboard drawers tend to suck up a lot of paint. Then I gave the drawers a colorful makeover in shades of red, blue and aqua Martha Stewart craft paint. We celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah in our house, so I usually gravitate towards mixing the colors of both holidays in my decorations.
winter decorations being prepared to add to advent calendar

I couldn’t wait to try the silkscreens! This handy dispenser cap fits right on top of the craft paint bottle and allows for a small flow of paint to ensure that you don’t flood your silkscreen. These flexible squeegee-like paint brushes are pretty awesome too.

Supplies used:

  • Martha Stewart craft paint in satin, metallic, glitter and pearl finishes
  • Martha Stewart silkscreens & adhesive stencils
  • Martha Stewart fine tip bottle tops
  • Martha Stewart dauber set (for stencils)
  • Martha Stewart craft squeegee brushes (for silkscreens)
scraping paint over silk screen snowflake patternApply the silkscreen to the surface, press down and burnish gently with your finger. The silkscreen is semi-sticky to hold it in place, but it helps to press it down to ensure a good seal. Run a line of paint across one end and drag it down the screen using your craft squeegee brush without pressing – too much pressure could possibly result in the paint bleeding, so you really want to use a light touch. The paint will fill in the holes in the screen and leave you with a lovely and intricate painted image (in mere seconds!).
pretty white snowflake added to calendarEasy peasy! The hardest part is choosing which silkscreen and stencil designs and which colors of paint to use!
beautiful diy advent calendar Luckily, there are 25 drawers, so there were plenty of opportunities to try all the different stencils and fonts! While you’re waiting for your paint to dry and deciding on your next design, you can use some Martha Stewart glass paint to whip up some confetti wine glasses while you’re at it.


homemade advent calendar for christmas I love the way this turned out! I finished the outside of the calendar box and the faces of several drawers with Martha Stewart glitter finish, a nice crystal glitter that gave a pretty sparkle to everything, though it doesn’t show up very well in the photos.

(For the record, I intentionally left off the numbers 11, 17 & 24 off just because I thought those drawers would be too busy with numbers too…and it’s driving my hubby crazy! What do you think?)

easy to make advent calendar for christmas
The drawers are the perfect size for stashing a couple small candies for my boys along with a piece of paper detailing the day’s advent or Hanukkah family activity. If you’re looking for a list of advent ideas, check out this post from last year where we compiled over thirty ways to make each day special!
Be sure to follow Plaid Crafts via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to keep up on all the latest happenings!

signature of Heidi from Happiness is Homemade craft blog 

 I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid and The Blueprint Social. All opinions in this post are my own.
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  1. Can you tell me where to find the advent box? Ive never seen one any where and is that what it is called? Thanks!

  2. So pretty Heidi! You did a fabulous job! The colours are so gorgeous! Have a lovely weekend! Angie xo

  3. Very cute! We celebrate both holidays as well so it’s wonderful to see a project that be used for both!!

  4. So pretty. I like that you skipped a few of the numbers – I think you are right, it would have been too crowded. What a cute and festive advent calendar. I want one!

  5. I LOVE it!!! You did such a great job. I love all the colors. I think I will make one too.

    Literally Inspired

  6. holy crap I didn’t even know you could DO this without having some super fancy stuff. I’m totally going to get crafty!

  7. I absolutely LOOOOOVE this! My favorite Martha project so far! Pinned it and stumbled it…now, where did you get the cardboard calendar? I SO want to do this!! We celebrate both holidays too, by the way!

  8. This is so pretty! I love how each box is a different color and I like the large snowflake you did across a few of the. Great job!