Advent Calendar for the "Away from Home" Students

As I've mentioned before, my baby boy went off to boarding school for high school this year. One of the big traditions in our family is the advent calendar, which is a cabinet with small numbered doors. I add things in each compartment for each day. I start by adding the Playmobil nativity set pieces that we've had since the kids were very little. Here are the sheep before I closed the door for them to wait their turn to be revealed.

Then I add fun stuff....mostly candy.
I was feeling bad that my oldest wasn't going to participate in the daily ritual of seeing what was in the calendar for the day. And while his enthusiasm in this tradition had waned in the last couple years, I was pretty sure he would still miss it.
So I started brainstorming how I could create something just for him, to fit his current status being similar to a college student. Here's what I came up with:
Basically I made envelopes out of Christmas themed scrapbook paper I had on hand (from a project I planned 5 or 6 years ago and never completed...or started).
I filled them with stuff a student living away from home would like. What kinds of things? $5 Gift cards to places they like that are within walking distance, candy, hot chocolate packets, cash, playing cards, lip balm, or anything else you can cram into an envelope.
You can find tons of envelope templates online. However, I have a thing I bought about 10 years ago called Kreate-a-Lope, which is fast and easy to use.
Select the paper you want to use and the size envelope you want to make.
Line up the template.
Tear the paper against the template. I usually clean up the edges just a little bit with the scissors.
Place the center portion into the template while it is still lined up with the paper you just created with the template with the printed side down.
Without moving the center portion, remove the template.

Fold the two sides against the rectangle first, then fold the bottom up, pressing crisp lines along edges as you fold.

Fold the top edge down last. Then remove the rectangle from the envelope.

Here are all the envelopes stacked up before filling.

I needed a way to seal and number the envelopes, so I decided to use my snowflake paper punch and the scraps left from the envelopes.

Then I stuffed the envelopes, glued the snowflake to seal, and numbered them.

He was pretty excited to get them in the mail. I wish I had thought of it earlier so I had time to do this for my niece who is attending Purdue this year as a freshman.

Let me know below in the comments what you think of this project and any other ideas you have for stuffing the envelopes. I will start my list for next year. Feel free to pin this idea to Pinterest.

Tomorrow is the ornament blog hop and I am super excited to show you what I got from my partner!




I love this idea (and your execution of it)! We do an advent calendar as well, with the little windows. Mostly it is a piece of Christmas chocolate in each window, but I always try to find a few little gifts to scatter throughout the month. It is really hard to find things Emma will like that will fit in the little space --especially since she makes her own jewelry now. This year we've had to resort to leaving a note and sending her on a short treasure-hunt.

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