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Project Time:10 Minutes

Count down to your favorite holiday with this cute Christmas advent calendar featuring photo magnets of all your favorite holiday memories.

One of the most fun things about the holidays is looking forward to the big day. When I was a kid, I looked forward to waking up each morning to add a single felt ornament to the felt Christmas tree advent calendar. This year, I wanted to make a new countdown calendar for my mom, who collects them. I know she will enjoy all the photo magnets of my favorite family moments from this year.



  • Advent Calendar Printables (Download)
  • 9×12” metal cookie sheet
  • 1” flat-backed clear glass marbles
  • Turquoise acrylic paint
  • Glossy decoupage medium
  • Strong button-style magnets
  • E-6000 glue (clear)
  • A piece of green scrapbook paper, at least 8.5×11”
  • 1” round paper punch
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors


Before you begin, download the printables (Download) and print:

  • 24 1” photos, printed on a piece of 4×6” HP Photo Paper
  • Numbers 1-24, printed on a piece of 4×6” HP Photo Paper (link to numbers templates: pink, red, blue, green)
  • Christmas tree template, printed on 8.5×11” white paper (link to tree template)


  1. Create a photo collage using 24 images, arranged in a grid that is 4 images tall, and 6 images wide. I used the site PicMonkey to create the image, where I made an image that was 1200×1800 pixels.Arrange the images so the faces are almost as large as each square, keeping in mind that the 1” round paper punch will remove the corners of each image.Open HP Photo Creations on your computer and print on HP 4×6” Photo Paper, using the borderless print setting. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
    Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  2. Save one of the numbers templates I’ve provided for you, either red, pink, green, or blue. Print on HP 4×6” Photo Paper, using the borderless print setting.
  3. Paint the cookie sheet with turquoise acrylic craft paint. I recommend using a higher-quality craft paint such as Folk Art or Martha Stewart brands, as the paint coverage is better than store brands.Let the paint dry, and paint a second coat, if necessary. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  4. While the paint is drying, prepare the rest of the calendar parts. Hold the Christmas tree paper template over the green scrapbook paper and cut the tree out. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  5. Punch out the numbers 1-24, using the numbers template you printed on 4×6” paper and the 1” round paper punch. Start from the bottom of the print, centering each number in the circle punch. I hold the punch upside-down so I can see the placement of the image inside the punch.When you finish punching the bottom row, trim the excess and punch the next row. Set the numbers aside and work on the photo magnets. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  6. Punch out the photos printed on the 4×6” paper, using the same technique you used to punch out the numbers. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  7. Glue the photos to the 1” flat-backed glass marbles. Work in batches of 4-6 marbles, applying E-6000 glue to several marbles, then pressing the photos to the marbles to eliminate air bubbles. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  8. When all the photos have been applied to marbles, glue the button magnets onto the backs of the marbles, then set the magnets several inches from each other to dry, so the magnets won’t stick to each other. (Ask me how I know!)Tip: Keep your eye on the magnets for about an hour to make sure they don’t slide off the backs of the glass marbles.Let the glue on the magnets dry and cure for about 24 hours.

    Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar

  9. Once the painted cookie sheet is dry, decoupage the Christmas tree and numbers to the sheet. Paint decoupage medium on the back of the Christmas tree and tree stump, then apply the tree to the cookie sheet. Carefully push air bubbles out of the tree, using a credit card to burnish the tree.
    Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  10. Paint decoupage medium over the tree, and the rest of the cookie sheet. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  11. Paint decoupage medium on the backs of the punched out numbers, and apply them to the bottom of the cookie sheet. Paint decoupage medium over the numbers. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  12. Allow decoupage medium to dry completely, then paint a second coat over the entire board, and allow it to dry. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar
  13. Once all the components of the advent calendar are dry, place one photo magnet on each of the numbers. On the first day of December, put the first magnet up on the tree, and repeat every day, until you’ve counted down to Christmas. Magnetic Photo Advent Calendar

Contributed by:

Heather Mann

Heather is the founder of craft blog and author of the book Craftfail: When Learn More

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