Advent calendars are a fun way to build anticipation as you look forward to Christmas. This year, I wanted to create an advent calendar that marked a moment in time, and allowed my children and I a chance to be creative. This handprint tree will help you remember the little hands that are so eager to help during the holiday season. Your children will love spending a few minutes each day filling up their handprint tree, and counting down to Christmas with you.

Here is what you’ll need to create your handprint advent calendar:

green cardstock paper

Assorted Christmas scrapbooking papers

Magnetic strips (I cut individual pieces from a roll of magnetic tape.)

Glue stick

Die-cut machine and/or scissors

Black marker

1. Trace your child’s handprint onto green paper. I used several shades of green to create visual interest. Using the handprint template, cut out multiple copies of your child’s hand. The amount of handprints you will need will depend on the size of your child’s hand and the size you wish your final product to be. You will want at least 25 handprints, to have room for all of the ornaments.

2. Glue the handprints together to create the shape of a Christmas tree. It works well to follow the basic pyramid form, slightly overlapping each new layer. I recommend laying out your handprints first, prior to gluing them together to ensure you have enough handprints, and to give you  a general sense of how you’d like your finished product to look. Play around with it.


3. Using a die-cut machine, cut out shapes to create 25 ornaments. If you don’t have a die-cut machine, trace cookie cutters or draw and cut basic shapes by hand. I used a variety of Christmas themed scrapbooking paper, and layered my ornaments using varying sizes and papers to create more interesting pieces. Be creative and enjoy the process. Remember that you aren’t submitting your work for Martha Stewart’s approval. Create ornaments you and your children love. There are no mistakes in art.

4. Attach a magnet to the back of each ornament. If you don’t wish to re-use your advent calendar, you can skip this step, and simply glue the ornaments onto the tree each day, or use tape/sticky tack.


5. Write the numbers 1-25 on the tree. I chose to write my numbers at random, as my children enjoy searching for the correct number. Random numbers also help develop number recognition.


Each day, allow your child to select one ornament to place on the handprint tree. As the days pass, your tree will fill with beautiful handmade ornaments.




Enjoy counting down to Christmas with the ones you love.