A few years ago, I learned how to create my own advent calendar cards using Canva.com.
I made a “Names of the Savior” Christmas calendar, with 24 scriptures to help us focus on Christ each day as the holiday approached. It was a simple and meaningful way to help my two year old understand the true reason for Christmas. She got in the habit of reminding us each morning to “do the Jesus cards.” So, that was super cute.
And besides helping us welcome the holiday, creating these cards was a fun new skill for me to learn. I realized that it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d imagined it would be.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to use my previous template to create a new set of advent cards. “Reasons I Love You” for my husband.
Really, now that I have the template, the possibilities are endless.
If this sounds like an interesting project for you, I’ve included a tutorial below. It walks you through every step of the process – how to use Canva (linked here) and my advent calendar template (in google docs) – to create your own cards!
This may seem a little daunting if you’ve never used Canva before. But I promise, it’s really not hard at all!
I am absolutely not an expert, and I’m not very tech-savvy. So, if I can figure it out (and save you a couple of steps), you can definitely do it too!
*Note: You’re welcome to use my template in google docs as a starting point for your own designs. But the “Names of the Savior” cards should only be used for personal use, if that’s something you’re interested in. Do not use for commercial profit please.*
Open up canva.com, and the first thing you’ll see is this screen. You can either click on the “create a design” button in the top righthand corner, use the search bar, or scroll through the options under “you might want to try…”
For this project, I would just select the standard poster template (18″ x 24″).
Once the template is selected, your screen will show a blank document.
Start adding your own design. Only make the first two pages. (I’m going to show you how to duplicate the design for every page, so you don’t have to do it over and over again from scratch.)
*For an advent calendar, I like to use “wreath” clipart from the elements tab. And then I’ll add text to the center.
After you have your first two pages designed, click on the “grid view” button in the bottom righthand corner (that icon with little squares and a number) to show this screen:
Select the pages that you’ve completed by holding the shift key and clicking on both pages.
When you see that they’re highlighted, right click and choose “duplicate 2 pages.”
Ta-da! Now you have a copy of your first two pages, and you don’t have to try to recreate that design over and over again.
Follow the above step until you get the total number of pages you want for your advent calendar.
Close grid view (remember- the little square icon in the bottom right hand corner), and continue editing your pages.
Because you just set the design for every page, filling the rest in should be super easy.
Just delete the text you don’t want, and type up some new material in its place.
After every page of the advent calendar is complete, go back to grid view.
Now, we’re going to move your finished work into the advent calendar template.
Click the three little dots icon in the top right hand corner of your screen, and you’ll see this drop down menu. Select “download.”
Then, change the file type to “jpg”, make sure “all pages” is selected, and click “download.” (Unless you really want to, don’t worry about changing the size or quality settings)
After those images are downloaded, they’ll go into a zip file.
Unzip the file, and save your images in a folder where you’ll be able to find them easily.
Now, you’re going to use this link to download the advent calendar template from google docs:
Once you’ve clicked the link and opened the document, you’ll need to make a copy of the document to be able to edit it.
Under the “file” tab, choose “make a copy.”
After that, select an image by right clicking on it, and choose “replace image” and “upload from computer.”
Go find your new image from wherever you saved it (this is why you wanted to save it somewhere it would be easily found) and select it.
Continue replacing images until you have your new advent calendar completely inserted, and delete any extra images that are left over from the original “Names of the Savior” template.
*Something to note: The images on the reverse side should have a black border, while the front side images do not. This is to help you have a guide for cutting the cards out later. You’re welcome to remove that border, but I’d recommend keeping it, just to make your life a bit easier.
You should end with something that looks like this:
Awesome! You created your own advent calendar!
When you’re ready to use it, save the document as a pdf. This will help your document to stay locked in the correct format.
Then, print your pdf in double-sided format.
Cut along the black lines, and you’ll have your beautiful new advent cards, ready for use!
Enjoy creating your own advent calendar cards. Whether you need something fun for the holidays, some customized cards, or could use this template for another purpose, this tutorial should help you easily navigate Canva and create an original work.
What are you going to make? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!