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Hanging Advent Calendar

(In the spirit of full disclosure, there may be affiliate links in this article, which means that I may get a tiny commission if you decide to purchase anything through those links. I only recommend products & services that I would use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.)

Maybe as a kid, you had a sweet Advent Calendar that had a piece of candy / chocolate behind every door. Or maybe it even had a sweet toy. This year I was wanting to incorporate some of those traditions, without all the extra pressure or work of coming up with items to include in each day. I had seen a few Hanging Advent Calendars and thought I'd put my own vintage twist on it.

At the end of this post, you'll find a Facebook Live video where I explain the entire process of making your own. In the meantime, I've outlined the steps for you, too.


Old Window

Red Chalk Paint - I used Amy Howard Charming Red

White Chalk Paint - I used Amy Howard Bauhaus Buff

The trick to making this Hanging Advent Calendar, is that you'll be painting the calendar and the wording on the back of the window. That way, you can use a Dry Erase Marker to check off the days of the week.

I was able to get the "Merry Christmas" and the "Days Until Christmas" as complete SVG cut files on Etsy. Why reinvent the wheel, right? The files are available for personal and commercial use. Once you purchase them on Etsy, you can go to your download file and import them into your computer. I removed some of the layered elements. You can use them however you'd like.

You can either use a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo cutting machine for this project. Import these files into your program and then measure your Window. You'll want to scale your SVG files to fit on the glass of your Window.

Once you've determined the size and scaled each file, you'll want to cut them on your Cutting Mat. (By the way, my favorite vinyl to use is Oramask 813.) The trick, however, is that you need to cut the files in a Mirror image. Remember that you're painting the back of the Window. Reversing the image is the only way for this Hanging Advent Calendar to work.

Once you've cut your images, you'll want to Weed the actual letters and numbers out of the vinyl. (I use an Exacto Knife to do this.) The Oramask 813 is blue, so you can see in the above photo where I've taken out the numbers. Once you're done, apply our Transfer Tape to the vinyl. Squeegee it firm to the vinyl and then remove it from the Cutting Mat. Do this for the "Merry Christmas" and the "Days Until Christmas" files.

Flip your Window over and work on the back of the glass. Use a ruler and determine where you want each piece to be placed. You could use Painter's Tape to use as guides. Remove the backing paper from the back of the Oramask and place your Vinyl on the glass.

Be careful. It's going to stick quickly because the glass is a non-porous surface. Make sure you know exactly where you want to put it and that it's flat and straight. Once it's in place, use a Squeegee (I use a pot scraper, but you could also use a credit card) to make sure there are no bubbles. At that point, you can remove the Transfer Tape. Smooth out all wrinkles and bubble that will affect getting clean lines.

Now you're ready to paint. I used Amy Howard Charming Red for "Merry Christmas" and Amy Howard Bauhaus Buff for the "Days Until Christmas". It doesn't matter what brand you use, but make sure it's a Chalk-like Paint. Acrylic or Latex paints won't work on the glass. You need something that will stick to the surface.

Paint each section generously. You might need a couple of coats in some areas. There's no need to use thin coats, though. Just make sure it's smooth. The Chalk Paint should dry fairly quickly, within 20-30 minutes.

Once it's dry, you can remove the vinyl. Use the Exacto Knife to clean up or scrape off any paint that might have run or smeared. Then turn the Window to the front side and you're done! If you need some type of Hanger, I'd recommend Self-Leveling Picture Hooks or a D-Ring.

You can use a Dry Erase Marker on the front of the Window to mark off the days until Christmas.

I'm so pleased with how this project turned out. The kids have been excited taking turns checking off the days, too. We'd love to see your finished pieces, too. Email them to us at

You can learn more about how I put this Gallery Wall together and where I found all the pieces for it here on our Blog.

Here is also the Facebook Live video where I explain the process, too. Don't mind the pixelated image at the beginning. Gotta love technology. :)



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