Holiday journaling is a great way to add Yuletide cheer to your routine. I added Christmas stamps, hand-lettered quotes, and family photos to create this festive DIY advent calendar and memory keeper.
Holiday Journaling: DIY Advent Calendar and Memory Keeper
This post has been a few days in the making! I started my holiday journaling during Planvember, and you all helped my brainstorm during the Facebook Live videos. I promised I would show you the finished product, so here it is!
I’ve included the video below, or if you prefer, you can simply skim this post for all the supplies I used. As promised, I’ve also included close-up photos of my finished pages. Enjoy!
Facebook LIVE Replay
If you missed the live session on my Facebook page, you can watch the replay below. Follow my page and turn on your notifications, so you don’t miss these virtual journaling parties in the future! After the live, I added some red glitter washi tape and finished up the lettered phrases.
12 Days of Christmas Journal Pages
During my live journaling sessions on Facebook, you all requested a journal advent calendar. I experimented with a couple of way to make that happen, but I decided I wanted something that could double as a memory keeper.
When I was a kid, my sister and I had chocolate Advent calendars. Yes, the really cheesy cardboard ones with waxy chocolate. We weren’t picky! I couldn’t wait to open a window each night to see what the candy would be shaped like. I may not be able to fit chocolates into my journal, but a few holiday quotes are a great way to sweeten the day.
Rather than including all the days leading up to Christmas, I decided to only make 12 windows for the 12 days of Christmas. You can adjust the size and number of cards to suit whatever holidays you celebrate.
- Rhodia Goalbook: You can use your favorite notebook. I only mention this here because I usually get a question about my notebook. I got this notebook at JB Welly (my favorite supplier), and it’s also available on Amazon.
- Assorted washi tape
- Christmas stamps from Life By Whitney and clear acrylic stamp blocks
- Tombow TwinTone planner pens and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners
- Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen (<—This pack has a sampling of the various tip styles, as well as a grey/black combo).
- Tombow MONO Drawing pen
- A ruler: I use Westcott craft rulers (12-inch and 6-inch), but any ruler will do.
- Circle and helix maker: I get asked about this little tool every time I use it!
- HP Sprocket: I use this little printer to add photos to my journal occasionally. It’s the most convenient way I’ve been able to find. I can print them right from my phone, and they’re already on Zink sticker paper!
How to Make a Journal Advent Calendar
A lot of this is explained in the video, but here’s a quick run through of the basics…
- Cut your doors: I used my HP Sprocket as a guide for sizing my paper flaps. You’ll see why in a bit. Use whatever size makes sense for you.
- Add doodles, fun quotes or hand-lettered holiday phrases: I stamped and lettered my flaps before taping them down. It’s just easier for me to work on a flat surface.
- Tape them down with washi tape: I added an outline underneath each door to help me place my photos correctly later on.
- Decorate as desired: You can really personalize this aspect of this spread according to your style. If you like a clean minimalist look, you can skip the color and use basic lettering styles. Just have fun and be you!
- Add your photos! I’m using my HP Sprocket to print photos straight from my phone (more on that later). It’s the most convenient option for me. You can use whatever photo printing method you’re most comfortable with.
Now, for those close-up photos I promised you…
Originally, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted photos or quotes under the cards. I had my heart set on both. During the live video, you all suggested using the back side of the card (seriously, why didn’t I think of that?). So, I adjusted my plan, left the boxes empty and added hand lettered quotes to the back of the card. This way, I can add family photos to the page under the flap and still see the festive word art!
With a blank window behind each card, I have spaces for 12 family photos (one each day during the 12 days of Christmas).
I haven’t figured out a way for my journal to dispense chocolate (I’ve got my best people working on it day and night, though), so I treated myself to some sweet Christmas-themed phrases.
On this particular card (photo above), I used a Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen to play around with some fun lettering.
Christmas Stamps + a Splash of Color
If I’m in a hurry (or focused on planning) I don’t use many extras. Still, every now and then I create a page just because I want to play with my fun supplies. This was definitely one of those times! Whitney (of Life By Whitney) sent me these super cute planner stamps, and I couldn’t resist them.
First off, these stamps designs are adorable! They’re quite small (just the right size for planning or creative journaling), and I was really happy with how clean the designs look.
Whitney’s stamps are made of clear photopolymer, so when you get them they’ll be on a single plastic sheet. Since they’re self-sticking, I used them with clear acrylic stamp blocks I already had on hand. I generally prefer these clear stamps because I can keep a variety of designs, but they take up much less space than wooden stamps.
You just peel a stamp from the sheet, stick it to the block and stamp away! When you’re done, you can put the stamp back on the plastic sheet for storage.
Of course, I had to add a touch of color, so I broke out my Tombow TwinTones (the photos shows the fine side of the pen). I also dug into my trusty Staedtler Triplus Fineliners for some of the light browns and peach tones (Santa, Rudolph, and the gingerbread boy).
Final Touches: Advent Calendar and Memory Keeper
So, I mentioned that I’m using my HP Sprocket to add photos to my journal pages. There are a few other companies that make these inkless photo printers. I can’t speak for the rest of them, but I’ve been very happy with my HP Sprocket. Don’t expect professional results out of these little guys, but they are one of the easiest ways to add photos to your smashbook, travel notebook, or everyday journal.
The Sprocket uses 2 in. x 3 in. Zink paper. That’s usually ideal for my journal, but for this spread it was too large. I took my photos into PicMonkey and collaged them so I can fit two photos on a single 2 x 3 sheet. Then I simply printed them and cut the sheets in half. They fit my boxes perfectly!
Now, I have this cute picture of Lola with her Christmas squeaker toy. Since my HP Sprocket prints on Zink sticker paper, I can peel the back off and slap it right into my journal. Scrapbooking has always been a challenge for me, but this makes it easier to add photos quickly. I can’t wait to fill my pages with this year’s family memories!
Do you create special holiday memory pages in your journal? Lists, photos, written reflections? I want to hear about all of them! Drop me a comment below with your ideas and tips…
Brainstorm with me!