Cricut: How to Make a Traditional Iron-On Advent Calendar
Surprise your little ones with a personalised advent calendar this Christmas! With our brand new advent canvas panel ready to decorate, you can add custom names as well as your mini makers' favourite Christmas characters using a selection of Cricut iron-on vinyls.
Project and instructions by Kathi Smith.
Please note: This project contains paid-for content from Cricut's Design Space app. Screen reference images are taken from the Mac version of Design Space.
We made our advent panel using the Cricut Maker. However, this project can also be made on the Cricut Joy and Explore Air 2.
If you'd like to create this project as we have, make sure to use the project link located at the bottom of this post.
You will need
How to make
Open the Cricut Design Space app and open a blank canvas. Switch units to 'Metric' under Canvas Settings.
Click on 'Text' menu in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen and search for the font 'Creative Memories Cheerful Season' and insert.
Type your chosen names into the text box that appears on-screen, then click on 'Edit' and change the cut colour to red and the width to 30cm.
Click on the 'Shapes' menu and insert a square.
Change the cut colour to beige and resize to 9 x 10cm.
Top Tip: You will need to unlock the shape by clicking on the padlock icon. Make sure to lock the shape after you've amended the size.
'Duplicate' the square 23 times (you will need 24 in total). This will create your template for the advent calendar design.
Place your names at the top of the canvas out of the way.
Click on the 'Images' menu and search for your Christmas imagery; I searched for Candy Cane, Snowflake, Christmas Tree, Santa and Penguin, and also looked in the Christmas category folder. There are so many to choose from, so you can really get creative!
Images that have been selected can be seen at the bottom of the screen. Click insert once you have selected all of your images.
Once your images have been inserted, you can play around with the layers, colours and size. For example, I removed the red and grey layers from this Christmas Tree as I wanted a simpler design. Simply click on the layer and hide or delete it.
For the numbers on the advent calendar, I used three fonts.
Click on the 'Text' menu and search for the font 'Elfie', insert and type a number.
Click on the 'Text' menu again and search for the font 'Creative Memories Cheerful Season'. Insert and type a number.
Select the 'Text' menu one final time and search for the font 'Creative Memories Tiny Treasure'. Insert and type a number.
Start filling in your design template. I started at the bottom with a Santa image and the number 24 in the Elfie font.
Continue filling in the design, mixing and matching the number fonts and sizes along with the imagery.
For some of the squares, I attached the number and image together as I wanted them to be cut from one colour of iron-on vinyl. To do this, select both elements and click 'Attach' in the 'Actions' menu.
Once you are happy with the design, make sure you sync the colours. You can do this by clicking on each individual layer and changing the cut colour or by clicking on Sync.
Once this is complete, hide the squares as these don't need to be cut, then click 'Make It'.
Once through to the mat preview screen, check each mat, making sure they are mirrored.
Top Tip: Any of the elements on the mat can be moved around so that they sit closer together. Simply drag and drop where you want them. This enures a more economical use of your iron-on vinyl. Just make sure none of the shapes overlap at all.
Follow the on-screen instructions to cut out the pieces.
Trim your iron-on pieces around the cut shapes and numbers and carefully weed the negative.
Arrange your pieces onto the advent calendar, matching it to your design on Design Space.
Set your EasyPress 2 (you can aslo use the Mini EasyPress) timer to 30 seconds and 170 degress Celsius.
Pre-heat the calendar pocket for 5 seconds before placing the iron-on, then press the design into place for 30 seconds using the timer. Once the time has reached zero, carefully turn over the advent calendar and press for another 15 seconds on the reverse.
Leave to cool, then remove the clear carrier sheet when it is warm to the touch (do not do this any earlier).
Continue working in this way until all of the Everyday Iron-On pieces of your design are applied to the advent panel.
Top Tip: Start by applying the iron-on vinyl to the bottom pockets first, then apply any layers separately.
Reset your EasyPress2 for the foil iron-on vinyl. The temperature should be 145 degrees Celsius, and the timer set to 30 seconds.
Preheat the area where you wish to apply the design for 15 seconds, then apply the foil iron-on and press for 30 seconds, then turn over the advent panel and press for a further 15 seconds.
Press and peel off the plastic carrier sheet once cold.
Continue applying the foil iron-on until you have added all of the pieces.
Top Tip: Protect the rest of your already applied pieces by layering a piece of discarded iron-on carrier sheet over the top.
Your advent calendar is then ready to hang and fill ready for the start of December.