Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar

Hi! Hello! Long time, huh? I’ve got a lot I’ve been meaning to share with all of you and a lot that I’m still trying to figure out for myself, but for now I have a quick (and time sensitive!) holiday project that I wanted to share. I’ve made a version of this family activity advent calendar for my family for the past five or so years. We use a felt advent calendar that I picked up from Target and I add tiny cards with all of our favorite holiday traditions, activities, and a few silly activities to keep things fun along the way. We also use a store-bought chocolate advent calendar, but this is a really nice way to spread out holiday-related activities throughout the entire month. My children love checking each envelope daily, and it helps me avoid Christmas burnout. Win win!

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar

To make a family activity advent calendar of your own, just grab the printable files below and print your preferred version (with or without text) on any light color cardstock paper. After printing, I used my paper trimmer to cut the edges off the paper, then used this one inch square punch to make the individual advent calendar insert cards. You could also totally cut them by hand. There are very light squares around each illustration to help serve as guides for scissors or paper trimmers. Then sort the individual cards into your own reusable advent calendar – you can also save and reuse the insert cards every year!

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar

I know some of you will have already started your Christmas decorating and activities over the Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m sure some of you will have your own family traditions to add. I made a version of the printable advent calendar with just the illustrations so you can add your own traditions and activities. Or if you prefer, you can use the version with text and pick your favorite activities and traditions to incorporate – there are 30 cards, so you should have at least five extra if you choose to use the version with text!

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar

Grab the printable files below:

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar (WITH text)

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar (NO text)

Printable Family Activity Advent Calendar

Illustrations © 2018 Riley Sheehey Printable advent calendar created exclusively for Oh So Beautiful Paper. All artwork is made available for personal use only. By downloading the advent calendar you agree to the terms of use.

Photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Online Art Classes We Can All Do At Home

Wildfield Paper Co Watercolor Swatches

Image via Wildfield Paper Co.

Hi friends. How are you all holding up? Hopefully everyone is safe and quarantining at home, and during these uncertain times I know some of us are looking to the arts to help us de-stress and pass the time at home. So for those of you looking for online art classes we can all do at home – primarily calligraphy, painting, illustration, and printmaking classes – I thought I’d share a few of my faves for you!


Written Word Calligraphy

Image via Written Word Calligraphy


  • Calligraphy is so meditative and therapeutic – and there’s so much you can do with it once you master the skill! After teaching more than a thousand students through sold-out in person workshops, Karla Lim from Written Word Calligraphy just launched her first online workshop! Karla worked really hard to make her in-person workshops completely virtual, with printable worksheets, notes for troubleshooting, group live sessions, private Facebook groups, and feedback from Karla to help students get where they want to be. Enrollment is only open until April 14 – sign up right here!



  • For those of you looking for a full introduction into all things calligraphy, I highly recommend the Modern Calligraphy Summit! There are two installments so far – Modern Calligraphy Summit 1.0 and Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 –and the classes including brush lettering, invitation design, envelope layouts, basic copperplate, writing on non-traditional surfaces, digitizing watercolor illustrations, and so much more! And as much as an in-person workshop would be totally amazing, it’s just as incredible to be able to learn from so many talented calligraphers from the comfort of your own home. The Modern Calligraphy Summit also includes handy templates and handouts, a private Facebook community to support you as you learn, and lifetime access to all the amazing content so you can go back and watch the videos as many times as you need to practice and get the hang of things. Enroll right here!


Carolyn Gavin

Image via Carolyn Gavin


  • For those of you who enjoy watercolor painting, the Watercolor Summit is right up your alley. Learn how to mix custom colors, paint landscapes and skies, florals of every variety, and even animals with layers and depth with over sixteen hours of instruction from teachers like Jenna Rainey and Annie Mertlich of Wildfield Paper Co. The Watercolor Summit includes a list of recommended supplies, a private Facebook community, and lifetime access to all the course materials. There’s also a bonus pack just focused on Annie’s botanical paintings and a full second installment of the Watercolor Summit focused on gouache painting coming on May 11! Enroll right here!


  • If you already have all your supplies and want to learn how to paint specific kinds of flowers, a few of my favorite watercolor artists offer more detailed classes on their own channels. Watercolor artist Yao Cheng has several classes on Creativebug, while Jenna Rainey also has a ton of video tutorials on her YouTube channel, covering everything from anemones to peonies to leaves!




  • And since many of us are staying indoors these days, landscape painting could be a great way to remember our favorite places – or the places we plan to visit when it’s safe to travel! I’ve always been drawn to loose Impressionist-style landscapes. This landscape painting class uses oil paints, but you can totally follow along in acrylics or watercolor depending on your preference.



Katharine Watson

Image via Katharine Watson


  • I took a printmaking class back in college and absolutely loved it – I’ve been wanting to get back into it ever since, and I would love to teach my girls when they’re a bit older! I’m definitely signing up for this linoleum block printing class from one of my favorite printmaking artists, Katharine Watson and this monoprinting class from Courtney Cerutti.


  • I took a Suminagashi paper marbling class a couple years ago and it was SO fun – and incredibly meditative. My 6 year old took the class with me and also loved it, so it’s kid friendly for those of you with artistically-inclined kids! I was thrilled to find this online version that anyone can take at home. 


Happy learning everyone!

Let’s Dream Big, Fight Hard, and Win.

Dream Big, Fight Hard, and Win with Elizabeth Warren

Alright friends, now that primary season is officially upon us, let’s talk about presidential candidates (positive and constructive comments only, please). My friends and I talk a lot about this in person, but politics shouldn’t be something talked about in hushed circles since the policies of our elected officials affect ALL of us.

As you may know, I spent nearly ten years working for the federal government here in DC. My degrees are in economics and international diplomacy, and politics is part of my soul. I’ve been following each candidate closely and evaluating them based on their policies and vision for the future, and I’m all in for Elizabeth Warren

Here’s why: She’s empathetic and compassionate, and she truly understands how much people are struggling right now. She has big plans for fixing our broken economy and our democracy – including investing in public education, creating universal child care, expanding access to healthcare, pursuing anti-corruption reforms, and transitioning our economy to clean and renewable energy. She knows her stuff, knows HOW to get it done, and has a plan to pay for everything, including making the top 1% of the 1% put some of their resources back into the system. She’s the only candidate currently running that actually makes me feel HOPEFUL about the future when I listen to her talk. Gabby from Design Mom wrote a post with a whole list of reasons why she’s supporting Elizabeth Warren, and I agree with all of them!

Did you watch the democratic primary debate last night? I thought Elizabeth Warren’s performance was masterful. I’ve seen critiques that Warren was too angry, but to me she was prepared, effective, and assertive. I would honestly LOVE to have a president who is angry on our behalf at the way middle class families are getting squeezed by billionaires and huge corporations. And she’s been saying the same things for years – here’s a video from 10 years ago with Warren talking to voters about some of these exact same issues.

So what about you? Are you liking any candidates in particular? And yes, don’t worry, I’m planning to vote for whichever candidate gets the Democratic nomination. I like plenty of things about the other candidates, minus Bloomberg. Super Tuesday is coming up on March 3, and most state primaries will take place between now and April (text VOTER to 26797 to check your registration and get local election info!). It’s definitely time to start doing research and choosing your preferred candidates – from presidential candidates all the way down to state and local government candidates. You can find your local ballot over at Ballotpedia!

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, and I’m thinking about cocktails as we put the finishing touches on our holiday menu. I thought I would quickly share a few favorite holiday cocktail recipes in case you’re in the same situation! We’ve got a few punch recipes, some wine-based cocktail recipes, a couple coffee cocktails, and more. Enjoy!

Holiday Cocktail Recipe Ideas

Punch Recipes

Okay, let’s start with the punches – the large batch cocktails that will keep everyone happy throughout the night. Our Spiced Winter Punch is one of our favorite recipes and can be made with vodka, rum, gin, or whiskey, you can go traditional with a Hot Rum Punch, or mix things up with a tequila-based (!!) Yuletide Punch. If you’re feeling extra theatrical, you can light the Charles Dickens Punch on fire before drinking (please be extra careful). Fish House punch is just a rather strange name for a Caribbean rum punch, while Allspice Punch is warm and spicy.

Spiced Winter Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Spiced Winter Punch

Allspice Punch Cocktail RecipeCharles Dickens Punch Recipe by Liquorary

Allspice Punch // Charles Dickens Punch

Traditional Hot Rum Punch

Rum Punch Holiday Cocktail RecipeYuletide Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Fish House Punch // Yuletide Punch

Wine Cocktails

If you’re not super into spirits, try a mulled wine for the holidays! We love a good Swedish Glögg, which is basically a bottle of wine thrown together with whatever spirits and spices you might already have on hand. We made ours with brandy and white port, but you could easily go with rum, whiskey, or just about anything else. Same goes for the Mulled Winter Sangria, which can be served warm or over ice!

Swedish Mulled Wine Glogg Recipe / Hygge Cocktail Ideas

Traditional Swedish Glögg

Mulled Winter Sangria Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mulled Winter Sangria

Warm Coffee Cocktails

Warm cocktails are perfect for cold winter nights, and couldn’t we all use the extra energy from a bit of black coffee?? Our Spiced Irish Coffee and Scotch Coffee recipes are basically just variations on a theme, but we added cardamom and rosewater to the Irish coffee while the vanilla bean Scotch coffee has a smokey warmth that I really love this time of year. 

Irish Coffee Recipe / Liquorary x Bushmills

Spiced Irish Coffee

Scotch Coffee Cocktail Recipe

Vanilla Bean Scotch Coffee


If you’re looking for crowd-pleasing small batch cocktail recipes to make over the holidays, these two vanilla-bean smashes – the Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash and Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash – are my absolute favorites. Even if you don’t think you like Scotch or Bourbon, you’ll love these drinks. Promise!

Bourbon Pear Vanilla Bean Cocktail Recipe

Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash Recipe

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash

Happy holidays everyone!

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphed Stationery Inspiration

A bit of dark and moody stationery inspiration is kind of perfect for winter, don’t you think? Embrace the coziness of shorter winter days and the sparkle of the holiday season with some romantic black, white, and gold calligraphed stationery inspiration from Kristin at Lustre Theory – featuring the gorgeous calligraphy of Seniman Calligraphy and dreamy handmade paper from Fringe & Rose. You’ll find a few of my favorite things in this inspirational suite, from beautiful gold wax to a moody floral envelope liner and shimmery gold ink on black envelopes. So pretty!

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

From KristinI wanted to create stationery inspiration that was dark and whimsical but still had romantic tones to it. Almost gothic in style. The styling of this suite was very important to give it those mysterious moody vibes. I used black linen fabric for the background but chose an off white cheese cloth to add texture and help the black paper pieces stand out more.

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

The cotton rag paper is handmade by Fringe and Rose. I chose this particular paper because of its loose uneven edges and textured surface. The wax seals are messier than you might normally see, with drops and dribbles. I just let the wax burn right off the stick and drip directly onto the paper and ribbon, creating those black flecks you see in the gold.

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

If you look close enough you’ll see the script text on the cotton paper pieces is a quote from “The Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allan Poe – because, details!

“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
The Tell-Tale Heart – By Edgar Allan Poe

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Romantic Black, White, and Gold Calligraphy Stationery Inspiration by Lustre Theory with Seniman Calligraphy on Fringe & Rose Handmade Paper

Thanks Kristin!


Stationery Design: Lustre Theory

Handmade Paper: Fringe & Rose

Envelopes: Cards & Pockets

Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy

Ribbon: Silk & Willow



Photo Credits: Lustre Theory