Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Grinch Advent calendar

by: Jo

Grinch Advent calendar
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Did you realize that most over-the-door shoe organizers have 24 pockets?  We didn’t either until we were looking for inspiration for Christmas ideas recently and noticed that a 24-pocket shoe organizer means a perfect Christmas Advent calendar. Adding the Grinch to it makes it extra fun!

To create a calendar like ours, you will need to make sure the organizer you select has clear pockets, and those pockets are large enough to fit 4″ x 9-1/2″ cards. Our organizer was clear on the back, too, so we covered the back with a piece of fleece in Grinch green.  We placed the organizer on top of the fleece and cut around it to size. 

Then, we used a glue gun to adhere the fleece to the back.  Since the organizer was so long, we had to use two pieces of fabric.  Hiding the seam was easy though — we just put it behind one of the horizontal white lines.

Then we used thin, red ribbon to cover the white lines that criss-crossed the shoe organizer. 

The final touch was adding a faux fur trim across the top of the pockets to mimic the fur trim on the Grinch’s Santa outfit.

Now that the organizer is all decorated, it’s time to add the cards! We’ve made this easy with our printable How the Grinch Stole Christmas story cards.


Grinch Advent Calendar Printable — $9.99
Contains 24 full-color, printable storybook PDF pages. Each printed card will measure 4″ x 9-1/2″.

Instant Download! You can download your files
from here immediately after your purchase is complete*.
Have questions? Email us at
* Files must be downloaded within one month, and can be downloaded a maximum of 3 times


Once you get your story all printed out on white cardstock, you need to attach the day numbers (1 through 24) to the back of the cards.  For my numbers, I used card stock in Grinch green and red and cut it with my Cricut machine.  I alternated the colors to make it a bit more fun.  If you don’t have a Cricut, you could buy stickers to do this or paint them or draw them on with markers.  Whatever you want!  I just made sure to center the numbers and attached them with a tiny bit of glue.

I want these cards to last a long time, so I laminated them to protect them, then I trimmed off the excess plastic.

The front (story side) of the cards were so neat to look at just on their own.

Then I put them in the holder, with the number side showing and the story hidden. The story will be revealed a little each day, but for now you should just see the numbers. We’re all set for the start of the big Christmas countdown!

To get started with the calendar, wrap up a little gift for each day and stick it in a pocket. Then each day of December, the kids will open the presents in the pocket and then flip over that day’s story card. To help keep track of which day you’re on, you can add a Grinch doll and keep him in the current day’s pouch. It’s not necessary, but I think it adds just that bit of extra oomph! He looks all Grinchy hanging out, don’t you think?  As Christmas draws closer, you get to read and see more of the story, the kids get to open their little presents, and the Grinch gets a little closer to having his heart swell to three times its size.

I think it looks super cute even without the presents but look at how much cuter it is with the presents and your Grinch doll marker!

This idea can be adapted to any theme you want. We think A Charlie Brown Christmas would be super cute as well. Or, if you start with a more natural-looking canvas shoe organizer, you could paint pine cones and cardinals all over it for a rustic look and put the numbers on the front of the pockets.

You may also want to check out our Grinch party printables to help complete your Grinch-style Christmas celebration.

Grinch Advent calendar
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36 comments so far:

  • 1
    Baye 11/10/2010 at 4:12 pm

    This is such a great idea especially moving the plushy Grinch along with the days. Love those Cricut numbers, too. The shapes are so Dr. Seuss-ish. Congrats of the win for this idea! Well deserved.

  • 2
    Jo 11/10/2010 at 4:32 pm

    Thank, Baye. However, we came in second on this one by a nose!

  • 3
    Jodi 11/11/2010 at 11:31 am

    I love the Grinch and I love this idea! I might have to make one for me and one for my friend’s kids.

  • 4
    Lisa 11/11/2010 at 1:11 pm

    This is SOOOO cute!! Love it!

  • 5
    janiece 11/12/2010 at 4:46 pm

    What a cute idea…thank you for sharing.

  • 6
    Julie 11/14/2010 at 7:20 pm

    Love this idea!!! I’m thinking of making them as teacher gifts!

  • 7
    Jennifer 11/15/2010 at 12:22 pm

    How did you do the pages of the book? Did you put more than 1 page on each day? Like did you combined 2 pages into 1 card?

  • 8
    Rebecca 11/15/2010 at 8:32 pm

    Cool idea! I dug that same door sorter out of my closet and am going to make one for my classroom. I may go with a Twas the Night Before Christmas Theme though. Thanks!

  • 9
    Jo 11/15/2010 at 11:53 pm

    Jennifer, sometimes we did combine two pages into one card because there wasn’t a lot of text there. If you flip through the book, you will see sections that can be combined easily. For instance, the whole time he is in Cindy’s house, the pictures are pretty much the same so we combined all the text into two days. I hope that helps!

  • 10
    Pam 11/16/2010 at 8:13 pm

    Hooray! I finished mine. The theme is “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”. THANKS so much for the inspiration! My nieces are going to love it. I even found a Kris Kringle plushie on eBay for the placeholder! I used red felt on the back, white furry trim around the outer edges, and white pom pom trim on the pockets. What a fun project!

  • 11
    Jo 11/16/2010 at 10:08 pm

    Pam, love the theme! We would love to see a picture. You can email us one or add it to our Flikr group.

  • 12
    Asha 11/17/2010 at 7:12 am

    This is the best advent idea I’ve seen in a long time!! I’m excited to do it!

  • 13
    Pam 11/19/2010 at 5:50 pm

    I put a few pictures on the Flikr group (my screen name is magnifisweets.) Thanks again for the idea! So fun!

  • 14
    Julie 11/19/2010 at 8:19 pm

    What Cricut font did you use? I LOVE it!

  • 15
    Jo 11/19/2010 at 10:17 pm

    Pam, this is beyond fabulous! You make me want to make even more Advent calendars! Readers, make sure you take a look to see how she cut up her book to make the cards for the pockets. So cute!

  • 16
    Jo 11/19/2010 at 10:21 pm

    I used the Storybook cartridge. Thanks!

  • 17
    Brittany 12/06/2011 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful advent calendar idea! Thanks too for stopping by my blog to check out the one I made and leave a comment ^_^.

  • 18
    Penny 11/12/2012 at 1:57 am

    What size of card fits in each slot? (I’m lazy!) lol

  • 19
    Chica 11/12/2012 at 9:06 am

    Penny, each organizer is going to be different, so our measurements will probably not work on yours. I’m afraid you’re going to have to measure your pockets yourself :)

  • 20
    Dawn 11/29/2012 at 11:20 am

    This is absolutely adorable! Oh my stars! My girl LOVES the Grinch — so perfect!

  • 21
    Susan 07/09/2013 at 11:09 am

    I appreciated the link for the shoe organizers. Do you remember which one you used? It appears that not all of them are clear on the back and I would like the grinch green to show through!

  • 22
    Chica 07/10/2013 at 7:00 pm

    Susan, we’re not sure which one we used exactly, but this one looks clear on the back, especially in the customer-added photo.

  • 23
    Susan 07/15/2013 at 11:34 am

    I am having so much fun creating this project! Thank you so much for the fabulous, creative idea! Also, thank you for the links – I picked up a Grinch banner and can’t wait until the holidays! The ready made story cards makes this so much easier. I really appreciate you sharing those for free. I know they must have taken a lot of time. I am making these for each of my five children so I opted to go with the cheapo white shoe organizers at WalMart that were $6.00. You were right, all the pockets are a slightly different size. If you are using the WalMart one, the measurements of 4 1/8″ x 10″ fit on mine. I have a Kodak Hero printer, and it gave me an option to print at a percentage of the original size (a feature I haven’t seen on my other printers) so I printed out the cards at 85% of the original size to make them fit on the smaller cards. I am so grateful for that feature or there would have been a lot of time spent at the copy shop making things the right size. To compensate for not having that cute green fabric peeking through (because mine has a white backing), I have covered the backs of each card with Grinch Green colored scrapbook paper that I had on hand. You guys really inspired me and got my creative juices flowing again! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • 24
    Chica 07/15/2013 at 8:09 pm

    Sounds like you’re tackling this project head-on, Susan. Glad to hear you’re making such good progress and enjoying it, too!

  • 25
    Susan 08/03/2013 at 2:51 pm

    Sorry to be such a pest here, but any ideas on where to pick up a cute little Grinch like yours? I’ve almost gotten all mine done, but need to find a little Grinch guy! I hear Kohls has them around Christmas, but the ones I’ve seen of past years of theirs don’t have the santa suit, and look too large to fit in the pockets. I’m hoping there will be lots of them out closer to Christmas, but if you know of anyplace they can be purchased now, I’d sure be grateful. I am sending one of these to Taiwan where my son is doing humanitarian work and I have to ship it in October to get there in time!

  • 26
    Chica 08/05/2013 at 8:47 am

    Susan, you’re never a pest! Here’s a link to some plush santa Grinch dolls available on Amazon. Hopefully one of them will work for you.

  • 27
    Susan 08/11/2013 at 7:07 pm

    THANK YOU!!!!! You are amazing!

  • 28
    Tracie 08/24/2013 at 5:41 pm

    I am gathering all my supplies right now to do my Grinch calendar and I was wondering if you could confirm a measurement for me? How wide was the faux fur you used? the smallest size I can find is 1″ wide is this correct?

  • 29
    Chica 08/25/2013 at 1:48 pm

    Tracie, we did indeed use 1″ faux fur trim. Have fun with your calendar!

  • 30
    Alexa 11/24/2013 at 9:00 pm

    Love, love this idea!!!! I think I may do one for my classroom AND my daughter! Would you mind sharing what some of the gifts in each pouch? ;-)

  • 31
    Chelsie 08/07/2015 at 10:45 pm

    I love this idea!! Do you know about what size your grinch doll is?

  • 32
    Jo 08/11/2015 at 12:59 pm

    Chelsie, he’s about 6 inches tall.

  • 33
    Kelly 11/19/2016 at 5:50 am

    I am making my own grinchy calendar..except I couldn’t find the faux white trim…I was however able to find fuzzy grinchy green trim.

  • 34
    Jo 11/21/2016 at 10:20 am

    We would love to see a picture when you finish! Please share and tag us on your social or email us!

  • 35
    Kelly 11/22/2016 at 12:47 pm

    Think I figured out Flickr…this should be a link to the pic of my calendar! :-)

  • 36
    lindsey 11/15/2017 at 10:37 pm

    Love this idea. Im going to start this tradition with My 2 and 1 yr old boys.

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