Today I have a jump start on the holidays with a DIY Advent Calendar. If you're planning on doing one of these, you'll want to have it ready to go for December 1, so there's something to enjoy for every day leading up to Christmas. As one who likes to savor every bit of the holidays, an Advent Calendar is a fun way to draw out the festive feelings and the anticipation of the Christmas celebration. I've been doing an advent calendar for the past couple of years, and always just use activities as opposed to treats so that we can do something together as a family. But, I'll get to those in a minute. First, here's a look at our DIY advent calendar this year.
To get started, I ordered 25 cotton muslin bags on Amazon. They are $7.50 for a 25 count (4x6). I've ordered them before, so I had a few extra on hand in case I messed up. I searched high and low for iron-on numbers, but couldn't find what I had in mind, so I ended up printing the numbers on paper and then tracing them onto each bag with a paint pen. This didn't take too long, maybe one episode of The Voice.
Then I printed out our Advent Calendar activities and cut them to fit the scrapbook paper tags I made with my specialty tag punch.
I affixed the activities to the tags with washi tape.
Inside each bag is one activity tag and a few hershey kisses or candy cane.
I found this adorable easel-style chalkboard at Homegoods for $49 that makes a good display for our calendar. You could also use a foam board or art easel if you have one of those.
The bags are attached to the ribbon with mini clothespins. The ribbon is pinned to the back wooden side of the easel with thumb tacks.
I added little embellishment decorations from Wal-Mart to a few of the bags to make it more festive.
I made a bow from burlap ribbon I had on hand and hot glued it to the top. I learned how to tie a bow when I worked in a flower shop in high school and it's come in handy over the years.
If you wanted to do an Advent calendar, but with a little less effort, you could turn a shoebox into a decorative holder for the bags. I wrapped a box with pretty holiday paper from Target and then filled the box with faux snow and all of the bags. Much easier, but still really cute!
Below are the 24 activities we've stuck to the past couple of years. One thing to keep in mind with this type of calendar is to make sure that certain activities are put on weekend days, since it might be hard to visit Santa on a Wednesday, for instance. We love toffee here, so making it around the holidays is always something we look forward to. If you have a favorite dessert or thing to do with your family, include those! The point to to have fun with it, not to make it a stressful thing.
I can't wait to share this advent calendar with my son. He's gonna love it!