Are you looking for a last minute Advent calendar idea? There’s still time to make one. Last year I didn’t get ours up on the wall until about the third of fourth of December – R didn’t mind at all and we had an entire month to have fun with it so what’s a few days, give or take? If you’re looking for some inspiration, there are lots of lovely ideas on my Advent calendar Pinterest board. Yes, I love Advent calendars that much that I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to them. There’s lots of inspiration on that board, not just for the design of Advent calendars, but also ways to make the calendars less about chocolate and more about the true spirit of the holidays. One of these days, I’ll make one that looks like this gorgeous one, but for now, I’m taking the easy and “done-in-under-an-hour” route. That’s the beauty of advent calendars, even the most simple design can look beautiful and really, when it comes down to it you could put 25 potato sacks around the place and the little ones are still going to get excited!
The Advent calendar I’m sharing today is actually the one I made last year. I’ll post next week about the one I’ve made for this year. (You can interpret that to mean it isn’t quite finished yet and I’m behind schedule for the second year running if you wish. I’m not saying anything!) Since this was last year’s calendar, that means it was done before I started this blog, so please excuse the quality of the pics of the calendar on the wall. Those photos were taken for posterity, not Pinterest! 😉 This is a really quick and simple way to make an Advent calendar and I put it together in about an hour. Read on for the how-to.
Supplies for a simple DIY Advent Calendar
Brown paper bags (I used plain old sandwich bags from the supermarket)
Wooden clothes pegs
Ribbon or string for hanging
A festive stamp (or whatever decoration you wish to use)
Numbers (I downloaded these lovely ones from Skip To My Lou )
Contents for the bags (It’s a personal choice as to what you put inside the bags. See below for some ideas)
Two wall hooks (I used the removable ones with adhesive backing so that I wouldn’t have to drill holes in the wall)
How to make a simple DIY Advent Calendar
1. Prepare your bags. I folded my bags down to a smaller width. This was purely for design, and to be honest, it is entirely unnecessary. They just looked so much nicer that way. I’m a bit nuts like that sometimes. The next photo shows what I did to make them narrower – don’t miss it, it’s riveting stuff.
I turned the bags over so the “seam” of the bag would be on the back and then folded about 1.5 inches in on each side. I glued down the flaps, and voila! A nice narrow bag that I had searched high and low for but couldn’t find anywhere.
2. Decorate your bags. I decorated my bags very simply. I used a stamp with a gorgeous Nordic Christmas image – oh how I love Nordic designs at Christmas time. I then printed the numbers see download link in supplies list above), cut them out, and glued them to the front of the bags. That’s it, done. You could decorate these as simply or elaborately as you wish ad use colours to match your Christmas decor. You could even paint or write the numbers on the bags.
3. Fill the bags. Our bags are a mixture of ornaments for the tree, small treats like chocolate or jelly beans, small gifts such as stickers or crayons, and notes with a suggested Christmas activity such as “stay up late and watch a Christmas movie” or “Buy a gift to be donated to a children’s charity”. I’ll share more ideas for the contents of the bag in the post for this year’s calendar and I’ll update this post with a link.
4. Hang the bags. I folded over the top of the bags and then used wooden pegs to hang them up. I placed two hooks on the wall and hung two lengths of ribbon between the hooks. One of the strands of ribbon was slightly longer than the other so that one hung lower than the other. We needed two rows to fit all 25 bags. You could use ribbon like I did, or string, baker’s twine, fishing wire, anything at all that you have on hand. The picture below shows how I hung them – a simple removable clear plastic hook, with the ribbon tied around it.
So simple and lovely to look at. I always have so much fun deciding what to put inside the bags, and watching R literally RUN to the calendar each morning is just precious. The beauty of this calendar is that it’s recyclable. I kept everything from last year and we’ve been using the same bags again this year just for the first few days of December – just until I finish this year’s calendar. 😉
If this is your first time visiting One Perfect Day – welcome! If you like what you have found, please join us on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest or Twitter. We are always sharing new ideas to play, learn, create and explore.