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Our DIY Advent Calendar (with FREE Printables!)

Learn how to make to your own printable Christian advent calendar using these free printables and a few other supplies!

a DIY advent calendar hanging on the wall with text overlay

Every year, the Cs get so excited about counting down to Jesus’ birthday! In the past, I have just purchased the pre-made cardboard advent calendars with the little doors that open for each day. The ones we’ve used had a verse on each flap and a little piece of chocolate inside, which the Cs were over the moon about, of course.

This year, though, I had trouble finding one that I liked, so I did what any good little blogger would do… I made my own! This was really super simple to make. The part that took the longest was the printables, and I’m giving those to you for FREE, so it will be easy peasy!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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How to Make Your Own Advent Calendar Step-by-Step

Advent Calendar Supplies

  • 1 1/2″ circle punch (or scissors)
  • Small white paper sacks (found at Michael’s)
  • Christmas-y washi tape (or other decorative items)
  • Ribbon
  • Tape
  • Clothespins
  • Chocolate of choice
  • Scrapbook paper + numbers printable (provided below)
  • White card stock or business card paper + verses printable (provided below)
supplies needed to make a printable advent calendar

1. Print out the numbers.

To give you an idea of where we’re headed, each little white bag will be decorated and include a number (for the date) on the outside. Inside each bag will be a card with a verse from the Biblical Christmas story and chocolate (if you so choose).

candy and Bible verses printed to go in the advent calendar bags

The first thing I did to start my advent calendar was to print out the numbers that would go on the outside of each little bag.

I printed the even numbers on green scrapbook paper and the odd numbers on red scrapbook paper, but you can print them on whatever you want! The sky is the limit!

all of the numbers cut out on scrapbook paper for the christian advent calendar

Click here to download the free printable Advent Calendar Numbers!

2. Hole punch the numbers.

Once I printed them, I used my 1 1/2″ circle punch to punch them out. If you don’t have that particular punch, you could just use scissors and cut them out in squares.

3. Print out the Bible verses and cut.

Next I printed out the daily verse cards that will go in each bag. They are spaced to fit on the Avery Business Card Template, so if you have the business card sheets, you can just print on those and they will be really easy to tear apart on the perforations.

I didn’t have any of the business card paper at home, so I just printed mine on white card stock and used my paper slicer to cut them out (scissors would work too, of course). It took a bit longer but got the same result.

Bible verses printed on white cardstock to go in the advent calendar

Click here to download the free printable verse cards!

4. Decorate.

 Once I had everything printed and cut, it was time for the fun part– decorating!! I used washi tape in all different configurations to decorate the outside of the little white bags. I taped a number to each one, and they were ready to go!

the decorated advent calendar pouches laid on and numbered

While I had my washi tape out, I decided to add a little bit to each of my clothespins that I would be using to hang the little bags, just to give them an extra special touch!

decorated clothespins to use with the calendar

By the time I finished my decorating, the Cs had woken up from their nap, so they helped me stuff each bag with the appropriate verse card and two pieces of chocolate (one for each C), and we were ready to hang them.

5. Hang the advent calendar.

These little bags were the perfect size to fit 2 of the Dove chocolates, but if you have more kiddos, I would recommend moving to the next size up!

I just used silver curling ribbon to hang our bags, doubled up for a little bit of extra strength.

I think they make a nice addition to our Christmas shelf decor, and the Cs are counting down the days until they can start opening them!

our advent calendar hanging under shelves decorated for Christmas
Close up of one of the scriptures pinned on the outside of the bag

Bible Verses for Advent Calendars

Once we open each little bag, my plan is to leave the verse card from each day hanging on the ribbon so that by the time we get to Christmas, we will have the whole Christmas story written out on our wall.

Here are the scriptures we used on our printables. If you would like to use the same, they can be printed here.

Day 1: Luke 1:26-27 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Day 2: Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.

Day 3: Luke 1:29-30 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary;
YOU have found favor with God.

Day 4: Luke 1:31 YOU will conceive and give birth to a son, and YOU are to call him Jesus…

Day 5: Luke 1:32-33 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High The Lord Cod will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.

Day 6: Luke 1:35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on YOU, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Day 7: Luke 1:28 I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled Then the angel left her.

Day 8: Luke 2:1-2 In those days Caesar AUglJStUS issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

Day 9: Luke 2:3-4 And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David

Day 10: Luke 2:5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

Day 11: Luke 2:6-7 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Day 12: Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

side view of the DIY hanging advent calendar

Day 13: Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

Day 14: Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people…

Day 15: Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Day 16: Luke 2:12 This will be a sign to you: YOU will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Day 17: Luke 2:13-14 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

Day 18: Luke 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.

Day 19: Luke 2:16-18 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Day 20: Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured UP all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Day 21: Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising. God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Day 22: Matthew 2:9-10 [The Magi] went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed.

Day 23: Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh.

Day 24: John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I think it will be fun to look back on the different days with the boys and review the story and really keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas as we prepare for the big day.

It’s hard to believe that it isn’t very far off now and will be here before we know it! But not before we spend Thursday giving thanks for all that God has given us. And we truly have been blessed!

DIY Advent Calendar: Frequently Asked Questions

We love adding small chocolates, but other candies can be used. Small Lego pieces or craft supplies can be placed in each bag to make one creation at the end.

Yes! Feel free to use the same process above, except have the cutting machine to cut out the numbers. Cricut Access also has an advent calendar available if you are a member.

How do you help your kids prepare for Christmas?

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

61 Comments

  1. Ashley Rane Sparks says:

    SO cute! And thanks so much for the daily verse cards. It’s nice to have that info. in one place 🙂
    Blessings,
    Ashley Rane Sparks
    http://www.makeitrane.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing the printables!! I’ve been wanting to do an Advent wreath for a few years. I’ve been eyeing a few from Pottery Barn, and toyed with making my own. I love your idea of the verses and just two simple pieces of chocolate. It’s perfect and doesn’t look overwhelming.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Jenni! You are the sweetest! Have fun with your advent wreath!

      ~Abby =)

  3. ingrid@nowathomemom says:

    this looks like fun! you did a great job Abby with this advent calendar, I like it very much 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Ingrid! I bet it will be a fun holiday season with Nate this year! I’m sure he’s so excited! Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  4. LOVE this … especially the bible verses! It looks great with all your other Christmas decor! Happy Thanksgiving … and then Chrsitmas!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Katie! I pinned your cute advent wreath and people are going crazy over it! So many repins! Love it! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Corey @ Tinysidekick says:

    Love this Abby! Pinning and would love for you to come link it up at A Handmade Holiday Link Party going on right now on my blog TinySidekick.com. Hope to see you there!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Corey! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Thanks for the printables! I love that you have the verses together! I want to add an activity to each day for us to do as a family. My little one would love the chocolate too!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Ooh activities would be fun too! That’s a great idea! Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Dana!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Katie @ Made to be a Momma says:

    LOVE THIS! I want to make an advent calendar so badly, but I pushed it off until next year…Jacob will be a few months shy of 4 next year so I think he will appreciate it more then…pinning this for next year though! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, friend! Yes, the first few years I did it, Con mostly just understood that he got chocolate every day, and he loved that, lol! It’s fun to see him “getting it” so much more now. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  8. This is a wonderfully executed idea! Great job!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Renee! Hope you are doing well!

      ~Abby =)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Melissa! You are so sweet! Hope you are having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Carrie From Carrie This Home says:

    This is so cute and it looks like so much fun! I keep seeing this idea every year and telling myself I should do it. Maybe this will be the year! Thanks for sharing this idea and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You can do it! Lol. My kids are loving it! Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Carrie!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Aniko@PlaceOfMyTaste says:

    Its soo adorable.♥ I just created our Advent Calendar last week and turned out very cute too:-) Looking forward to the count down…Hopping over from link party palooza. Hugs

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aniko! I just popped over to see your advent calendar, and it is totally adorable! I love the colors you chose– so cheery and Christmas-y! Thank you so much for stopping by to check mine out as well! Enjoy the rest of your week!

      ~Abby =)

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  12. Thanks so much for the printable verses. They are perfect for our kids’ advent and very nicely formatted.

    Merry Christmas!

    -Evan

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Evan! I’m so glad they were helpful. Enjoy the rest of your week!

      ~Abby =)

    2. I wanted to add Bible story verses to a cute fabric advent calendar I found for my nephew’s family. I found your site with the free print outs. Perfect! You saved me a whole afternoon! Thank you – what a nice site & resources you offer. Merry Christmas < min

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Thank you so much, Min! I’m so glad it was helpful! Have a wonderful weekend!

        ~Abby =)

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  14. omg how beautiful, I really do love this and the added blessings are just too lovely for words.

    Gorgeous!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Miss Sarah! I just popped over to check out your advent calendar, too, and I love it! So beautiful hanging from the sticks! Thanks so much for stopping by– have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Kelly Carmichael says:

    Yes, I am actually doing your advent calendar tonight and I am soooo excited about it. I was wondering though why you only have 24 days instead of 25 like most advent calendars have? Is there anything special you do as in read on Christmas Day? Just curious. Thanks for all your stuff, I printed it off with no problems at all.

    Thanks,
    kelly

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Kelly! You are so sweet! I went back and forth between 24 and 25 since I had seen it both ways, but our tradition is to read the whole Christmas story before we open presents, and I figured my boys would be having enough chocolate/gifts to open that day already so I went with 24. Sorry if it messed up your plan! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  16. Thank you so much!! I love this!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks, Sarah! You are so sweet! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

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    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Dawn! I’m glad they worked for you! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  20. I love, love, love this! I’ve been looking for an advent calendar for a couple years and yours is just what I wanted. I love that you have made it so easy and I love the Bible verses! I wanted an advent calendar that had some meaning behind it, and this is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Lorna Armani says:

    Thank you for this delightful idea and the beautiful printables. After we made our own Advent tree using a tomato cage and lots of Christmas ribbons, we placed your precious verses inside organza bags and attached them to the tomato cage wire with numbered clothespins.

    We appreciate all you’re doing and wish you all the best as we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Many blessings,
    Lorna Armani

    1. justagirlabby says:

      That sounds beautiful, Lorna! So glad the printables were helpful! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  25. This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to get started!

  26. Hi! So cute! Love the verses! Maybe I missed this but do you leave a little token, gift or ornament with each verse? Looking for a list of ideas for these!

    Thanks!
    Leslie

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Leslie! We have just always done Hershey’s Kisses along with the verse! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Kelli frost says:

        Just found this..September 2016, plan on making 4sets for each family to have for this year’s countdown to Jesus’s Birthday.I. excited to start this now to give to them this Thanksgiving.
        Thank you for sharing..

        1. justagirlabby says:

          So glad it will be helpful for you, Kelli!

          ~Abby =)

  27. Kelli frost says:

    Just found this..September 2016, plan on making 4sets for each family to have for this year’s countdown to Jesus’s Birthday.I. excited to start this now to give to them this Thanksgiving.
    Thank you for sharing..

  28. Abby – thank you for these printable Advent numbers! We’ve been trying to find something like this for our Advent craft for Sunday School! Great crafts!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Awesome! So glad they will be helpful for you, Mary!

      ~Abby =)

  29. Great idea! I will try to make them this week.!
    Blessings!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! Glad it was helpful, Samantha!

      ~Abby =)

  30. Thanks so much for sharing your idea so many years ago. I decided I wanted a DIY advent this year and after a lot of research I loved your daily verse cards and decided to use them with the kiddos. We did day 1 tonight 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, Ty! Enjoy your weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  31. James Grainger says:

    Thank you very much Abby. i wanted to try and teach my daughter a little about why we have an advent calendar besides somewhere to stuff chocolates into. This is perfect. Its not always easy for a guy to make these things so i very much appreciate you taking the time and then uploading this for free. Thank you again and may God bless you with peace and joy.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, James! Have fun with your daughter! Merry Christmas!

      ~Abby =)

  32. This is the perfect accompaniment to a book advent calendar I’m making for my great nephew and niece as some books are Christmas themed but others not so much as I want them to be enjoyed year round. This way they get a gift of the Word each day even if the book is about animals, friendship etc.
    So thankful Pinterest lead me to you

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Lisa! Have a great week! <3

      ~Abby =)

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