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How to Create an Awesome DIY Advent Calendar (with FREE printables!)

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

It’s the first Christmas post of the year! I just couldn’t wait any longer! By some standards, I’m early– Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet. By blogging standards, I’m kind of late! I’ve seen bloggers posting Christmas ideas for weeks now! This isn’t just any Christmas post, though. It is definitely one of my favorite Christmas posts of the year.

The 5 Key Elements of an Awesome DIY Advent Calendar

See, every year I make an Advent calendar for the Cs. It’s my not-so-subtle way of trying to get them to focus on preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, rather than just the inundation of toys that they always look forward to. 🙂 I started out just buying an Advent calendar from the store, but then one year I couldn’t find any that I liked, so I made one. Well, after that there was no turning back– it has kind of become a fun challenge to think up something new and different every year! But though I may use different materials each year, I quickly figured out that the elements of an awesome DIY Advent calendar are pretty much the same. Here’s the list I use when I begin to think up ideas for the Cs’ latest Advent calendar…

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

I start with 25 small vessels (1). These can be little boxes or bags or pails or whatever you can find that’s tiny and holds stuff. {Very technical lingo, I know. 😉 } Then, because I’m crazy and can’t leave anything alone, I add embellishments (2)– washi tape, twine, stickers, glitter, modge podge, drawings– the sky is the limit! The kids can even help with this part! I then decide what to put in my newly decorated little vessels (3). I always add a verse from the Christmas story in the Bible and a little treat for the Cs, but you could also add an act of kindness, a fun activity, a little ornament, an encouraging note to your kids, etc. I number the containers, either with stickers or numbers I’ve printed from the computer or handwritten (4). And finally, I have to have a way to display the calendar (5). This could be as simple as setting all of the items on a special shelf. I have also done a clothesline, used a cork board, and used a little tub. With this formula, creating your own Advent calendar is SO simple, and it can even be a fun activity that the whole family can do together.

Our 2015 DIY Advent Calendar

So this year, with my checklist in mind, I headed off to Michael’s and roamed the aisles until I decided on my pieces. Here’s what I ended up using:

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

Putting the Advent calendar together was oh-so-easy!

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

I started with my mini take out boxes (1). Then I used washi tape to make them a little prettier (2). This took a little time, but it is a great mindless activity to do while you’re watching TV or hanging out with the family. {And when everyone helps it goes faster too! 🙂 } I then stuffed each box with 2 chocolate Kisses (one for each C!) and the day’s verse card (3), and wrapped them up, using the twine to attach the number (4). Then I just had to put them in my little tub, and I was done!

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Tip: My tub was a little too deep, so I padded the bottom with some crumpled up plastic shopping bags to help the boxes to sit up a little higher– easy fix!}

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

It really is so easy to make your own DIY Advent calendar, and truly, the sky is the limit with combinations and possibilities of materials! Oh and I’m going to make it even easier for you by giving you my Bible verse and number printables– you can download them below! {I print mine out on white card stock and just use scissors or a paper slicer to cut them out.}

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Click here to download FREE printable Bible verse cards for your Advent calendar!}

Our DIY Advent Calendar with Free Printables | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Click here to download FREE printable number cards for your Advent calendar!}

And if you’re looking for even more Advent calendar ideas {that also include free printables!}, you can see our Advent calendars from past years below…

A Gold and White Advent Calendar | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Our 2014 Gold and White Advent Calendar

Our 2013 Red and Green Advent Calendar | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Our 2013 Red and Green Advent Calendar

What Advent traditions do you have at your house? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! Have a wonderful day!

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

10 Comments

  1. favoredmom says:

    Wow what a fun idea!! :):) I’ll be pinning for sure! ; ) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this look! Thank you for sharing your great ideas and fun projects. Pinning this!

  3. Karen @ a house full of sunshine says:

    Sooooo cute!!! 🙂 xo

  4. Stephanie Rivera says:

    Thank you for this great idea. I will be printing and trying out this project. 🙂

  5. amandamtex says:

    Awesome idea! We’re currently making ornaments for a Jesse tree (a walk through of salvation history using ornaments and bible stories) but I had also wanted to do an Advent calendar, so thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Great Idea!! I pulled out my advent brown bags that I use every year and even though it’s the same decoration, every year is different – we have a nativity scene with 21 pieces that I distribute differently between the bags every year and then throughout the season, we take time each day to set up the nativity 🙂 And 3 bags are left over to add in a little treat for each of my 3 kids 🙂

  7. Wonderful! Your collection of Bible verses are just in time for my wall Advent ‘Calendar’ It’s only a slight wire frame and needed something light-weight, so these will do just the trick 🙂 BTW- I love your blog and the printables- thanks for all the lovely work you’re doing. Blessings!

  8. Jess @ Make and Do Crew says:

    What a cute advent calendar. I like your idea of wrapping something besides candy. I just posted a tutorial for my DIY Pottery Barn knockoff advent calendar.It was so fun to make!

  9. Love this so much, I’m doing it! Such a great idea – thanks for the printables, I think Peighton is at the perfect age to begin this! xoxo

  10. Lovely Decor (@lb_lovelydecor) says:

    That’s a great advent calendar!! I love it 🙂 Such a fun and cute idea to do with the family.

    We usually do Lindor advent calendars as that’s my favorite type of chocolate, but as of last year I found David’s Tea has one and my fiancé and I have been doing that (although he sticks with the chocolate)! So fun, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an advent calendar (I’m a sucker for tradition).

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    xx

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