DIY over the door Advent Calendar.

My family never did advent calendars when I was growing up.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I even had an inkling of what they were all about.  For the last couple years, I've planned to either buy or make one for the boys, but I could never find one I loved and other things took crafting priority.

I decided this year would be the year for the advent calendar, though, and I poured over Pinterest for just the perfect idea.  

I never really found one I LOVED, but I did find several that would work, so I tentatively chose a design, but the downside of it was that it was going to require my power tools, some wood cutting, a lot of painting, and a LOT of time.  Which, by the way, is running out fast.

Then one night I fell asleep and dreamed about advent calendars and when I woke up, I had the idea of what I would do fully formed in my mind.  Now I'm pretty sure I must have run across several of these when I was looking for ideas, but it literally came to me in a dream before I realized that I could make it super cute, super easily, and super quickly.

Why can't I ever dream really useful stuff, like winning lottery numbers?

Anyway, here's the kind of stuff I dream about.

Welcome to my brain.


One over the door type shoe holder with 24 clear pockets. I got mine at Wal-Mart for around $5.
24 treat bags.  I found that these fit the width of the pockets exactly.  I used 2 different designs so I could alternate them. Mine came from Wal-Mart and were around $2 for each design. 
Coordinating scrapbook paper, or wrapping paper.  
Numbers 1-24.  I opened a blank document in Word then just played around until I found a font and size I liked, then printed them out and cut them out individually and glued them on.  For the whole project, this was the most time consuming step.  You could buy pre-cut sticky labels if you're not cheap like me.
Scissors, ruler, tape, glue

First I cut the gift bags off about an inch at the bottom to fit the pockets.  I slid them into the pockets and used a small piece of scotch tape to hold them into place.  Gravity really does most of the work here.  Next I printed and cut out all the numbers and adhered them to the pockets. Last, I measured and cut the scrapbook paper to fit the space above each pocket, then glued it into place.  

I played around with a bow and some garland to jazz up the top, but I found that it looked too busy, so I took it back off and left the top plain.  Of course, part of the problem there might be that I have ZERO bow-making skills...

Now I'm going to fill up the pockets with tons of fun stuff!  Some days will be easy stuff like chocolates or small toys that I picked up at the Dollar Tree, and some days will have notes detailing activities.  Some of my ideas (and some I pilfered from my friend Natalie include:

  • Today we will decorate the Christmas tree (December 1)!
  • Tonight we will watch Rudolph and eat popcorn!
  • Today is the day we visit Santa!
  • Let's make a gingerbread house!
  • Let's write our letters to Santa today!
  • Let's bake and decorate Christmas cookies for our neighbors!
  • Let's send out Christmas cards!
  • Today we can make an ornament for the tree!
  • Today we will go buy gifts for a family in need.
  • Snowball fight! (Of course it won't snow, so I'm thinking baggies of miniature marshmallows.)
  • Let's drive around tonight to see the lights!
  • Let's cut out paper snowflakes!
  • Tonight we will watch Frosty the Snowman and drink hot chocolate!
On December 24, the note will say: find the special package under the tree that says "Do Not Open Until Christmas Eve."  In the box will be new pajamas and a new Christmas book to read before bedtime.

This is all stuff we do every year anyway, but I love the thought of the boys racing downstairs every morning to see what's in store for the day.

This Christmas spirit business, I think I'm starting to get it.

1 comment:

  1. This is why I need to have kids. It's not easy to get excited for magical Christmas times with just me and the fiancé. He doesn't squeal with delight over sitting on Santa's lap.

    (Hmmm, maybe if I dressed up as Santa...)


Pin It button on image hover