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An Advent Calendar

We had a wonderfully crafty weekend around here!  I made an advent calendar and Connor helped me to make two different wreathes.  That boy loves the hot glue gun!  He won’t touch it while it’s on, knowing first hand that it can burn you (a lesson he learned the hard way), but he will carry it around while it’s unplugged, pretending to glue all kinds of things down.  Let’s hope he never discovers Krazy Glue!

Friday began with the Advent Calendar, due to the fact that Saturday was the 1st of December, and thus the start of Advent.

Here’s what you need:

24 Cotton/Muslin/Burlap bags, about 3×4 or 4×6

Stencil set of numbers 1-9

Red paint

Paint Brush

Scrap paper


String (and nails to hold string up)

24 gifts and treats to stuff inside the bags

Bag and Stencil

Bag and Stencil

I lay down some newspaper first because I’m particularly clumsy, which  often leads to big messes!

This project is relatively easy.  Once you have your stencils and bags, you simply lay the stencil over the bag and tap the paint into the open area.  Make sure you put some scrap paper inside the bag, as the paint is probable to leak through (and having a bag that is glued together with paint will defeat the purpose of this advent calendar).

Paint lightly in the stencil's open area.

Paint lightly in the stencil’s open area.

Lift the stencil off carefully to avoid smudging, and there you go: one bag down, 23 to go!


One down!

One down!

Just rinse and repeat.  It took about 30 minutes to get 1-10 done, but things picked up as my confidence in the project did.

Ten Bags

Ten Bags

As to the last part of the project, the stringing up part, I was torn as to how to accomplish this.  Sure the model I saw used clothespins (something I couldn’t find) and I toyed with the idea of punching holes in the bag and stringing them on to the twine, but I wasn’t sure about either of those prospects.  In the end this is what I did:

That's right, I used binder clips.

That’s right, I used binder clips.

Given my love of all things office supplies, I had plenty of binder clips lying around unused.  And they are seriously so convenient for this project!  (I also had a hunch that Connor would not care two bits about what was used to keep his gifts on the string.)  However, if you’d like to get all fancy, there are plenty of more creative and attractive ways to do this.  Please be my guest.  I’ll be over here with my lazy mama way of doing things.

My first Homemade Advent Calendar

My first Homemade Advent Calendar

Ta da! It’s done.  (and yes, my fireplace is super dated and old school.  also, yes, I use that woodpile area to store Connor’s toys.)

It’s nothing fancy, but I’m happy with it.  There are a million ways to dress this project up.  You could paint/stencil snowflakes and holly on to the bags.  You could tie each one with festive holiday ribbon.  You could even wrap some lights around the string if you wanted!  Do whatever makes you happy.

See Connor run!

See Connor run!

This calendar, just the way it is, made Connor pretty happy on Saturday morning.


If you’d like to make this calendar, please follow the directions you see here or visit BonBonMini to see the sample I used.

If you’d like to make an advent calendar using something other than bags, here is a list of fun projects for kids and adults alike!

Twig and Thistle Magnetic Holiday Advent Calendar

The Etsy DIY Advent Calendar (for those who are a bit more dedicated to the craft of…crafting)

Kitschy Take Out Box Advent Calendar (I think this one would be fun for adults or teens)

Envelope Advent Calendar (super modern looking and perfect if you only have about 10 minutes to put something together)

Happy crafting everyone!



About mrserinanderson

I wear many different hats in my life: mom, daughter, friend, laundress, dog lover/walker, nanny, personal assistant, cook....I could go on, but if you're a modern housewife, you already know what I do and you know I technically don't get paid for any of it! But I'll gladly take sloppy doggy kisses, baby face pats, and the occasional bunch of flowers as payment.Erin AndersonCreate Your Badge

4 responses »

  1. This is so clever! I love it!


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