Christmas is fast approaching and we are getting seriously excited. When I was a kid, this is the time of year when I started begging my Mum for one of those chocolate advent calendars. This sweet free advent calendar is much more fun.

I’d anxiously wait until December 1st and open that little window to reveal my sweet chocolate treat…. But the truth is, by about December 6th I’d realise that the chocolate inside actually wasn’t that great and the advent calendar totally wasn’t worth all of my anticipation.

That’s why we now create our own anticipation-worthy advent calendars!

I wanted to show your how to create your own advent calendar, filled with Christmas activities and delicious treats that will have your family anxiously awaiting each new day – so let me show you

Before you do anything, you’ll need to get your supplies!

What You’ll Need:

1x Large Cork Board ($14 at The Reject Shop)

1x Reel of String/Bakers Twine (I used Christmas Cord which was $2.50 a roll at The Reject Shop)

24x Loot Bags/Small Envelopes (I used 2x 12 Pack Party Bags for this project which were $3 a pack)

24x Pegs ($2.50 for 80 Wooden Pegs at The Reject Shop which we sprayed with silver glitter spray paint – you could also use glue and glitter from TRS)

1x Set of our DIY Advent Calendar Printables which you can download here (includes Number Tags, Notes for inside the bags and a Christmas Organiser to plan your activities)

Push pins to attach your strings

Scissors, glue/sticky tape and pens to write your activity notes

 Total Cost of Supplies: $25
plus the cost of push pins/glue/scissors/sticky tape etc if you don’t already have them.

Once you’ve got all of your supplies, it’s time to get everything ready! You’ll want to print and cut out your printables if you haven’t already – and you’ll want to figure out where you’re going to put your advent calendar (as this will decide whether you’re going to have it vertical or horizontal!).

Once you’ve decided which way your advent calendar will go, decide on how many lines of bags/envelopes you’re going to have on your advent calendar so that you can cut the strings to size.

We decided on five lines to hold our 24 bags, folding each bag in half so that they fit perfectly!

Then it’s time to hang your lines! We first measured out how much cord we needed for each line (as well as how far apart we wanted to space them to fit our bags) and then cut and pinned them onto the board.

If using Christmas cord like we did, you’ll want to sticky tape each of the cut ends tightly so that the cord doesn’t unravel – and then stick your pin through that sticky taped part into your boards.

We found that the cords stayed best when we also pinned the cord down in the middle of the board (we pinned each cord 1/3 in from each edge for support) – and if you’re filling your bags with heavier items, stick one pin into the back of the bag to hold them in place (or simply use the note to explain the day’s treat and keep them separate like we did!)

Once everything is ready, it’s time to fill your bags! We placed one note in every bag explaining the day’s treat/activity.

In your downloadable printable pack you’ll find a Christmas organiser which will help you plan out your Christmas activities.

When planning our calendar and activities, I first filled this up with dates of what we had on and then worked out when we’d do our different activities and then stuck the sheet into my planner so I knew what was happening on each day

Why? Because you don’t want to tell your family you’re making Christmas Cookies only to find out you’ve got X Y & Z planned and no flour in the cupboard!

Submitted by Kristy Sayer of Southern In Law

Sweet Free Advent Calendar