Easy DIY Advent Calendar

November 30

December is just around the corner and in my house that means time to begin one of my favorite traditions…the countdown to Christmas morning!  An advent calendar is such a wonderful way to countdown the days to the evening the big man pays a visit, building the anticipation as the cheerful tags disappear one by one!  When my boys were little we started this tradition by hanging little bags and boxes filled with tiny trinkets and candy…little tokens to open each morning leading up to Christmas Day!  Back then it was so easy to find inexpensive goodies that the kids were thrilled over…stickers, bouncy balls, a Hot Wheel car or a piece of candy!  The candy is still a hit but as the boys have grown it has been increasingly difficult to find small items that they would appreciate that won’t break the bank!  The days of giving stickers unfortunately are over for me, so the past few years I’ve really struggled to find useful or fun little items to fill up the 24 days in our advent!  This year I came up with a new twist that helps me save money AND time!  Let me share with you a new idea for our old tradition and a really easy way to create it!

advent calendar with a twist!

to change it up i decided to create a “Twelve Days of Christmas” calendar instead!

advent calendar

now that my oldest is in college, it somehow didn’t seem right for him not to participate from the beginning…so this year we start with December 13!

advent calendar DIY

so each morning up ’til Christmas Eve the boys will find two little goodies inside each package!

advent calendar

simple supplies…

to create a simple “countdown” calendar all you need are some stickers, little bags, tags…and somewhere to put them!

advent calendar

a length of ribbon or a branch can be used to festively hang them…(or pile them in a basket or crate–no rules!)

advent calendar

starting the calendar mid-month gives me plenty of extra shopping days to fill up any empty bags!

advent calendar

fill it up…

i try to stick items that will fit inside the bags but you can replace a large item with a  note card…similar to a scavenger hunt for the boys to find that gift!

something yummy~

candy & chocolates~gum~beef jerky~cookies~cocoa packets

something useful~

socks~toothbrush~deodorant~chapstick~gloves~water bottle~fun pencils, highlighters, or erasers

something fun~

a graphic T~earbuds~gift card~pjs~a book~fidget toys

advent calendar

no matter how you display it an advent calendar can be a fun tradition for kids of ALL ages!

advent calendar

countdown 24 days or make it a bit shorter…but try making an advent calendar a new tradition!

happy countdown to Christmas!

some products seen in this post can be found at~

Target:  number stickers (dollar spot), stars & dot gift tags, patterned gift bags

Michaels:  white & craft paper gift sacks, craft tags, jingle bells

you can see more DIY advent calendar ideas here!


  1. Anonymous

    November 30

    What a great idea, Lori! I love this new twist to the advent calendar! Thank you!

    • Lori

      November 30

      Oh thank you!! I really needed to come up with something a bit more simple this year…but not miss the fun!!

  2. Susan

    December 1

    Such a cute an easy idea for an advent calendar ! You’re so creative

    • Lori

      December 1

      Aww, Thank you Susan! I really appreciate it!! And this year I really need EASY! 🙂

  3. I LOVE your presentation and the idea of starting on the 13th – I might be able to still create this myself 🙂 The bags are so pretty and such a great idea for the Advent Calendar.

    • Lori

      December 8

      Thanks Brenda! It does give us a little extra time…which is a gift in itself!! xoxo