This easy DIY Advent Calendar is customizable for any style of Christmas decor. You’ll love our ideas for filling the bags!
Did you have an advent calendar in your home at Christmas?
When I was young, my mom would get a calendar with a pretty Christmas scene.
Each morning I’d look to find the numbered door and open it to find another picture or Bible verse behind it.
Then, one year, my mom’s friend gifted my sister and I with a new way to count down to Christmas!
We each got our own reusable advent calendar.
It was a strip of burlap with a felt Christmas tree decorated with sequins at the top.
And all along the burlap?
Little ribbons tied to hold wrapped hard candy!
We didn’t get a lot of candy at my house, so this new calendar was amazing!
Each year mom would surprise us with new candies tied onto our calendars.
Fast forward a lot of years to when I had children of my own.
By this time, you could buy advent calendars with little chocolates hidden behind the folding paper doors.
I admired lots of the pricier calendars in the stores: the kind with little drawers or the large pockets you could hang on the wall.
But I never could justify spending the money.
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What Supplies Do You Need to Make Hanging Bag Advent Calendars?
I’m so excited to share this inexpensive and easy DIY advent calendar project with you!
This simple Christmas craft project is reusable year after year.
And you can fill the bags with all kinds of goodies!
We’ve rounded up some fun ideas to put in the bags at the end of this post.
Here’s what you need to make this simple advent calendar:
Drawstring bags and ribbon
I used these 4×5 natural linen bags for my advent calendar.
They go perfectly with my home’s style. And they’d be great for any neutral decor.
But you can use any color of bag to suit your Christmas style! I found similar bags of the same size in black velvet and also white muslin.
I like tying the tops of the bags with 1/4-inch ribbon.
Not only does it make the bags look pretty, it also makes it harder for the kids to get into the bags before they should.
Not that my kids would ever do that.
I was so excited when I found these advent calendar number stickers!
Talk about easy!
No fancy lettering skills required!
Just peel off a sticker and pop it onto a tag.
And if you happen to have mad lettering skillz, then skip the stickers and number the bags yourself.
Paper tags, metal brads
I found these pretty scalloped tags for the number stickers. The package includes black, white, and kraft paper tags.
But you could use different shapes or styles of tags if you prefer.
You could even cut out tags from any color of card stock you like!
And to make this DIY advent calendar even easier, use metal brads to attach the tags to the bags.
The brads have a pointed end that pokes through the fabric, then just open both tabs to hold the tag in place.
There are so many types of metal brads! You can find them with rhinestones, and in different colors too.
Mini clothespins and metallic pens
Mini clothespins let you easily hang your advent calendar bags.
You can use them to attach the bags to wide ribbon.
Or Christmas garland.
These clothespins are available in natural wood, metallic gold, and even in glittered red and green!
If you want, you can add a decorative border around each tag using metallic pens.
I absolutely love these Uni ball gel pens! The ink flows so smoothly, and it shows up perfectly even on black paper.
The decorative border isn’t necessary but it does add a little something extra!
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How to Assemble This Easy DIY Advent Calendar
It is so easy to put these bags together!
1. Stick the number stickers on the tags.
2. Decorate the borders around the tags if you want.
3. Use the metal brad fasteners to attach the tags in the center of each bag. Simply poke the metal brad through the fabric and pull open the tabs inside the bag to hold it in place.
4. Put your treat(s) inside the bags.
Note: If you’re using a coupon for a fun activity, be sure to figure out what day you can actually do that activity and put that coupon in the correctly numbered bag!
5. Cinch the drawstring bags and tie them in the back.
6. Cut 8-inch lengths of ribbon and tie a ribbon around the top of each bag.
How to Display Advent Calendar Bags
Now that you have each of the bags filled, it’s time to display your advent calendar!
You can get as creative with this as you want.
One idea is to use small clothespins to clip each bag to Christmas garland.
You could even use decorative ornament hangers for this!
Hang the garland or ribbon in a hallway.
Or use command hooks to zigzag twine or ribbon on a door.
You could attach the garland to a handrail or on your mantel (be careful of melting any candy on a mantel!).
Or skip hanging the bags and just place them in a large dough bowl or basket.
What Can You Put Inside Advent Calendar Bags?
This is one of the best parts of this style of advent calendar.
You can get creative with what you choose to put inside the advent calendar bags.
We love that what you put in the bags can change as your kids get older.
Since each bag is a decent size, you can even put multiple treats inside each bag.
So you don’t need to have more than one hanging bag advent calendar in your home.
But this project is so simple, you could easily make one of these Christmas count downs for each of your children.
Here’s some of our favorite ideas:
- Tiny toys
- Coupons for extra stories, or a family activity
- Sample sized cosmetics
- Trading cards
- Craft items
- Gift cards
- Jokes or Riddles
- Silver dollar
- Travel lotion
- Hand sanitizer
- Use your imagination!
What would you put in these advent calendar bags? Tell me in the comments below!
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