Advent calendars are a tradition in our home. When I was growing up, we always had an Advent calendar. It was one of my favorite things about the Christmas season. Our calendar was usually a paper house of some sort and all we did was lift a flap on the house each day to reveal a number. Nothing extravagant, but I loved it! When we had our kids, I wanted them to have Advent calendar experiences of their own.
This year, our Advent calendar is homemade. I used items that I picked up at yard sales this past summer.
The base of the Advent calendar is an old bottle crate that I scored at a yard sale for $2. There are 24 compartments so it is perfect for an Advent calendar.
I also picked up an entire bag of cute, little boxes at a yard sale for 50¢. I didn’t know what I was going to do with the boxes at the time, but they were the perfect shape and size and there were so many of them. And…. for 50¢, I couldn’t go wrong.
When I was planning this Advent calendar, I was so happy to find out that the boxes fit great inside the crate.
To make it all look a little more festive, I grabbed some washi tape, stamps and ink.
I added washi tape to the front of the boxes and then stamped the numbers 1-24 on them.
Since the boxes are the same color of the wood on the crate, I decided to white-wash the crate so it stood out a little more.
I also liked the calendar more horizontal so I set up the boxes that way instead.
I filled the boxes with little trinkets and treats, but most of them are filled with homemade “coupons”.
To make the coupons, I hand wrote things we could do together as a family on little pieces of paper. Here are a few of them:
- Choose a Christmas movie for us to watch as a family.
- Make a homemade ornament night!
- String popcorn on the Christmas tree and listen to Christmas music.
- Make homemade gifts for grandparents.
There are more coupons than trinkets in the boxes. The coupons will make memories. The kids will remember making ornaments a lot more than they will a toy or a treat.
Advent calendars can be made out of anything you have on hand and it doesn’t have a cost a dime. Make it more about things you can do together during the Christmas season. That is when all the memories will be made.