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.
*I know most of you don’t have time to find these items at yard sales so I found similar pieces you can order online to make it easy for you to make one of these Advent calendars yourself.
(Affiliate links are used. You can read my disclosure here.)
- Soda Crate
- Small Cardboard Boxes (size depending on crate you have)
- Number Stamp Set
- Washi Tape
- Little toys and/or trinkets to add to boxes
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.
See more Christmas inspiration with my DIY Buck & Doe Christmas decor.