DIY Advent Calendar, with fabric gift bags

Get inspired to make a beautiful DIY Advent Calendar. Including an easy-to-follow fabric gift bag tutorial.

In this post, I will show you how to make a DIY Advent Calendar. The Advent Calendar is a tradition of counting down the days of the Advent with each day a small gift or sweet or an inspirational quote or image of some sort. It has its roots in Christianity, where Advent is about the coming of Jesus into the world. It officially runs for the four Sundays and weeks before Christmas.

However, the Advent Calendar generally counts down the 24 days until Christmas from the first of December leading up to Christmas Eve and doesn’t necessarily have much to do with religion anymore.

A well-known form of the Advent Calendar is a flat box you can hang on the wall, with cardboard doors with pieces of chocolate behind it, one for each day of the Advent. But Advent Calendars come in many forms and shapes. Many are commercial, for example, with specific beauty brands behind the 24 doors or for kids, with Lego or cars or Playmobil. You can buy those Advent Calendars ready-made and filled.

But of course, you can also make and fill a DIY Advent Calendar yourselves!

How to make an Advent Calendar

There are many diverse examples of homemade Advent Calendars. I chose to make one with little numbered gift bags instead of doors. I have sewn these gift bags myself. But you could also buy them If you don’t want to make them or don’t have the time.

How to make the gift bags for your Advent Calendar

The gift bags I made for this Advent Calendar are easy to make! And they don’t take more than ten minutes per bag to make. But admittedly, with 24 bags… It does take some time. If you want to know how to make gift bags for your Advent Calendar, you can find the full tutorial here.

How I turned the gift bags into an Advent Calendar

After I finished my 24 gift bags, I made 24 labels. This year I used high-quality cardboard and a gold marker to make the labels. I made a hole with a puncher and put a string through the labels onto the bags. Next year, however, I plan to use small circular wood slices for crafts, which you can buy with the wholes pre-made.

Find a Branch

Next, I found a beautiful dead branch in the forest. It is all twisted and cool-looking. I cleaned it and sanded it down here and there to ensure there weren’t any sharp and splintered edges.

Get a Garland

I went to a shop where they sell Christmas supplies and bought a pretty realistic-looking, artificial pine garland. You can buy those with lights and Christmas baubles included, but I bought a plain one and added a string of Christmas lights and some baubles myself.

I twisted the garland with the Christmas lights around the branch. I fixed it all with some string and had my husband hang it securely onto the wall. Then I hung the filled bags onto the branch. Once filled, the Advent Calendar can get pretty heavy, so make sure you hang it securely.

I didn’t hang the bags in order but tried to spread the bags around a bit so that the whole month over, the bags would be distributed evenly along the branch. We took down the bags once the kids took out the presents. You could, of course, also choose to leave the empty bags hanging on the branch.

And ready!

I love how our Advent Calendar looked like a nice piece of Christmas decoration in our home. The kids loved it too!

To fill a DIY Advent calendar can be quite a challenge, I find. To find 24 small and useful, but not too expensive gifts (per child) isn’t so easy. I usually start collecting things in September already!

I hope our example of a DIY Advent Calendar inspired you a bit to make your own creation, and I wish you a beautiful Advent and a Merry Christmas.

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