Homemade Advent Calendar

Christmas is practically the official season of DIY. There are so many possibilities for gifts, decorations and food. Today, I will show you how I made my homemade advent calendar.

Every year, I typically get the Walmart $1.00 advent calendars for Christmas. A couple of times I have splurged for the Lindt calendar or Kinder calendar instead, but they were always much too expensive for what you received.

Growing up, Jake’s mom would always put some treats in mini stockings for him and his siblings for their Christmas advent calendar though.

Now that we are living together and officially starting our life as a couple, this first Christmas is an important one because it will set the traditions we follow every year from now on. So when deciding if I wanted our tradition to be store bought advent calendars or homemade ones, I opted for the homemade version.

Materials needed:

  • Semi-large Cork Board
  • Pins
  • String
  • 25 Clothes Pins
  • 25 Mini Holiday Images
  • 25 Small-Medium Paper Bags
  • Red & Green Markers
  • Decorations for the bag (I only used stick on gems, but you can use pompoms, pipe cleaner, sparkles, stickers, etc.)
  • Enough Candy/Chocolate for 25 Days



  1. Hang cork board on the wall in the desired place of advent calendar. Ideally, you want it to be in a location that you and your family frequent. Ours is just outside of the kitchen in the living room.
  2. Insert pins into cork board. How many rows you will have depends on how wide your cork board is. For example, my cork board was big enough for 5 clothes pins on each row, so I had 5 rows. If you have 5 rows, you will need 5 pins tacked on each side of the cork board for your ends.
  3. Decorate your clothes pins with holiday images. My images include Santa, stockings, Christmas trees and reindeer. I printed them from online in colour, cut them out and taped them on the front of the clothes pin.


  4. Slide the metal ring part of the clothes pin onto thestring. Like I said, how many pins you will have on each string depends on how wide your cork board is. I put 5 pins on each piece of string.
  5. Tie each end of the string onto each cork board pins. Make sure the string is pulled just tight enough to allow some slack, depending on how low you want the bags to hang. Continue until all 5 rows (or however many rows you need) are ready for the bags.
  6. Decorate each bag. On each paper bag, write the numbers 1 through 25 for the days in December and decorate the outside. Although I went simple with my decorations, this part would be especially fun with young kids, letting them design the bags!

  7.  Stuff the bags full of goodies. Depending on how many people you will have using the advent calendar, you may need to add more or less candy and chocolate. In general, I made sure Jake and I get 2-3 pieces each for every day.
  8.  OPTIONAL: A cute idea for couples completing this project is to add another goodie in each bag other than candy. For Jake and I, we each wrote on a piece of paper for each day something we love about the other person. This way, every day with our candy, we also get a loving message from each other.


  9.  Clip the bags onto the cork board. Using the clothes pins, clip each bag on the board in order from 1 through 25.
  10. Countdown the days until Christmas and ENJOY.


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