Today is the very first day of our 6 week series, Making A Merry Christmas! Every Thursday, from now until Christmas, I'll be sharing with you how I'm going to make a Merry Christmas in my home, for my family. And, to add to the fun, I'll be sharing this post with Dian's readers at Grocery Shop For FREE. How fun is that?! And, you know that means my projects, parties and traditions will be served with a healthy side of frugality. Because making your home Merry doesn't have to break the bank!
Let's get on to that advent calendar, shall we??
I knew I wanted to create some sort of an advent calendar this year. This Christmas will be the first Christmas shared with our daughter. And, while she'll only be 10 months when the big day arrives, I want to start some traditions that will (hopefully) stick. Because, seriously, aren't special family traditions and activities the best part of Christmas??
Yeah, I think so too.
Do you ever have a vision in your head that's completely hazy and you aren't totally sure how it will come into focus? That's how this started. I envisioned our calendar hanging in the kitchen along an old door turned chalkboard. I envisioned 24 boxes hanging side by side on a length of twine. I envisioned it being jolly and happy, wearing traditional Christmas colors. But, I wasn't sure exactly how to get from vision to reality.
And, then. Then I was in Target, perusing the dollar spot (duh), when I happened to come across a stack of peppermint-striped, paper cups. Perfect for a Christmas party I'm planning for lil' punkin and her 4 cousins. Awesome!
Back home, I returned to my advent calendar planning and began searching my various bins and closets for some manner of box. I eventually found a stack of green party favor boxes left over from a previous party. But, drat, I only had 12! How many peppermint striped cups came in that package? I wondered.
But, 24 cups and boxes won't fit the length of my door, will they?
Perfect fit. I believe it's meant to be.
After that, the project came together in no time! I created 24 tags on my computer to label each day. You'll see in the photos that I changed my mind and only tagged the 12 green boxes. And, I gotta say, I'm glad I did! I love the red, vinyl letters on the peppermint-striped cups. I think I made the right decision.
Of course, I'm sharing my 24 labels with you! You can grab them here.
And, I also made a blank set that you're free to add your own text to. Use these as gift tags, party favor labels or even cupcake toppers. The possibilities are endless, really.
These will print well on your home computer. Mine printed flawlessly despite the "low ink" alert that's been present for, um, months (really, I can't say you haven't given me fair warning, epson).
I punched my tags out using a 2 inch circle cutter (which I purchased from Joann's when it was 40% off). But, I'm sure you could just cut them out by hand if you don't have a circle cutter.
I love how our advent calendar turned out!
I printed the FREE Christmas subway art from eighteen25. I love it and it also printed beautifully on my low-inked home printer!
I used my silhouette machine to cut out the gift box, using festive cardstock.
Our advent calendar will feature a scripture verse for every day plus one activity. A few boxes may contain small treats, but I want our family to especially focus on slowing down and creating intentional moments of quality time during the advent season.
And, there you have it! Our very easy, very inexpensive Hanging Advent Calendar. There's still plenty of time before December 1st to plan your calendar!
** I'm editing this to say that yes, I'm aware the true advent season begins on November 27th this year. However, it's not unusual for a home advent calendar to start December 1st and go through December 24th since the advent season starts on a different date each year (always 4 Sundays before Christmas). Feel free to create your advent calendar however you deem appropriate!! :)