November 17, 2011

Hanging Advent Calendar plus Free Printable Tags

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!! :)



  1. Em, I LOVE the Advent Calendar...You are such a CREATIVE blessing to so many of us, like myself, crafty challenged LOL. Still need to come see that beautiful home of yours and hope to see during the holidays:) Love you girl and Thank you for this amazing, creative, blog of yours...52 Mantels!

  2. I'm blown away!!! This is the coolest advent calendar I've seen!!! I'm pinning this FOR SURE!

    Aimee @

  3. Thanks, ladies!! Bev, come over whenever you want! I would love to have you :)

  4. Cute, colourful and perfect Emily.
    I'd love it if you could come over and share this at my Inspiration link party for Simply Christmas at
    Festive hugs ~ Kerryanne

  5. You have the cutest ideas! I made your monogrammed pumpkins for a favor for my daughters first birthday. I also made your paper bag flowers and they are decorating a simple white mirror.

  6. I really like your advent calendar. And thanks for sharing the free printables!
    Visiting from Delightful Order linky party. I'm your newest follower :)

  7. Amazing.. as always! So stinkin cute! And the printables rock :)

  8. This is adorable! I need to head off to Target to see if I can score myself some of those cute cups!

  9. Advent calendars are a great tradition.

  10. This is exactly what I wanted to do for our kids this year. So glad to have found your post. Thanks for sharing :) (Jen)

  11. Hi :) Here are the links to your projects that I've done.
    You can steal the pictures from my posts and add them to your album that you created on facebook. :)

  12. I hope you will come link this up to the CSI Project. The challenge this week is Advent Calendars. You could take home the top prize or the great giveaway. Come over all week for tutorials and enter the FB giveaway!

  13. I love this is a decorative garland and an advent calendar!! It came out so great! New follower here. Would love it if you would stop by and share this at my linky party going on right now :)

    Have a great week!!

  14. I love finding things for $1 and making use of old party/craft leftovers. Well done! It is perfect!

  15. What a fantastic post!! A great tutorial and free printables too!! I think your calendar turned out amazing!! Great job!!

    I'd love for you to link up this post and any other Christmas-related projects to the 26-Day Christmas Craft Marathon Linky Party!!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Lisa's Craft Blog

  16. Love this. SO cute. Thank you for the free printable. I love your blog. I'm your newest follower.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.
    P.S.S. I have giveaway going on right now. Would love you to stop by and check it out.

  17. Thanks for linking up friend :) Check out the features and enter the TinyPrints giveaway! (Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!)

    Friday link up and features!

  18. Love the advent calendar!!! I'll be featuring it this coming week as part of Moms on Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Stop by and pick up a thank you bouquet from my button box!

  19. This is adorable!!! I'm noticing a reoccurring trend in blog world... advent calendars!

  20. I LOVE your advent :) I featured it as one of my favorites and would love for you to stop by!


  21. Hello, I am writing an Ultimate guide for Christmas Countdowns and would like permission to use your photo with a link for people to come and see this amazing idea. Would that be ok?

    1. That sounds great! Thanks for asking. :)

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. I really like your Advent calendar idea!

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