Monday, December 2, 2013

An Advent Calendar Idea - For those of you on a budget!

So I was looking through my Facebook Feed and came a across THIS LINK from the Silhouette blog.  It shares several Avent Calendar Ideas.  Unfortunately I've been too busy to put any of these ideas together so it will have to wait until next year.

But then I really wanted to do a different type of Advent Calendar this year and so my version took form!  With the help of Holiday decorations, an unused shelf, re-used packaging, and Holiday papers from my craft stash, I put together this idea in a couple hours.  I'm on a strict budget these days and I set out to plan the months presents, treats, and goodies for my kiddos.

I plan to do this daily or in chunks of 1 - 3 day segments where I'll set out the presents.  Of course, if you have sneaky little hands that like to peek, just set out one present at a time.  Over the years I've kept extra goodie bag items from past birthday parties and I thought that they would be perfect and FREE items to use!
I have numerous pencils, notebooks, erasers, and toys.  I also will be purchasing a bag of candies.  Other days I'll probably will gift coupons for the following:

30 minutes of computer time
Reading a special Christmas book  
Make a Christmas card for someone special
Watch a Christmas DVD
Go drive around and look at Christmas lights
Get some ice cream
Mommy (or Daddy) does 1 of your chores for the day
A trip to the library to search for Holiday books

Get creative and think of free or inexpensive items to gift.

I also re-used old gift packaging.  I save some every year.  I know I also have small tiny boxes I've kept and can fancy those up with Christmas tags and ribbon.  I'll share more ideas as I come up with them.

Here's how I've set up my little area.  On each package I will re-use the following tags.  The flower one below is actually a chipboard tag that doubles as an ornament.  I've got a tutorial for you that I'll post soon so check back!


The tag above was an old one I hadn't used yet.  I attached it to the gift box.

I re-used an old Victoria's Secret gift box and covered the front with some patterned paper and it was good to go!  I can re-use both the bag and box again another day to accommodate a larger present.  I also used two sizes of tag punches to create the "1" (which denotes the day of December the present corresponds to).  These tags are secured to clothespins which I can then clip onto the presents.  I attached each tag to each clothespin with velcro so that I can re-use the clothespins (because I didn't have enough for the whole month of December).  I just have to make a tag for each day of the month!

Since a clothespin wouldn't work here, I just glued this tag onto the shelf.  I found a free template for that pillow box HERE!  I simply cut out an 8.5 x 11 inch piece from some Holiday patterned paper and printed the template directly on.  I used a stylus to score the curved edges of the pillow box so that it folded easier.  I used old Christmas tags I never used, attached them to belly bands and each pillow box can be re-used for another December day!

And that completed the first 2 days of December!  Hope you got some fun ideas!  Check back and I'll share other ideas for you!


  1. Clever! You should enter your ornament into Crafting with Dragonflies latest challenge. I like to see stuff reused and recycled.

  2. What a great idea!! I loveeeeeeeee this!!!!


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