November 29, 2022
I love the Holidays for so many reasons. At the very tip top of my list is how it brings our family together. I love spending quality time with my kids and the Holidays always give me that extra push to do so. No matter how busy my husband and I get, we are always grateful to take the time to slow down during Christmas. This year we’ve created something extra special for the kids. Now that my two oldest girls are entering their pre-teen and teenage years, I wanted to create something FUN they can look forward to. (Our normal chocolate advent calendar just isn’t cutting it anymore.) So off to the store I went to create our custom advent calendar. Instead of chocolates, it’s filled with activities. Activities that I hope will fuel togetherness, laughs, and creativity. This advent calendar was created to build MEMORIES and tradition.
I’m so excited about this calendar and believe in its core purpose. I wanted to share how we created it in hopes you might create one. If not for yourself, maybe as a gift! Tis the SEASON!
What you’ll need:
String – I like using a Jute and Yarn combo
15 sheets of 12x12in. Card stock – I used The color “Almond Cream” by Bazzill
A long stick of your choosing with a 1″ in diameter at the least
Pens + Scissors + Crafters tape + Hole punch
Step One – Cut Envelopes + Note cards: I’m a crafter by heart. I invested in a Cricut a few years ago, and it truly has been a time saver! I created both the envelopes and notecards with my Cricut Explorer. Creating the file on the back end took time, but now that it exists, this project will take less than half the time. If you don’t have a Cricut, purchase 3-4″ envelopes or cut your 12x12in. cardstock into six equal squares. Note cards should be cut slightly smaller than your envelope
Step two – Assemble Envelopes + Number 1-25: I folded at the designated lines and taped the bottom for my Cricut cut envelopes. For DIY CARDS: Fold each of the six squares in half, seal the sides with tape and leave the top open-ended. Hole punch at the top and number your envelopes 1- 25. Then, for a little extra magic, create fun designs on each note card if you’d like.
As I was assembling the cards, I decided to add a “Rain Check” envelope. Life happens, am I right?!?! If we don’t get to one of the activities listed on the notecards, we can put that notecard in the “rain check” envelope to finish at some point during the winter break. This works great, as the kids won’t officially be on break until the day before Christmas Eve anyway. Of course, we will do our best to get to each activity, but it won’t be a stressor if the day gets away from us.
Step 3 – Bring in the string: Tie each envelope off with a bow so your kiddos can’t peek inside. This works especially well if you are doing the hand-cut version of the envelopes. For the Cricut version, this wasn’t necessary, as you can seal the top flap with some tape. However, I thought Jute added a much-needed touch! Plus, my kids are notorious Peekers! Don’t forget to write your activities on each notecard and place them inside your envelopes before tying them off.
Step 4 – String your tree branch: I used the Jute string for the rope to hang our branch from. It’s a pretty tough string and can hold up to 19 lbs. I didn’t want the string breaking as it gets tugged on throughout the month. I found jute to be a great option for this. We then cut the green yarn into various lengths and tied them to the top. Leaving about an inch of space between each strand.
Side note: My husband and daughter found this branch on a walk. I encourage you all to do the same. It turned into great quality time as finding the “perfect” branch became a game!
Step 5 – Attach your envelopes and hang them: We decided not to put the activity envelopes in numerical order. Part of the fun is finding which numbered envelope to open! After we finished tying each card on with yarn, we hung it up, added some festive touches, and watched the kids become extremely excited for the start of December!
Ta-da, all done!! The total time for this project was about 1 hour. We brought in the kids to help cut the string and tape envelopes. I encourage you to enlist your helpers as well.
If you’d like to peek into our activities or need inspiration, sign up for my email list HERE. I’ll send you a FREE copy of our HOLIDAY ADVENT CALANDER. Happy Christmas, Everyone!
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