Monday, 9 December 2013

Recycled Advent Garland

Advent calendars made the countdown to the big day so special when I was little, each tantalising perforated door opening and the chocolatey goodness inside, just a little hint of the sugar induced mayhem that was to follow on Christmas day.

I still love Advent calendars today but now I prefer a much less sugary and waste free celebration of the countdown to Christmas for our family.

This is a calendar that can be used every year. It's made completely from either thrifted or Reuse Centre fabric and cardboard from cereal boxes. There are 24 little bags, each with an embroidered number, that have to be hung in order so putting it together is an event in itself!

Instead of chocolate, I slip a little gold ticket (reusable the following year) into each of the bags with a special seasonal treat to share with the family here are a few ideas:

* Have hot chocolate with marshmallows

* Christmas lights tour (A pyjama clad, chauffeur driven, tour of our local areas lights, complete with a sippy cup of warm milk, a blanket and a favourite toy to enjoy the ride)

* Make salt dough Christmas decorations

* Write a letter to Santa

* Popcorn and a Christmas movie

* Drink some hot apple cider (or for little ones, warm apple juice with cinnamon)

I like to think it adds something to our Christmas experience to have these little planned events to enjoy every day.

This was a simple sewing and paper project that can get the whole family involved, from choosing fabrics and sewing and embroidering the treat bags, to tracing and cutting stars to finally hanging 24 plump little bags. I popped some stuffing into each bag so they look a little more inviting.

Inspired to make your own?, it's never too late (just think, you are a year early for 2014 holiday season!)
Making a 3D 5 point star is easy using this free printable template, just print once, tape to card then use the card as a template for the other stars: Craft Ideas 5 point star template.

Make your own drawstring bags following this tutorial - Super Easy Drawstring Bag Tutorial  (Simply adjust the size as required).

If you have made your own reusable advent calendar or even a perpetual month by month calendar we would love to see it. Please share below!

- Emma (Volunteer)


  1. You are brilliant, Emma! I love that it's reusable, AND part of your Christmas decor, plus it won't take a lot of storage space from year to year. I'm sure you'll come up with a few different activity ideas as your kids grow up, too.