Christmas Crafts: DIY Advent Calendars 2014

One year my sister and I had the come up with the idea to make our kids Advent calendars every year at Christmas time. They were a big hit with the minions, so I have continued the tradition. Sometimes the kids help, sometimes they just wait for me to do them so they can reap the rewards.  Only two things have remained consistent...Teenie always helps me, and I always seem to get these done at the last minute!  This year was no exception.  Here's what you need to make these fun calendars!  I spent about $18 to make these large calendars.  Get creative and use what you have around the house!

  • 1 sheet of Foamboard (we used the presentation size, but you can always cut in half for smaller calendars) I got mine at Dollar General for $1 a sheet
  • candy, small toys or party favors (we got a a nice selection at the 99 Cents Only Store) 24 for each calendar
  • double sided mounting tape
  • packing tape
  • glitter glue
  • Christmas stickers and embellishments
  • Markers
  • a circle template ( I used a mason jar band, they were the perfect size for this project. You could also use a cup or can)
  • one big gift for the last day of the calendar (this doesn't have to be expensive, a dollar store item will do, or use a full sized candy bar.) Our kids are weird and didn't want candy for the last day. Teenie found a little building block set at the 99 Cent Store, and all of the boys get a Christmas pickle, which they would much rather have than a boring ol' candy bar.)
 The first thing I did was figure out rather quickly that I have a really time trying to draw a straight line, so instead of making this look like a regular calendar, I decided to use random circles instead.  Simply trace around your template with a marker.  I drew 24 circles for each calendar.

Basic circles for the older kids, a snowman family  and Christmas-y stuff for the younger kids.
Next I numbered the circles 1-24, I chose to number ours randomly, but feel free to do this in order.  Then Teenie and I decorated the calendars with markers, stickers, glitter glue and random embellishments.  Let dry if necessary.
Use clear packing tape to attach candy and/or favors.  For larger or heavier items use double sided mounting tape.
Foamboard allows a nice sturdy background and can just be leaned against a wall to display. Or poke holes through top and use yard or ribbon to hang.

All done. I didn't really think about it ahead of the time but the pickles were so heavy that they made a couple of the calendars lean sideways! But then again I wasn't thinking they would pick pickles as their Christmas gift!