Like most people at this time of year, we have all been very busy. It can be hard to find the time to make things when you are caught up in the end-of-year rush, but I promised two girls an advent calendar and late is always better than never. Their advent calendar this year is a simple paper bag one, with tissue paper poinsettias to decorate. If you want to make a late edition like I have you could always make it a ‘Twelve days of Christmas’ version. I went the whole hog and made mine twenty-four days worth five days in to December but the kids don’t mind at all because they get to open two bags a day until we have caught up.
This is how I made it – you will have to excuse the dodgy night time photography shots, I had to make all this after the kids were in bed so I could keep it a surprise.
You will need:
• 24 mini paper bags
• Bakers twine
• Printable numbers to be found at the end of this post
• Fascinating Christmas Facts printable
• Surprises to go in the bags
• Wide ribbon to hang the bags on
• Red tissue paper, green crepe paper and gold sequins for the poinsettias
• Glue stick, scissors and double sided tape
To make the paper poinsettias, I used a very similar technique to the flowers in our cupcake case flower garland, only I have used red tissue paper and green crepe paper instead of cupcake cases to get bigger flowers. I tried to keep the petal shape similar to that of a poinsettia. You can follow the simple cupcake case tutorial here to get the idea of how to make thsese. Glue some gold sequins on to the middle of the finished flower.
To make the rest, first gather all your supplies together and count out twenty-four little surprises. Because I have two kids and they are sharing this calendar I put two small surprises in each bag – that’s forty-eight surprises in total! To make it a bit more economical, there are novelty items for the even days only, and the odd days have two little chocolates. You could just make them all chocolates if cost is a factor. Kids love them as much as any novelty anyway (at least mine do!).
Print out the printable numbers and ‘Fascinating Christmas facts‘ and cut them out ready to pop in the bags. I chose to make ‘fascinating facts’ this year instead of jokes or activities because my kids have been showing a real interest in how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. The facts also include some interesting snippets from history about where some favourite Christmas traditions come from.
The surprises I added are mainly small dollar store stationery items like erasers, mini high-lighters, jewel stickers, glitter glue pens, stamps etc. My kids love all that stuff.
Once the bags are filled you can tie them onto the wide ribbon. I picked green to look like stems for the poinsettias I was decorating with. I used a 3m long ribbon for our calendar, which worked out to be just the right size. To begin with I folded the ribbon in half, tied a paper poinsettia at the top, and roughly placed all the bags and other paper poinsettias where I planned to tie them on.
Measure out 24 pieces of bakers twine and tie them first on to the ribbon, and then twist the tops of the bags and tie them on top of the existing knots with a bow. The kids can undo each bow and take a bag away every day until Christmas.
Find a picture hook to hang it on and you’re done!
You can print out the calendar numbers here: advent numbers
For tons more Christmas craft ideas try visiting my Christmas Craft board on Pinterest