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Easy Advent Calendar Garland

Detail of the easy advent calendar garland

Although today is the first day of December it is not too late to make an easy Advent Calendar.  I whipped up this awesome collection of treats just using small boxes, ribbon, and wire.  As a child, the Advent Calendar I remember fondly was a simple felt Christmas tree.  Each day I got to remove an ‘ornament’ from the date and place it on the tree.  On the 24th the star went on top.  The boys are finally old enough that I wanted to institute some traditions of my own, starting with an Advent Calendar.Tutorial on creating an easy Advent Calendar Garland


(Spoiler there isn’t a bunch of how to pictures, I am trusting you to use your brains on this one)

  • Small Boxes 12- 4″ x 4″ & 13- 3″ x 2″ (I have a Christmas Day Box if you realize that adds up to 25)
  • Various Ribbon
  • Wire (to hang boxes on)
  • Permanent Markers (colors to match ribbon)
  • Goodies to stuff in the boxes
Detail of Easy Advent Calendar Garland
Honestly, please tell me we don’t need the usual step by step photos on this one… Please…

Step 1: If You Saved Money & Bought Flat Boxes

If you have cash take the boxes that are pre-assembled.  If you didn’t, grab a beer and start folding.  Maybe catch up on Sherlock or Dexter.  Continue folding.  Stop to put on lotion because the paper has dried out your hands. Continue folding.  You get the idea….

Step 2: Divvy Up The Loot

I bought cheap little things like Hershey’s Kisses, marbles, couple little Hot Wheels, etc.  I made sure there was two of everything (since this is supposed to be fun and not a fight between siblings) and put some thought into days.  For example, I got two small craft kits and made sure to pick a weekend box so I could do the craft with the boyos and packed a special Christmas Morning box to finish it off.  Genius Moment!: I penciled the date in on the bottom of the boxes.Detail of the easy advent calendar garland

Step 3: If You Got To Skip Step 1

Ha ha ha.  If you skipped step one, then this is your payback.  Now tie tiny bows on all the boxes. Drink wine and catch up on the Daily Show.  Congratulate yourself on nominally watching some educational ‘news’ while crafting.

I tied a simple bow on each one.  This was on purpose (not just laziness/ beer) as the boys could each grab one side of the bow and untie it together. Take a moment to bask in the present-opening, brotherly-love scene I played out in my head. In actuality it played out exactly as I pictured which was damn good!

The key to uniformity of the garland is to pick coordinating ribbon.  I did a mix of bakers twine and satin ribbon in red and white.

Step 4: Marker Your Territory

If you have lovely handwriting, then I am envious and you can just go write in your numbers.  I cut out a 0-9 stencil using my Silhouette and created my numbers using red and gold permanent markers

Step 5: Ho Ho Hanging

String a selection of presents on the wire and hang.  I simply strung the wire under the bows.  I left some of the packages off and used extra ribbon to tie them in place staying nominally in day order.

More Details of the Advent Calendar Garland


We just pull off the correct box in the morning.  Then let the boys finish untying it and watch them get super excited about tiny trinkets.  Later I just tie the empty box back in place, which, is a hell of a lot easier than trying to move an elf around each night.  Bonus: Tie a special colored ribbon around that box of the day!

Advent Calendar Garland as part of a larger Christmas mantel
This is not my final Christmas Mantel. Though I will have a tutorial for the bleached/dyed bottle brush trees this week.

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See more great DIY and Decor at these link parties: Dream A Little Bigger, Craft-O-Maniac, By Stephanie Lynn

8 thoughts on “Easy Advent Calendar Garland

  1. Really great idea Brianna. And very original too. No one else has thought of it. Of course I’d be in trouble if I did this because my fireplace is burning the wood full time and I wouldn’t want to hurt those pretty packages..

    1. The fireplace had a very large surround. We still used it but they were far enough away to not even get warm.

  2. It looks so lovely. I love how they hang under your mantel.

    1. What a lovely complement. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  3. This is so adorable! I love how all the boxes are hanging from the garland. Thanks for sharing with us at our Link It or Lump It party!

    1. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. What a great idea! How could have thought of hanging them from the mantle?!? :)

    1. I guess technically I should have added my husband had the idea to make them into a garland. Thank you Master-of-Ideas-Not-Execution.

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