This Christmas I decided to attempt making a DIY burlap advent calendar! Originally I was looking into buying a wooden advent calendar on Etsy, but I really didn’t want a big bulky one right now. My brother and I grew up opening one of those chocolate calendars, and honestly my kids would be just as excited to open that as a pretty burlap one. But, this mama wanted something cute and reusable! Here’s how to make this easy rustic looking advent calendar.
Supplies for this DIY burlap advent calendar
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- A stick or branch from your yard (about 2-3 feet)
- Greenery for the top. I really wanted fresh pine branches but there are none near us. Instead I bought 5 of those gift toppers in wire from the Dollar Store. 3 were fake pine with a pinecone, and 2 were just fake white berry clusters.
- These burlap bags (pack of 25, 3.7 by 5.3 inches)
- Pack of mini clothespins (size 1 3/4 inch)
- Glitter glue to write the numbers ( from the Dollar Store)
- String ( I used white yarn)
- Clear tape
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How much did supplies cost?
The total cost for me was $21. Definitely more money than buying 3 chocolate calendars, but WAY cuter!
I purchased the burlap bags, mini clothespins, greenery on top, and glitter glue. Things I already had on hand include white yarn, tape, and Halloween candy to fit inside, ha! It would have been $5 cheaper if I lived near pine trees.
You can buy some seriously cute kits on Etsy for around $30 or more that come with string, clothespins, and numbered bags. However they don’t include the greenery at the top and you won’t be able to make this exact one.
I had envisioned what I wanted and didn’t see that exactly on Etsy so I made my own.
How to make a burlap bag advent calendar
The first thing I did was hop on Amazon Prime and ordered the bags and clothespins. The ones I linked to above come with exactly 25 bags which is how many you want if you want to open one ON CHRISTMAS. A lot of kits and advent calendars come with just 24, so look for that.
Step 1. Number the burlap bags with glitter glue.
Once they arrived I set all the bags on the counter and numbered the corner from 1-25. Let it dry for a few hours or overnight. The silver actually shows up better than the gold on these! And from a few feet away you can’t see the numbers or sparkles at all.
Step 2. Hang 5 pieces of yarn from the branch.
Cut 5 pieces of yarn into long pieces (about 1 yard, you can always cut it shorter at the end). First tie one on the middle of your branch. Tie on the rest so they are equal distance apart. The ugly ends will get hidden by the greenery so don’t worry if it’s showing now.
Don’t worry too much about the length of your branch because you can just hang the strings closer together or farther away if needed. Mine is about the same width as a door frame.
Step 3. Arrange greenery on the branch.
This was the hardest part for me because I was a little clueless how to lay it on the branch. I had 3 decorative fake pine present toppers wrapped in wire.
Place one on each end, with the wires facing toward the middle. Tape each one in two or three places to hold it on there. Next tape one right in the middle. It will look kind of bad at this point.
Last, fill in the bare spots with some fake berries on the wire. I ended up using scissors to cut the wire shorter. Then I tucked it in and taped it.
Step 4. Hang it on the wall.
Find a spot to hang it and screw 2 hook screws into the wall. These will hold each end of the branch. I did this by hand, no tools needed.
I also skipped using a level to check if it was straight, even though everything in me told me to use one for the sake of my husband who is so detail oriented. The lazy side of me that didn’t want to run downstairs won and I just eyeballed it.
Step 5. Fill the burlap bags with surprises for advent.
I wanted big enough bags that could hold 3 little pieces of candy since we have 3 kids. These are perfect, and would easily hold double that. We filled these with saved Halloween candy.
Step 6. Attach burlap bags with clothespins.
All my bag numbers were mixed up, so to save time I just randomly hung them up. That’s my personality though, so if you are OCD then you’ll probably want a nicer little system!
And on that note, you could probably skip the numbers and just pull off or empty one bag every day! Just saying.
The actual hanging was a bit tricky. I had to play with each one to get the yarn clamped just right to the bag or else the bag would slide down the yarn. Overall not too hard, so long as my kids can’t reach it to take all the bags! Because I don’t think I’d have patience to hang them all twice.
When does advent start?
This year, advent starts on Sunday, Dec 2nd 2018 and ends Monday Dec 24th. We always loved opening the last advent calendar surprise on Christmas, so I like to have a bag for that day as well.
Technically you will only need 24 bags this year, but feel free to use all 25 and start a day early!
How do you help teach your kids about advent and the coming of Jesus? I would love to know because we are still learning how to teach our kids. Leave me a comment and I’ll reply!
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