Tomorrow is December 1st can you believe it! Now the Christmas countdown REALLY begins! What better way to countdown the days to Christmas than with an advent calendar. It’s always been a tradition for me even when I was a young. Back when I was a kid we had those cardboard paper advent calendars that had a Christmas scene on it. I remember I was so excited every morning to wake up and open one of the doors. Eventually we got a fabric wreath advent calendar and each day my brother or I would pick one of the felt ornaments to stick on the wreath. As the wreath filled up we knew we were getting closer to Christmas day! I still have that wreath calendar and this year my daughter has it in her room. It’s so special to see her use something that I once used when I was her age.
I’ve always had a advent calendar for my twins. The last one I had was from Marshall’s that I’ve been using since they were born. It’s cute and they love it but the little tabs to leave goodies in was so small that I could barely put a Hershey kiss in there. I wanted to create something that I could personalize, have bigger pockets and most importantly not break the bank! I finally came across and idea to use a over the door shoe organizer as an advent calendar! What a brilliant idea! It’s got 24 compartments, its got enough room to put lollipops and other goodies in and it’s cheap! The idea was meant to be!
I purchased a shoe organizer I found on Amazon however you can probably grab one at any store like Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond. It fits perfectly on any door. I hung mine on our door in the kitchen that leads to the basement. Not only is it practical but it looks pretty too! Now every morning I can put goodies in there for my kiddos to check before heading off to school.
I embellished mine with some sprigs that I got at the craft store and I printed the numbers on cardstock and then attached them to gift tags that I also got at the craft store and Target. You can totally customize it to your style and Christmas decor. If you love silver and gold, grab some silver and gold tags and sprigs, you get the idea!
Here’s what you’ll need
- Over the door shoe organizer
- Cardstock – I printed the numbers on white and natural cardstock purchased at Hobby Lobby and used a little of the white and natural for the advent calendar and used the rest for the Christmas books.
- Gift tags – this is totally optional. You can attach the numbers on various size gift tags or just attach the numbers with string.
- Hole punch
- String, twine – to hang the tags.
- Safety pins – to hang the string on. I attach the safety pin from the inside so you don’t see it.
- Clothes pins – I use one clothes pin on each room just to mix it up a little.
- Double-sided tape – You will need this to attach the numbers to the gift tags.
- Sprigs to add to some of the compartments – you can find these at any craft store. This is completely optional too!
- Goodies to fill each day with – your choice!
Christmas Book Countdown
As I mentioned before I print the numbers on two sets of cardstock, one white and one natural. I use some of the numbers for the advent calendar and the remaining 1-25 numbers I have leftover I attach to wrapped Christmas books so each night starting December 1st we read a different Christmas story every night. I absolutely love this idea and what a great tradition to do with your family.
This project is super simple. You just need some books, wrapping paper, and the gift tags! To avoid breaking the bank I got books on Amazon and even found some at the dollar store! You can even use library books too. I got lucky and my library was actually selling used Christmas books for $1-$2 dollars so I was able to grab some there too! I also had some Christmas books already on hand to add to the collection as well. Before I knew it I had 23 cute Christmas books + The Night Before Christmas for Christmas Eve!
To make this even easier you can easily download our FREE advent calendar printable numbers clicking the link below. All you need is cardstock and your imagination to prepare your project for the holidays!