DIY Advent Calendar - Intentional By Grace
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DIY Advent Calendar for Broke People Who Line Dry Their Clothes

DIY Advent Calendar - Intentional By Grace

Update: This post has been very popular! So I thought I would create a free printable to go along with your advent calendar! You can download your free advent activities printable here: Free Advent Activities Printable.

Looking for more advent activity ideas? You can find my 2012 Advent Activities (with FREE printable) here


You’ll have to bear with me. I’m tired, and I just had a mug of Nutella hot chocolate. This means I am overly tired and hyped up on chocolate. Great. Now that we have that out of the way. Let’s proceed.

As we neared December 1st, frustration began to set in. We wanted to do an Advent Calendar full of fun things to do as a family each day, but we didn’t have a pretty little painted box with doors that opened to reveal the day’s treat. I don’t have time to frequent thrift stores (I’m having withdrawals) to find recycled treasures, and I was not paying full price for one from the store. We simply couldn’t afford it.

What’s a broke person to do?

If you know me, you know that I’m terrible at thinking outside the box. However, for the love of my family, I decided to give it a go. Look at what I discovered?

It’s an advent calendar … for broke people … who line dry their clothes diapers. Genius. Well, if you ask me, of course. It was my idea. I can say that, right? No? Well, ok then. Can I tell you what I did anyways? Thanks.

How to Make a DIY Advent Calendar

I cut out 25 Christmas trees from green (in case you couldn’t tell) card stock that I had on hand. I used black stickers to number each tree.

Then, I grabbed my clothes pins from the laundry room. Once my hot glue gun was dripping glue everywhere, I knew it was ready to go. I glued the trees to the clothes pins.

Voila! You have 25 “little boxes” for holding your “treats!”

Then, I made a list of 25 fun Advent activities to do together as a family. Ok, actually I cheated. I already had this done weeks ago. But you get the point.

25 Advent Activities to Do As a Family

  1. Open a special ornament and put on tree.
  2. Town Christmas Parade.
  3. Listen to Todd Agnew Christmas CD, Do You See What I See.
  4. Take treats to friends.
  5. Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes
  6. Make Christmas card for librarians.
  7. Take a meal to a friend.
  8. Make Christmas card for mailman.
  9. Christmas lights at a local park.
  10. Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life ,” and eat popcorn.
  11. Make a gift for someone in the military.
  12. Mail Christmas cards.
  13. Eat dinner in front of the Christmas tree (complete with fire).
  14. Make homemade ornaments.
  15. Pass out gifts to Daddy’s work.
  16. Ice skating at Market Square.
  17. Watch “A Christmas Carol,” and eat popcorn.
  18. Walk through Bethlehem.
  19. Work a new puzzle.
  20. Drink Russian Tea by the fire.
  21. Give Maddox a Christmas treat.
  22. Read Mary Did You Know? by Mark Lowry.
  23. Read The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado.
  24. Go to Christmas Eve service at church & wear new jammies to bed.
  25. Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!

I put each of these on a slip of paper. Folded them up and tucked them into a clothes pin.

Finally, I ran a ribbon across my wall and nailed it in place. And with that, we have a broke person who line dries her clothes DIY Advent Calendar.

What do you think?

Do you want to be more intentional this Christmas?

Checkout The Intentional Christmas Planning Guide – a resource created with you in mind!

No more wondering if you’re doing enough each Christmas…

No more feeling burned out and exhausted on December 26th….

No more saying, “Yes!” to things that you’ll later regret…

Click here to learn more about The Intentional Christmas Planning Guide.

My favorite resource for creating a meaningful Christmas with my toddler:

This post contains my referral link. Please see my disclosure policy here.

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    1. I think it’s great that you are at least doing the activities. I didn’t think I could do them without a cute little way to retrieve them. ๐Ÿ˜› That was a little too far outside my box. Go you! You’re smarter than me. ha!

  1. LOVE IT!
    We were fortunate enough to receive one of those cute little houses from a friend of ours a few years ago. The grandmother-in-law gets those store bought calendars every year for each of the kids (we never use them) guess I just need to find a good place to donate them.
    Next year I’m going to take this idea and run with it!

  2. Love it!! As a kid we had a table runner looking thing with 25 thin fabric ribbons on it. Mom would roll up each clue or activity into a little scroll and tie them on. We are using a paper chain this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for linking up to Mangerr Mondays!!

    Oh, and Nutella hit chocolate??? How do you make THAT????

    1. I absolutely LOVE that idea! I wish I had thought of that one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Will tuck that one away in my brain.

      Nutella hot chocolate? So easy:

      1 cup of milk
      2 Tablespoons of Nutella

      Put it in a pot on the stove and whisk it on about medium heat until it JUST starts to froth.

      Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I”m broke and I line dry my clothes – but we’re already used to our bought version. Oh well. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Advent might be our favorite time of year…..we get to spend a lot of time together doing our activities.

  4. Leigh Ann, I absolutely LOVE this idea!!! I may have to do this…although I never, ever use a hammer and nails. That’s Will’s job. haha ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, really, I barely use a glue gun. That’s his job, too. I would probably glue my fingers together and nail myself to the wall!

      1. My family has really enjoyed making a Jesse Tree for the last few years – this helps us remember the Bible stories that lead up to the birth of Jesus. A couple of years ago a friend and I made up a set of printable ornaments – with a story on one side and an illustration for kids to colour on the other side. These hang great on a garland or a small tree and add so much tradition to the holidays. I’d love you to check our set of ornaments (just $5 to download!) at Thanks and blessings on your Advent season!