DIY Printable Advent Calendar

Hello and happy Thanksgiving!

I’m not much of a Thanksgiving person, mainly because my family is Lithuanian (and Thanksgiving is obviously a very American tradition). We did try it for a couple of years, but time and time again we would end the evening with an absurd and overwhelming amount of leftovers. We realized it was hard to cook a fancy turkey dinner for a family of 4. From then on, we decided we would just take Thanksgiving Break to go on a quick vacation. That’s why, only a month since our last trip, I am currently in a car on my way to Chicago for 3 days, passing time watching Stranger Things.

So, with Thanksgiving playing such a small role in my family’s traditions, I’ve been looking forward to Christmas since the beginning of November. Also, my birthday is on December 21st. The end of December is a pretty exciting time for me.

I know some of you are in the “absolutely NO holiday music before Thanksgiving” camp (I respectfully disagree). But to you, YOU’RE WELCOME - I waited until Thanksgiving Day to post this advent calendar ;)

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So let me tell you about this cute lil’ thing. I came up with the idea 3 years ago and have been using it ever since. You see, my family has done those grocery store advent calendars every. Single. Year. You know, the paper ones with a festive illustration and 25 little doors with a cheap piece of chocolate inside each? One year, I decided that, on top of that, I wanted something bigger, better, and I wanted in my room. This idea was born.

And now, three years later, I have even more reason to appreciate this advent calendar. Now that I’m a bit more health-conscious, the idea of those chocolate advent calendars is a bit sketchy to me, and if you’re like me and would like to delay your candy eating to actual Christmas (bring on the Hershey’s Kisses candy canes), then this advent calendar is PERFECT for you. Gorgeously festive, cheap and easy, and absolutely no candy involved.

Although, if you really wanted to, you could totally staple a piece of candy to each tag or something, be my guest! I’d love to see how you make this your own :)

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You’ll need:
Paper
A printer
Construction paper
Hole puncher
String/twine/embroidery floss
Washi tape
Gluestick
Scissors
Optional but helpful: paper trimmer

Step 1: Open the Google Doc with all of the printables but DON’T PRINT YET. I need to tell you something. See how I’ve got a sheet of numbers, then a sheet of boxes, a sheet of numbers, a sheet of boxes, etc.? The numbers and boxes are supposed to go on opposite sides of the same sheet of paper so that the boxes act as guides to help you cut the numbers. Print the first sheet separately, then print the rest of the document double-sided.

Step 2: Cut out all of the little rectangles as well as the tag templates. Try to keep them in stacks, in order. It'll make the next steps a lot easier. A paper trimmer (I have this one, coincidentally I got it for Christmas) helps immensely.

Step 3: Place the templates on construction paper to cut out 25 tag shapes.

Step 4: Hole punch each tag shape as shown.

Step 5: Glue or use washi tape to attach a date label and a “days left” on opposite sides of each tag. I glued the “days left” label and used washi tape for the date label. I’ll help you out a little bit with matching because it’s slightly confusing.

Dec 1 - 24 days left
Dec 2 - 23 days left
Dec 3 - 22 days left
Dec 4 - 21 days left
...and so on, until…
Dec 24 - 1 day left
Dec 25 - Merry Christmas!

Step 6: Cut 25 pieces of string of the same length. I recommend 3-4 inches.

Step 7: Loop a piece of string through each hole and tie using a double knot. 

Step 8: Hang up tags on the wall. You have some options with this. If you have a bulletin board or something, tying the strings around pushpins might be cute. Otherwise, I find washi tape works best. It holds up the tags and doesn’t rip off any paint from the wall. As for arrangement, you can do a straight row, a grid, or a Christmas tree, like I’ve done. Check out one of the full pictures to see how I did it (It’s NOT just 1, 2, 3, 4).

Optional: Hang fairy lights around your new creation.

Not optional: Call someone over and show them how cute your advent calendar looks.

Step 9: Wait for the holidays and get started on your holiday shopping if you haven't yet. I've got tons of healthy gift ideas to help you out if you want!

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If you make this, make sure you post on Instagram and tag me @theblissbean. Wishing you all a wonderful time with your families and a very happy holiday season! What's your favorite part of the holiday season?

Beatrice x