Last Minute Advent Calendar

30 Days has September, April, June and Nov… OH NO! You have 1.5 days to finish your 25 miniature hand-knit woolen mitten advent calendar garland. Or you can make one of these in about an hour and promise to finish the woolen mittens by next Christmas.

The key with this project is to be resourceful with what you have around the house.
Very loose instructions after the jump…
And thanks to Design Sponge for the post!

What you need:
– A Frame – this is the RIBBA frame from IKEA – 19 3/4″ x 19 3/4″
– Foam Core or Cardboard to fit frame
– String – this is Martha Stewart Baker’s Twine from Michaels
– Head pins or Tacks
– x-acto and straight-edge
– Adhesive – I love my Xyron products but you can use double-stick tape or even spray adhesive (cough-cough)
– Wrapping Paper or Fabric to cover Foam Core – This is Marimekko Christmas paper from Crate & Barrel a few years ago.
– Small Paper Bags (see photo) from Michaels
– Number Labels – I used my handy Dymo Label Blaster
 but you can use number stickers, stencils, a glitter pen, or a #2 pencil.
– Stickers or tape to seal your envelopes
– Little surprises for your bags. I chose stickers for my sticker loving girl but you can do little prizes or candy or notes (maybe a christmas-y activity every day!)

What to do:

1. These are the bags that I bought from Michaels’, I stuffed each one with a few stickers.

2. Remove the back and the glass of the frame.

3. Cut a piece of decorative paper to the size of the frame back.

4. Adhere the decorative paper to the foam core and trim the foam core down to size.

5. Insert the foam core into the frame and secure.

6. Fold over the top of each little bag and arrange them on the frame. I did a 5 x 5 arrangement but with a rectangle, you would do 4 x 6.

7. Cut a length of string for each row and tie a knot at each end leaving a small tail.

8. Pin through the knot to start each row. Push the pin at an angle so you can tape over the part that comes through on the back or bend pin backs to avoid the sharp points.

9. Pull string snugly across frame and pin knot on the other end.

10. Hang fold of each bag on the string. The flap can either face front of back.

11. Secure each flap with a sticker or tape.

12. Number each envelope from 1-25. I did this at the end because I was using stickers and because my “prizes” were all interchangeable. Feel free to number your bags earlier in the process.




JACINDA! I DIE! this is amazing! i've been asking around baout what the gentiles do for their children and i hear "advent calendar" from everyone. this is just gorgeous!


Awesome! It is 8:15pm on Nov 30 and I am about to put my son to bed and dig around my craft bin to see what I can use to make something like yours! Thanks!


This is quite an effective and interesting solution, thank you! In fact, I have seen sites where you can simply print out a template for a calendar, and make similar DIY projects very quickly. Such event calendars are always a great gift or just fun for a month.


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