Friday, November 20, 2015

9 Non Chocolate DIY Advent Calendars

I know, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet and here I am with a Christmas post. But guess what? There's only one weekend between Thanksgiving and December 1st. I know, right? Where did this month go?? So if you want to make your own advent calendar, now's the time. Thankfully I spent a few late night nursing sessions scouring Pinterest, so if you're a procrastinator like me I've got you covered with a few fast & easy DIY advent ideas here. And I don't know about you, but after Halloween and Thanksgiving pie the last thing my kid needs is an extra piece of chocolate each day. Ez is the poster child for going bonkers 2.5 seconds after consuming a tiny morsel of chocolate. No thank you. Also, let's be honest, I'll probably just steal all his chocolates when he inevitably forgets about them, and that's the last thing I (or my jeans) need. Unless See's makes an advent calendar. In that case I'll take two. 
  1. Romantic Notes Christmas Tree: This is something I did for Joe the past two years. I got the little numbered envelopes from Michaels and then wrote 24 reasons I'm grateful for Joe on heavy cardstock paper and folded them up and put them inside. Romantic Christmas-themed dates would also be a fun idea. You can check out more spouse advent calendar ideas here
  2. Shoe Organizer Advent Calendar: All you really need to do is add some numbers to each pocket and you're good to go. This one's perfect if you have bigger gifts in mind. 
  3. Popsicle Stick Activities: Red paint, a jar, popsicle sticks and you're done! Vicky also gives 35 great Christmas activities to choose from, ranging from stuff you can do at home in your pjs to family outings.
  4. Paper Chain Christmas Tree: Take one chain off each day till Christmas morning. This is a great visual aid for younger kids that want to know how many days left till Christmas. Also, this is about as low maintenance as it gets, which is a huge bonus in my world.
  5. Mini Muffin Pan: I've seen this idea all over Pinterest and assuming you already have the muffin pan and some craft supplies this is basically free. If you want to go the non-chocolate route you could get a mini tree and put a small ornament in each tin. Most young kids are gonna try to redecorate the tree each day anyway, you may as well just embrace it and give them their own tree to play with.
  6. Colorful Envelopes: Pretty self explanatory. This is another great way to do an activities or romantic advent calendar.
  7. Toilet Paper Elves: These are so freakin' cute that even if we don't do this for our advent calendar we'll definitely be making a few just for decoration. 
  8. Free Santa Printable: For some reason Santa gets left out of a lot of the advent calendars, so I thought using his beard for the countdown was a creative idea. Also, all you need is a printer and some paper for this one. Score!  
  9. Magnetic Tins: I love that this DIY project would be reusable for years to come. I'd probably go the same route as #5 and combine small ornaments with a mini tree. Or you can use some of these non-candy ideas
What kind of Advent calendar does your family use? There are so many creative DIY ideas out there, I kinda want them all.


  1. So cool! I love advent stuff! I made Advent Ornaments last year, so we'll do that again!

  2. All cute! We did a "paper chain countdown" for Avery's birthday this year, since I made the mistake of telling her it was almost her birthday- 5 weeks early. It stopped her from asking every day "is it my birthday yet?!". So we might definitely do it again for Christmas :) and I'm with ya! I would definitely eat all of the forgotten daily candies.

  3. YES!!! Last year we did Santa's beard and it was adorable. Ill have to check the rest of these out and find one to do this year, thanks!

  4. Yes!!!! We love the advent calendars!!! We usually put trinkets in the calendar. Although, I'm not sure how we are going to work it this year...My husband likes to surprise Lily (and me) with chocolates in the calendar...or blow pops...before bed. ha! What are your plans?

  5. No chocolate? You make me so sad =( lol. I just got that one from Target but it will have activities in it. Maybe some little chocolates though because chocolate.

  6. So no chocolate?! But still I love the colored popsicle stick one and the paper rings shaped like a tree! We made paper rings but just hung them - wish I had seen this! We have two countdowns and will likely add two more -- some are just for counting the days though. I like the idea of adding an activity one.... we'll see how far I get! Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  7. Which one did yoou choose? I've wanted to do a non-candy one but alas somehow Elin has ended up with 2 chocolate ones! Yikes!