Here is a photo of my homemade Advent Calendar! It cost me less than $10 to put together! I used scrap wood for the post and top. I painted them in acrylic craft paint in royal blue ($1), foam brushes (.97 for a pack), paper lunch bags ($1), stencils ($3), foam letters (.97 ea) and I already had the clothespins, but they can be picked up at dollar stores.
I did two coats of paint on the wood, screwed the top to the post and painted over the screws. The letters had adhesive on them so I just pressed them onto the sign post. I measured the clothespines 1/2" from the edge of the post, 2" down from the bottom of the signpost and 1" down from the one above it. I added the "25" even though most calendars do not have one just to add fluidity.
I decided to use silver letters to go along with the last week of Advent, the royal blue instead of purple because, while purple is traditional, I felt royal blue would suffice. I had planned on doing blue bags, rose bags and then white bags but couldn't find any so I ended up just using plain brown paper bags and stenciling on them. I bought cheap stencils and they wouldn't work with paint, so I used a blue sharpie I had laying around the house! It adds a pretty "down home" feel to it!
To make the bags smaller I folded them in half. Cut at the halfway point then folded the remainder down, so basically it is just the bottom part of the bag.
Inside of the bags, I made my own cards from poster board I already had in the house (instead of buying 3x5 cards and cutting in half) and inside each bag is a Bible scripture, an activity, and a book to read (as I have 3 littles). Next year when baby is bigger I will come up with a 4th card, so each child has a card to choose in the daily bag! I'm thinking a "pay it forward" activity for the 4th card in that each child will craft or do something for a charity or something along that line. I have a year to think about 25 different ways to "pay it forward"!
I'm also working a large stocking holder to hang on the wall (the fireplace isn't large enough for our stockings and gets to hot with the stove insert!) I will be posting on that later this week!
Merry Christmas season!
(This elk is singing a Christmas carol, haha)