Well, I'm a few days late getting our advent calendar hung ... but my kids loved playing 'catch up'! And I'm here to say it's not too late for you, either. This would be a great idea leading up to the '12 days of Christmas', too! We have done a different kind of advent calendar each year since my oldest was old enough to understand the concept. This year's was inspired by this recent project by Monika Hibbs. But because I wanted to print on the bags themselves (in addition to the numbers, they also have a scripture for each of the 25 days printed on the back), I decided to print and fold my own bags. I promise, it's easier than you might think!
For this project I used:
- Regular printer paper (< my favorite kind - it feels luxurious!)
- Clothes pins
- Command Strips, cut in half lengthwise (< no damage done to your walls!)
- Rare Bird Font Foundry Specimen III*
- Double sided tape, or a glue stick
- Bone folder, or other object to help crease
- Pair of scissors
- Template for the bags (see below)
*I have to say, this font from Rare Bird Font Foundry is what really took the entire project to the next level. It's elegant yet simple and makes each bag feel so special!
Of course, you can absolutely use pre-made bags and write on them, as well (like Monika did!). But if you're up for a fun lesson in folding, this is how I made each of the bags!
- Ready to print bags with scriptures (.PDF file)
- Ready to print bags blank backs (.PDF file)
- Custom template to make your own (.EPS file)*
To use the custom .EPS file, you'll open the document in either Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and use the existing text boxes to add in your own numbers and text on the backs. Delete the guide boxes and you're ready to print! If you'd like to use the same font as I've shown here, you can purchase it from the Rare Bird Font Foundry.
Ideas for the back:
I chose 25 scriptures for the back of the bags so that we could read them each day with the kids. Other great ideas would be to list actionable ideas, like random acts of kindness to complete each day.
We filled each bag with healthy treats and special sayings for the kids to open each day. We feel that having something visual like an advent calendar really helps young minds grasp the time span before Christmas, and brings extra meaning to the season!