Make your own advent calendar

Advent calendar
This is an advent calendar for busy parents who want to make something handmade but are a bit short of time! I had a panic about a week ago when I realised that my original advent calendar plans were just too much for the time I had available. So, instead of running to the shops and buying a chocolate one (oh how tempted I was!) I thought about what I could achieve and suddenly came up with this. 

Advent calendar 01
I had originally planned to make 24 pockets big enough to put 3 little gifts (and actually from next year 4!) but changed this to 3 (and I'll make one to put away for baby 4 to be added next year!). Each evening I will fill it with little gift ready for the next day and change the number. I have been gathering a combination of little toys and Chrismtas chocolate coins and other sweet treats. We have some big Playmobil fans and I managed to win a big bag of figures on eBay, so I will be popping a few of those in too! 

Advent calendar 02
To make this I simple hand-sewed three little bags. If you fold the material over you only have to sew along two sides! Then I folded over the tops. I found 4 pretty pegs in my peg bag. I would have covered them in some washi tape if I'd only had plain ones. I then made a little name tag for each one, which I threaded onto the bag. Next I hung some ribbon, filled each bag ready for tomorrow and pegged them all onto the ribbin

I love how this calendar works for a few reasons. Firstly, it just took a couple of hours to make. Secondly, the materials to make it were relatively cheap and can be gathered from things you already have in a craft box. Thirdly, it's brilliant for little children who haven't quite grasped the concept of one pocket/door at a time. I don't think we've had a year yet that someone hasn't sneaked some chocolate and I've had to refill it! And finally, by having larger single pockets I don't have to struggle to find small enough things to fit. I have got packets of stickers for example and they will fit nicely into these pockets. 

If you haven't made a calendar this year I hope this gives you some inspiration for making a quick, last minute calendar you can use for years to come. Happy Friday! x