Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY 12 Days of Christmas Calendar

When the Christmas decorations first began appearing, there was a common sight found during every one of our trips to the store: my husband, looking at the Advent calendars. Neither one of us had ever had one growing up, and he really wanted to start that tradition in our home...but we really couldn't find one that we really loved. Some were really cute, but the compartments were barely big enough to fit a single piece of candy in; others were bigger, but not particularly attractive (I like Santa, but I draw the line at creepy Santa. No thank you, ma'm). So I started thinking of ways I could make one. My first thought was to use cardboard tubes, but I wanted something sturdier, so we could use it for several years. While brainstorming, I thought that magnetic spice tins would be a great reusable alternative, but a quick internet search revealed that buying enough for this project would be a little on the pricey side.

I spotted these tins with clear tops in the party favor section of a craft store and thought they would work great. I bought enough for a full Advent calendar, but thought it might be a little overwhelming to do this year (which has been an exceptionally crazy holiday season so far), so I decided to cut it down to a "12 Days of Christmas" calendar instead. It ended up being such a quick, easy, and relatively cheap project!

Materials needed:

Party favor tins (found here)
Adhesive magnets
Magnetic board
Patterned paper (upcycled Christmas cards)
White or light-colored cardstock
Glue or tape
Pen or marker
Extra embellishments as desired

My friends at Tiny Prints sent me these beautiful sample cards to use for this project. The patterns on the backs were adorable and coordinated perfectly with each other. I cut circles from the cards; then I cut smaller circles from white card stock, wrote the numbers on them, and glued them on top of the patterned circles. 

I then placed the circles inside the lids, taping them securely, and attached the adhesive magnets to the backs of the tins. We decided to make our calendar an activity calendar, so I wrote out twelve activity ideas and put one in each tin.

 I also decorated the magnetic board using some extra tinsel we had laying around, as well as some large clothespins and gold & white twine from my scrapbooking stash.

 I arranged the tins on the magnetic board and done! The whole project took less than half an hour, and cost less than $20.  I'm really happy with how it turned out! If you try it yourself, I'd love to see pictures!


  1. Such a cute idea! I love advent calendars and this one is super cute.

  2. Super cute! I loveeee countdown calendars of any kind.

  3. I like the idea of doing activities! My sister bought me one of the Starbucks advent calendars this year and I'm already plotting about how to do it next year.


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