‘Tis that time of year that we countdown to Christmas with our DIY advent calendar! Do you have an advent calendar that you use every year? Or do you use store-bought or disposable ones? If you love Christmas crafts as much as I do, then you will love making this handmade stocking advent calendar that can be re-used every year. Plus, I’m sharing lots of fun ideas for holiday activities you can include in each stocking.
How To: 25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar
As much kids get older and become less interested in spending time anywhere other than bedrooms staring at screens I’ve had to get more and more creative in getting them involved in activities as a family. What I love about this calendar is the ability to change it each year to accommodate the ages of everyone and include new memories for us to make as a family.
The stocking advent calendar below fits perfectly across my fireplace mantel that is about 71″ in length. I’ve included a link to the stocking template in the instructions below to make it easy to make your own garland of the same length at home.
If you already have an advent calendar that you use each year please skip to below the tutorial and you will find an extensive list of ideas to include in your advent calendar for this year.
25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar
- 1.5 yards of white fleece
- Roll (most come in 25ft) of ribbon that’s 3.5″ wide
- Burlap (you don’t need much, I used off-cuts from a previous project)
- Numbers – cookie cutters, stencils, or even chipboard punch-out numbers work well for this
- Sewing machine (or feel free to sew it by hand, I did).
- Fabric glue
- Jute cord
If you would like to make your stockings about the same size that I made mine, then download and print this template.
Using the template, cut out 50 stocking pieces (for front and back of each stocking) using the white fleece.
Using a cookie cutter, stencil (or anything else you have that has a number you can trace around) onto the burlap, and cut out your numbers. Attach them to the front of each stocking using fabric glue. set aside to dry.
Cut pieces of ribbon the same width as the top of each stocking, so again, you’ll need 50 in total.
Fold each piece of ribbon over the top of the fleece stocking, place your stocking with the number side in the center, and then stitch around the outside, leaving the top open. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can do this by hand … my sewing machine actually decided to completely break down the day I set out to sew these, so yes I did have to hand sew them. A lot of Christmas movies were watched.
Turn your stocking inside out so that the number is outside. Now go ahead and do that for all of the others too until you have 25 little stockings.
Attach each stocking to jute cord with a peg, and you are ready to hang it.
Now, for the fun part!
What To Put In Your Advent Calendar
I’ve rounded up a list of fun family activities and items you can put into your advent calendar – they are in no particular order and I have more than 25 so you have plenty to choose from. I’d love it if you left even more ideas in the comments section.
Tip: For the first day I put a puzzle piece inside the stocking. Then I wrapped a brand new Christmas jigsaw puzzle and put a number 1 on the outside of the parcel. I’ve done this with a few of the stockings including the LEGO building day, a cookie-cutter for cookie decorating, and a game piece for family game night. The kids will get to take turns opening the corresponding gifts. For fun family activities that don’t have anything small I can pop into the stocking, I’ve left a small gift card in an envelope with instructions for that day’s activity.
- Photos with Santa
- Jigsaw puzzle
- Drink egg nog
- Crazy sock photo
- See a holiday movie at the movie theater or drive-in
- Bake and decorate cookies
- Have a snowball fight
- Ugly sweater party
- See The Nutcracker
- Attend a candlelight service
- Go caroling
- Write letters to Santa
- Build a LEGO set
- Make paper snowflakes and hang them by the windows
- Take a drive to see holiday lights
- Go ice skating
- Donate toys and clothing that are no longer used to a charity
- Kiss under the mistletoe
- Build a snowman
- Make a Christmas cocktail or mocktail
- Decorate a gingerbread house
- Family game night
- Hot chocolate and holiday movies under blankets at home
- Wear silly hats and take a photo
- Make snow angels
- Visit a tree farm for a Christmas tree and decorate it
- Open a special Christmas Eve gift
- Do a random act of kindness
- Make handmade Christmas cards and deliver to family
- See a play
- Visit reindeer
- Enjoy a special treat (for this one I put little Santa chocolates in a stocking)
- Make winter care packages for shelters
- Read a story together
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