Tutorial ★ Advent Calendar

December 5, 2012 by flyingdrunkenmonkey

Tutorial - Advent Calendar - The Flying Drunken Monkey

Last year Lily really started to get excited about Christmas. She loved going to look at houses decorated with lights, adored the Carols by Candlelight and was ecstatic to get all of her presents.

This year I’ve decided to do a bit more in the lead up to the day to make it more exciting for her (and me!). We aren’t religious so this is simply as more of a count down than anything else.

When I was little my siblings and I would get one of those cardboard Advent Calendars with the tiny windows you opened to find the chocolate behind. I remember they used to be so much fun to open but I also remember not really liking the taste of the chocolate in them. It was always that cheap chocolate that somehow tasted a little like the cardboard it came in. I’d love to get a Lindt one but they are just too expensive.

Also, I really don’t want Lily eating chocolate every day – she does eat chocolate; we’ll sometimes get a Kinder Surprise when we do the grocery shopping but she can only eat it on a night when she has eaten all of her dinner. This has been working surprisingly well so far; she doesn’t keep asking for it if she doesn’t eat her dinner.

So, I began to look around for other options and discussed it with my Mum. In the end we decided that the best option would be to have some small bags, filled with a small, cheap toy for each day. This way it could be reused each year.

Mum got to work on creating the bags (see below for how she did this) and she and I hit the cheap shops for little toys to go in each bag. She also made the same bags for my niece so we got double of each toy. We ended up getting things like little bottles of bubbles, plastic toy dinosaurs, plastic rings, squishy balls, toy cars, little unicorns, pencils and pads of paper. Everything was about a dollar or less and some days have more than one surprise. Mum bought a special toy for the 25th for each of the girls – I don’t think I’ve actually seen what it is.

How to make an Advent Calendar - The Flying Drunken Monkey

How to create an Advent Calendar;


  1. Calico cut in to desired sized squares (I did 4-inch) with a 3cm extra at top for casing.
  2. I embroidered the numbers 1 to 25 in green embroidery cotton with 2 threads.
  3. Sew up sides; I zig zagged edges, overlocking would have been quicker.
  4. Fold over top to form a casing & stitch. I cut a hole in one side & then threaded the ribbon through.
  5. I then filled them with little gifts we had bought, e.g. bubbles, toy animals, pencils, rings.
  6. We then tied them to a string and hung them along the mantelpiece.



We hung ours not in order so part of the fun for Lily is finding the correct number each day. My niece has hers in order as she isn’t quite as confident with counting yet. Lily is loving working out which number she has to look for, climbing on the table to find it and then discovering what is inside.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see a photo each day of Lily opening the bag.

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6 Comments »

  1. Cassandra says:

    Great idea :) I always hated the taste of those advent chocolates too… but the novelty of opening the little cardboard windows was fantastic!

  2. wow! this is incredible!
    my boys have the Lego advent calender – but couldn’t wait till December – it was all opened in November :O
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  3. That is a great idea. Kids would love it so much!
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  4. Annaleis says:

    What a lovely idea! I like that they don’t have chocolate every day too.

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