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DIY Goody Bag Garland Advent Calendar

November 30, 2013

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Whip up an easy kid friendly advent calendar using treat bags from the dollar store to make a fun garland you can hang anywhere.
easy and inexpensive advent calendar

This morning I hung up my new advent calendar and it looks great!

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out.

In true Exquisitely Unremarkable form, it was super cheap and super easy.

This year, I wanted to shake up our advent routine a bit and these goody bags from the dollar store proved to be just the ticket.

Now I have a fabulous countdown calendar and a cute new garland for my family room, all in one.
Paper die cut Christmas character treat bags

There were six bags in each package.

I picked up four packages. One snowman, one penguin, two Santas, I am a red girl after all.

If online shopping is your gig, you can check out these adorable options instead:
I brainstormed a few ideas for family fun and printed them out and then I popped into the local drugstore and grabbed a few candies.

But I love that these bags are generously sized, so they're big enough for some larger treats, too.

I stuffed the bags and then I laced them together with the ribbon provided.

Hanging garland advent calendar over a window

I always put up a string of very simple white lights around the window seat in the family room to add some seasonal sparkle, so I just pinned the garland on top of it.

The gifts can be accessed by gently pulling or snipping the bag and the garland will remain intact for the entire season.

I was a bit unsure at first if the bags would look cheesy or cheapen my normally grown up and elegant decor, but I actually love them.

They're playful and colorful and I think they look very cute and country.

Besides, the rest of the house can be simply dressed, staged and serious, but Christmas should be filled with a little bit of whimsy.

Bringing out the kid in all of us.

Christmas Advent Calendar over bay window

The garland lends itself to lots of interpretation, too.

It could be hung on the tree, over a doorway, across a stair banister, on the mantel and of course, as I said earlier, any kind of bags will do.

This set only cost me $4.00.

Not a bad price for a new take on our old tradition.

And what could be better than that?


Psst- about a free advent calendar? ?

Newspaper advent calendar

Do you countdown to Christmas?

Looking for more holiday inspiration?

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Two evergreen wreaths on front door
Rustic Triple Wreath How To
Happy Countdown, Friends!
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Post a Comment | 21 Comments

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  1. This is such a cute idea! Love that it inexpensive too!

    1. Thanks Scarlett, I was looking for something different, easy and inexpensive...this fit the bill! :)

  2. That looks really cute! I have red in my kitchen too and that would great above my window seat. I also love your place mats for Thanksgiving - the puzzle piece idea!

    1. Thanks so much! They're such easy projects~ both adapted from crafts I did when teaching primary school! I am the queen of simple! :)

  3. Hi I love the way your advent calendar looks on top of the window and what a clever and creative idea. I saw it on life on lakeshore drive. Julie at

    1. Thanks so much, Julie. I needed something fresh this year...I was tired of my old Department 56 house!

  4. Love this!! You always have the best ideas! My kids voted for the usual chain garland, so that's what we're doing--makes it easy for me, so I won't complain. :)

    1. You are so sweet, Dee! I should've started with the chain garland years ago, instead of the house with all the doors that needed to be filled up! The bar has been set and there's no going back now! ;)

  5. So cute Kim! I have the store-bought version this year since I didn't have time to make my own. My son surely enjoys opening each one everyday!

    1. Our store bought one held a special place in our home for many years, Vel, and yes, store bought or homemade opening always brings a smile! :)

  6. Kim, this is precious and is perfect for the child in all of us! Isn't that true, that the decorations make more fun for the whole family regardless of age. Your red is wonderful...I'm leaning toward red for a room one day!;)

    1. Thanks so much Helen! It's a little different for me, I usually go for the more elegant and polished look...even if it is rustic or primitive, but something about these dollar store cuties just tugged at my heart a bit! Hey, I'll be watching your posts to see if you ever do go with's becomes an addiction! :)

  7. Super cute idea!! I'd love if you'd link up to The DIYers.

  8. What a GREAT project! I'm a new follower stopping by from Fluster Muster's Creative Muster. :-)

  9. We count down :^)
    Our advent calendar has little doors that open and have opened since the late 1940's :^0
    They have multiple Scotch tape patches (one year my Mom patched them with GREEN scotch tape....yikes....) but they still work and it still makes me smile!
    I love your little bags...if I see them in our dollar store, I will get them to make a garland for the littles next Christmas!
    Blessings to you,

    1. I love the countdown! It adds to the excitement for the kids and for us, as well! We have used our house with doors for mom bought it for me and it really is special...for some reason, this year we were looking for something different! The dollar store bags were so cute, I couldn't resist their (cheap) smiling faces! Happy December J!! :)

  10. Adorable! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

    1. Thanks Danielle ~ It's always so sweet that you take the time to come by and check out my links and comment! I always appreciate the opportunity to party! :)

  11. Kim thanks for sharing this! Very valuable tips for those who are trying to celebrate the Season! Very festive decorations!

    1. Thanks Johnnie, it's just what we do around here! ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it!