Last Minute Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

November 30th, the day before December 1st, to some its known as the eve before the Christmas season fully kicks into gear. Many people wait until the 1st before kicking into high gear, bringing out the decorations and setting up their trees. I know for a fact that if we weren’t in a rental and moving in two weeks we would be headed out to cut down a tree this weekend. I mean we could, but I think my hubby would kill me if we attempted to move a fully decorated tree (no glass ornaments here, because toddlers.)

That being said December 1st, is more known for the start of the advent calendar. I remember as a kid year after year looking forward to that little itsy bits chocolate each night after dinner. I swear that thing got smaller each year. We attempted to do the whole chocolate advent calendar when Hazel was one but it just didn’t seem to work. I think with the combination of rushing home after work and day care every night, attempting to start dinner and get her to bed at a reasonable time that we simply forgot and we ended up missing half the month. I also completely forgot last year but I will blame that on Everett as he was only a couple of months old. Needless to say the kids don’t know what they are missing yet.  

So I thought this year I would get my act together and get them an advent calendar. I have been searching high and low since about September and even reached out to Facebook land for some help finding one and a big thank you to that because a friend sent me a link to this to beauty. 

advent calendar

She came all the way from the UK, over night too, and I am just so in love with her. I would link her for you guys but unfortunately she appears to be sold out and I can’t find her anywhere. I’m sorry! But now that I had her the next question was, “What was I going to fill her with?” should I  just do chocolate? Stickers? Tattoos? Other little random dollar store finds? Each thing that popped into my head resulted in either that’s to advanced for Everett or I don’t want more random crap. Yes, I could just do chocolate but that’s kind of boring. You eat it and then its gone.  I wanted something a little more fun. So I found myself using trusty old Google and low and behold I came across the perfect answer.

A puzzle.

What a great idea right? Each night she would receive a piece or two depending on how big of a puzzle and by the end of the month she would have it built. And it’s something that can be played with time and time again. As for Everett I found him some cute little wooden farm animals and sea creatures. I thought they would be a fun way of teaching him their different noises and names. 

advent calendar

My goal for the project was to stuff both kids daily treats into the advent calendar. In order to differentiate the two I grabbed some miniature white envelopes from the craft store. I used my circuit to write each kids initial on the front of the envelope so when they opened the drawers each day they would know who’s was who’s. But unfortunately the puzzle pieces were just a tad too big so they didn’t fit. So a back up plan was quickly thought up and I quickly set to work. For Hazels I wrote a coordinating number on the top of each of her envelopes and hung them along the fireplace below the advent calendar. 

Here’s how you can create your own.

Advent Calendar

Supplies needed:

  • 1 Puzzle, taken apart and divided into 24 different piles
  • 24 miniature white paper sacks
  • Cricut with gold pen or gold pen if you don’t own a cricut
  • 24 miniature clothes pins
  • string

How it’s done:

  1. Sign into your Cricut Design studio and start a new project
  2. Type in your childs initial and select your desired font, I used Chole Whimsy
  3. I used a 12 x 24 mat which allowed me to write on 20 envelopes at one time, definitely speeding up the process.
  4. I used a 1.0 tip gold pen for the project
  5. Once your envelopes are printed, start stuffing your puzzle into them. I had a 48 piece puzzle and did two pieces per envelope. I stuffed corners and side pieces into the first envelopes, leaving the centre two pieces for very last.
  6. I wrote the numbers on the top of each envelope, but you could easily replace the initials with the dates or add them on top.
  7. Take your string and string it across your fireplace, making sure to secure it tightly.
  8. Hang your envelopes across using your clothes pins and voila you’re done!

Now to fill it. While you could fill it with a puzzle like I did there are definitely many more options. Chocolate (of course) lego, pokemon cards, mini play doh’s, stickers, Shopkins, good deeds, outings, I could go on and on.

So tell me what would you fill yours with? Leave me a comment sharing, I love to hear!

advent calendar

advent calendar

advent calendar

advent calendar

advent calendar

advent calendar

advent calendar

advent calendar

Now I just can’t wait until we move and can set everything up on our new fireplace!

Xo. Andria

6 thoughts on “Last Minute Chocolate Free Advent Calendar

  • November 30, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I had a chocolate free advent calendar ages ago (not HALF as pretty as this) but I ran out of ideas of what to put in it. I LOVE the puzzle idea. This is really beautiful!

  • November 30, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I have friends that put a craft, an outing or an activity (make Christmas cookies). It was pretty fun to watch what the kids liked. And if she didn’t feel like making cookies she would switch the little envelopes around.

  • November 30, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    This is a really cool idea. I love the idea of building the calendar at the end so you can see how each day builds towards the next.

  • November 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Wow!!! What a smart idea! I honestly don’t do advent calendars simply because I don’t want to encourage that much candy, so I really, really love this idea. so cool!


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