DIY Eco-Friendly Advent Calendar

"Heather," you say, "It's late September. Why are you posting a Christmas DIY now? Are you, like Michael's or Target, hawking Christmas goods early to capitalize on profits?"
No, my friends. I'm posting this really early because I love surprises! I wanted to make my advent calendar now, then forget about it over the next few months, so every time I open a new day it's a lovely little surprise.

In my house we used to have two advent calendars in December: one was a little log house with doors you could open to reveal Hershey Kisses inside. Then my brother, sister and I each got a cardboard advent calendar, I think they were from World Market, with a cute Christmas-y design and chocolates shaped like gifts and reindeer and whatnot hiding behind each day's cardboard flap. One time, there were Legos instead of chocolate. That was fun.

We still have the log house, but I think my parents stopped buying the cardboard ones when my brother went to college. Although it saddened me at first because they were such a source of warm nostalgia, I've since thought about just how much waste went into each individually plastic-wrapped chocolate stored in a wax-coated cardboard door. Ah, ignorance was bliss.

Instead of moping about it, I made my own advent calendar inspired by those cardboard ones.
Mine is low-waste. It's reusable and recyclable, made of just cardstock and creativity.
Plus you're in charge of what goes in it. You can personalize for anyone, even those who don't celebrate Christmas!

DIY Low-waste Advent Calendar

If you're making an advent calendar for yourself, I recommend making it now, so you forget what you hide inside.
I wasn't sure if it was gonna turn out cute or not, so I don't have any photos of the process.

Start with a sheet of cardstock, turned landscape.

Fold into thirds.

Measure 25 lines out and number them for each day- 14 on one side, 11 on the other. I made the 24th and 25th bigger. Draw these lines on the front of the two panels, and on the inside of the middle panel.

On the inside panel, write in your advent "gifts": I left myself encouraging reminders, fun quotes from my favorite books, and festive activity ideas. See the photo for how I lined them up.

Decorate your calendar as you like. I painted watercolors dreams of Earthquake, then went over the writing in thin black sharpie.

Cut along the lines on both front panels.

Leave it underneath some heavy books to flatten out for the next few months!

If you make this, let me know in the comments below, via email, on Facebook or on Instagram. Then hide it, forget about it, and go live in the moments of autumn. Or, if you're like me, hide it, forget about it, and go do more schoolwork. For my part, I shall return to studying AP Physics.

World peace and love,

Heather <3

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