Saturday, 12 November 2011

Experiences Advent Calendar

I don't know about you but now I'm a mum I am really aware of the sometimes dominant commercial side of Christmas. My three-year-old daughter started telling me in September what she wanted from Santa. 

(Um, maybe this is why?)

So although I still want her to be excited about her gifts I more want to make gifts for her and her brother, and also I want them to realise that Christmas is more about giving, remembering the reason for Christmas and spending time as a family.

So I thought I'd do an advent  calendar that was more to do with experiences over Christmas time rather than treats. So when a little while ago I saw this advent calendar on Pinterest;

Pinned Image

I knew this would be perfect for it and I thought, "I could totally make that with a bit of paint and some pegs!"

So I did.

And seriously, it's as easy as it looks! 

Get yourself some of these:

A piece of thin wood (sorry no idea what it's called, some sort of board? I just picked up what looked right off the shelf and the very patient wood cutter man cut it down for me.), mine was about 24" by 7"

Hot glue gun

Sharpies or paint pens for the numbers

Paint and/or scrapbook paper for the peg fronts (I used Mod Podge to adhere the papers)


First, measure up your board and work out your spacing. Now this is important:

Lay out your pegs and count to make sure you have 24.

Not 22. But you wouldn't make that mistake, and if you did you would probably take artsy type photos so no one would notice.

Not this kind.

Anyway, after laying out your 24 pegs evenly, or not if you wanted a more random look, start hot gluing down your pegs.

Then paint and decorate the front of your pegs. Paint, glitter, scrapbook paper. Whatever takes your fancy.

The polka dot one was done with the rubber end of a pencil.

When they're all dry write on your numbers and admire. I love how easy that was!

Now you can write out your experiences on some card. Here's some of my own ideas to get you started:

But gifts for a project shoe box appeal or other Christmas drive
Make a tree ornament
Write a letter to Santa
Decorate the tree
Make Christmas pudding
Go for a winter walk
Watch a Christmas DVD
Give out Christmas cards
Buy a present for Daddy/Mummy
Unwrap a Christmas book to read
Play at Grandma's house
Make a treat for some family/friends
Make a snowman
Read the Christmas story
Take a hamper to a family

I love how easy this personalises. You can include all of your family traditions and swap them around easily if it snows on December 2nd or a Christmas party is happening on a specific date.

And for those of you with a child like mine who already asked me where the chocolate is you can always wrap up a few treats or even have a little treat hung on to go with each day and peg them on!

Super easy and really quick! 

So what's your favourite Christmas activities?


It's now got all the experiences inside!

Think I'm more excited than my kids to start it! 


  1. I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. This is brill,although my kids are grown i will still have a go putting service projects down,for instance.Still loving your blog xxx

  3. It is really brilliant. Only I am not this creative. Still have borrowed the idea and plan to put it together with someone's help. Thanks and "Merry Christmas"

  4. Love this Rhiannon, I have been thinking of creating an advent calender myself and you can never go wrong with pegs. The christmas activities is such a great idea btw!

  5. Saw that too! Very cute!
    We have an old wooden house that we use...

  6. What a fun idea! I love the clothespins! Thank you so much for linking up!

  7. I would love to have seen how it looked "loaded".

  8. Love this! The clothespins are adorable!

    Would LOVE for you to link up to our "Home For The Holidays" link party! ;)

  9. Such a great idea!!! Love it! She is going to be super excited about it :)

  10. I so agree with you about how overly commercialised Christmas can be. You are a good Mom for recognising this and teaching your sweet daughter about the true spirit of Christmas.

    You are also very clever! I too have pinned this but never even contemplated making it-you are amazing!

    I am hosting two link ups at the moment and I would be so honoured if you could join in with one or even both of them! The first is my weekly Pinterest party @ 5 Minutes Just for Me and the second is an Advent calendar link up as part of my 12 Days of Christmas series at my Christmas blog. I sure do hope you can pop by and visit!

    Best Christmas wishes,

  11. I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    I hope to see you there!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick