With all the craziness going on at my home lately, I forgot to share my DIY advent calendar with you!  The kids usually have just a small advent calendar that sits near the fireplace, but I love large-scale ones that become part of a home’s holiday decor so this year, I decided to use my vintage orchard ladder that was sitting in the corner of my family room as a frame to create my DIY advent calendar.




I went the craft store after Thanksgiving and hit the 50% sales, so the entire project cost me just under $8.  I already had the red and white baker’s twine, so I just purchased the mini paper bags, sticker name tags, and rub-on numbers.



Each bag is simply folded, hole punched, and tied to a rung of the ladder.  I then adhered the red and white name tags to the front and added the rub-on numbers 1-25.  I love that all of the numbers have a vintage look to them but that each one is different.



A tiny cypress sits at the base in my silver champagne bucket {they make great pots for plants!}.



And because the cypress looked a little lonely all by itself, I added a couple of small gifts wrapped in kraft paper and tied with the baker’s twine.   I even added a few red polka dots to the larger package by applying red ink to the top and glue stick cap and using the cap as a circular stamp, thus giving it some character and color but keeping the vintage feel.



With the 25 advent bags taking up all of the space on the ladder, I had to find a new home for the grain sack tea towels that had been hanging on the rungs.  I simply folded them up and placed them in my tall cabinet along with some small red ornaments.



I’m really happy with how it came out and the kids are having fun opening the bags each day.  Since they can simply untie them, the bags can be used again next year.  One word of caution, though, if putting candy in the bags, make sure that it is wrapped candy so that no food leaks or stains the bags, which could unknowingly attract critters while the bags are packed away the rest of the year!




We’re planning to buy our tree over the weekend and get it decorated {I must be the last blogger on Earth to get their tree!}.  I’ll also share an update on the bathroom remodel next week.


I hope your December is off to a good start!  Only 19 shopping days left…yikes!



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18 comments on “DIY Christmas Ladder Advent Calendar”

  1. Love this…I have never done an Advent Calendar…and no “little people” to do one for any more…but it is precious!
    BTW, where did you get your boxwood wreath…it is very pretty and I am in the market for one to replace my Christmas wreath on my living room mirror next month! Always afraid to order from somewhere without seeing the product in a REAL home and not an advertisement!

    • Hi Beck! Thank you so much! I love these little boxwood wreaths and use them all over the house. I bought this one from Decor Steals. Antique Farmhouse, their sister company, also sometimes carries them as well. If you Google a 6″ mini boxwood wreath you might be able to find other vendors that currently have them in stock. I’ve seen some that don’t come with the ribbons attached, but mine came with the off-white ribbon and bow.

        • Well, as it turns our, my love for boxwood wreaths runs deep and I also have a 24″ one! And it’s hanging from a mirror just as you were thinking of doing! I snapped a quick pic for you so that you could see it in a “real” setting {sorry, it’s not a fabulous photo because it isn’t the right time of day to photograph this room – HA!}. I ordered this one from Decor Steals/Antique Farmhouse as well. Take a look though and you’ll see that this larger wreath is only one-sided, as opposed to the minis which are finished on both sides. If you are hanging it on a door or a wall, you wouldn’t probably ever notice, but when it’s hanging on a mirror, you see the reflection of the unfinished side. It doesn’t really bother me and so I hung it on the mirror anyway, but if you don’t like the look, you’ll want to try and find a large wreath that is finished on both sides. Just a thought. Good luck with your search!

          Large Boxwood Wreath

  2. Actually, I like this look….is that a grapevine base? I have several boxwood bushes at my apartments and every time I trim them I consider making a wreath out of the clippings…but then I read what you had to do to preserve them and decided it wasn’t worth my time! I’ll keep an eye out on Decor Steals. Beautiful!

    • It’s woven like a grapevine wreath but I don’t think it actually is one because the branches are much thinner….more like small twigs. And too funny about preserving your own clippings! I have boxwood bushes too but after reading about the work involved to preserve them, I decided to pass as well. :) Have a great weekend!

  3. Kim,
    Very pretty. As empty nesters we don’t put an advent calender up anymore but I love them and the excitement they used to provide the kids. The ladder looks great and I love the cupboard nearby…Restoration Hardware?

    • Hi Karen! The kids do love the advent calendar but I’ll be honest, they get more excited to see what Pete, our mischievous elf, has been up to! Lol! And yes….good eye….the cabinet is from RH. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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