Quick And Easy Advent Calendar

Got 20 minutes?  Then you've got time to make a homemade Advent calendar for your favorite people.  And it doesn't require the crafting skills of Martha Stewart to get it done!

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I was in our local Mardel bookstore (they are owned by the same wonderful family that owns Hobby Lobby), and I was browsing through their teacher supply area when I came across the most perfect little craft bit for putting together an Advent calendar.  Book pockets.  They're the little envelope-like pockets that are glued into your library books (or at least they were before everything was barcoded!).  I picked up a few packs of them, threw in some ready-made calendar number die cuts, and I was Advent countdown-ready!

Here's a tutorial on how to make a ring-bound version and one that can be clipped to ribbon or trees:

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Gather your book pockets, calendar numbers, hole punch, two binding rings, and double sided-tape.  I began by adhereing the numbers with the tape to the pockets in alternating colors.

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After the numbers were added, I made a hole punch guide out of my scrap packaging, so each day was punched uniformly.  After punching, I clipped in the binding rings, and ta-dah!

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Now to make it an Advent calendar.  The book pockets hold 3x5 sized cards, but with the binding rings, a little of that measurment must be trimmed away.  I made 3x4 activity cards - you can do that easily on your computer, or handwrite some fun activities and Bible readings on plain ole' index cards.  You could do notes of encouragement, memories - the sky is the limit.

Voila!  Calendar number one is done.  That was so fast, I think we have time for another!

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Gather up another set of book pockets.  They come in all kinds of colors and patterns.  And you'll need self-adhesive vinyl numbers.  Add the respective numbers on each pocket for each day of your calendar.  Easy enough?  Now what's next?  These particular pockets have self-adhesive strips, so you could stick them on a nice piece of foam board or wood...or you could ignore the selt-adhesive strips and clip them onto your favorite tiny tree with a clothespin.  You could also add magnetic tape to the back and display them on your fridge.  So many choices!

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And we're done!  Now there's no excuse for us busy, craft-challenged folks not to have an Advent calendar of our very own.  And the even better news is that this is a relatively inexpensive project, even though the calendar uses ready-made materials.  Google book pockets and library pockets tonight and begin dreaming of what your calendar will look like!

In the next few days I'll be providing links and printables to fill the pockets with fun.  Stick around, kid.

Oh, and don't forget to get a great printable Advent activtity here.

It's Advent!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Silver 'Gangnam' Bells.

Toddler-Friendly Tree Time.