Counting down the days until Christmas never gets old. Advent calendars don’t have to be just for little kids, nor do they need to be filled with chocolate…unless you love chocolate, of course! This Advent calendar allows you to fill the little bags with the perfect treats and treasures. Young or young at heart will look forward to opening a little surprise each day leading up to Christmas.

Need some inspiration for filling the bags? Kids love tiny surprises like candy, small toys, crayons or figurines. The guy in your life might like a key chain, bottle of beard oil or a gift card to the hardware store. And she would probably love some nail polish, chocolate and maybe slip a spa gift certificate in there, too. Maybe you’re looking for something suitable for the whole family, you might like to consider doing a giving advent calendar filled with various ways to bring joy and offer help to those around you – baking for the neighbours, lending a hand at the local homeless shelter or bringing a donation to the food bank.

However you choose to count down the days until Christmas, this is a fun project to make and to start a meaningful tradition with your loved ones.


  • Old plaster lath
  • Hand saw
  • White paint and brush (I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Farmhouse White)
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer and nails
  • Eyelets
  • Clips
  • Brown paper bags
  • Cardstock
  • Number stamps and ink
  • Expanding foam
  • Flower pot
  • Shredded paper
  • Tin star
  • Glue


1. Carefully cut the lath into strips of 12″, 15″, 18″, 20″, 22″ and 42″

2. Paint the lath with the white paint, it doesn’t have to be perfectly covered, a little exposed wood makes it look more rustic. Let the paint dry.

3. Cut your cardstock into tags to fit your brown paper bags (mine are approximately 1 ¾” by 1″)

4. Stamp your numbers on the tags from 1 through to 25. (You could print off the numbers in a favourite font and cut out the tags, too if you don’t have number stamps.)

5. Tuck your treats into each little bag, add the tag and clip.

6. Once the paint on the lath is dry, give it a quick sand with 100 grit paper.

7. Nail the cross pieces onto the long piece of lath, 5″ apart, starting from the top, allowing room for the star at the top.

8. Mark your spots for the eyelets and screw them into place. The 1st board gets 3 eyelets, 2nd gets 4 eyelets, 3rd gets 5, 4th gets 6 and the last board gets 7 eyelets.

9. Glue the star to the top of the upright piece of lath and let set.

10. Brace the tree in the flower pot so it will not move while the expanding foam sets and spray the foam into the pot, around the base of the tree, remembering it will expand.

11. Gently push the shredded packing paper into the foam while it is still wet. Let the foam set for the recommended amount of time, if not longer, before moving the pot.

12. Hang your little brown paper bags in the eyelets.

13. Get ready to count down to Christmas!