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There are few things that I enjoy more than looking for a craft idea that’s “just right.” It has to be something where the process is fun but not overwhelming, and the end result is visually pleasing and virtually fail-proof. This easy Advent calendar from the blog A Beautiful Mess requires only envelopes, twine or yarn, and clothespins—and the results are lovely! Use it at home or in children’s ministry programs as you count down the days of Advent and wait with expectation for the birth of the baby Jesus.

Just make or buy envelopes, number them 1-25, clip them to lengths of twine, add fun surprises, and you’re done!



  • Crafty option: Follow the instructions on the blog A Beautiful Mess to create the envelopes pictured here out of scrapbooking paper. (Including the family photographs is optional, of course.) If you’re handy with a sewing machine, consider making envelopes out of cloth scraps for reuse year after year.
  • Easier option: Use ready-made envelopes instead of making your own, and invite kids to decorate them if you wish. Sets of colorful envelopes like these are readily available online.

Use a marker or stickers to number the envelopes from 1 to 25, and clip them to lengths of twine with clothespins or paperclips. Use pushpins or removable plastic hooks to hang the strings of envelopes up.

Surprises to Go Inside

  • Print out a copy of Jesse Tree: God’s Big Advent Story and cut apart the 25 daily family devotions. Put one devotion in each envelope (keeping them in order, of course). Also print out and cut apart the 25 Bible story symbols that go with those devotions and add them to the envelopes too. 
  • If you like, add candy, stickers, or other small items to the envelopes for extra fun.


To set the stage, tell kids that this Advent calendar helps us celebrate the coming of Jesus before Christmas Day. Each day during Advent, pull out the story symbol first and invite kids to guess which Bible story it represents. Then read the brief devotional. Clip the story symbol to the outside of its envelope, and enjoy your treats!


Thanks for this great idea! We already have several ways we track the days in Advent, so I made envelopes just for the weekends during Advent. The Saturday envelopes have a fun activity we have scheduled for that day and the Sunday ones have a little description of that week's candle that we read as we light our Advent wreath at dinner. They look beautiful on the wall, were easy to make, and my kids love checking them each weekend to see what we have planned!

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