DIY/Holiday | Message in an ornament advent calendar

DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly MindsHello! And welcome to Advent Wednesdays!

“Seriously Tan? Christmas already?”

Yes, I know that’s what some of you are probably thinking, and you’re probably ready to freak out on the world (or my comments box) for everyone starting Christmas immediately after halloween. I mean, it’s 8 weeks away!

I know, and I’m sorry. But here’s the thing, using advent calendars is less than 4 weeks away. That’s it! 4 weeks! So in order to get you ready, each Wednesday I’ll be presenting you with a different advent calendar idea, giving you time to gather materials and create it without having to go for a mad dash to the drug store to pick up a yucky chocolate advent calendar instead.

So let’s get started with one of my favourites! Message in an ornament.
DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly MindsInstead of the usual chocolates, I created this advent calendar a couple years ago, where my husband and I write favours or date nights for each other, such as “I’ll wash the dishes tonight” or “What movie do you want to see? My treat.”. I took the same idea but used glass ornaments and pretty sparkles instead.


  • 2 sheets blank white paper and a nice pen
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and pencil
  • 24 clear glass ornaments
  • Various fillers – ribbon, twigs, sparkles, feathers, lace, etc
  • Yarn needle
  • Thread
  • Small stickers or tape
  • Mini luggage tags or cardstock cut to any shape with a hole at the top
  • A branch or other (see notes on step #)

DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly MindsAs you can see I took a girly approach with all the pink and glitter. The beauty of this advent calendar though is you can fill it with anything you want to create any style you want. For an earthy style, fill the ornaments with dirt, branches, feathers, and bits of burlap. For a Dr Seuss style advent calendar, go for glitter and fabrics in bright and wacky colours. The options are endless!


DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly Minds
1 Cut strips of paper lengthwise at 1/2 inch each. Write a date night idea or favour on each one in your neatest writing. At this time you can also write the numbers 1-24 on each tag (see step 7 for example).
2 Cut a piece of thread about 24 inches long and use a sticker or tape to stick onto one end of the strip.
3 From the opposite end of where the thread is, roll the strip of paper around a yarn needle, or something else of about the same size. Roll the entire piece of paper, then wrap the thread around it a few times. Make sure you leave about 12 inches of thread unwound. If you want to further secure it so it doesn’t unroll in the ornament, seal with another sticker or piece of tape.
DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly Minds4 Remove the ornament’s cap and fill with whatever pretty things you have lying about. I used a variety of items: round silver glitter, rose gold tinsel glitter, pink glitter, shiny cellophane confetti, heart confetti, strips of lace, ribbon, and small twigs of boxwood. It’s nice to have a variety of items that look good together.
5 Place the strip of paper spun around the needle into the mouth of the ornament, then slip it off the needle with your finger.
6 Place the ornament cap back on, making sure to leave some thread hanging out.
7 Tie a tag to the end of the thread.
DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly MindsWhen they’re all complete, you’re ready to hang your ornaments! Here are a few ways to create your advent calendar:

  • On a large tree branch, as pictured. In order to do this, you’ll have to either have a couple branches sticking out of a large, sturdy vase, or securely nail the branch to the wall. All those glass ornaments weight those branches down!
  • Secure a line of ribbon across your mantel and hang each ornament along it
  • Get a mini christmas tree to place each ornament on
  • Instead of hanging the ornaments, place them all in a clear bowl and feature it as a centrepiece

DIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly MindsDIY Message in an ornament advent calendar from Squirrelly Minds

What favours or date night ideas would you write for your advent?

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Comment (15)

  1. Wavatar Devon says:

    You are AMAZING! And totally my hero! Im sitting here at work and absolutely gobsmacked by your crafting genius!! I totally want to do this, and just might……

    Many lovings to you. xo

  2. Wavatar Corina says:

    Ah, this is so adorable!!
    would love to do this this year. now i have to find where to get glass ornaments!

  3. Wavatar Lisa says:

    I love this! I’m thinking of making my own advent calendar this year, so I’m really excited to see what ideas you share every Wednesday!

  4. Wavatar Becky Gean says:

    this is fabulous! the glitty makes it so much fun! i LOVE advent calendars! can’t wait to see what else is to come!

  5. Wavatar Kathleen says:

    What a clever idea! I won’t deny that I have a crazy sweet tooth, but I do love advent calendars that aren’t all about candy. Love this!

  6. Wavatar Melissa says:

    This is super cute!! I love the idea of tiny notes. And it looks great too!

  7. Wavatar Rach says:

    Beautiful idea Tan! let the Christmas DIYs begin ;)

  8. Wavatar Vanessa says:

    How clever! Love this simplistic yet unique take on the advent calendar :)

  9. Wavatar elisa says:

    I like it! thanks ;) Elisa

  10. [...] can customize the gift holders too – mini envelopes, mini ornaments with messages inside like this one, or if you’re really ambitious, messages folded into origami [...]

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