Burlap Advent Calendar {Shutter Door Upcycle}

I know all of these Christmas posts are little too soon for many of you, and normally I would agree.  However, I have learned in the past two years of blogging that I need to get a jump on things or the holidays get crazier than they need to be.  So,  I’ve succumbed to decorating a little early and I’ve discovered that I actually kind of like it.  It makes the day after Thanksgiving a true day of rest for me (since I usually host Thanksgiving at my house) and it’s so nice to just relax and settle in to the holiday season.  

I do have to confess, however, that my home does suffer from a little holiday confusion.  Because I host Thanksgiving I keep the front door and dining room decorated for fall and the rest of the house is Christmas!  (My guests don’t seem to mind.)

I will still be sharing a couple of Thanksgiving related posts next week but first, I want to share this project that needed to get done before December 1st.  My DIY Burlap Advent Calender.

I have wanted to make an Advent calender for my kids for a long time.  When they were little, we printed out a Santa face and the kids glued one cotton ball per day  to fill in Santa’s beard.  It was fun, easy and perfect for small children.  

They outgrew that a long time ago and ever since I have been trying to think of a way to make an easy Advent calendar they can enjoy even as they get older.  This year, I finally figured it out.


  Up-cycled closet door with louvers makes it the perfect place for an advent calender!


I started with some little burlap bags from the dollar bin (2 for a $1 at Michael’s last year — you can also find similar ones here), some clothes pins I already had, and an old closet door that I got from my sweet mother-in-law who found several at an estate sale awhile back.  

Clip burlap bags to a louvered door to make the perfect easy no-sew advent calendar!


I was trying to figure out how I was going to use the bags and what to affix them to…then it dawned on me — the old louvered closet door!  

The louvers are perfect for using clothes pins to adhere the little bags.  No sewing or large tools involved – yay!  Plus, it’s not permanent. 

I embellished the bags with some ribbon (I used hot glue) and little wooden circles I bought at the craft store.  The discs were unpainted but I spray painted them silver and then antiqued them with Annie Sloan’s dark wax.  I drew the numbers on with Sharpie marker.  Now they look like kind of like galvanized metal.

Inexpensive burlap bags make the perfect little pockets for goodies in this advent calendar!


I absolutely love that it fits perfectly in my entry on this small wall.  

The top rows are still a little high for my youngest so I put a little red stool in front so she can get to the bags up top.


  burlap advent calender on black door


By the way, you don’t have to have a louvered door to make an advent calendar like this.  A bulletin board, a piece of scrap wood…just about anything could work.  You could use wood glue to permanently affix the clothes pins to a board or you could pin ribbon horizontally across a frame and clip the bags to the ribbon.  There are so many possibilities when using little pre-made bags!

Up-cycled closet door with louvers makes it the perfect place for an advent calender!


I have already tucked some candies and notes inside to each bag for the kids to find each day.  Most of the notes include a suggested activity for that day.  For example, “Watch the Polar Express” or “Make hot chocolate tonight.”  

Here are some other ideas for notes:

  • Read “The the Night Before Christmas”
  • Read the story of Jesus’ birth
  • Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
  • Look at Christmas lights
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Decorate Christmas cookies
  • Decorate a ginger bread house
  • Wrap gifts
  • Pictures with Santa

Even though my kids are almost 10 and 13 they are pretty excited about the new calendar.  I think it’s going to be fun!

Wishing you a joy-filled day,



sharing at:
Your Designs this Time
Savvy Southern Style
Between Naps on the Porch
The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life
Twirl and Take a Bow
Funky Junk Interiors
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17 Responses to Burlap Advent Calendar {Shutter Door Upcycle}

  1. I love your Advent Calendar and love how you used the shutter…so pretty and creative!!!…Have a great weekend Julie!

  2. I adore this! How clever you are! It is sooo cute.I am sure your kids are going to enjoy this so much. I have never made one for my kids and this year I am determined to. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. what a sweet calendar. i have not done an advent calendar yet. we try to incorporate good deeds and activities when our elf shows up each day. I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving!!

  4. Lauren says:

    This is brilliant Julie! I love the idea of using the door. I always have to think about keeping the advent calendar high enough so our dog does not get into the treats so the height of this is perfect! Pinning and sharing this : )

  5. Love your advent calendar, it is so pretty and the shutter is such a great idea. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  6. This is adorable- I just love it! I always love having advent calendars in the house and have been wanting to make a new one for a while. So creative!

  7. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says:

    What a beautiful advent calendar Julie! I bought those little burlap bags when they went on clearance… Now I’m wishing I bought enough to make this! Would love to invite you to share it at our party on Thursday mornings please 🙂 Happiest Thanksgiving!

  8. This is so cute, Julie! I just love it. Wanted to let you know that I’ll be featuring your project at The Scoop tonight. Thank you for linking up!

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  13. That’s adorable Julie. 🙂

  14. I think that is simply fantastic!

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