Sunday, December 2, 2012

DIY Eco Jar Advent Calendar!

I love me some advent calendars. They were part of my favourite things growing up- every morning getting to open up a little door and eating chocolate BEFORE breakfast?? Yes please!

These past few years, though, I've been loathe to buy the cheap, wasteful, packaging heavy calendars. All that plastic and cardboard, shrink-wrapped in MORE plastic. Ugh. Grossness.

Although I was sorely tempted to purchase a reusable advent calendar, they were usually pricey, from large evil companies (Starbucks had a cool tree-one with drawers a few years back) or weren't made for chocolates (I mean, why bother then?).

This year I was determined to make my own, dammit.

My friend over at Mama Hayes suggested I look at Pinterest for inspiration. I'm not really a pinterest gal (another post that), but I will admit, inspiration struck in the form of mason jars.

"I have 25 jars! I could totally do an advent jar-alendar!"

12 hours of crafting later and two days late and they are done. Once I started and realized just how much work they would be, I was too invested to stop. And I'm SO glad I didn't. Now that they are completed, I'll just have to pack'em up in a box and next year will be a max of 5min.
(The finished product!)

In case you'd like to give it a go, have a weekend free (or helpers) here's how I did it:

Jar Advent Yulemas DIY calendar

Jazz Christmas Music playlist
25 jars of different sizes (I even used old spice jars!)
Wrapping paper
An old white t-shirt
cotton cooking yarn (or ribbon)
Tissue paper (I save mine from previous presents)
A hole puncher

(my jars, all lined up!)

1. Wrap all the jars. What I did so I didn't have to worry about measuring and cutting smoothly, cuz I suck at cutting smoothly, is fold the edges like I do for wrapping presents.

2. Using an appropriately sized bowl (I used a medium anchor storage container and for the wide mouthed jars I used a large anchor storage container) trace and then cut the t-shirt circles that will cover the lids. I tried doing one per jar, but that took forever, it went way faster once I got all the circles done.

3. Add tissue and chocolates to all the jars. Seriously, I made the mistake of doing five jars with no chocolates... reopening and putting chocolate in wasn't fun.

4. Cut out all the labels and punch holes in them. Place them in the bowl you used for tracing. That way when you tie them on you'll be choosing the jar size at random.

5. Place a piece of circle tape (ya know, the loop that Mr Dress-up taught us how to do as kids) in the middle of a t-shirt circle. Tape the circle in the middle of a lid.

6. With the lid attached to the jar, cut out a piece of string (ribbon) leaving about 3-4 inches extra on each end to allow for bow-tying.

7. Here's where a buddy comes in handy; holding the t-shirt down, wrapping your thumb and index finger around the lid, place the string around the lid. Either use your mouth to tighten the string, or get your buddy to hold the string in place and tie it tightly. I think glue gunning the string might prove helpful... but I didn't have a glue gun handy.

8. Thread one piece of the string through the label, make a bow and voilĂ ! Fini!

My plan is to push each jar back as the days go on, so it shows the progression along the month towards Yulemas! :)

article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. That looks great! Thanks for the shout out. I'm hoping to post my advent calendar tree idea in the next few days if little Rowan lets me.

    1. Thanks! I love your advent boxes- they are so cute!! :)

  2. yay! i'm glad the jars and wrapping paper came in handy. it looks great lisa!

    1. Thanks Jen :) I too was happy that I had some extra jars to top off the 25 AND some pretty wrapping paper that I didn't have to buy :D They will have a happy home for years to come!

  3. Fantastic idea! btw--I don't normally put the tree up this early, but going to the Bahamas last year and not having a tree made me sooooo excited this year. I missed putting each ornament and the story they tell of our lives. It was quite a day, crying with sentimentality while I decorated the tree.

    1. Thank yoU!
      OH that makes sense- i too would miss all the xmas decorations if i didn't have it one year!

  4. What a wonderful inspiring blog! I think I'll stay around! Great job!




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