DIYdiy projects

diy project: falling stars advent calendar

by Brenna

I’ve always loved having an advent calendar to help me get into the holiday spirit. I adore that it counts down to Christmas day and inadvertently reminds me how many shopping days are left. But more importantly, I love a hefty infusion of holiday sparkle through chocolate. However, the store-bought variety left me wondering how I’m supposed to build a proper “winter coat” and joyous mindset with teensy slivers of waxy chocolate.

By making an advent calendar with festive star-shaped and silver-accented paper pouches, I can enjoy a daily holiday-inspired taste of the deliciously rich treats and shiny trinkets that this season is all about. I enclosed French caramels, gray sea salt chocolates and peppermint taffy along with shiny baubles in each daily star, making sure there was enough to share in every pouch. This year’s advent calendar will plump up my winter coat and increase our household holiday cheer in no time :) — Brenna

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • brown postal or wrapping paper (or recycled grocery bags)
  • silver thread
  • sewing machine or needle and thread
  • scissors or X-Acto knife
  • silver paint marker
  • excelsior or shredded paper
  • small treats and trinkets
  • pine bough
  • twine


1. Fold a large section of the brown paper in half.

2. Using your treat as a size guide, cut a star shape, either by eye or using a template, from the two layers of brown paper. Make sure it is big enough to enclose the treat with some breathing room. Cut as many double-layered stars as you’d like to attach to your pine bough.

3. Thread the sewing machine with the silver thread. Decide which point you would like to be at the top. With that point facing the top, write a number on the star with the silver paint marker.

4. Position your sewing machine needle at the top point of the star. Pull about 12 inches of extra thread to start.

5. Using a wide zigzag stitch, sew along the edges of the paper star, letting one side of the zigzag travel off the paper so that the needle does not puncture the cut edge of the paper.

6. Sew around the edges of the star until you reach the last two open sides. Insert a small amount of the excelsior or shredded paper and the treat.

7. Pinch closed and continue sewing shut. Pull about 12 inches of thread before cutting. This gives you some thread to hang the star from the bough.

8. Tie one end of twine to each end of the pine bough.

9. Tie the stars to the pine bough using the excess silver thread and earnestly try not to tear open more than one a day!

You’re done!


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  • That´s a wonderful decoration and Advent calendar in one! I love branches and I really like stars. Not to mention every day´s surprise that they hide :-)
    It gives nice idea of what else could be made this way hanging on the branch for special event. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Love your advent calendar! It’s beautiful! Can you recommend a material to use in lieu of paper, so that you could use the stars for more than one year (making pockets with the stars rather than a tear open)? Thanks and thank you for sharing!!

  • it’s fun and lovely as christmas decor! definitely trying this next year! I would never allow the kids to get their hands on it until after christmas is over!

  • I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to pick up our Christmas tree this Friday, and every time we go there are always at least one or two branches just sitting on the ground that we are allowed to take home. I normally use them as accent decorating pieces around the house, but this is brilliant!!! I don’t own a sewing machine, but will use a hole puncher around the edges and let my son thread some green yarn through them. Easy! :)

  • This is wonderful! Advent calendars were never tradition in my family growing up but I’m so looking forward to creating something awesome like this when I have kiddos!

    • kim

      we had a delay on the post so unfortunately people will miss a week. but thankfully there are many more days in december, and it’s a handmade project so you can skip those and start from day 8…

      or you can save the project and do it next year, too.


  • oooh, i love it! if you want reusable stars, i think felt would be the way to go. i might do this for the final 12 days this year…

  • This is so lovely, it definitely gets me into the holiday mood :) I am going to start plotting my own right now, even if it’s just for half of December.

  • Ohhhh…I’ll do this for my second grade class with names rather than advent calendar numbers. It will hang over our classroom window for a week:)

  • This is so simple and beautiful. I think I will make it with felt instead of paper and reuse every year. Thanks for the idea!

  • This is an absolutely *lovely* idea!

    I think I will make this for my nephew for his birthday next year (Dec. 20th) – it would be so fun for him to have a special treat every day of December instead of just 2. *wink*

    My parents always bought us Advent Calendars every year – it was one of my favourite things to experience during the march up to the big day. It had the effect of making the holiday seem a lot longer. I think that aspect of this project is worth a million right there!

    Thank you so much~


  • My favorite holiday DIY “pin” so far! I’m planning to start mine this weekend :)

  • What a cute idea. I live in the southwest so maybe a cactus limb might be an alternative. Definitely will do next year

  • So many things you could do with this awesome idea! What about 14 hearts to count down Valentines day….Or cupcakes to count down the 10 days before a childs birthday heck you could have a count down every month! Just think of a symbol to go with the month. A reuseable idea would be to attach a little pocket to the back of the symbol for the treat. I love the idea of brown paper especially cute to see a child tear into it with excitment but it would also be cute with different colors of burlap or themed scrapbook paper. Zigzag stitching of course! A white birch branch would look cute in spring or summer to attach your symbols to.

  • Whoever came up with this idea is very clever. I love it. My daughter’s birthday is in Feb. I may make this as a countdown calendar to her actual birthday but with hearts instead. Thank you for the great idea.

  • just finished making ours and it’s beautiful! in addition to sweets my husband and i included a slip of paper in each with a holiday activity (for example: drink bubbly and decorate). thanks for the inspiration!

  • love love this advent. About 5 years ago I called a ban on those yukky store chocolate countdowns… I swear.. how old is that chocolate?? they might be cheaper but it so much more fun to make your own. I make a new one each year and yours inspired a brown paper flags advent with christmas jokes and tiny silver ornaments sewn inside…

  • When I saw this my heart went pitter patter!! I love advent calendars and my 13yo son STILL looks forward to it every year; however, I’ve never made one, so I was looking for something a little different this year. I found your link on Pinterest last night and my mind just went wild!! I had to start tonight and worked till 12am on the first half! I can’t wait to finish these up! Thanks so much for sharing! Along with yummy Linodor and Ghiridelli chocolates in each star, I also included a slip of paper with an activity or service act, such as, “make hot cocoa,” “Make gingerbread men,” “place a gift in the mailbox for the mail carrier,” and “make treats to take to the ladies at the bank!” I can’t wait to get started on this. I know it will be SO much fun!!