Make This Charming Vintage Inspired Advent Calendar

Make an advent calendar from faux grain sacks and numbered clay tags for an easy Christmas countdown that you'll use for years to come!
faux grain sack bags with numbered clay tags for a Christmas advent countdown

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Hi friends. Does your family have an advent calendar that your kids love to open? We had a box with small drawers that opened up and our kids couldn't wait to be the first one awake to open the advent each morning.

Now they're grown, but they haven't totally outgrown an advent calendar!  DIY bought our daughter Abby a Lego Marvel Heroes advent calendar this year and she is enjoying it (even though she's 17, lol!)

How to Make a Faux Grain Sack Advent Calendar

I get these ideas in my head and can't let them go. I have wanted to make a vintage inspired advent calendar with tiny grain sack stockings and numbered tags for a couple years now. 2021 was going to be the year. But I ran out of steam. You know how that goes, right? I just had too many things to do and the thought of slaving over my sewing machine trying to create 25 tiny stockings was just not gonna happen! I did find this exquisite set of 12 tiny grain sack stockings online, but couldn't justify the price!

I was ready to give up, but the thing is that I'd already made the clay tags...back in early September when Christmas was just a whisper on the horizon!

So I really wanted to complete this half-started project and I decided to make it easy on myself and forget the stockings. I purchased a set of small muslin bags from Amazon and they worked perfectly.

There are 3 main parts to this project and I'll detail them below.

Step 1: Make the round clay tags

I was sure I'd taken pictures back in September when I made the clay tags, but I've searched my phone and cannot find them.

I love to use DAS Air Dry Clay. It's inexpensive, a little goes a long way, it's easy to work with and dries in about 24 hours. Now, don't freak is a light gray when it's wet, but it dries to a bright white.

You can find more details about working with the clay and cutting out shapes here. I put this as the first step because the clay tags will need time to dry before you can proceed with the advent calendar.

Do be sure to punch holes in the tags while they're pliable so that you're able to hang them onto the faux grain sack goodie bags!

Step 2: Stamp the clay tags

You'll need the following:
You simply apply the desired number stamp to the stamp block (you don't need anything to stick it), tap lightly onto the ink pad and press the inked stamp onto the tags. I made 25 clay tags numbered from 1-25.

Step 3: Prep the advent bags

I bought this set of 3x4 inch muslin bags off Amazon. They are just the right size so they're small enough to hang as a set, but they're big enough to hold some goodies.

I was originally planning to paint red grain sack stripes like I did when I added the faux grain sack stripes to my bolster pillow. However, I was dealing with multiples here - 25 to be exact - and that was just too much work!

Instead, I grabbed my favorite grain sack striped ribbon (a wider width and a narrower one) and some leftover Stitch Witchery from when I made Millie a bunch of no-sew dog bandanas. I love this stuff! It's inexpensive, easy to use with just an iron and you can even hem clothing with it like I did when I altered my son's grad gown.

I simply ironed my ribbon onto the fabric bags (the Stitch Witchery bonds the two together), varying the design and I think it does a great job of mimicking vintage grain sack - at a fraction of the price and time that it would take to sew them! What do you think?

red striped faux grain sack bags made from ribbon

Now that all the parts to this faux grain sack advent calendar are complete, all I had to do was bring them all together.

I tied a clay tag onto each grain sack bag and cinched them up. I think they turned out so cute! They have that nostalgic look to them that I was going for this year!

Check out my porch decorated with red tartan plaid, my Christmas kitchen and my Santa tree and decorated hutch. I've got more to come, with two more decorated trees, my living and dining rooms!

mini grain sack bag with numbered clay tag

I cut a long length of natural jute twine and tied it onto the ends of my vintage arch window. I simply hung the bags onto the twine! You could do the same thing and hang the advent bags on a mantle, or even the front of a hutch or console table!

numbered clay circle tags hang from faux grain sack bags for a DIY advent calendar

Putting my faux vintage grain sack advent calendar together went quickly, and my only regret is that I didn't get this post out before December! You can still make one for your family, or pin the image below and plan to get a head start next year!

I may even hang these faux grain sack advent bags onto one of our Christmas trees next year, making it a little more difficult to find the right bag for each day 😉 Just 'cause I'm a fun mom like that!

advent calendar hanging from vintage window, sofa with red cushions and holiday decor

antique arch window with ticking stripe wreath and faux grain sack advent calendar

I love how the red ribbon ties in beautifully with my $10 farmhouse red ticking Christmas wreath hanging on the window!

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Pin it to remember!

faux grain sack bags with numbered clay tags
Check out the advent calendar I made on an old shutter years ago when money was super tight.

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. Does this air dry clay work well in silicone moulds? I enjoyed hearing your
    thought process. The advent bags are charming.

  2. Sorry....this is Cindy not Glenn. I don't seem to know when my husband's
    name shows up. Odd because he does use my email.


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