Spool Advent Calendar Kits

Last year I posted a project for making Christmas Advent calendars from vintage wooden spools. Spools work great for writing messages, verses, or clues to where to discover hidden treats. And Advent calendars aren’t limited to just those with children, several JSIM readers mentioned sharing them with their significant others. This year, I thought it would be fun to take that project to another level by creating Christmas Spool Advent Calendar Kits! Here are some freebies to get you going: PDF files of labeling sheets for kit packaging, numbered wrapping labels for the spools and an illustrated instruction sheet (which you can alter to your own style of instructions if they differ) to include in your kits. (Click on each image to download file.)


I made four Christmas Spool Advent Calendar Kits today with spools I’d been collecting here and there. It takes 24 spools to make one Avent calendar. I find them mostly at thrift stores, but they can be found online and you can also make kits with new wooden spools found in the wood-craft section of most craft stores. Print one sheet each of the numbered wraps and packaging graphics per kit. I printed the packaging labels to full sheet self-adhesive label stock so there was no gluing needed. Print one sheet of instructions for every two Advent Kit sets as there are two per sheet. I cut apart the sheets and rolled the spool wraps and instructions together.I took apart my dollar-store wooden garland for its beads and packaged one bead per spool plus an extra bead, just in case. Of course, you can add 2 beads per pack, or more. I placed them all into coin envelopes, labeled and sealed with sections from the packaging label file. In lieu of envelopes, you can use plastic supply zip-bags, muslin bags, even string them into a loop.Using one additional large vintage wooden spool per kit, I wound enough Divine Twine on each to string all of the Advent spools into ornaments. Be certain that your string and beads are size compatible and will thread easily.I used basic brown paper lunch bags to hold the kit supplies, but you can use just about any container, such as pencil boxes, tins, take-out containers, fabric bags, etc.Once all my pieces were assembled, I placed the spools, twine, beads and rolled instructions & number wraps in each bag and sealed with a strip of decorative “tape” cut from the packaging graphics. I labeled with the main graphic and used a blank label to write on. You can include a glue stick or tape and a list of daily treat ideas or include them in your kit as well. (You can find several ideas listed in this Advent Calendar post.)Now they are all ready to send to my little nieces and nephews far away. Remember- Advent calendars start on December 1st, so chop-chop!

For more fun holiday KIT ideas, please read my post over at SC Johnson’s Family Economics HERE!

Disclosure: I am a compensated blogger for SC Johnson.

This entry was posted in Christmas, Decorating, Family Economics, Free PDF files, Holiday Crafts, Paper Crafts, SC Johnson, Uncategorized, Vintage blank labels and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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73 Responses to Spool Advent Calendar Kits

  1. Pingback: Simple Spool Advent Calendars | Just Something I Made

  2. *LOVE*LOVE*LOVE!!!!! Another great idea Cathe !

  3. #2 - Selena Cate says:

    This is the coolest post that you’ve ever done and it’s actually how I found you a year ago sometime. Funny to think where we are a year later. I cannot wait to make this for my children.

  4. #3 - Immi says:

    What a fun idea! I love learning new ways to give things another life! Thanks for the idea and the downloads!

  5. #4 - Elaine Evans says:

    Thank you … thank you! When I saw your post last year, I thought I’d do this for the little ones in the family this year, but putting it off, trying to figure out the “how to” … and here it is…and I might add with waaay more pizzazz than I would’ve given it !! :) I love your creative genius and generous spirit. :) E

  6. #5 - Anne says:

    This is such a great idea! I can think of several families I’d like to give one to — thanks for posting it.

  7. #6 - Maude May says:

    Cathe, you are one clever gal!

  8. #7 - Pamela says:

    I just love this idea! I have a lot of those old wooden spools and can’t wait to make an Advent calender for my oldest … he just l-o-v-e-s treasure hunts and this will be right up his alley. Thanks for the printables and the crafty inspiration!

  9. #8 - Roberta says:

    Ahhh these are so sweet…thanks for sharing…as always Cathe!
    Makes me wish I had some kiddos still living at home…someday I’ll have grandbabies though ;)

  10. #9 - Katie B says:

    you are so freaking clever and talented too. Love this idea.

  11. #10 - Tina W. (TeaDub) says:

    I love this Advent kit…out of control!

  12. #11 - Elise says:

    HONESTLY!!!

    You NEVER cease to amaze and delight me, my lovely and TALENTED friend! What a rockin’ fun idea! Yipeeee!

  13. #12 - Doxie says:

    Cathe, you are both talented and generous in the extreme, thank you so much for sharing this.

  14. #13 - Mitzi Curi says:

    Another fabulous project from an amazing artist! Your blog just gets better and better, Cathe!

  15. #14 - Kristin says:

    These are fantastic. Receivers of these kits will feel so loved! Awesome download – thank you!

  16. #15 - micah says:

    What a treasure! A gift to share, I love it, thanks!!

  17. #16 - Sanna says:

    Hi Cathe,

    This is such a great idea! I remember your post from last year and haven´t been able to stop thinking about it. I have been looking for spools ever since haha! You are so creative and I often think to myself “I wish I would´ve thought of that!” ;)

    Have a great day,
    Sanna

  18. #17 - Robin Martin says:

    I love these ! Thanks for posting these again this year !

  19. #18 - MsJoyceG says:

    Great idea .. they would work with “not” vintage spools to .. not as nice .. but it would work. Love your site.

  20. #19 - Elaine Allen says:

    Cathe –

    Thank you so much! These are awesome and I see them becoming a family tradition!

    Elaine Allen

  21. Great idea! I love how you formatted the printed pieces to fit a brown paper lunch bag. I LOVE using lunch bags for gift wrap. Thanks for the Divine Twine mention too! :)

  22. #21 - Amy Zimmer says:

    Cathe,

    Your graphics are amazing! The instruction pictures are also so fabulous. Wow, (even though I am Jewish), thank you so much for sharing!!!! I will gather this idea up for loved little ones.

  23. #22 - Anika says:

    What a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  24. #23 - Angela Timms says:

    Great idea THANKS!!!
    TOODLES-Angela

  25. #24 - Annabel says:

    This is such a cool idea, not just for advent, but for love notes and all sorts. Thanks for the inspiration.

  26. #25 - Jessica says:

    wow, this is awesome!! Thanks!! *so fun*

  27. #26 - Carrie P. says:

    You are such a talented woman. I have been scrolling through many of your posts and your are so creative. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I have just added your blog to my list.

  28. #27 - Berta says:

    Those are so clever! Thanks for the freebies so I can make one or two for me or as gifts. Hopefully I can gather enough spools, I am in Sonoma County too, and it looks like you found them all here! ;) JK!

  29. #28 - Pamela Velner says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I don’t want to be greedy but your vintage thread spools are delicious — is there any way you could make a pdf of scans of the spool end labels for those of us who are gonna get stuck using blank craft store spools?? pretty pleeease?

    • #29 - Cathe Holden says:

      Pamela, I would love to help, but few of them are old enough to be copyright-free/public domain images. Several are from companies still in biz and may still hold the copyrights. I try to be very careful about scanning and sharing such things online. I hope you understand, but it’s a fab idea. Check the link to the last year’s advent calendar post, there are circles you can use for the tops of spools there, however, not as cool/vintage : (

  30. #30 - Tiff@ThreePeas says:

    I love this project! My kids would be super excited about this one! Thanks so much for the idea!

  31. #31 - Elizabeth says:

    You are brilliant! This looks so fun–do I have the energy at this point to “chop-chop”? I’ll get right on this.

    P.S. Can I get on your “kit” list sometime? :)

  32. #32 - Laura Ziegler says:

    Cathe, I made your advent calendar last year (you inspired me to buy AND use a Dremel!). I am thrilled that you took it to another level. This is such a fantastic idea for friends and family who have the “crafty gene” and want to do something special for the holidays. I have been so busy lately but always make time to check out your page when I have a few minutes. Thanks for always being so inspiring…and sharing your pdfs (it can make or break a project!). Thanks.

  33. #33 - Tiffani says:

    These are so cute- thanks for sharing

  34. #34 - Katie says:

    Love your blog, this is such a cute idea. I will be featuring it on my blog this weekend.

  35. #35 - Haute Goat Cashmere says:

    I have had an advent calendar as long as I can remember. I even made one for myself every year when I was a bachelorette. Now that I have a family, it is much more fun sharing the tradition. This is a great idea for an advent calendar that will use up some of my empty spools. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Pingback: How to make a recycled thread spool advent calendar kit · Recycled Crafts | CraftGossip.com

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  38. #36 - crafty p says:

    those are beautiful and would look so fabulous on a mini tree! Advent for us begins November 28th though…

  39. #38 - Rachel S. says:

    Thanks for the darling idea. I have been hanging on to a bunch of wooden spools…now I know exactly what to do with them!

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  41. #39 - Tanya says:

    i LOVE this kit!! And it is so very cool of you to share it for free!! Thanks for taking the time!

  42. Pingback: The Best Advent Calendars of 2010 | Family Style

  43. #40 - angie.a says:

    Lovely idea, but I’m confused about the label part. If you print them onto labels, how do you write on the “back”? Won’t they be all sticky? And for that matter, won’t they then stick permanently to the spool/other parts of the label making it impossible to unwrap?

    I think they’d be adorable just as ornaments too though! Maybe with cute holiday messages on the wrapped portion (on the outside).

  44. #42 - sandra says:

    WOW! wish it wasn’t so late but always NEXT year keep up the ideas! Or included my family

  45. This is by far the best advent calendar idea i have seen…LOVE IT!

  46. Pingback: What can I reuse or recycle to make Advent calendars? | How can I recycle this?

  47. Pingback: Advent Calendar Ideas

  48. #44 - MD says:

    BRAVOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SUPER md

  49. Pingback: What can I reuse or recycle to make Advent calendars? | green-zine.co.uk

  50. Pingback: What can I reuse or recycle to make Advent calendars? | Broken Equipment Blog

  51. #45 - Rosana Garcia Hess says:

    Lovely!!!! I hope you dont´mind if I feature on my blog!!!
    hugs from Brazil

  52. Pingback: Advent Calendar Ideas :: paper goodness! the scrapbooking and papercrafting e-zine

  53. #46 - Cheri says:

    I love your Advent Calendar ideas. I did them with my children when they were small. I think next year I will try to figure out a way to do one with my grandchildren who are usually at our house 2-3 times a year. Of course, I guess I could make them and send them home with them….hmmm, that’s a better idea!

  54. #47 - Kelly says:

    What an awesome idea!! I need to remember this for next year!!

  55. Pingback: Egg2Cake Blog» Blog Archive » Advent Calendar Wrap Up

  56. #48 - Liz Vance says:

    Hi Just browsing through looking at advent calendsrs when I came across your website. Had a good laugh when I saw the kit sendt to the Vance Family. It is a quite unusual name in Australia. BTW loved the idea.

  57. #49 - Whitney Morton says:

    I LOVE this!!! Our theme this year in women’s ministries at our church is “pattern for living” and so you see how this naturally just fits right in!!! I absolutely can not wait to share this with our crafting group!!! They’re gonna flip!!! What a fantastic idea!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  58. #50 - Sandi Keene says:

    What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing this. Love it.

  59. #51 - Franny Rogers says:

    I’m so excited to see this idea! What a wonderful way to do an advent calendar! I’m bookmarking your blog!! Thanks for sharing this idea!!

  60. Pingback: Omlet Newsletter November 18th 2011 | Chicken Ark

  61. #52 - Cathie says:

    I love advent calendars – this is another great idea for me to try. Thanks for sharing.

  62. Pingback: 8 Days ‘Til Christmas : Advent « Mrs. Darsie's Menagerie

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  65. #53 - julie says:

    what a great idea! this looks like so much fun- i didn’t want to do the regular advent calendar where the kids just pull the tab and get chocolate- what a creative idea- :)

  66. #54 - Jo says:

    thanks so much for sharing your creativity and allowing me to replicate your ideas – I plan to make 9 months worth of spools to take us through our IVF pregancy and write our thoughts on each month’s spool, to be then place in a memory box for our future child xx

  67. #55 - Emily says:

    I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas!

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