treat bag toppers and an advent calendar :: tutorial and free downloads

I am a happy little elf knowing that you're all enjoying the downloads! Mission accomplished.
Ready for me to reveal another secret? These are the first downloads I have ever completed entirely on my own! Designed, saved as PDFs, uploaded to blog...and it worked!  I did design one other download {scroll to bottom of post for free download} but I had to rely on Ali to work out the details of the PDF. But not this go around. I wanted to master it on my own and make it work...and I did! {Okay, I'm a little Type A and hate asking for help!}
REMEMBER: Never underestimate the power of CAN do it!
So, on to today's adventure in crafting...Treat Bag Toppers to the rescue! {The reverse side of the design was left blank for you to have room to add your own personal message before folding over and adhering to the treat bag.}
ThumbnailChristmas Treat Bag Topper Download | 
Yes, another download! Did you notice that all of the downloads to this point coordinate with one another? And if you're interested in the name of the font I've been using, it's called Pharmacy. I downloaded it for free from here. It's my new favorite.
So. At some point, we've all made up treat bags, haven't we? I happen to like the whole process of choosing the treats and packaging them up, but know that others feel like it's a chore. Here, two pencils are wrapped with ribbon and an eraser is covered with scrap holiday-themed paper and inserted into a snack bag before adhering {with glue dots} the treat bag topper to the snack bag.
Christmas Treat Bag Topper Download |
If you prefer, use the ellophane bags that are available at Wal-Mart, Michael's, JoAnne's and Hobby Lobby in the candy-making aisles. 
But, if you're doing this the night before the Pre-School and 2nd Grade holiday parties, don't be discouraged. By all means use the zip top snack bags as I have here. It won't make a difference to the's all about making what you have on-hand work for you. I used colored staples to adhere the treat bag topper to the sandwich bag, these items were too heavy to use glue dots.

Christmas Treat Bag Topper Download |

One can never go wrong gifting chocolate, especially Dove's dark chocoloate! I used my Crop-o-Dile from We R Memory Keepers to punch through the bag topper and the snack bag, strung some baker's twine through the holes and added an embellishment. I think this version is my favorite.


And what is Christmas without an Advent Calendar? At least for our family. I purchased this calendar at Target {online} two years ago, and saw the same style again in the store last year, but in red.

Advent Calendar |

  1. gather your Christmas-themed supplies and unscrew door handles
  2. embellish door layouts so that door will still open, remembering to punch hole for door handle
  3. decide if you will put dates in number order or random fashion 
  4. choose your daily treats and make tags for each date
  5. reattach door handles
For the past two years, our tags have included an assortment of clues to hidden, inexpensive gifts that would not fit behind the door, chocolate, dollar bills, family game nights, watching favorite holiday movies together as a family, family date night {dinner out} and items from the Dollar Spots at Target, Michael's and the Dollar Tree.  And we do all this x3, since we have three kids {18, 6, 4} and trust me the 18-year old does NOT want to be left out! 
At times it felt that they were more interested in the treat than the meaning behind it all. This year, we're adopting an idea I found in blogland and I wish I knew who to credit: reading a Chrismtas story for each of the 25 nights! We already have a nice collection of stories, but not 25. So we'll supplement that with new books, Bible stories and library books.
Here's a different spin on a countdown calendar I posted to the Flickr gallery before I was a design team member. Yes, it really is a cookie sheet. And those are wedding favor heart tins. I displayed this in the kitchen, so it fit the theme. You could also spray paint the cookie sheet for a cute alternative.
Valentine's Day Countdown Calendar |
Valentine's Day Countdown Calendar |

And one last calendar idea: a birthday countdown. Now they won't have to ask you how many days there are until their birthday! Here's the before, which was purchased at the Dollar Tree.
Birthday Countdown Calendar |

Here it is after I sanded down the shiny finish, painted with blue and green acrylic paints and used spray chalkboard paint for the middle. I might still try to cover the chalkboard paint and spray the outer rim with clear acrylic spray so that the colors will really pop!

Birthday Countdown Calendar |

I plan to share more on the advent calendar and our plan for this year very soon!


  1. these are all gorgeous projects. TFS. i see some bag toppers in my future.

  2. Lovely projects!!!! I´ll feature on my blog (again)
    Hugs from Brazil

  3. thanks for sharing the darling freebies. These treat toppers are very cute!

  4. You just gave me an idea for all my co-workers = they'll all receive a treat bag of chocolate with your topper :D Thank you for the download!
    PS: I love the Pharmacy font too!

  5. wow, your a busy lady. fun stuff you are sharing here. eager to go look at more!

  6. I love your calendars, they're all so cute & such great ideas!

  7. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [23 Nov 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  8. I love your Advent calendar. I made a Karen Foster one that I'm going to fill with Legos!

  9. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 2 post on Nov. 27, 2010. Thanks again.

  10. Arent' you just a creative queen?
    I love it all, too :)

  11. LOVE the idea for the valentine's day countdown and the birthday countdown too....can't wait to start making them! Thank you for the ideas!

  12. I love the valentine's day countdown. I am having a heard time finding the heart tins. Do you remember which compnay you ordered these from? Thanks! Jen

    1. Hi Jen S...I purchased the heart tins back when I posted this in 2010. I believe they were close-outs even then as I purchased them at Big Lots. They were from Martha Stewart, if that helps any. Good Luck in your search.


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