I remember as a child always having an Advent calendar. It was always a picture of something wintry and had little numbered doors that opened up to some bad chocolate. I started getting the kids some a few years ago, but I was always late ordering them and so they had to gobble up several days at once in order to catch up (I know, such a tragedy!). Plus they are kind of expensive! Last year, I decided to make our own and eliminate the waste and wait.
I bought some small muslin fabric bags off e-bay. I had originally purchased them as packaging for my soaps, but I neglected to measure properly and they were too small. *oops*
However, they are perfect for some small candy canes or miniature candy bars.
I stuck up some removable hooks on the wall between our family room windows, measured out some baking twine, and bought some brand new clothespins.
Using red and green tempura paint, I painted the numbers 1 through 24, alternating colors. For Christmas Day, I painted a tree with decorations. The bags are very thin, so I put a piece of paper in each one to prevent the paint from bleeding through.
Please ignore the dirty windows, but you get the idea.
Hope this gives you an idea to do it yourself!