Make This DIY Gingerbread House Advent Calendar With Brown Paper Bags

DIY Advent Calendar with paper gingerbread houses

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Brown paper packages tied up with string…these are a few of my favorite things! This mini brown paper bag wrapped up with string is our version of a sweet gingerbread house, without all the sugar. That’s right, we didn’t use a pinch of sugar with this project. Just paper bags and a white paint pen! We haven’t mastered the gingerbread baking thing (it’s on our list). But, we love the ambiance and festive feels of gingerbread houses during the holidays, so it was the next best thing, and a wonderful DIY advent calendar for our families this year. It’s easy to do (no artistic abilities required; in fact, get the kids involved to draw their own houses), and it’s very economical. Sometimes the costs of Advent calendars adds up, and it feels outrageously expensive to countdown to Christmas (where we spend even more money).

Let’s make our cute DIY Gingerbread Advent Calendars before December 1 (we are known to be a little late, and that’s ok). You’re in luck, you can draw these houses and build your tiny village of brown paper bag houses in a couple of hours.


  • Brown paper bags, small craft size, not the lunch size
  • Marker pen, white
  • Hole punch
  • Twine
  • Goodies to fill the bags
  • Optional: number stickers


Step 1: Fold over the tops of the paper bag. It should look like a the top of a triangle, or “roof” on one side, and the other should have flaps.

diy brown paper bag gingerbread houses

Step 2: Decorate the bags with a white paint pen. You can look online for inspiration, but swirls, circles, squares, hearts, and lines are the source of all the fun decorations. Get creative, and remember that gingerbread houses are unique, whimsical and not perfect. Add a small number sticker on the front of the bag, 1-25.

diy brown paper bag gingerbread houses


Step 3: Using a small hole punch, punch a hole on the top of the roof, one on each side. You want to keep it folded as you hole punch through the bag. After you fill it with goodies, toys or ideas for random acts of kindness, insert twine through the holes from the back of the bag, and tie a ribbon.

diy brown paper bag gingerbread houses

diy brown paper bag gingerbread houses

Open one each day as you count down to Christmas! After your done with the bags, don’t throw them away. Save them for gift cards to give friends and family. They are so adorable, and great gift bags. Simple remove the number, and re-use it.

diy brown paper bag gingerbread houses

diy brown paper bag gingerbread houses


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