We’re longtime fans of the advent calendar and and longtime fans of coffee.
When we stepped up our game last year and sprung for a Keurig, every day became a little more awesome, starting our day with a rockin’ cuppa java. But those discarded k-cups?
As a longtime lover of recyclables, my guilt at adding to our world’s landfills started to grow exponentially with each tossed k-cup.
So for the past few months, I’ve been racking my brain for ways to use our empty k-cups for crafts and learning. Much like we’ve used recyclables in the past, I knew they would come in handy.
We’ve got a lot of things brewing, but most timely, is of course, our diy k-cup advent calendar.
Super-cute, inexpensive, homemade advent calendar using k-cups. Bam.
We love how it turned out. I’m confident that this sweet calendar will help us to keep this advent season a thoughtful, thankful one for our whole family.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- K-Cup Advent Calendar–Make it a Thoughtful, Thankful Holiday:
Though it looks a little involved, you can pull this diy k-cup advent calendar together in a fraction of the time it will take you to gather 24 empty k-cups.
Each little cup holds 3 things: a kiss, the day’s advent activity, and a little reminder to be thankful.
- 24 clean, empty k-cups
- 3 pieces of cardboard
- duct tape (I used light blue, dark blue, and green)
- tissue paper
- number stickers (optional)
- hot glue gun
- Hershey’s Kisses (or other small treat)
- green cardstock
Once you’ve got your supplies together, you’re ready to go.
1. Clean your k-cups: Cleaning them is a cinch.
For coffee k-cups:
For hot chocolate k-cups:
Let them dry completely.
2. Create your advent activity calendar. We use the same basic one each year–our advent activity calendar. It’s a holiday-time calendar that includes tons of our favorite holiday activities, like cookie-baking, gift-making, and carol-singing while giving us ample opportunities to reflect, give back, and be thankful.
Be sure to print out two copies–one that you can keep as a reference and the other that you can cut. Each day of advent will have one square of the calendar tucked inside.
3. Make your tree. Your tree is what your k-cups will rest on, and it needs to be sturdy enough to survive your kids’ handling.
- Make your cardboard tree. Each of our sides are 18″, and the bottom is 10″. Our tree trunk is midway between the bottom, and it’s 3 1/2″ long and 2 3/4″ high.
- Cut three cardboard trees. Remember, the tree needs to be thick.
- Using the duct tape, tape your tree together.
- Grab your ribbon and loop it then staple it to the back of the tree.
4. Make your thankful discs. I used my Fiskars medium squeeze punch for my circles, but you could totally use anything. I cut 24 discs out of our cardstock, and then I walked over to our Thankful Graffiti Board and copied exactly what I saw there onto the circles.
I wanted our family to remember what we expressed gratitude for through November into the whirlwind that sometimes is December, and I knew that after the treat was taken out and advent activity taken, we’d have a whole lot of time to stare at empty cups. Here’s to hoping the thankful discs are a pretty, simple reminder of all of the greatness in our lives.
5. Cut tissue paper circle and number them. Trace the open end of a k-cup onto tissue paper and cut it out. Then cut 23 more circles all the same size. Number each circle from 1-24.
Each number represents a day in the month of December.
6. Assemble your diy k-cup advent calendar!
- Use a tiny dab of hot glue to secure the thankful disc to the inside of each k-cup.
- Using the pushpins, pin each k-cup into the tree. The rows should be: 1 k-cup; 2 k-cups; 3 k-cups; 3 k-cups; 4 k-cups; 4 k-cups; 5 k-cups; 2 k-cups. If you measured your tree the same way I did, your cups should fit tightly together.
- Load ’em up! Put the correct advent activity in each day along with a Hershey’s Kiss into each cup.
- Make 5-6 tiny dots of hot glue around the circumference of each k-up and secure the tissue paper on it.
Hang, and you are ready to rock and roll!
And that’s it!
We think it’s pretty cool.
Look forward to other ideas down the road for using k-cups. And feel free to share your own–let’s put those little guys to good use, shall we?
Happy, healthy, peaceful advent season to you!
fyi: affiliate links are used in this post
Want a few more holiday-inspired gift ideas or activities? Check out:
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2014
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2013
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2012
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2011
- Holiday Fun Fact and JOKES Lunchbox Notes (with Hannukah!)
- Holiday Time Fun Fact Lunchbox Notes
- Little Holiday Notes and Jokes
- Holiday Notes for Families
- The Polar Express tradition
- Scratch-off Cards
- K-Cup Advent Tree
- New Year’s Family Interview
- Happy Holidays Backyard Birds
fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.