Surprise Balls Advent Calendar DIY


Holiday season is in full swing! One way to slow down and enjoy the days is to create a fun advent calendar. This Surprise Ball Advent Calendar Swag combines the fun of daily surprises and DIY decor, and you can even use some of that candy you have hanging around from Halloween to get started!

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Have you heard of Surprise Balls? They’re a series of small treats or gifts wrapped in layers of tissue or crepe paper. Some traditional versions use varying colors and types of paper and go all out with decorating the final version to look like a character.

I kept these Surprise Balls simple, using a couple layers of uncut tissue paper in holiday colors. And rather than just making one for each child, I made one for each day of an Advent Calendar, counting from the first day in December until Christmas Eve! Twenty four different days of surprises to enjoy during the season.

For easy treats, I dug through some leftover Halloween candy to find pieces that didn’t have Halloween designs, and added some small toys and games (things small enough to wrap easily between layers of tissue paper). I have three children, so I made sure each ball had at least three small treats inside. I could have also alternated days with my kids choosing a ball from the swag to unwrap and enjoy.

I love the idea of incorporating this simple advent calendar into our holiday decor. I added all of my finished Surprise Balls to a long piece of twine and added some bells and felted stars for detail. When the whole Swag is hung on the fireplace with my Merry Christmas Garland and fresh eucalyptus, the scene sets the tone for celebration!

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Making the Surprise Balls is easy. You’ll need your treats and toys, a pile of colored tissue paper, some twine for tying and hanging, and some tape.


  1. Starting in the corner of the tissue paper, wrap up one small treat a few times.
  2. Fold in the sides and continue rolling the tissue, adding a little treat or toy every turn or two.
  3. Crumple the ball a little bit to keep it looking round.
  4. Move onto the corner of the second sheet of tissue and continue adding treats and wrapping into a ball.
  5. When you have a couple wraps left, tape a piece of twine to the ball, then continue wrapping.
  6. Wrap the final corner of the tissue a couple times around the twine, and tape in place on the outside of the wrapped ball to secure.
  7. Cut the twine and tie into a loose knot.
  8. Continue to the next ball.
  9. When you’ve finished all of the balls, tie them to a long piece of twine and hang as a holiday swag.
  10. Choose a ball each day of Advent to unwrap and enjoy.

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