Did you realize that most over-the-door shoe organizers have 24 pockets? We didn’t either until we were looking for inspiration for Christmas ideas recently and noticed that a 24-pocket shoe organizer means a perfect Christmas Advent calendar. Adding the Grinch to it makes it extra fun!
To recreate a calendar like ours, you will need to make sure the organizer you select has clear fronts. The first thing we did was cover the back of the organizer with a piece of fleece in Grinch green. We placed the organizer on top of the fleece and cut around it to size. Then, we used a glue gun to adhere the fleece to the back. Since the organizer was so long, we had to use two pieces of fabric. Hiding the seam was easy though. Just put it behind one of the horizontal white lines.
Then we used thin, red ribbon to cover the white lines that criss-crossed the shoe organizer. The final touch was adding a faux fur trim across the top of the pockets to mimic the fur trim on the Grinch’s Santa outfit.
Decorating the organizer is easy and fun. Making the story inserts for each pocket is just a little more difficult. You will need a copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in order to use the images and story from the book. We suggest that you scan the pages in and re-size them to fit your pockets. Be careful, though, because you might find that not all the pockets are the same size. Make your re-sized images fit the smallest pocket size and you will be fine. When you have the images all set, print the 24 panels of the story out onto white card stock and trim them to size.
To give you a head start on this, we’re going to share the story cards that we created for our calendar. They are sized specifically to suit our organizer needs, so they might not fit in your pockets, but hopefully you’ll be able to get them to work and we can save you loads of time!
Once you get your story all printed out, you need to attach the day numbers (1 through 24) to the back of the cards. For my numbers, I used card stock in Grinch green and red and cut it with my Cricut machine. I alternated the colors to make it a bit more fun. If you don’t have a Cricut, you could buy stickers to do this or paint them or draw them on with markers. Whatever you want! I just made sure to center the numbers and attached them with a tiny bit of glue.
I want these cards to last a long time so I used my laminator to protect them, and trimmed them again.
The front (story side) of the cards were so neat to look at just on their own. Then I put them in the holder, with the number side showing and the story hidden. The story will be revealed a little each day, but for now you should just see the numbers. We’re all set for the start of the big Christmas countdown!
To get started with the calendar, wrap up a little gift for each day and stick it in a pocket. Then each day of December, the kids will open the presents in the pocket and then flip over that day’s story card. To help keep track of which day you’re on, you can add a Grinch doll and keep him in the current day’s pouch. It’s not necessary, but I think it adds just that bit of extra oomph! He looks all Grinchy hanging out, don’t you think? As Christmas draws closer, you get to read and see more of the story, the kids get to open their little presents, and the Grinch gets a little closer to having his heart swell to three times its size!
I think it looks super cute even without the presents but look at how much cuter it is with the presents and your Grinch doll marker!
This idea can be adapted to any theme you want. We think A Charlie Brown Christmas would be super cute as well. Or, if you start with a canvas shoe organizer you could paint pine cones and cardinals all over it for a rustic look and put the numbers on the front of the pockets.