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Holly-Balloons Advent Calendar

Try this interactive decorative display with the whole family! Pop one balloon each day to reveal a special activity or miniature toy. Hang the garland up over the mantel (if you have a non-working fireplace), over a stair rail, or even on a credenza.

holly balloons for Christmas

Photography: Kara Whitten

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from our contributor Kara Whitten of A Kailo Chic Life. It's up to you what your balloons will contain, but she suggests holiday activities written on scrolls of paper: "Some examples are baking cookies, visiting Santa, caroling, reading a new Christmas book, donating toys to kids in need, having a snowball fight, etc.!" If needed, you can cut off the excess deflated balloons after they are popped or glue on an extra balloon to fill any gaps. "If you glue them well, the garland should hold up to a few missing balloons," she says. "And with the hi-float addition, the garland will last all month long!"


For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of Balloon Projects.


  • 5-inch red balloons (150 balloons for a 25-day advent, 100 balloons for a 12-day advent)

  • Balloon pump

  • Hi-Float (Pictured: Hi-Float Company Balloon Treatment in Multicolor, $19,

  • 6 sheets of 12-inch-by-12-inch green cardstock

  • Low-temperature glue gun

  • Numbered stickers

  • Scissors

  • Assorted miniature toys, tokens, or written holiday activities


  1. Insert your surprise gift into the first balloon, inflate, and tie it off. For the next balloon, pump in a small amount of Hi-Float. (Tip: this prevents balloons from deflating all month long.) Inflate, and then tie it off around the first balloon to attach them to each other.

  2. Repeat step 1 for the next 3 balloons, producing a cluster of 5 balloons. Only one of the 5 should have a hidden token in order to keep the larger garland afloat. Continue until you have 25 clusters. Fill the remaining balloons with hi-float and air and tie off individually. 

  3. Using the low-temperature glue gun, add a dab of glue and press the balloons together to form a long chain of balloon clusters. Use individual balloons to fill in any gaps. 

  4. Affix stickers to each of the filled balloons in numerical order so that the kids know which balloon to pop each day. 

    holly balloon advent calendar
  5. Cut out holly-shaped leaves from cardstock. Use low-temperature glue gun to secure leaves together and then to the balloon garland. 

    holly balloon advent calendar

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