When I was younger, my mother had a hanging advent calendar we used to count down to Christmas with. It had little pockets in it where she could stick a piece of chocolate or a mini candy cane, and I looked forward to my turn (there were four of us, after all) to move the counter down and take my treat from the tiny red pocket. Now that I’m older, and I have step kids and a baby on the way, I really want an advent calendar of my own, and C and I have been looking for one that I like enough to buy for a few weeks now without any luck. Why didn’t I think about DIY advent calendars?
DIY Advent Calendars
It turns out, if you turn to trusty Pinterest, there are TONS of great DIY advent calendars out there that have been created by people much more clever than I am. I have the skill to execute an idea, but I just hadn’t come up with a cute or fun idea on my own. So, in the process of choosing one, I thought I’d collect a few of my favorites and share with my fantastic readers who might want to make an advent calendar of their own this year. There are SO many cute ones!
DIY Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar
This is just adorable, and relatively inexpensive to make with just some string and paper. Though, it would help if you had a craft cutting machine.
You can find the tutorial and the bulb template at The House That Lars Built.
Roll + Tree Advent Calendar
Hello inexpensive yet cute idea-all you need is to collect enough toilet paper rolls (anyone with kids will know that this will only take a couple weeks haha!), some kraft paper or cardboard, and some cute little trees… The trees are easy to find, I found a bunch of little trees at Michael’s for cheap last year, and you can order them in bulk on Amazon as well.
See the full tutorial over at Morning Creativity.
Mini Tree Advent Calendar
If you’d prefer not to even mess with toilet paper rolls, why not grab some cute little kraft boxes instead? They’re easy to find at any craft store, or you can order them easily from Amazon. Plus, they use the same little trees from the project above. Similar projects, but a little different and still super cute.
Get the little banner template and see the full tutorial at Oh Happy Day.
DIY Drawstring Bags Advent Calendar
These little bags are super cute, and easy to put together. You just need to snag some cute little drawstring bags, iron on transfer paper, string or yarn, and the adorable printable images that can be downloaded from the original tutorail.
Get the printable and see the tutorial over at Wolves in London.
Baby Sock Advent Calendar
Of course we had to include a Martha Stewart craft on here, she’s the queen of crafts after all. But how adorable is this idea that can reuse old baby socks to keep a touch of nostalgia in your advent calendar? I mean, you can buy them too if you’d prefer-but I like the idea of saving baby girl’s socks to make this adorable advent calendar with someday. Plus it’s super easy, you’re basically just clothes pinning them to a long piece of ribbon.
See the full tutorial over at Martha Stewart’s website.
Smitten Mitten Holiday Garland Advent Calendar
Or, instead of baby socks, why not mittens? These are adorable, and you can use mittens you have already, buy some new ones, or even knit/crochet them if you have the skill for it.
Check out the full tutorial at Knit Picks.
Knock-Off Pottery Barn Stocking Advent Calendar
This is perhaps one of the cutest ideas, but it was SO expensive at Pottery Barn. If you’re super crafty, the original tutorial for this DIY has the full instructions on how to actually build the ladder yourself! But if you’re less-inclined towards woodworking you could totally use an old ladder or buy one. Also, if you have the fabric skills, you can sew your own mini stockings, or you can just order some cute ones off of Amazon instead…
See the full tutorial for this DIY at Rogue Engineer.
Wall Mounted Advent Calendar
This one is adorable with that rustic barnwood look and it’s cute little hanging bags. You can get the small drawstring bags for this one as well, and the tutorial shows you how to make the tree, stamp the bags, and put it all together. So cute, and so farmhouse (which is totally in right now.)
See the full tutorial at The DIY Dreamer.
Pottery Barn Advent Knock Off
Another Pottery Barn knock off, but you’ll need some sewing skills for this one. Very cute, and nice and big, this fabric advent calendar will be easy to store each year when you’re done with it.
Get the pattern and see the tutorial at Family Ever After.
Christmas Present Advent Calendar
This one is really cute and really simple. Just wrap up 24 little gifts in some cute wrapping paper and hang them with bakers twine. Voila, easy, and there’s a fun gift each day leading up to Christmas.
See the full tutorial over at Creation Corner.
DIY Advent Calendar Made from a Shoe Organizer
Perhaps the easiest of them all, just buy yourself one of those hanging shoe organizers and pretty it up a bit. Then you can stick little gifts or treats in the pockets-so easy!
See the full tutorial at Elizabeth Joan Designs.
DIY Boxes Advent Calendar with Free Printable
This one is also pretty easy, all you need are a bunch of those cute little Christmas gift boxes that you can find easily this time of year, and then you can decorate, fill them with gifts, and stack them. Super cute!
See the tutorial and download the printables for the boxes from Powerful Mothering.
Punch Game Advent Calendar
This one takes a little bit of work, but how fun is that for the kids to be able to punch a hole in the date to reach their prize and mark it off? So cute!
See the full tutorial at School of Decorating.
Hanging Stockings Advent Calendar
This one is really adorable, you just need some dowels, ribbon, and cute little stockings. You can buy them if you’d like, but the tutorial for this one actually walks you through how to make your own.
See the full tutorial over at Fabre Faction.
Star Garland Advent Calendar
This one is perhaps my favorite, and no wonder since it’s from the brilliant minds of Elsie and Emma… It’s SO cute, and I think I may try to pull this one off this year… You just need adorable little star kraft boxes (you can find them on Amazon, Etsy, or at a craft store-Michael’s has some), some twine, a little paint (and/or number stickers), and stuff to fill them with. I love this advent calendar so much!
See the full tutorial over at A Beautiful Mess.
Book A Day Advent Tree Calendar
This is fun because you just wrap up Christmas books to give to the kids each day up until Christmas. I LOVE that it encourages reading, and you can wrap them and stack them like a super cute tree. Need book ideas? Check out these Christmas kids books…
See the original idea/tutorial at My Little Bookcase.
Snowman Advent Calendar with Books and Films
Don’t want to do just books leading up until Christmas? What about books AND films? I love it. You can read them or watch movies together to get into the Christmas spirit. Also, do you need movie ideas? Check out these holiday films! It would be nice to watch old classic movies with your parents. You could collect such movies long before Christmas arrives. In case you cannot get your hands on such old movies, you can search them through other methods. Best torrent sites available at your geolocation are likely to have any movie you are looking for. So, you might want to consider that option as well.
See the tutorial at Here Comes the Girls.
DIY Wooden Advent Calendar
How cute is this rustic tree with the adorable metal buckets? Really cute, and totally great for those looking for a good farmhouse/rustic lok this holiday. You can make the wooden tree (pallet project anyone?) and easily attach the galvanized buckets to it.
Check out the tutorial at Sugar and Charm.
Christmas Forest Advent Calendar
This is SO cute, and it includes a free printable which makes this super easy. Print it out, then fold and fill the cute little forest trees, santa, and presents.
Grab the free printable and see the tutorial at A Lovely Lark.
DIY Mini Forest Advent Calendar
Also adorable, this involves little condiment cups and a tiny bit of origami to make an adorable advent forest… Soooooo cute.
See how to do it at Your DIY Family.
Tinker Mountain Landscape Advent Calendar
This one is my other favorite-I ADORE these little mountains. The website it comes from is in German, but it translates over nicely if you’re using Chrome or your browser allows you to translate. It’s ADORABLE, and they provide quite detailed steps.
See the full tutorial at DIY With Love DaWanda.
Printable Gingerbread House Advent Calendar Boxes
Isn’t this the cutest? It’s not a free printable, but it only costs $5.00 to download it and it makes it super easy to print it out and fold it up.
Purchase and download the printable from Little Llama Shop.
Paper Christmas Trees Advent Calendar
Another super cute foldable paper project that you can fill with treats or small toys and they can open to count down the days til Christmas.
Get the template and see the tutorial at Pink Suede Shoe.
Christmas Village Paper Advent Calendar Printable
Here’s another one that isn’t free, but is totally worth the $7.96 it costs to download it. The colors are vibrant and the design is ADORABLE.
Purchase and instantly download the printable from Papier Bonbon.
Paper City Christmas Advent Calendar
Isn’t this adorable? It’s an easy printable you can download and fold, then fill and open one at a time as you count down to Christmas.
Download the printable from Mr. Printables.
Mini Cupcake Pan Advent Calendar
This one is SO easy-reuse an old (or buy a new) cupcake pan and papercraft some round covers for each of the cupcake slots. Then, use magnets to attach them, and easily take them on and off to reveal the prize inside. Inexpensive and easy!
See more details at The Stamp Doc.
DIY Magnetic Matchboxes Advent Calendar
Matchboxes, Kraft paper (or you could use wrapping paper), some ribbon, magnets, and a marker will make you this easy matchbox advent calendar. Here they’ve even taken a cookie sheet and drawn on it to make it the official living place of the magnetic matchboxes, but you could easily hang them on a metal door or the fridge if you’d like too!
See the tutorial at Mom Always Finds Out.
DIY Advent Calendar from Magnetic Spice Jars
Here’s another easy advent calendar with kitchen goodies-magnetic spice jars. I’ve seen these spice jars at IKEA often, but you can also find them in many sizes and price ranges on Amazon. Then, you can snag the cute printable from the blogger linked below and put it all together with very little fuss.
Get the printable and see how to do it all at Makdoodle.
What to Fill Your DIY Advent Calendar With
Need some ideas for what to fill your DIY Advent calendars with? Here are some great ideas you can easily order and have in time to get started…
- Lego Mini Figures
- Mini Christmas Decorations
- $5 Gift Cards
- Mini Games
- Fun Holiday Activities to Do Together. For ideas and a printable, see: 100 Activities for Your Advent Calendar
- Random Acts of Kindness to Do Together
- Rub on Tattoos
- Small Art Supplies
- Small Crafts
- Mini Toys and Small Stuffed Animals
- Mini Animal Squishies
- Hot Wheels Cars
- Makeup and Beauty Supplies
- Glow Sicks
- Movie Passes
- Fidget Spinners
- Winter Wear (gloves, socks, hats, etc.)
For more ideas on what to do, visit the Target Dollar Spot (that is my favorite place to find inexpensive little items to fill their advent calendars or stockings with) or look at all these fantastic ideas on Pinterest.