How to Create an Awesome DIY Advent Calendar (with FREE printables!)
Snag our free Advent calendar printables and put together this easy-to-make DIY advent calendar to countdown the days until Christmas!
It’s the first Christmas post of the year! I just couldn’t wait any longer! By some standards, I’m early– Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet.
By blogging standards, I’m kind of late! I’ve seen bloggers posting Christmas ideas for weeks now! This isn’t just any Christmas post, though. It is definitely one of my favorite Christmas posts of the year.
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The 5 Key Elements of an Awesome DIY Advent Calendar
See, every year I make an Advent calendar for my boys. It’s my not-so-subtle way of trying to get them to focus on preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, rather than just the inundation of toys that they always look forward to. 🙂
I started out just buying an Advent calendar from the store, but then one year I couldn’t find any that I liked, so I made one. Well, after that there was no turning back– it has kind of become a fun challenge to think up something new and different every year!
But though I may use different materials each year, I quickly figured out that the elements of an awesome DIY Advent calendar are pretty much the same. Here’s the list I use when I begin to think up ideas for the Cs’ latest Advent calendar…
I start with 25 small vessels. These can be little boxes or bags or pails or whatever you can find that’s tiny and holds stuff.
Then, because I’m crazy and can’t leave anything alone, I add embellishments – washi tape, twine, stickers, glitter, modge podge, drawings– the sky is the limit! The kids can even help with this part! I then decide what to put in my newly decorated little vessels
I always add a verse from the Christmas story in the Bible and a little treat for the boys. But you could also add an act of kindness, a fun activity, a little ornament, an encouraging note to your kids, etc.
I number the containers, either with stickers or numbers I’ve printed from the computer or handwritten.
And finally, I have to have a way to display the calendar. This could be as simple as setting all of the items on a special shelf. I have also done a clothesline, used a cork board, and used a little tub. With this formula, creating your own Advent calendar is SO simple, and it can even be a fun activity that the whole family can do together.
How to Make a Homemade Advent Calendar
List contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
So this year, with my checklist in mind, I headed off to the craft store and roamed the aisles until I decided on my pieces.
Putting the Advent calendar together was oh-so-easy!
1. Decorate the boxes for your DIY Advent calendar.
I started with my mini take out boxes and used washi tape to make them a little prettier. This took a little time, but it is a great mindless activity to do while you’re watching TV or hanging out with the family. (And when everyone helps it goes faster too!)
2. Add the treats and scripture.
I then stuffed each box with 2 chocolate Kisses (one for each of my kids) and the day’s verse card.
If you’d like to add scripture verses to your Advent calendar, you can download the cards we used by clicking the button below.
3. Attach the numbers.
Next I wrapped up the boxes with baker’s twine, using the twine to attach the number.
Again, if you’d like to snag the same numbers we used for our Advent calendar, just click the button below to download them!
Once the numbers were attached, I just had to put all of the boxes in my little tub, and I was done!
(Tip: My tub was a little too deep, so I padded the bottom with some crumpled up plastic shopping bags to help the boxes to sit up a little higher– easy fix!)
It really is so easy to make your own DIY Advent calendar, and truly, the sky is the limit with combinations and possibilities of materials!
This is such a fun activity to do with little kids and older kids alike. (My kids were 11 and 13 this past Christmas, and they STILL both asked to make sure I would be doing an Advent calendar for them! They love it!)
I hope these printables and ideas will help you create the perfect DIY Advent Calendar to prepare for the Christmas season this year. Merry Christmas!
Advent Calendars: Frequently Asked Questions
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What Advent traditions do you have at your house? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Thanks so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Wow what a fun idea!! :):) I’ll be pinning for sure! ; ) Thanks for sharing!
Love this look! Thank you for sharing your great ideas and fun projects. Pinning this!
Sooooo cute!!! 🙂 xo
Thank you for this great idea. I will be printing and trying out this project. 🙂
Awesome idea! We’re currently making ornaments for a Jesse tree (a walk through of salvation history using ornaments and bible stories) but I had also wanted to do an Advent calendar, so thanks for the inspiration!
Great Idea!! I pulled out my advent brown bags that I use every year and even though it’s the same decoration, every year is different – we have a nativity scene with 21 pieces that I distribute differently between the bags every year and then throughout the season, we take time each day to set up the nativity 🙂 And 3 bags are left over to add in a little treat for each of my 3 kids 🙂
Wonderful! Your collection of Bible verses are just in time for my wall Advent ‘Calendar’ It’s only a slight wire frame and needed something light-weight, so these will do just the trick 🙂 BTW- I love your blog and the printables- thanks for all the lovely work you’re doing. Blessings!
What a cute advent calendar. I like your idea of wrapping something besides candy. I just posted a tutorial for my DIY Pottery Barn knockoff advent calendar.It was so fun to make!
Love this so much, I’m doing it! Such a great idea – thanks for the printables, I think Peighton is at the perfect age to begin this! xoxo
That’s a great advent calendar!! I love it 🙂 Such a fun and cute idea to do with the family.
We usually do Lindor advent calendars as that’s my favorite type of chocolate, but as of last year I found David’s Tea has one and my fiancé and I have been doing that (although he sticks with the chocolate)! So fun, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an advent calendar (I’m a sucker for tradition).
Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor