5 Ways DIY Advent Calendar

I’m sure you all can’t resist a countdown for Christmas and the Advent Calendar. Oh well, I can’t.

I’ve crafted ways to help my family count the days to every major holiday or event over the years, and you can bet that I’ll make a dozen more before I hang up my glue gun for good!  

So, it should come as no surprise that I can’t imagine a Christmas celebration without an Advent calendar.  

Here are just a few of the Advent calendars I’ve shared here:


Dollar Store Advent | Countdown Pillow | Magnetic Advent | Silhouette Advent

What is the history behind the Advent Calendars?

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the concept of an Advent (“Advent” is the name many Christian churches give to the season of preparation before the celebration of Christmas.) calendar, I’ll give you a little background information.  

The tradition of the Advent calendar can be traced back to the early 19th century. German Protestants created Advent calendars as a way to countdown the days until Christmas.

Advent Calendar

The first known Advent calendar was created in 1851 by a German printer, who included 24 biblical images behind small windows that could be opened one per day in December.

The idea quickly caught on, and within a few years, commercial Advent calendars were being sold in Germany.

Today, Advent calendars come in all shapes and sizes, and are popular among people of all ages. Many Advent calendars are now filled with small toys or candy, making them a fun and festive way to countdown to Christmas.

Traditionally, advent calendars are like large cards with little windows to open for each day before Christmas, and each window contains a treat.

These days, you can find and make countdown calendars from just about anything!  No matter the form they take, the concept of using them as a way to conceal or store a small surprise is still alive and well.  

Check out these DIY ideas for inspiration so you can make yours! 

5 Ways to Make an Advent Calendar


1.  Luminaries


There’s something very festive about the combination of flickering candlelight and snow.  

That’s why I love this luminary advent at Design, Dining + Diapers.  

As you light a new candle each night, let it be a reminder of the true reason of the season and a time to give thanks for everything good in our lives” Taryn says.

2. DIY Toilet Paper Tube Advent Calendar

So many ideas for Advent calendars using toilet rolls! It is crazy and so ridiculously cheap!


This adorable garland from is made with papier mache boxes. I think those candy-cane striped numbers are just perfection!

And this other one so colorful and festive! You can find the full tutorial in here: DIY Toilet Paper Tube Advent Calendar.

Advent calendar toilet roll

3.  Hanging Chalkboard


Chalkboards are such a fun trend, why not incorporate them into an advent calendar?  

This pretty hanging advent from Hank & Hunt does just that, with chalkboard boxes dangling from a pretty pine bough.

4.  Lattice


How pretty is this?  Tiny, festive muslin bags are attached to a lattice background with Christmas washi tape.

“Who doesn’t love opening something small (or BIG!!!) daily in anticipation of Christmas?” asks The Proper Pinwheel.

5.  Mini Trees


The evergreen tree is a well-known symbol of Christmas, which makes this mini-tree Advent calendar from Oh Happy Day extra fun.

The tutorial for this Christmas countdown includes a free printable template for the number flags that adorn each tree.

Need a few more ideas?  Feel free to check out these 5 Ways to Countdown to Christmas.  

Do you currently have something that you use to keep track of the days until Christmas at your house?  

How do you keep your little ones from opening all of the surprises at once?

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