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DIY Advent Calendar Ideas for your Countdown to Christmas

This post shares a handful of different DIY advent calendar ideas that are perfect to create with your kids this Christmas season.

I remember the joy as a child of waking up every morning to open the advent calendar and see a new Christmas goody. Whether it was filled with candy or a small toy, I think the most exciting part about the advent calendar was the element of surprise.

While traditional advent calendars contain small chocolates or candies, there are many other creative ideas to make the countdown to Christmas even more special.

One idea for an advent calendar is to create a daily activity for each day leading up to Christmas. This can include things like baking cookies, making ornaments, or watching a holiday movie. Another option is to fill the advent calendar with small gifts, such as socks, jewelry, or small toys. These gifts can be tailored to the interests of the person receiving the calendar, making it a personalized and thoughtful gift.

No matter what type of advent calendar is chosen, it is sure to bring joy and excitement to the holiday season. With so many creative ideas available, there are endless possibilities for making the countdown to Christmas even more special.

What is Advent?

The word Advent in Latin means “coming.” Advent is a season of waiting in anticipation of the arrival of Jesus’ birth. This is why we create “advent calendars” to countdown the days until Jesus’ birthday AKA Christmas day.

Advent calendars are a popular Christmas tradition that has been around for centuries. Advent calendars come in many different forms, from simple paper calendars to elaborate wooden structures.

The purpose of an Advent calendar is to help children and adults alike prepare for the celebration of Christmas. Each day, a new door or compartment is opened to reveal a surprise. This surprise can be a piece of chocolate, a small toy, or even a message or activity to do with family and friends.

Advent calendars typically start on December 1st and end on December 24th. The 24th is the last day of Advent and is known as Christmas Eve. Some Advent calendars may include a 25th door or compartment, which represents Christmas Day.

Come walk down memory lane as I share some of my favorite DIY advent calendar ideas for your countdown to Christmas.

For those of you who would prefer to purchase an Advent Calendar, check out our list of the some of the best Advent Calendars for Kids from Amazon.

Advent calendars for kids

DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

If you’re looking to add a personal touch to your Advent calendar, consider creating your own. Here are three DIY Advent calendar ideas to get you started.

Craft Paper Advent Calendar

Craft paper is a versatile material that can be used to create a variety of Advent calendar designs. To make a simple craft paper Advent calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Cut 25 small squares of craft paper.
  2. Number each square from 1 to 25.
  3. Fold each square in half and glue the edges together to create a pocket.
  4. Attach the pockets to a larger piece of craft paper or cardboard in the shape of a Christmas tree or wreath.
  5. Fill each pocket with a small treat or trinket.

Mini Stocking Advent Calendar

Mini stockings are a festive and fun way to create an Advent calendar. To make a mini stocking Advent calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Cut 25 mini stockings out of felt or fabric.
  2. Number each stocking from 1 to 25.
  3. Hang the stockings on a piece of ribbon or twine.
  4. Fill each stocking with a small treat or trinket.

Muffin Tin Advent Calendar

A muffin tin can be repurposed into an Advent calendar with a little creativity. To make a muffin tin Advent calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Label each muffin cup with a number from 1 to 25.
  2. Fill each muffin cup with a small treat or trinket.
  3. Cover each muffin cup with a piece of wrapping paper or tissue paper.
  4. Tie a ribbon or string around each muffin cup to keep the wrapping paper in place.

Unique Advent Calendar Ideas

Advent calendars are a fun way to countdown the days until Christmas. Traditionally, they are filled with chocolates or small toys. However, there are many unique Advent calendar ideas that can make the countdown even more exciting. Here are some ideas for Advent calendars that are sure to impress:

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Instead of receiving a treat every day, why not give back to others? An Acts of Kindness Advent calendar encourages individuals to perform a different act of kindness each day. Here are some ideas for acts of kindness:

  • Donate toys to a children’s hospital
  • Pay for a stranger’s coffee
  • Write a thank-you note to a teacher or mentor
  • Volunteer at a local shelter
  • Bake cookies for a neighbor

Experience-Based Advent Calendar

An experience-based Advent calendar is perfect for those who love to try new things. Instead of receiving a physical gift, individuals can participate in a different activity each day. Here are some ideas for experience-based Advent calendars:

  • Attend a holiday concert or play
  • Go ice skating
  • Take a cooking class
  • Visit a local museum or art gallery
  • Have a game night with friends and family

By trying new experiences, individuals can create lasting memories and make the holiday season even more special.

Fitness Advent Calendar

For those who want to stay active during the holiday season, a Fitness Advent calendar is the perfect solution. Each day, individuals can participate in a different fitness activity. Here are some ideas for fitness Advent calendars:

  • Go for a run or walk
  • Try a new yoga pose
  • Do a 10-minute workout video
  • Attend a fitness class
  • Go for a bike ride

Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids

Advent calendars are a fun way to countdown the days until Christmas. Kids love opening the doors or boxes to reveal a surprise each day. Here are some Advent calendar ideas for kids that are sure to bring joy and excitement during the holiday season.

Lego Advent Calendars

Lego Advent calendars are perfect for kids who love building and creating. Each day, they can open a door to reveal a small Lego set or minifigure. By the end of the month, they will have a complete Lego scene or set to play with. There are several Lego Advent calendars to choose from, including ones featuring popular themes like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and City.

Puzzle Advent Calendars

Puzzle Advent calendars are a great way to challenge kids’ minds and keep them entertained. Each day, they can open a door to reveal a small puzzle piece. By the end of the month, they will have a complete puzzle to put together. Puzzle Advent calendars come in a variety of themes and difficulty levels, so there’s something for every age and skill level.

Sticker Advent Calendars

Sticker Advent calendars are a fun and creative way for kids to decorate for the holiday season. Each day, they can open a door to reveal a new sticker to add to their collection. By the end of the month, they will have a complete set of stickers to use for decorating cards, gifts, and more. Sticker Advent calendars come in a variety of themes, including Christmas, winter, and holiday animals.

If you are looking for some unique and out of the box ideas for Advent Calendars, check out this list here!

Ready to see some real life examples of Advent calendars for kids?

  1. Santa’s Sack Christmas Countdown Garland
DIY printables for your Advent Calendar

What is better than an advent surprise? How about an advent surprise activity? Honestly, the older I get the more I want to give memories to my kids rather than things! Can I get an amen? Side note; this post also has free downloadable printable activity cards. SCORE!

2). DIY Advent Calendar for your Little Artist

DIY advent calendar activities printable

While we’re on the subject of making memories rather than “things” for this holiday season, check out these cute craft activities for an advent calendar. Each day of this DIY advent calendar has a suggestion for your kiddo that provides a creative activity related to the holiday.  They will build excitement, make memories, have fun, and maybe even learn something while they’re at it!

3). DIY 12 Days of Christmas Countdown Calendar

12 days of Christmas advent calendar

For those of you who prefer to keep it simple and instead of a 24-day countdown or a full 31 days of doing-all-the-things, this advent calendar celebrates the 12 Days of Christmas. This Christmas countdown calendar is inspired by Scandinavian Yule calendars. Each envelope has a simple card inside with a conversation starter or a simple activity that requires no prep. Such a great and simple idea!

4). How to make an Inexpensive Reusable Advent Calendar

Reusable advent calendar from a frame

I love this reusable advent calendar made from an existing frame. This is a great budget friendly advent calendar idea that you can pull out every year!

5). DIY Reusable Advent Calendar

On the subject of reusable advent calendars, check out this one! I love how it looks like one solid present but still has 24 individual gifts inside. You simply poke a number and then peel back the number and paper just a bit to reveal the gift each day.

6). Easy DIY Christmas Countdown

DIY Christmas countdown with jokes

The element of surprise is always a kids favorite but what about a surprise with a joke! What a great idea! I love how this post not only shares how to create your own DIY advent calendar but it also shares a handful of printable jokes to stuff inside!

7). DIY Cheap Advent Calendar

DIY advent calendar toilet paper rolls

I love this idea! Not only can kids enjoy this DIY advent calendar from paper towel or toilet paper rolls, but they can create it too!

8) Advent Calendar Christmas Tree from a Toilet Paper Roll or Paper Towel Roll

advent calendar from toilet paper roll tubes

While we are on the subject of toilet paper roll advent calendars, I figured I would share mine! This was so easy to make and virtually free! This also makes for a great Christmas craft that you can do WITH your kids.

9). DIY Nativity Advent Countdown Calendar

Nativity advent Calendar

This is one of the most unique Christmas advent calendar ideas I’ve seen! This DIY Nativity Advent Countdown Calendar with its yarn wrapped baby Jesus, moving slowly down, day by day, from the star to the manger is such a cute way to let young children count down to Christmas. What a great way to keep the focus on the real reason for the season!

10). 24 Christmas Kindness Activities to Raise Kinder Kids this December

Christmas Kindness activities countdown to Christmas

This is also one of the best DIY advent calendars I’ve seen. Not only does it inspire Christmas activities, but it inspires kids to create kindness. We all need a little more of a servant heart!

11). How to Make an Advent Calendar Surprise Punch Box

advent calendar surprise punch box

This was such a fun Christmas craft to create! This advent calendar involves a little more “precision” to create but my kids found so much joy in poking through the tissue paper to see what was on the other side.

12) Free Printable Christmas Countdown Calendar

This free printable countdown calendar is great for kids of all ages. For younger kids they can color the first printable or for older children they can use their imagination and create their own pictures on the blank calendar.

DIY advent calendars for countdown to Christmas

I hope this gives you a few Advent Calendar ideas that you can create with your kids this Christmas season!

Happy crafting!