Making Your Own Christmas Advent Calendar

make your own advent calendarI mentioned a few times on this site that my sister and I made our own advent calendars for my nieces last year. Since mentioning that, I’ve gotten a number of messages from people asking how we did it.

If you’re one of those DIY type of people, this is the post for you. But be warned: the advent calendars we made were pretty basic and they did not look impressive at all. But since they were homemade and we put some pretty cool gifts inside, my nieces loved them.

And that’s the key, really. It all depends on the gifts and the creativity. If you get that right, you can make the ugliest Christmas countdown calendar ever and your kids will love it anyway.

If you’re someone who prefers to just pay a little money and not worry about any of this (this is me from now on, by the way), I have a good post on where to buy a Christmas advent calendar.

For the DIYers, let’s get on with it.

Our materials were basically an bunch of felt and safety pins. Oh, and some plywood. And numbered stickers.

We covered the plywood with green felt. We also made 25 little pouches by folding over pieces of red felt and stapling the sides. You could sew this if you’re less lazy than we were. It would look a lot better.

We attached the pouches to the green felt with the safety pins and put numbered stickers on them. We used extra felt we had to put various little decorations on the calendar, like snowflakes, snowmen, Santa Clauses, etc.

It didn’t look great, but we made up for that with the gifts. Some pouches had a little snack, like maybe a piece of chocolate. Others had little toys or trinkets. Many had a piece of paper. That piece of paper was sometimes a coupon for something nice, like a book of their choice. Other times it was a treasure map that led to the real gift.

We used these maps, because we had a number of gifts that were too big for the small pouches and this was a creative solution to that problem. It was also a ton of fun for the girls. They really loved these little treasure hunts and we are definitely going to do them again this year (even though we’re buying the calendar, we’re still going to fill it with our own gifts).

We’re actually going to make the treasure hunts much more elaborate with one clue leading to another, giving them a series of riddles to solve in order to finally discover the gift. I’m getting excited just thinking about it and even though coming up with these clues is a lot of work, it’s so worth it to see the joy on those little girls’ faces.

And there you have it! That’s how we made our admittedly pretty basic advent calendars. I hope I gave you some ideas to use when you make your undoubtedly much more impressive versions.