Advent calendars run the gamut from grocery store versions with chocolate hidden behind little windows to heirlooms that Nana made for your first Christmas. We love the idea of something a little special, and these DIY advent calendars are just that.
Whether you’re a DIY pro or you’re a total noob, we’ve covered the breadth of craft skills from tends-to-glue-fingers-together to hand-sews-family’s-entire-wardrobe so that everyone feels challenged.
Kikki-K’s advent calendar is the definition of low maintenance. You don’t even need to add gifts, because each box comes with a Christmas eraser. Actually, the only way this kit can squeak into the DIY category is if you take all the little houses out of the box and display them on a table as a Christmas town. Bonus points for adding clumps of cotton balls as “snow”.
Instructions for this clever paper bag advent calendar are all in Norwegian, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. All you need are some white paper bags, some stick-on silver numbers and pretty washi tape. Hot tip: don’t choose anything heavy for the gifts or the bags will peel off the wall.
Mr Printables’ free street advent calendar makes a pretty little monochromatic town accented with shots of pink and yellow lemonade, and pale blue. The white Christmas theme doesn’t really jibe with an Australian climate, but this summery, colourful calendar does. All you need is some heavyweight paper, a printer, scissors and glue.
We can’t get enough of these free printables. This roll-up calendar is a clever piece of work. Each day is a long paper scroll with the number boldly printed at the top, and the bottom rolled up and tied with ribbon to secure the gift inside. It’ll be tough to stop toddlers from gleefully untying all the bows in one shot and letting the gifts rain down. Maybe this one should be hung out just out of reach.
This pompom advent calendar is all about spending time with family. Twenty-four pompoms are affixed to slips of paper with activities written on each. You could bake cookies, go for a bike ride or spend the day at the pool. When every pompom has been pulled out, you can sew them together with embroidery thread to make a garland to hang on the tree.
Oh Happy Day’s pine tree advent calendar is contemporary, and although it looks like a little art piece, this project really simple. The beautiful calligraphy numbers are printables, and you just need to do some hunting online for mini bottle brush pine trees and brown boxes.
While this project from the Marion House Book is a little more fiddly than the others, the result is lovely. Stencils, glitter and glue make up the numbers on the tiny bags, and as long as they can hang on a string, you can put anything inside: found objects, Christmas decorations, cinnamon sticks.
If buying ready-made boxes and arranging them on the table is at one end of the DIY spectrum, this beautiful kit from Purl Soho is at the other. The Advent Calendar Kit has all the things you need to make an heirloom felt advent calendar. You need a bit of sewing skill for this one, not to mention patience and time. This is not something that can be done last minute!
Champing at the bit to start making? Check out our Christmas section for more festive crafts.