Each year I put together a DIY advent calendar for my girls. I think they are fun to make as well as being a fun way to count down to Christmas Day. I’m working on something new for 2016 and will post it on the blog soon, but until then I’ve put together a collection of inspiring ideas and simple ways to create your own DIY advent calendar at home. They can be filled with all sorts of things like treats, small gifts, activities, jokes, acts of kindness, ornaments or nothing at all (where the counting down itself is the activity). You can be as creative as you like and go all out but at the same time something simple can still be very effective, and there is definitely no need to over complicate it – lets face it we are all busy people and time is valuable.
I’ve collected 24 ideas from around the web because there are 24 days in the Advent calendar, and I really think there is something for everybody here. From crafty and creative to kid-made to educational and family-focussed. Check them out…
24 DIY Advent Calendar Ideas:
1. I love this nifty scratch-off activity calendar by Danya Banya
2. We made this advent tree a few years ago, the surprise-filled parcels that are strung up on a branch are small sections of cardboard tube wrapped in tie-died paper towel
3. These printable advent activities by kcedventures are designed for the popular fabric pocket calendars that many people have and re-use each year
Lego Advent Calendars
4. How cool is this lego advent calendar by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls? It’s so clever and if you already have the lego at home it won’t cost you anything at all
5. This DIY lego building challenge calendar by Little Bins for Little Hands is such a great idea!
Surprise-filled Advent Calendars
6. We made this paper bag advent calendar a couple of years ago. It’s a very quick and easy one to put together
7. This surprise box advent calendar by Teach Me Mommy also uses paper bags
8. I adore this colourful Merry and Bright advent set by Picklebums. It is available for purchase in their shop and you can also get matching free printable activity cards to put in them.
9. This easy DIY advent calendar by Red Ted Art can be made and then reused year after year.
10. How cool is this cardboard tube tree advent calendar from Mother Natured? It’s been created using recycled materials.
11. Download some printable train tags for your advent calendar from Play Trains
Kid-made Advent Calendars
12. How gorgeous is this kid-made Christmas tree calendar by Crafty Kids at Home?
13. Here is a free printable calendar that kids can colour and decorate themselves over at Sew Kidding
14. The girls helped me to create an arty advent calendar last year by turning all of the numbers we used into mini works of art
Book Advent Calendars
15. Here is a lovely book-inspired calendar by My Little Bookcase
16. I love these elegant printable numbers designed for book calendars by Simple as That (or you could use them for any kind of surprises)
17. Living Loving Laughing has another great example of a book calendar
18. How creative is this book snowman calendar? You can read more about it over at Adventures of Adam
Kindness Advent Calendars
19. This sibling kindness advent calendar in a jar is just so thoughtful! You can find it at What do we do all day
20. A reverse advent calendar collecting donations to a food bank is such a fabulous idea, from Mum in the Madhouse
21. This Christmas kindness countdown chain by Coffee Cups and Crayons is very simple but effective
22. At Views from a Step Stool they have created a muffin tin advent calendar filled with printable acts of kindness
23. I love this advent blessings jar made from popsicle sticks. Visit Thirty Handmade Days to see how it works
24. Last but not least is some family focussed random acts of kindness by Every Star is Different
Hopefully I’ve left you feeling inspired by some of these advent calendar ideas. It really is a fun way to celebrate the count down to the most anticipated holiday of the year. I want to make 2 calendars now!
More fun Christmas Craft Ideas
• We have a printable set of fascinating Christmas facts from around the world that I put together for the purpose of filling an advent calendar
• Make your own Christmas crackers – they are easy to make and so much fun on Christmas day!
• This Christmas pudding play dough smells just like real pudding
• If you’re after a set of kids angel wings (any Christmas plays coming up?) here is a tutorial on how to make a pair yourself
• These mini paper angel ornaments are always popular at this time of year
Check out our Christmas Crafts Pinterest board for lots more fun ideas.