Counting down the days until Christmas has never been so much fun! Not only will our Christmas Advent Calendar DIY get you into the holiday spirit, but you’ll have over 40 ideas and activities to entertain your family from December 1 through Christmas Day with our free printable advent calendar activity sheets.
We love a good countdown and making a yearly Christmas countdown DIY Advent Calendar is such a great way to celebrate each day of the season.
There is nothing like the excitement of opening up a surprise, and when we make it happen on the daily, my kids almost lose their minds. In a good way of course.
We began easing into the holiday season quite early ’round these parts. The tree has been up for a couple of weeks now, Christmas music on repeat since early November, and the flour and butter restocked a few times since then.
The entire season can be wrapped in one giant warm and cuddly gift. And then there’s the Advent Calendar.
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Learn How to Make DIY Christmas Advent Calendars
The advent calendar is one of those simple holiday traditions that just about everyone enjoys. While it’s usually used to count down to December 25th, it can be used any time of year for all sorts of different reasons, including counting down to your child’s birthday or other special events.
For us, it’s our yearly tradition, and it always begins on December first. While the date doesn’t change and the calendar moves to the same beat every year, I still scramble days before to get it ready. This year was a little different and we made it early, however, I’m still filling those cute little hand-folded envelopes with family activities as I check our calendar and fill in the pages.
Thankfully, even if you haven’t created (or bought) your own advent calendar yet, this one is SO simple to throw together (okay, glue and staple together, but you know what I mean), and can be done quite last minute. Especially if you’re like us and have piles of scrap wood in the garage. You know, house projects.
Handmade Christmas Advent Calendars
If you’re running low on time, why not make your own handmade advent calendar to countdown to Christmas. These are great for any age group, from toddlers to teenagers! Our favorite thing about these is that you can tailor them to fit your child’s interests. If they love their Bob The Builder toy collection, build them a calendar with 24 different Bob toys. Add in candy or coins or favorite little toys.
Or better yet, choose from our list of over 40 Advent Calendar Activities for the whole family to enjoy!
40 DIY Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas and Activities
When I started brainstorming ideas for an advent calendar, I kept coming up with great day-of ideas like make hot chocolate or take a nature walk. While these are wonderful, I wanted our advent calendar to have things to do every day leading up to Christmas, so I tried to incorporate both cozy holiday ideas with fun family activities. The idea here is that you have 24 simple activities that can be completed in less than 30 minutes that will lead up to December 25th.
Christmas Activities for the Family
- Make Christmas Ornaments
- Stay Up & have Hot Chocolate
- Sing & Dance to Christmas Songs
- Have a Red & Green Dinner
- Do a Puzzle with Popcorn & Christmas Music
- Go See a Seasonal Movie Together
- Buy a New Christmas Book
- Decorate Christmas Cookies
- Make a Hand Print Christmas Craft
- Deliver a Treat to the Neighbors
- Have Ice Cream and Waffles for Dinner
- Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder
- Visit Santa
- Perform a Random Act of Kindness
- Make a Gift for Your Teacher
- Go for a Forest Walk
- Act Out the Nativity
- Have a Candlelit Dinner
- Make Christmas Cards for Soldiers
- Build a Snowman (Marshmallow or Real Snow)
- Game Night in Front of the Tree
- Go Ice Skating
- Attend a Christmas Concert or Show
- Decorate a Gingerbread House
- Call a Family Member & Sing a Christmas Carol
- Have a Picnic Dinner Under the Christmas Tree
- Read a Christmas Book in a Blanket Fort
- Cut Paper Snowflakes & Decorate the Windows
- Clean Out Toys to Donate to Charity
- Christmas Movie & Popcorn Night
- Go Look at Christmas Lights
- Make Homemade Bread
- Hang Lights on the House
- Make Reindeer Food
- Hang Candy Canes around the House
- Help Wrap Presents
- Have a Snowball Fight (Outdoor or Indoor Faux Snowballs)
- Make Cookes for Santa
- Read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
- Wear New Christmas PJ’s to Bed
- Open One Gift on Christmas Eve
- Read the Nativity Story
It’s our tradition and a way to really bring us into the moment and excitement of the holidays… our annual DIY Advent Calendar.
We make a different one every year, sometimes simple, sometimes more complex; but one this is certain, our family loves it! We love a good countdown and a way to bring the excitement of the season into each day in December.
This year, we decided to go a little simple and rustic and I love the finished result!
How To: Our Rustic DIY Christmas Advent Calendar
To start the project, create a simple frame. The great thing is that you can customize and make it whatever size you’d like want. We had some leftover 1”x2” strips of wood from our DIY Farmhouse Sign to make a 24”x18” frame. Using wood glue and finish nails, create the rectangle that will be your frame.
Using card stock, cut into 2”x4” rectangles. This will become a pocket or envelope that can be used to hold a small note or coin, or before it’s folded, it’s the perfect place to write a special daily message. Fold the papers in half and staple each side to create a square. Squares should end up approximately 2”x2”. With the help of the Cricut we used vinyl to cut numbers for each of our envelopes, which makes the finished product have a much cleaner appearance.
The next step is to staple four rows of twine to our frame. After each envelope is numbered and ready, use mini clothespins to hang on each line of twine.