The build-up to Christmas is part of the fun and craziness of the holiday season. Advent calendars are a great way to elevate the countdown to Christmas - they not only help with counting down, but the treats/surprises double the energy. Wouldn’t it be great to opt for DIY (do it yourself) Advent calendar this year? This is an ingenious way to add more creativity and gratification to the beautiful time of Christmas, while adding one more family tradition.

DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

Here is a list of easy yet fun DIY Advent Calendars that you can try:

1. Secret Envelopes

Collect 24 colorful envelopes - as brightly colored as possible, a corkboard and drawing pins (thumb tacks) or a magnetic board and playful magnets. Get kids to number each envelope from 1 to 24 - hiding treats or surprises would be the job of the adults. As an idea - start with holiday-themed family things to do and move towards games and treats. If this DIY Advent calendar is aimed at the kids, you could make it completely candy or chocolate themed!

Secret Envelope DIY Advent Calendar

2.  Even Tea Cans Are Useful

Once you are done enjoying blissful and healthy cups of tea, remember to keep the empty tea cans (reputed brands offer tea powder and tea bags in exquisite cans!). Wrap these tins with leftover wrapping paper or any brightly coloured paper. Write numbers on each, put the treats/surprises/activity lists inside, and place them in a stacked formation - all of this is so easily done by the kids too.

tea advent calendars

3.  The Garland of Stockings

You need 24 mini stockings, some beautiful ribbon, and number stickers to make this ‘garland’. String the stockings together with the ribbon, place stickers on each stocking, and fill each stocking with gleeful surprises. This makes a delightful DIY advent calendar for the kids. You could also make on more garland to serve as an adult advent calendar - the ‘surprises’ would be the adult part! Naughty or nice - everyone gets something with these DIY advent calendars!

garland advent calendar

 4.  Roll On

Why waste anything right? Toilet paper roll tubes are great for DIY advent calendars. Just paste paper to block off one side of the tubes, and then paint the tubes with any color of your choice and allow to dry. Allow kids to decorate the tubes, tie them with ribbon and hang them up anywhere in your home. Stuff the tubes with whatever you please, and cover each with a number sticker - such that they can be easily peeled back to reveal the surprise inside.

 5.  The Kitchen Garland Calendar

You can buy or make your own kitchen garland and tie small boxes or tin containers with ribbon to it. Label each tin, stuff them with happy surprises and label them with numbers. A two-in-one decoration for the holiday season and one of the prettiest DIY advent calendars!

 6.  Santa Caps

Your kids will love the opportunity to get ‘crafty’ with this DIY advent calendar. Take colourful fabric, cut them and shape them to look like santa hats. Glue or sew them in place. Allow kids to use their creativity to decorate these ‘hats’, stick on numbers, line them up according to the numbers, and hang them up with thumb tacks/drawing pins. Then its the job of the adults to fill them with super-duper delights!


DIY santa caps


 7.  Drawstring Pouches

These are super cute and petite, made with colorful silk or velvet or lace, and easily available at stationery or gift stores. Number them either with stickers or felt pen. Attach them, in order, together with ribbon such that the drawstrings can be easily loosened. You could also attach tiny bells to each pouch. Stuff them with surprises and pull the strings back to close the pouch. This DIY advent calendar can be reused as another decoration by peeling off the stickers!

8.  Fa La La La Christmas Town

Get together as a family and make small huts out of cardboard or other stiff material. Paint or decorate them with the happiest colors and decorations. Attach little colored numbered paper pockets and then stuff them with treats. Lock down with a tiny piece of cello tape - to be opened one day at a time.


Fa La La La Christmas Town


9.  Printable DIY Advent Calendars

Once you have printed an Advent Calendar, make small pockets and add activities and fun things to do for the whole family. It could be anything - family cooking or a Christmas movie or even just playing fun games together. This works as a great way to build-up excite, make special memories, and get the family together more often.

10.  Activity-Based Advent Calendar

Instead of focusing solely on gifts or treats, consider creating an advent calendar that is centered around daily activities. Write down a variety of fun holiday-themed activities on individual slips of paper and place them inside small boxes or envelopes. With this, each day, your loved ones can open one and enjoy a special activity together. Perfect for a fun and active holiday.

11.  A curation for book lovers

For avid readers, a book-themed advent calendar can be a wonderful surprise. Make 24 book-themed surprises that open up to a mix of 24 different books, one for each day leading up to Christmas. You can include a mix of old favorites, holiday-themed stories, or even some mystery thrillers. Each day, you can unwrap a new book to enjoy before bedtime.

12.  One with Random Acts of Kindness

Spread the holiday spirit by creating an advent calendar centered around acts of kindness. You can add simple acts of kindness on individual pieces of paper, such as "compliment a stranger" or "donate to a local charity," and place them in numbered envelopes or pockets. Each day, you and your family can open an envelope and commit to performing the act of kindness together. A perfect way to make a difference and share the holiday love.

13.  24 days of adventure!

Add some excitement into the countdown to Christmas by organizing an adventure advent calendar. Plan 24 surprise outings or experiences, such as visiting a local holiday market, going ice skating, or taking a scenic drive to admire Christmas lights. Write each activity on a slip of paper, place it inside a small envelope, and present it to your loved ones to open each day.

14.  Treasure Hunt Advent Calendar

Add an element of mystery and adventure to your advent calendar by creating a treasure hunt. You can write daily clues leading to small hidden treasures or treats around your home. Each morning, your family can gather to solve the clue and embark on a mini treasure hunt!

15.  Movies Marathons for Holidays

If you're a movie buff, why not create an advent calendar dedicated to films? Choose 24 of your favorite holiday movies and write their titles on slips of paper (you can also have a friend do it for you to keep it a surprise). Place each paper in a small box or envelope, and each day, open one and watch the corresponding film. Don't forget to bring popcorn and blankets.

16.  For the Beauty and Skincare Enthusiasts

If you or someone you know enjoys beauty or skincare products, a DIY beauty advent calendar can be a delightful surprise. It’s also a great way to switch things up if you have been investing in beauty advent for a few years. Gather a variety of mini-sized beauty or skincare items, such as sample-sized lotions, lip balms, face masks, or nail polishes. Package each item individually, and each day, open one to enjoy a mini pampering session.

17.  Musical Surprises

Make an advent calendar featuring daily doses of music. Choose 24 songs that hold a special meaning or from the albums, you have been meaning to listen to. Each morning, play the designated song of the day to set the mood and spread holiday cheer.

18.  Gamify the Holidays

For puzzle enthusiasts or board game lovers, a puzzle or game advent calendar can be a fantastic choice. Select 24 different puzzles or games, wrap them individually, and label them with numbers. Each day, open a new game or puzzle to enjoy together!

19.  Reflect and Motivate

Create a daily dose of inspiration with an advent calendar filled with uplifting quotes. Find inspiring quotes that resonate with you or reflect the holiday spirit. Write each quote on a small piece of paper or card and place them in decorative envelopes or jars. This makes for a cute surprise gift for your loved ones.

20.  Make memories as the year ends

If you are into meaningful gifts, create a memory-making advent calendar that is all about experiences and quality time. Write down memorable moments or activities on individual cards, such as building a snowman, having a family game night, or going stargazing. Place the cards in envelopes or pockets, and each day, open one to create a lasting memory.

The magic of Christmas starts early for the family with these DIY Advent calendars. It’s a great way to involve everyone in the family, including teens and adults. As the countdown to Christmas begins, excitement and fervor continue to rise, finally reaching their peak on the day of the birth of Jesus - a day filled with love, bonding, family, fun, and food. Wishing you loads of Christmas blessings!

Advent Calendars


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