There are so many ways to countdown to Christmas! Get 50 advent calendar ideas that you can make to decorate your home and enjoy with your kids. There are projects for both candy and non-candy gifts.
There’s a Christmas taste you never forget from your childhood – at least I haven’t. It’s a very familiar, nostalgic flavor that can only be enjoyed from a chocolate advent calendar. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Each year my family used to get them for $1 each at the grocery store, and it was an exciting time. You knew for the next 25 days you were going to get a piece of chocolate every. single. day.
It felt amazing.
And I looked forward to it every single year, until I got old enough to stuff my face with chocolate I purchased myself around the holidays. But I never forgot about those glorious advent calendars.
The thing is, Christmas countdowns have changed greatly over the years. Not only have they evolved past candy (and now include toys, etc.) but they have also slowly meandered into the realm of DIY. And that, my friends, is why we’re here today: I’ve got some advent calendar ideas for you!
I’ve definitely matured beyond the cheap chocolate calendars and now I like the handmade ideas. I’ve posted several advent calendar ideas on the blog, and I’ve collected them here with several others. I want to share this list with you and see what you think.
If you’re looking to make your own advent calendar, I think you’re going to like these projects. There are a variety ranging from toilet paper rolls to paper chains to envelopes to recycled wood! No matter what type of countdown you’re looking for, you’ll find one here.
Take a peek and let me know which of these is your favorite in the comments. Happy Holidays!
Advent Calendar Ideas
Countdown to Christmas with these unique advent calendar ideas! These projects are perfect for celebrating the handmade aspect of the season.
If you're looking for a fun non-candy advent calendar option, you're going to love this free printable option! You'll assemble the envelopes and add the printable activity cards to each. There are also blank printables so you can write in your own.
I love Vanessa's no-candy advent idea! She places 24 wrapped books under the Christmas tree and reads one book every night, starting on December 1st and leading up to Christmas. It’s a fun and educational way to celebrate the holidays that won’t break the bank and doesn’t involve extra sugar.
Advent calendars are a great visual so that kids know when Christmas is - having said that, they can also be a beautiful part of your holiday decor! Kimberly's version is so pretty and perfect for a farmhouse Christmas.
Advent calendars can also be in the form of wreaths! Each day is a bright little bonbon with a plastic container inside. Fill each little package with treats, jokes, tattoos, things to do together, etc.
I love how Holly and Nat created a Christmas tree made of numbers instead of ornaments , . . a perfect advent calendar! This is a perfect beginning DIY project, and you can make it all with supplies from Home Depot.
I absolutely love felt when it comes to Christmas crafts. Learn how to make this cute calendar covered in trees; it just requires a bit of stitching! You can place anything small inside the pockets: small wrapped candies, tiny trinkets, or even money! Mollie also has downloadable, printable strips.
Have you heard of a knitting advent calendar? Instead of the usual candy or small toy, each bag is filled with a different knitting notion. A perfect idea to adapt to any sort of crafter for Christmas!
If you have a cutting machine, you're going to love this advent calendar idea! Make simple paper houses using cut files (provided by Delia), with each one having their own number. The display looks great at night with LED tea lights.
I can’t get enough of this darling magnetic advent calendar project. With a few simple supplies, you’ll have a genius countdown you'll be able to use again each year. It's pretty inexpensive to make with the free printable.
Learn how to make a paper cup advent calendar with the addition of pom poms! While the site is in German, you'll be able to see a video of what you need to do. This reminds me of something you'd find in Whoville.
Not only do these little crocheted socks make a great calendar, but they'd also be cute as Christmas tree ornaments! Erica will show you how to make the basic mini stocking pattern as well as the variations she developed. So cute!
This calendar is super easy to make as well as to customize for your decor! The little tubes are large enough to hold a small candy and/or a rolled up piece of paper with either a scripture reading or seasonal activity prompt.
The countdown to Christmas is coming! If you celebrate advent, you might be in need of a cute way to get the kids excited about counting down to their favorite holiday. These adorable Santa advent favor boxes are easy to make with just a printer and pair of scissors.
You can machine or hand stitch each stocking in this advent calendar project! Either way, it's really easy to make - including the wood structure that it's hanging on. Get all the instructions on the blog.
Tasha was inspired by a Christmas countdown calendar she saw at Target. She made it her own with different colors and a different size - and it's one of my favorite advent calendar ideas in this collection!
Not only did Laura create the tiered tray for this DIY advent, but she also created each of the little houses! This advent calendar requires several steps, but the results are worth it - and you can use it again, year after year.
An upcycled industrial spool top makes the perfect backdrop for this fun DIY Christmas countdown calendar. The kiddos will love ticking the days down – one at a time! And it’s way easier to create than one might think.
If you've never stitched kraft paper, Claire is going to expand your crafting horizons! She used a lot of leftover wrapping to make a cute advent calendar. You can shove small treats, messages, or tiny gifts inside.
Choose 25 small presents to wrap - then hang them from a metal wreath in this unique calendar that doubles as decor! It was also decorated with small leaves from a boxwood garland for a little something extra.
The chalkboard pockets on this calendar aren't really chalkboard - Kristine gives you the free printable to make them easily! She's also got a free printable for the tags, cutting down the time it takes to make this simple and modern (and really pretty!) Christmas countdown.
Jill fills her DIY advent calendar with little notes specifying some special activity for her family to do together each day. She houses these notes in the most darling mini stockings! Learn more about how she made the stockings and the wood tree for hanging in her post.
If you want to make a personalized advent calendar for each of your children, these paper mache drawers are the way to go! Tasha shows how she customized each countdown for her girls' individual style.
I love colorful advent calendar ideas like the aqua and red combination in this DIY! It takes some time to paint the muslin bags, but it's a relatively easy project, even if you've never made anything before.
Raid your scrap wood pile to make the background for this simple and pretty DIY advent calendar. Besides that you'll need clothespins and kraft paper envelopes. it looks beautiful in a farmhouse holiday home.
There are so many ways to make an advent calendar, and these luminaries in baby food jars are such a perfect non-candy idea! You can light a candle each night, or kids can turn on LED tealights. They are so cute, and this is so inexpensive to make.
Cut out little envelopes with your cutting machine, then hang them on a chicken wire wreath to make a unique countdown that doubles as decor! All you'll need is scrapbook paper, and your cutting machine does the rest.
Sometimes you're not looking for an entire 24 or 25 day countdown - and you just want to do 12! This is a great option. Your kids will love counting down the days and opening a small treat each day with these easy pillow boxes.
Did you enjoy this list of advent calendar ideas? I’d love for you to check out these other posts: