DIY Advent Calendar

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My kids have always enjoyed having an Advent Calendar for keeping track of the days left until Christmas! A Christmas Countdown Calendar is a great way to keep add some enjoyment to the anticipation of the holiday.  This year we worked together to make a DIY Advent Calendar that we can re-use year after year.

Diy advent calendar with buttons on a wooden board.

The general idea of the DIY Advent Calendar is pretty simple, since it is made out of paper mache boxes. We picked up paper mache boxes in all different shapes and sizes, and then decorated the boxes and arranged them in a Christmas tree shape. The kids can one box a day during the month of December.

A DIY advent calendar with a collection of Christmas ornaments.

I envisioned this as a fairly simple project, but my daughters had much grander plans! They ended up spending hours decorating the boxes, and used all kinds of scrapbook paper and decorative items on the boxes, along with glitter paint and ribbon. Arranging the boxes in the Christmas tree shape was another undertaking, since they disagreed on the best way to arrange the boxes. But the final result was worth all the effort, and I know we are going to use it for years to come!

DIY Advent Calendar


  • 25 Paper Mache Boxes
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Decorating supplies like glitter glue, findings, sequins, ribbon and more
  • 1/4 thick sheet of wood
  • Wood stain
  • Double stick tape


  1. Paint the edges of the boxes in a variety of colors.A DIY advent calendar made of colorful wooden boxes on top of a newspaper.
  2. Cut scrapbook paper to cover the lids of the boxes and glue it on the lids.
  3. Add more decorations to the lids if desired using what ever decorating supplies you have.A DIY star-shaped advent calendar on a wooden table.
  4. Arrange the boxes in a Christmas tree shape. We ended up using 25 boxes instead of the more traditional 24 because we found it was easier to arrange the boxes with one extra. And no one will mind having an extra box to open on the 24th!
  5. Cut a piece of thin wood to fit the shape. We used a 3′ x 6′ piece of 1/4″ thick wood and cut it a little bit smaller.
  6. Stain the wood and let it dry.
  7. Attach the boxes with double stick tape, and then fill them with candy or small toys or whatever works for your family.A DIY advent calendar with two nutcrackers on it.

Our DIY Advent Calender looks great on the hearth next to our fireplace. Let me know what you are doing to get ready for the holidays!


Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

11 thoughts on “DIY Advent Calendar”

  1. I love it. Simple but beautiful! If you have time, I would love for you to share this post over at the Holidays Celebration link party that is live right now! It\\\’s such a neat idea, I\\\’m sure our readers would love it too! (


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