The holiday season will be here before you know it! One of the best ways to build festive anticipation with your family is by creating your own DIY advent calendar you can all countdown together. Whether made from wood, fabric, paper, or chalkboard, these homemade calendars allow you to hide sweet treats and fun surprises behind each numbered door or pocket leading up to Christmas.

In this post, we’ll share 7 creative ideas for making your own personalized advent calendars at home. With step-by-step instructions, suggested materials, and decorating tips, you’ll find inspiration for crafting unique calendars the whole family will love opening each day in December. From simple designs using paper bags or wreath forms to more elaborate creations with wooden boxes, fabric pockets, and book pages, you’ll discover amazing ways to bring the Christmas countdown tradition to life with DIY advent calendars made by you. Let’s start crafting these fun holiday projects!

Wooden Box


Unfinished flat wooden boxes (24-count), one for each person

Wood numbers and letters

Paint and brushes

Brad nails and hammer

Small treats, gifts, or notes


Paint the wooden boxes and let dry

Attach numbers 1-24 to the boxes using brad nails

Place small items or notes in each numbered compartment

Have family members open one box door each day

Advent Calendar

Paper Bag


24 brown paper lunch bags

Decorative stamps or stickers

String or twine

Hole punch

Calendar treats and gifts


Decorate bags with stamps or stickers

Punch a hole near the top and loop string through to hang

Number bags 1-24

Fill each with a small treat, joke, or gift

Advent Calendar

Fabric Pocket Advent Calendar


Fabric squares or felt

Number stencils or iron-on vinyl numbers

Hot glue gun

23 clothes pins

String for hanging

Small items to place in each pocket


Cut 24 matching fabric squares

Add numbers to fabric squares

Fold each square in half and glue sides shut to form pocket

Clip pockets onto hanging string with clothespins

Put gift or treat in each pocket for the corresponding date

Advent Calendar

Chalkboard Advent Calendar


Unframed chalkboard or chalkboard paint


24 tiny paper gift bags, envelopes or boxes

Command strip or hooks

Small gifts, candy, notes to fill bags


Create a 24-section chalkboard grid

Number sections 1-24

Attach chalkboard to wall with command strip/hooks

Place corresponding surprise in each gift bag/box

Reveal item in one box per day by erasing chalk number

Advent Calendar

Wreath Advent Calendar


24 mini wreath forms or rings

Florist wire

Holiday greenery, pinecones, berries

Ribbon, pinecones, ornaments

Command hooks

24 gifts or treats to attach


Wire a small gift or treat onto each wreath form

Decorate blank wreath forms with greenery and embellishments

Hang wreaths on command hooks numbered 1-24

Remove one wreath per day to reveal gift

Advent Calendar

Christmas Tree


Felt or construction paper

24 paper cones

Number stickers 1-24

Mini treats and gifts

Command hooks or thread


Cut out 24 felt or paper tree shapes

Form paper cones and attach treats inside

Affix numbers 1-24 to trees

Hang trees on wall or string with command hooks/thread

Remove one tree each day to uncover treat

Advent Calendar

Book Page


Old book

Craft knife


24 paper envelopes

Glue or stapler

Hole punch

String or ribbon

Small gifts or candy


Cut pages into 4×6” rectangles

Stack and staple/glue pages into book form

Hole punch top corner and string ribbon through

Attach envelopes numbered 1-24 to pages

Place gift or treat in each corresponding envelope

Open one envelope per day

Advent Calendar

Here are some interesting facts about advent calendars:

  • The first printed advent calendar originated in Germany in the early 1900s and was designed by Gerhard Lang. The original was made out of cardboard and featured 24 little windows that opened to reveal Bible verses and Christmas images.
  • The largest advent calendar in the world measured 54.11 square meters and was created by the city of Gengenbach, Germany in 2016. It featured a giant wooden nutcracker motif with 24 illuminated windows that locals could open each day.
  • Advent calendars have grown into a huge industry today, with many featuring popular themes from TV shows, movies, toys, and books. Some of the most unique recent versions include LEGO, Playmobil, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and superhero advent calendars.
  • Beside small gifts and chocolates, modern advent calendars sometimes contain useful everyday items or beauty products like teas, coffees, candles, lip balms, and mini hand creams. These “useful calendar” variations are growing in popularity.

10 more interesting facts…

  • While most advent calendars count down the 24 or 25 days until Christmas, some now extend the tradition to countdown other yearly events like weddings, birthdays, or the first day of school after winter break. The countdown calendars can be adapted to various occasions.
  • The original advent calendars were meant to involve children in the Advent season and help them visualize the time until Christmas, rather than just treats. The first is said to have been made in 1851.
  • Early Advent calendars were often handmade and stitched or glued together. Cookie sheets and matchboxes were also commonly used to make DIY versions before printed ones were available.
  • The pictured advent calendar as we know it today was invented by German Richard Sellmer in 1920. He created a calendar with little scenes behind doors for his son.
  • In the 1930s, Gerhard Lang began mass producing advent calendars for sale, first with 24 cards on a string and later in booklet form.
  • After World War II, advent calendars became popular across Europe and over time spread to North America and other regions influenced by Christian traditions.
  • Advent calendars have expanded far beyond paper versions, with products like fabric calendars, wood calendars, foam calendars, and reusable options becoming popular.
Advent Calendar
  • One of the most expensive advent calendars was created by Tiffany & Co. in 2018. The jeweled calendar was valued at over $112,000 and included diamonds, emeralds and pearls.
  • Beside Christmas, other versions celebrate Hanukkah, Winnie the Pooh, Star Wars, Harry Potter themes. There are even cheese, tea and pet treat advent calendars now!
  • The world’s tallest advent calendar was unveiled in 2018 in Hamburg, Germany. The digital illuminated calendar measured approximately 98 feet tall.

25 of the Best DIY Advent Calendars

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling and Only Child

By Kristen

Hi, I'm a 40-year-old stay-at-home mom who is passionate about my family, my hobbies, and my dreams. My daughter, who is 9 years old, is the light of my life, and I've made the choice to homeschool her to ensure she receives a customized education that aligns with our family values. As a hopeful small business owner, I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities to turn my interests into a profitable venture. I've found my spot in the world of online resale, using platforms like eBay and Poshmark to sell carefully curated items. My business sense and eye for unique pieces have helped me begin to turn my hobby into a thriving enterprise. Crafting is another passion of mine, and I enjoy spending my time creating beautiful items with my hands. I'm always looking for new techniques and materials to experiment with, and my creativity and attention to detail are evident in every project I undertake. Along with my love of crafting, I'm also a blogger. I share my experiences and insights on motherhood, entrepreneurship, homeschooling and creativity with my readers. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, and I love being able to connect with others who share similar interests and experiences. Overall, I'm proud of the life I've built for myself and my family. I'm committed to following my passions and turning my dreams into a reality. I hope to inspire others to do the same and live a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.

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