24 DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

I love our store bought advent tree —  for DIY points, I did have to create a replacement door for it. Last year, I put slips of paper about what we were going to do that day in each compartment, along with a dollhouse miniature that symbolized the activity (which served the dual purpose of introducing our Pink Language Series). It was great, but not something I can see myself doing year after year, and I do feel a bit limited with the size of the cubicles.

I love that these DIY advent calendar ideas can be customized to your family and child, as it can be really hard to find a nice, well-made advent calendar in stores that suits your purposes. Instead of spending your time searching, why not spend a few minutes on one of these fun DIYs!

(And if you’d prefer some DIY Menorah Ideas, we have those, too!) 24 DIY Advent calendar ideas

Here Come the Girls have this great snowman book and movie pile to count down the days, and sometimes switches things up and piles them into a tree shape.

You are My Fave created this super-fun punch-out advent chart, with hidden prizes behind each of tissue paper circles. I could see Ella LOVING this one.

The Craft Train made this gorgeous advent tree, which is inspired by a British Easter tradition.sunhats

Sun Hats and Wellie Boots (whom I just adore) has this great advent village, and a matchbox-and-magnets tree for your fridge! powerful mothering

Nicolette from Powerful Mothering has a great printable to make your own DIY box-tree calendar, and a sweet banner with daily verses to memorize (if your family is not religious, these verses could be swapped out for holiday songs or poems.)  ohhappyday

Or, instead of one tree, how about an entire forest from Oh Happy Day? A Lovely Lark has a free printable for making a paper forest, if you don’t want to leave the house! peacklepie

I love this gorgeous stained glass advent display from Peackle Pie. The Artful Parent has this cute paper-doll-chain that the kids can help make. hisugar

Tinkerlab has this cute envelope system, if you have some extra scrapbook paper — or you can attach it to the fridge, like Hi Sugar Plum. Coffee Cups and Crayons has a printable Random Acts of Kindness calendar, if crafting something just isn’t going to happen this year. Or there is this Advent Activities printable from Hip Homeschool Moms that can be laminated and used year after year. danya

Danya Banya has this quick and easy advent calendar for busy parents, or with only a bit more time, you can make her awesome felt-and-cardboard-tube advent tree! mostlovelythings

We might do this paper bag advent garland from Most Lovely Things with the daycare kids, I love that the brown paper packages are tied up with string! Or, if you have festive cups rather than paper bags on hand, Red Ted Art makes this fun advent banner.

little eco natural advent calendar

I love this natural advent calendar from Little Eco Footprints.messforless


Adventure, ease, and taking up less space are the things I love about this jar-and-popsicle-stick idea from Mess for Less. thegirlcreative

With a bit more time and supplies, this burlap advent calendar from The Girl Creative keeps the house looking a bit more grown-up.

Also, check out this mitten idea from Miss Lizzie — you could easily swap out the mittens for all of those leftover socks that seem to come back from the dryer without their partner…


If you’re stumped for ideas to fill the days with (other than snacks), come back on Friday for our list of 50 Ideas for the Holidays.

And check out our list of 20 Christmas Snack Ideas on our sister side, In the Kids’ Kitchen.

If you enjoyed this list of 24 DIY Advent Calendar Ideas, please consider subscribing to our weekly newsletter filled with parenting inspiration, educational kids activities, and more!

Check out some of our other fun Christmas activities, like our DIY Charlie Brown Christmas Tree or our kid-made Peppermint Swirl Sugar Scrub.

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