Try out the best DIY advent calendars for adults & kids

Christmas Crafts

T’is the season to be creative, isn’t?  I got you covered here with some of the best DIY advent calendars – ideas to make yourself at home (plus a few homey-look ones you can buy, or kits/supplies to make your own).

Best DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

Before I begin any project these days, I usually scour the web and look for other interesting design ideas to either spark or enhance my own creative mind. There are some amazingly creative, beautiful designs of advent calendars: with boxes, and birds, garlands, envelops, … you name it. But the best ideas and designs for handmade advent calendars for Christmas, I think can be found here.

If you, like me, are making your own home-made advent calendars (one for yourself and a few to give away), I’m sure you’ll find a design you’ll like here in today’s article.. Many come with printables, patterns, tempaltes and/or instructions on how to make Christmas advent calendars. Visiting any or all of them will help you figure out how to make your advent calendar.

Best DIY Advent Calendars Ideas and Projects

1. Knitted Advent Calendar 

Advent Calendar Knitting Pattern
Advent Calendar Knitting Pattern

What’s better than an advent calendar that actually matches your living room’s color scheme? Great way to use up yarn remnants and/or try try out a few new stitches. Or different yarn types. This calendar here works with 2 color strands together, with sisal, cotton, recycled T-shirt yarn and acrylic fluffiness. I think this is one of the best DIY advent calendars out there, personally, as you can use it year round!


2. Embroidery Hoop Advent Wreath Calendar

Best advent calendars to diy embroidery hoop -

So simple: embroidery hoop, two branches, and 24 presents in packing paper, tied to the hoop with bakers string. This is one of my favorites because of its’ simplicity and because everyone can do this, and use mostly recycled/reusable materials. Just one Ikea delivery will give you all the craft paper needed for this project….

Here’s where you buy the bakers yarn, and, if you don’t have one laying around already, you must treat yourself a premium quality embroidery hoop. (#affiliatelink – US customers) This one comes from a company in Turkey, specialising in high-end embroidery supplies. Alternatively, consider this high quality hoop (10″ is suitable and reusable for other projects later on) (#affiliatelink – EU/UK customers) from a hip, small supplier, Studio Koekoek, in Amsterdam. (I am becoming quite vigilant in sourcing from a range of countries, and avoid cheap Chinese imports.)


3.  Geometric Advent Calendar

homemade advent calendars geometric boxes

This is makes for a Modern XMAS Design. These are inexpensive white favors treat boxes (#affiliate link) that you buy by the 100 for $17 and cents. Original idea for this geometric puzzle box advent calendar is by Allison at All For The Boys, who singlehandedly added the black triangles with a Sharpie. She wrote the numbers on the other side and let the kids make any geometric design they wish for any day. Brilliant, if you ask me. Teach them math and pattern-making at a young age.

Again, I also think this one is one of the DIY advent calendars out there as your kids can have so much fun with it, year round.

4. Advent Calendar with Cute Little Houses

christmas homemade advent calendar street

This is a free template to make your own little street. Get the color version for a quick result, or the B/W for a coloring activity for your kids, to work on while the nibble on the treats within.

Credit|Template: Mr. Printables

6.  “Letterbox”-style Advent Calendar with Matching Colored boxes

advent calendar by

Once you’ve done this you can delve into your craft cabinet, closet, garage ad the local dollar store if need be. Collect sufficient bitty bits to add some fun, color, texture and a number to each of the 24 cubicles.

Recycle old cereal boxes to make your own boxes.

Image-explanation: There are 3 pictures stacked on top of eachother: one large at the top, and two close-ups below it.To make your own advent calendar like this start with choosing a color scheme and a style or look.


7. DIY Advent Calendar with Treat Cones

DIY advent calendar with cones of treats

Roll 24 pieces of scrapbooking paper into cones and glue the fold line. Print out 24 pretty printable numbers and glue on. Add a hanging tag to each cone. Fill cones with some wrapped candy and hang them into a Fall tree branch brought into the home.


8. How to Make a Pocket Calendar


For this pocket advent calendar you’ll need
(you’ll need a Cricut machine, the Gypsy handheld studio device, the Scandinavian Christmas Cards cartridge and the Sophisticated cartridge, plus Terrifically Tacky Tape. One reader suggested to look at the New Testament Cartridge as another option. This is a cartridge with lovely biblical images of the scriptures, crosses, etc. Or if that’s too literal for you, here’s an overview of all the Cricut Christmas Cartridges. They are all beautiful and you can use just one to make your entire Christmas decor. (#affiliate links)

9. DIY Advent Calendar with Activities

I love that each day of this advent calendar has an activity planned from holiday need-to-do and want-to-do lists. They include things like:

  • Deck the halls!
  • Take photos for Christmas cards.
  • Buy a new Christmas album and listen to it.
  • Let the house smell like Christmas.
  • Make Christmas Cards.
  • Read a Christmas Story Book.
  • Wrap Christmas Gifts.
  • Invent a new Christmas Decoration.
  • Color a Christmas picture.
  • Build a snowman or hang up paper snowflakes.
  • Cook up some hot chocolate and stir with candy canes.
  • Bake a treat and take it to a friend.
  • Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn.
  • Go out for a Christmas treat.
  • Do something nice for someone.
  • Drive around and look for Christmas lights.
  • Go visit Santa Clause.
  • Do service for someone in need.
  • Have a camp-out in front of the Christmas tree.
  • Call grandma and grandpa and sing a Christmas song.
  • Take gifts to teachers and friends.
  • Read a story or watch a movie about the birth of Baby Jesus.
  • Bake and pack up some cookies and write letters for Santa Clause.
  • Read “The Night Before Christmas”.
  • Christmas!!!


9.  Silhouette Advent Calendar

silhouette advent calendar

If you want to make this Silhouette calendar, you might also like to get this, which allows you to work with fabric and make a more durable advent calendar:

Silhouette Fabric Ink Starter Kit

10. Cloud Advent Calendar

I love the simplicity of this: take different wrapping paper (or bright fabric), cut and sew circles closed with some candy inside. And you’ll need coat hangers to form the hook behind the cloud. Ever so simple, unique result.

Cloud Advent Calendar by Johanna Rundel.

11. DIY Advent Calendar with Felted Pockets

Tutorial & photo by:

This DIY is right up my alley as it is re-usable. I love reusable calendars, as well, that makes good environemental sense to me. Also, some craft proejcts can take quite a bit of time, and it’s nice to enjoy the fruit of your labour, year after year.

12. Advent Calendar with Drawers

Some of the best advent calendars require a base. This frame with 25 drawers is based on the vintage ‘letterbox’ idea . It’s quite popular. Now previously we would make these with paper (which doesn’t last more than a few seasons). If you use this wooden drawer frame, however, you can create a countdown calendar that is going to last.

Learn more about it here: drawer frame (#affiliate link). Let your creativity run wild and embellish, embellish, embellish! Like Chrissy Tingey from did, as is shown here:

These come in two varieties: if you’d like the version of boxes around a picture, get this drawer frame with image center instead (#affiliate link)

Or, cover boxes of various shapes & sizes with Christmas color wrapping/scrapbooking paper. Use several sets of number stickers, or a Cricutor Silhouette machine to create beautiful numbering in different fonts.

13. Advent Calendar with Pretty Boxes

advent calendar boxes

Or, if you are as creative as Martha Stewart’s team, you can buy ready-made colored boxes with numbers and just group them. Like so!

Credit: Martha Stewart

14. Paper Clothes line Countdown Calendar

Don’t feel like something too involved? How about folding over some of your scrapbooking papers and pin them with a number attached on a little sisal clothline in the kitchen?

Pretty picture by: Canadian Family Magazine

advent calendar canadian family ca

15. Birds in a Tree – Countdown Calendar Idea

These funky felt birds just hang from a garden branch popped in a vase or a bucket of sand and place in the living room. 100% original and easy to make. No candy, no toy, no fuss.

By: Skiptomylou. free bird template

Little birdies advent calendar by skiptomylou
Little birdies advent calendar
advent calendar by Love land misc

By: LovelandMisc

advent calendar by mylittlemochi.typepadA creation from: MyLittleMochi at Typepad

advent calendar muffin tin
Via AllieMakes –


homemade advent calendar washi tape newsprint wrap
By C‘e di Casa di Falcone –

advent calendar by heartlinen

(photo credit: Heartlinen)

advent calendar
And … just for laughs, by

Some Pretty Commercial ones, no longer for sale

peace on earth advent calendar
Peace on Earth Advent Calendar, From: The Land of Nod.

advent calendar countdown bags

Goodie Bag Advent Calendar Garland – credit: land of nod. Or a colorful house – another fun idea from Land of Nod.


Or, if you prefer to put an photo or a mirror in the center of your project, consider this advent calendar box form:

advent calendar

advent calendar

Idea from: Frills in the Hills

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