Countdown to Christmas with a DIY Advent Calendar

Countdown to Christmas with a DIY Advent Calendar

Countdown the days until Christmas this year with a DIY Advent Calendar. I’ll show you how I made mine, and trust me — if I can make one, so can you!

Countdown to Christmas

Although Christmas shopping may be well underway, my children would tell you that the Christmas season doesn’t officially start until December 1st. Why? Because that’s the first day of the Advent calendar, of course!

For over a hundred years now families throughout the world have been celebrating the Christmas season with the help of Advent calendars. And no wonder! During the darkest time of the year, we all need a little extra light, and counting down the days until Christmas together as a family is one wonderful way to get it.

Is the Advent calendar part of your family’s Christmas tradition? If not, why not make it one? After a lifetime of Christmas countdown joy, I can guarantee you that it will add light to your December! There are literally thousands of variations you can choose from, no matter your budget or personal style. Better yet, why not make one yourself? That’s what I did this year, and if I can do it, so can you!

My Simple DIY Advent Calendar

After celebrating many Decembers with the same Advent calendar, this year my family needed a new one. Although we’re not sure how, the wooden one we’ve always used got broken in storage. Thankfully, about the time we realized this, Close To My Heart released their “Happy, Happy Christmas” gift line, including the limited edition Red Magnetic Chalk Board. As soon as I saw that, I knew it was the solution to our Advent calendar problem!

To start, I unhinged the chalkboard piece from the frame, and then flipped the board around so that the metallic back side was facing out.  Not only was the metal finish a better color match for the design I had in mind, but this way I didn’t have to worry about ruining the chalkboard.

Chalkboard Reversed - Advent Calendar

Next, using my paper trimmer and 123 Punch Board tool, I quickly made 25 “coin” envelopes in the size I wanted. The coin envelope pattern is a little extra that’s included in the instruction booklet for the 123 Punch Board, and it’s definitely one I suggest trying. Not only is this style of envelope super easy to make, but super cute, too!

Coin Envelopes Pattern - DIY Advent Calendar
The Coin Envelopes pattern is one of the free extras in the 123 Punch Board instruction book

Once I had the bases of the envelopes made according to the instructions, assembly took practically no time. I used tearable double-sided tape, and stuck adhesive in just a couple key places on each envelope before folding them up.

Assembling the envelopes - DIY Advent Calendar
Envelope assembly was quick, thanks to tearable double-sided tape

With the envelopes assembled, I moved on to arranging them on the board. I knew when I started that I’d need to overlap them in order for them all to fit, but that didn’t take too long. What did take me a bit, though, was figuring out where to place each paper pattern, because I didn’t want any two envelopes of the same color touching. Call me picky, but I wanted each of my Advent calendar envelopes both to stand out and  flow with the rest of the design. In the end, my 15-year-old helped with this. She loves to play with patterns, and it took her about two minutes to do what I’d tried a half hour for!

Taped strip of envelopes - DIY Advent Calendar
Vertical row of envelopes taped together on the backs with double-sided tape

Having finally found a pattern that worked, I flipped the envelopes over, adjusted the spacing as needed, and then taped each vertical row together with strips of double-sided tape. Then it was just a matter of removing the plastic liner from the tape, and sticking the rows down on the board.

Envelopes Taped to Board - DIY Advent Calendar
Final envelopes arrangement, stuck to the board with double-sided tape

Since the point of an Advent calendar is to count down the days of December, my envelopes clearly needed numbers on them. These were super easy to make with some number stamps, circle punches, and white and gold glitter cardstocks.

Numbered envelopes with chocolates tucked in - DIY Advent Calendar
Numbered envelopes with chocolate treats tucked inside

For my daily treats, I tucked a Ghirardelli chocolate square into each envelope. My family loves the seasonal flavors, so I mixed in a variety of them. Although the wrappers sticking out of the tops of the envelopes do give away the treats, I think they add a little extra festivity to the look of the Advent calendar. Besides, I plan to tuck in some verses when nobody’s looking — that way they’ll still get a little surprise each day!

Last but not least, I wanted something glittery to tie the whole design together. A dig through my stash produced a lovely piece of white and gold shimmery ribbon, which my husband kindly fashioned into a bow for me. I attached the bow with some foam tape so that it would really stay put.

Finished DIY Advent Calendar
My finished DIY Advent calendar

And voila —  my family has a brand new Advent calendar to enjoy! The design isn’t complicated, but that’s not really the point of Advent calendars now, is it?


As you can see from the simple way that I made mine, making your own Advent calendar can be quite easy. All you need are a few supplies, and a little imagination. Not only will you get the joy of making it yourself, but your new Advent calendar will also give your family something fun to look forward to each day of December. We all need a little extra light during this dark time of year, and counting down the days until Christmas together is a great way to get it!

Materials Used

Curious about the materials that I used today? To make it easier for you to find them, I’ve linked them below. Please note that some sponsored links are included. At no extra cost to you, your purchases through these links help support Paper Craft Romance — thank you!!! For more information about sponsored links, please read my Advertising Disclosure.

Share Your Thoughts

Is the Christmas countdown part of your family’s tradition?  Have you made or will you try making your own Advent calendar? What other holiday traditions do you have that you look forward to each year? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

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If you enjoyed this article, please do pass it along! Thanks so much for reading, and please let me know if there’s a paper craft problem I can help you solve today.

Article written by Deedee Anderson


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