DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

When I was young, my mom made me the coolest advent calendar. (You can see it and read more about my favorite family holiday traditions here!) It is one of my favorite holiday memories and this year, I wanted to put my own spin on it and create a DIY advent calendar of my own.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 2’x1.5′ sheet of plywood
  • Sandpaper 
  • Grid ruler & pencil
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint Brush
  • 24 mini clothespins (I used gold)
  • 24 mini gift bags (I used gold, brown and red)
  • Number stickers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • 2 wall hangers
  • Gift bag filling of your choice

Getting Started

First things first, make sure your sheet of plywood is cut to the correct dimensions. If you don’t have anything to cut it at home (thanks Eric!!), a hardware store like Home Depot can cut it for you! Then, using a sheet of fine grit sand paper, sand both sides until smooth. If your piece of wood is especially rough, use a coarser grit sand paper first, then go over it with the fine grit.

Next, draw out your Christmas Tree! I laid out my envelopes first to get an idea for the size of the branches and how many tiers I would need. I then used an Omnigrid grid ruler to make sure the points of my branches lined up and were the same size.

After I sanded my plywood, I used a grid ruler to pencil in my tree!

Painting Your Tree

Using painter’s tape, tape alongside your tree. This makes it really easy to get clean lines when you paint!

DIY Advent Calendar
Use painter’s tape to outline your tree. That way, you’ll easily get clean lines when you paint.

I just put my paint right onto the wood. It definitely soaked into the wood a little bit, so I did two coats!When the paint is totally dry, take off the tape! If you’re impatient like me, you’ll be tempted to take it off sooner. Don’t! this could cause the paint to run.

Tree all painted!

Next, add two wall hangers to the back of your tree. I used the kind with saw teeth and just hammered them into the back.

The Fun Stuff

While the paint is drying, you can start working on your gift bags! I just bought 24 mini gift bags from Michael’s craft store and cut the handles off the top. 

Using your hot glue gun, glue the stickers onto the bags. (If you just stick them on, they’ll probably fall off when you go to stuff the bags.) Before I put my stickers on, I laid out the bags to make sure I liked the color combination.

I laid out my bags before I put the numbers on to make sure I liked the color combination.

Fold each bag over. Clip a clothespin on the top of each one.

Lay the clothespins and bags onto your tree to make sure your spacing is correct. Remove the bags, but leave the clothespins in place and glue each one onto the board.

Gluing the clothespins in place

Stuffing Your Bags

Use your imagination for what you’d like to put in the bags! You could stuff them with little toys, candy, party favors, small ornaments for the tree… whatever you’d like! This year, since Lucy is still so little, I did something that Eric and I can enjoy! Each bag is stuffed with a piece of paper that has a random act of kindness written on it. We’ll challenge ourselves each day to complete whatever is on the sheet of paper! 

Then, hang it on the wall and enjoy!

Pin it for later!

DIY Advent Calendar


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