DIY Advent Calendar

Ad Cal 2

Advent calendars have always been a special part of my holiday season ever since I was a little girl. And no, I’m not referring to those chocolate advent boxes you can buy at the grocery store. I’m talking authentic, homemade advent calendar that is a true countdown to Christmas.

Growing up, my advent calendar was special to our family. It was a handmade fabric calendar my mom made in a previous, crafty life of hers that featured a Christmas tree with a decoration for each day of the month. Each day was a small wooden ornament that I was always so eager to place on the tree (and see what the surprise was that day!) I didn’t need chocolate and my favorite cartoon characters to countdown the holiday. I just needed the spirit of Christmas.

When I studied abroad in Denmark, I was fortunate to stay with an incredible family who took me in as their own daughter for the five months. My host mom was both compassionate and crafty, and gifted me my very own custom made advent calendar that she and her husband designed for me.

Advent Calendar

I was initially touched by the thought of being included in a family tradition but once I got a closer look at the beautiful detail I was WOWed. Each date was stamped on a fabric heart that she sewed onto a board covered with burlap. Each heart had a ring that hung wrapped pieces of candy or small gifts for each date of the month. She finished it off with my name embroidered on top and a sweet message on the bottom so I’ll never forget my family, “With love from Denmark.”

Ad Cal 1

It’s been 4 years since I came home from Denmark and each year I receive wrapped Danish candies that I hang on my custom advent calendar. Today, I want to share how to make a replica of my special advent calendar as well as share some other DIY advent calendars I found online!

DIY Advent Calendar

– Wood board
– Burlap
– Fabric/Felt
– Stamps/Ink
– Thread
– Metal key rings
– Washers

– Drill
– Hot glue gun
– Scissors
– Needle and thread

1. Wrap wood board with burlap and attach using a hot glue gun.
2. Drill two small holes at the top of the board to hang twine or ribbon.
3. Cut out hearts from fabric or felt in various sizes, the largest size being 4 inches across.
4. Stamp numbers on each heart 1-24.
5. Either stitching with needle and thread, or using the hot glue gun, adhere all 24 hearts to burlap in random order.
5. Drill 24 holes at the bottom of each heart.
6. Wrap string around metal key rings and poke string through small drill holes. Tie in the back using washers to support weight.
7. Stitch a personalized message on board such as person’s name or holiday greeting.
8. Wrap candies or presents in wrapping paper and hang from advent calendar.

This advent calendar is something I hope to pass down to my children one day, along with my mother’s and any future calendars I make. Because let’s face it, can you really have too many advent calendars!

Here are some other DIY advent calendars I am loving this holiday season:

DIY Paper Bag Advent Calendar from Tell Love and Party

ILLY Tin Coffee Can Advent Calendar from Look What I Made

DIY Shoe Organizer Advent Calendar from Elizabeth Joan Designs

Magnetic Advent Calendar from From Gardners 2 Bergers

Do you have a special advent calendar you use each year? I’d love to learn what your family does each holiday season!