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How to Make an Advent Calendar

Updated on March 9, 2016
Heritage Advent Calendar
Heritage Advent Calendar | Source

Create a Memorable Advent Calendar or a Countdown Calendar

You can make an advent or a countdown calendar at home. It's a great holiday tradition. Directions are included here for making these seasonal decorations for both children and adults.

Not long ago, I explored making Advent Calendars, often called Countdown Calendars for the Holiday season. There are several on this page, most involving paper crafts. You'll find a 3-D Countdown Calendar created from a kit, a Magnetic version utilizing mini-muffin tins and magnets, and three hanging Advent Calendars created with easy-to-find, low cost items. If you're a scrapbooker or if you are into paper arts, there's something for everyone.

Before I moved to Vancouver, I had never heard of an Advent Calendar. They simply weren't traditional back in the prairies where I lived much of my life. But here on the West Coast, they're part of the childhood experience.

These calendars are popular for counting down to any event imaginable. Traditional Advent Calendars count down to the Advent, of course. But you also find Countdown Calendars that count down to Hanukkah, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, retirement, last day of school and any other event that has a date.

Hand Made Hanging  Advent Calendar
Hand Made Hanging Advent Calendar | Source

Make this Hanging Advent Calendar

Watch the days pass as this calendar counts down the days until Christmas -- or any other special day in the Holiday Season.

This eye-catching calendar is made with papers and supplies that you can find almost anywhere. No need to buy an expensive kit or tromp through the stores looking for a "must have" embellishment. Use what you have -- ribbon, buttons, lace, images cut from Christmas cards, perhaps -- and create an item that is uniquely special and uniquely yours.

The calendar shown in the picture cost me less than ten dollars to make. Where I live, that's extremely low priced.

Click the link below for a complete video demonstration of how to make this project.

Video Tutorial for a Magnetic Advent Calendar

Magnetic Advent Calendar

See the video demonstration to the right for a picture of this magnetic calendar. It is so cute, and the best part is that its so easy to make that you can make several sets of covers for the muffin tin cups. With one mini-muffin pan, you can make a Countdown Calendar for all the special events in your year.

The covers are attached with magnets. EK Success sells strips of magnets with adhesive on the back. All you have to do is cut a couple of pieces and stick them to the back of your circular covers.

How easy is that?

And if you want, you can use the muffin tin for the purpose it was intended, in between events!

Karen Foster's Countdown Kit

3D Countdown Calendar-
3D Countdown Calendar-

This is the kit that I used to make the 3-D calendar. It is shown here fully decorated, but of course you buy the form and do the decorating yourself. This great little kit is reversible, so you can make two calendars with one kit.


3-D Countdown Calendar

This adorable 3-D Countdown Calendar is an easy-to-use kit from Karen Foster Design. The kit includes the box with its 25 reversible boxes and number stickers sufficient to decorate one side. You supply the paper, trim and creativity.

Because this Advent Calendar Box reverses, you can decorate the other side of the boxes to countdown to any event you want.  

Video Tutorial

Advent Calendar Poll

Does your Holiday Tradition Include a Countdown Calendar?

See results
Advent for Artists Calendar
Advent for Artists Calendar | Source

Three Advent Calendars for Adults

The three samples shown here, as well as the one at the top of the page, are intended to be more artistic and are made as gifts for adults. The top one is a Heritage Calendar, which is a Tim Holtz inspired and contains small notes, photos or mementos in the small pockets. The one to the right is a more traditional theme, called Advent For Art and is intended as a gift for a paper artist. The small pockets contain gifts of beads, stickers, die cuts, fibre, brads, etc. The third, shown below, is called Doves of Peace. The pockets contain gold-covered chocolate coins.

The directions for making this calendar are on my blog called Scrapping by Design.

Doves of Peace Advent Calendar

Doves of Peace Advent Calendar
Doves of Peace Advent Calendar | Source
Piggy Countdown Calendar
Piggy Countdown Calendar | Source

Piggy Countdown Calendar

Its not everyday you get to see a pig-themed countdown calendar. I designed and made this one to give as a gift in a Secret Santa swap hosted by my art group, Art for the Creative Mind. The woman who's name I drew in the swap did not observe traditional Christmas and did not want a Christmas-themed gift. I was puzzled for a bit, but then I recalled that she is the proud owner of a pot bellied pig named Babe, and also has a collection of pig-themed novelties. The idea of a Piggy Countdown Calendar came to mind. This is the result.

Most of the images are clip art, but two images are pictures of Babe the Pig, as posted to the recipient's blog.

The pockets each contain a tag featuring a clip art pig picture along with an inspirational saying about pigs, life, art, etc.

The recipient seemed delighted.

When creating art, the sky is the limit.

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    • elizabethmcgriff profile image

      elizabethmcgriff 6 years ago from South Alabama

      Great ideas! Last year I did an advent string that ran across the mantle with pockets for each day. Inside were little prizes like lip gloss and baseball cards. My kids couldn't wait until it was their turn. Thanks for writing.

    • profile image

      Management Projects 6 years ago

      Video Tutorial is Nice and Excellent , your choices are fantastic , keep going...

    • profile image

      ammie3434343434334 7 years ago

      i love the different choses