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DIY Holiday Countdown Calendar

I am very excited to share this Holiday Countdown Calendar idea with all of you, but also we are giving it away to one lucky subscriber! You’ll learn how you can be the winner at the end. Something interesting I learned while creating this project was that there was a significant number of people who did not know what an Advent Calendar was! I was shocked, so if this was not something introduced in your own childhood, here’s a brief breakdown:

Traditionally, an Advent calendar is a special calendar used to countdown or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. The calendar usually involves numbered doors or windows; one for each day of December leading up to the last day of celebration. The calendar windows open to reveal an image, poem, a portion of a story or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item.

You’ll find that some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. They can be used to celebrate and countdown any event you want. One of the benefits of creating your own, is you can design it however you want for your own family! Throughout the instructions of this project I will not only describe the creation of the one pictured, but also alternative options you can do as well. You’ll also have an opportunity to WIN THIS ADVENT CALENDAR!!! (see details below)

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

For The Frame:

  • Magnetic Board (The one I chose is 12×24 inches with a chalkboard finish so it could be used for multiple purposes.)
  • Frame, 12×24 inches to fit the magnetic board
  • Craft Paint and Paint Brush (Not required: Only a suggestion if you don’t like the color of the frame you are using, or you want it to have a little holiday sparkle, ie. red glitter.) :)

For The Containers:

  • 25 Containers 2″ diameter, 1 inch deep
  • Holiday Scrapbook/Construction Paper
  • Circle Puncher, 2″ (Optional tool)
  • Tacky Glue
  • Alphabet Stickers, 3-4 packs (Make sure they include numbers.)
  • Round Magnets
  • Glue Gun

For The Star:

  • 1 Cardboard/Paper Star
  • Gold Metallic Craft Paint
  • Gold Glitter Craft Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Round Magnet
  • Glue Gun

Need Help Finding The Right Supplies?
You can get them here:

Please do not get discouraged by the number of supplies involved. There are many instances where alternatives can be used, allowing you to make adjustments when needed, depending on the tools available to you! So, let’s get started. Follow these steps to make your own Advent Calendar. Also, don’t forget you can register to win the Advent Calendar shown here, details at the end.

Step 1: Purchase your magnetic board before you purchase your frame. It will be easier to find a frame to fit your board versus the other way around. This is one area you can save a lot of money. Frames can be expensive, but they are also not hard to come by. Check your local thrift stores or the clearance sales at your local craft store. All you really need is the right size, you won’t be using the glass and you can always paint the frame if desired.

Step 2: In my example, I added red metallic craft paint for some shine to my frame, and red glitter craft paint for a little sparkle. I painted three layers of the metallic paint on the inside and outside edges of the frame, and left the rest as-is. Then, I added one thick coat of the glitter paint on top of the metallic paint on the inside edge. The metallic paint looked nice without the glitter, so again, this can be an optional step, but I like glitter!

Step 3: Once the frame is dry, secure your magnetic board in the frame, instead of the glass and cardboard back.

[If the frame you found was good as-is, you can skip the first two steps and go straight to step 3.]

Step 1: Select different holiday scrapbook paper (plain colored, designed or textured) for a variety.

Step 2: Use the 2″ Circle Punch to punch 2″ circles out of the scrapbook paper. These will be added to the tops of the containers. For an Advent Calendar, you don’t want to be able to see what’s inside, so if your container has a clear window, it’s especially important to make sure the top of the container is covered.

Step 3: Distribute the tacky glue inside the container top, around the edge (try to avoid the window area) and paste the punched out circle inside the top of the container so the pattern is showing out the window from the top. Do this for 25 container tops.

Step 4: Stick your number stickers on the outside of the top once they are dry. The containers should display a number from 1-25 once.

Step 5: For the final step, use the glue gun to glue one magnet to the back of each container. Do this for all 25 containers.

[If you don’t want to purchase the 2″ Circle punch, use the top of the container and outline it on your paper and simply cut it out with scissors. You can also save money when purchasing the scrapbook paper by limiting the different designs to 2-4 or less, it’s really up to you.]

Step 1: Paint your star as desired. I used 3 coats of metallic gold, and 2 thick coats of the gold glitter craft paint. Let it sit and completely dry in between each coat.

Step 2: Use your glue gun to secure a magnet on the back.

[Because we’re approaching the holidays, it should be easy to find a star. Consider a wooden star shape, or a star ornament. You may not even need to paint it, it could be something ready to go and all you need to do is glue the magnet on the back.]

Now for the special giveaway! Anyone who subscribes to our blog between now and November 20th will automatically be entered into a drawing to win the Advent Calendar displayed in this blog post! The winner will be randomly selected and notified on Friday, November 21st, so be sure to check your email! Please note, you must complete the verification process when subscribing in order to qualify for the giveaway, and the prize will be shipped to US and CANADIAN locations ONLY.

Categories: Home Life