DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

Something to know about me: I really want to be super crafty and domesticated. Being raised by a single Dad less importance was given to things looking pretty and way more significance was placed on the functionality of said things. While this was amazing in instilling confidence in myself to be exactly who I am I’ve always wanted to be a little more put together. I want to have that house (and admittedly that life) people see and say “wow, how does she do it?” In my situation it’s usually people asking how Josh does it, since he has awesome artistic skills, can cook, knows which cleaning products to use on what, and still is super successful with his career and all the typical “manly” stuff guys are expected to know. I picked business classes over home ec classes in school and am not the best multi- tasker, so while FICO scores and home finances I’ve got down pat, domestic pursuits are always an adventure for me. I’ll never forget the time I tried to clean the bathtub with bar soap, or when I didn’t realize you have to wait to turn on a hand mixer until it is immersed in the ingredients. I’m slowly but surely making progress. ;p

So when I got the idea in my head to make this the best Christmas ever (since it’s the first real Christmas Josh is celebrating) I knew I wanted to have some things around our house. One of those things, besides a fantastic Christmas tree, was an advent calendar. Growing up I looked forward to getting a treat each morning as I opened a little cardboard door counting down the days to Christmas. Looking around online I fell in love with ones like this and this from Pottery Barn. I didn’t want to spend $100-$200 though, so I decided to start looking for some DIY inspiration.

I fell in love with this look from a Swedish website and got to work in Target picking up supplies for my own version.

For the backing I bought a $9.99 window curtain in grey. I thought the color would match our apartment and knew I could cut it down with some measuring tape and a glue gun. Only one second degree burn later and my glue gun efforts were a success!

I then picked out Christmas stationary to act as my calendar numbers.

I got pretty cutting scissors and trimmed around my numbers. I then glue gunned them to the fabric with a clothes pin on top.

After everything glued and dried I got to work picking different presents for different days. I tried to keep my presents under $5 each. Some were a lot less, some were a little more. Some were practical, like a new lunch box and hand sanitizer. Others were just for fun, like a cow keychain and slinky. My goal was just for Josh to open a present each morning and know he is thought about and loved. I also thought it would help build the excitement leading up to Christmas! 😀 I got red paper lunch bags to wrap all the goodies in and red and white twine to tie the bags closed. I underestimated the amount of twine needed so I ended up using some Christmas ribbon to tie about half of the packages.

I originally taped the calendar to the wall but realized that wouldn’t work when I woke up the next morning ready to surprise Josh and found the calendar on the floor with all the presents scattered everywhere. Thankfully nothing was fragile!

I quickly cut holes in the top of the fabric and put 15 wall hangers across the top. These have been holding great for days now with no signs of stress.

Thankfully I got a Merry Christmas sign and could use it to cover up my scissor handiwork 😀

I was pretty happy with how my DIY advent calendar turned out. It took forever, doesn’t look perfect, and cost me $130 but Josh loved it and was so surprised so that made it more than worth it to me. My inner perfectionist needs to relax sometimes and realize things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. And that most of the time being “that girl” that seems like she has her life all together and everything is so beautiful is usually just a fantasy. Life can be messy sometimes, those are the memories! That being said, I am seriously considering ordering one of the Pottery Barn advent  calendars when they go on sale after Christmas for next year. ;p They’re just so pretty!

Questions of the Day: Are you crafty? What are some of the coolest things you’ve made?


  1. says

    This is ADORABLE! I’m not familiar with the concept, but I’m sure Josh was beyond thrilled with the thought that went into making his first real Christmas so special.

    I recently (and successfully) completed my own DIY that I’m proud of. I created a custom way to store and organize my accessories and love how it turned out.

    xoxo Jackie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>