20 DIY Advent Calendars and Holiday Countdowns

12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar

A DIY Advent calendar is the perfect way to put a little crafty love into the holiday build-up!

I try to DIY instead of buy, but dang, am I a sucker for holiday novelty consumables! I’m calm from May through September, but from October through April, I am all about the Reese’s eggs, gingerbread Oreos, and pumpkin spice lattes.

And yes, I am also a sucker for Advent calendars. Even though I tried very, very hard to chill out this year, I still somehow ended up with a cheese calendar, wine calendar, hard cider calendar, and, of all things, a DOG TREAT calendar.

Seriously, a dog treat Advent calendar. My dog does not care about the Advent season!

To get myself away from buying up the rest of World Market this month, I am making a commitment to refocus on handmade and DIY. DIY Advent calendars are a great way to keep my personal commitment to handmade while still having fun indulging in those daily little treats and novelties that I love so well. Below, check out my favorite DIY Advent calendars, and see if there’s something you might like to make, too!

Countdown Calendars

Want to countdown to a Big Day without all the fuss of incorporating treats and activities? These are the calendars for you!

DIY Advent Calendars
Advent countdown clipboard image via Eighteen25

Advent countdown clipboard. Here’s a low-key but still special way to count down to the Big Day.

LEGO countdown. Upcycling LEGOS into holiday decorations is my favorite crafty activity!

wooden Christmas tree countdown via Jaime Costiglio

wooden Christmas tree countdown. Put your woodworking skills to work with this handmade countdown calendar. As an alternative to moving the Christmas tree, craft a different figure for every day. Just make sure they can all squeeze in side-by-side!

printable Santa countdown calendar image via Krokotak

printable Santa countdown calendar. A DIY Advent calendar doesn’t have to be time-consuming to craft. This calendar is an easy cut, color, and paste activity for kids.

Advent Calendars with Containers

These Advent calendars all incorporate containers that you can use to hold treats or messages.

wooden tree with clothespins calendar via Dear Lillie

wooden tree with clothespins calendar. This is one of the simpler wood calendar, doable by those with beginner woodworking skills.

magnetic Advent calendar. You’ve got to keep the contents pretty light, but otherwise, this is one of the easiest Advent calendars on this list.

magnet Advent calendar via Makoodle

magnet Advent calendar. Here’s another fun magnet calendar! If you don’t have the tiny jars, I think it would be just as cute to make this is a plain countdown calendar.

upcycled shoe organizer. Who knew that a shoe organizer would make the perfect Advent calendar!

calendar with paper cones via We Are Scout

calendar with paper cones. I love how simple this calendar is! Dedicate a space for it, or hang the paper cones on your Christmas tree.

message in a bottle calendar via The Merry Scout

message in a bottle calendar. Here’s a clever way to repurpose your smaller bottles. I’ve got a whole collection of prescription pill bottles that would be perfect for this, ahem!

Advent jar via Just a Girl

Advent jar. I love the idea of pulling your fun activity or treat out of a jar!

toilet paper roll Advent calendar via Mamas Kram

toilet paper roll Advent calendar. I KNOW y’all love yourselves some upcycled toilet paper tube crafts. Here you go!

mini buckets calendar via Make and Do Crew

mini buckets calendar. My favorite part of this calendar is that it has several components that require different skill levels to complete, This means that you can incorporate your entire group into the DIY fun!

25 days? Who has time for that? A 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar is something we all have time to craft up! So let's do this!!!

Advent calendar in upcycled containers. You KNOW you’ve got a bunch of random containers kicking around, just waiting for their moment to shine. THIS is that moment!

wooden tree Advent calendar. This 3D wooden tree holds wrapped matchbooks that contain an Advent season’s worth of fun holiday activities!

countdown wall chart via The Painted Hive

countdown wall chart. This Advent calendar uses tags to mark the days. Write down special activities for each day, or give a secret spot to run to in order to collect a treat!

printable cards and envelopes via Ella Claire Inspired

printable cards and envelopes. Here’s another easy printable DIY! Each card has plenty of room to write down a special activity or sweet message.

stenciled bags. The tutorial calls for store-bought muslin bags, but if you sew, you definitely have the stash/scrap fabric to make these little drawstring bags from scratch.

clothespin wreath image via Kids Activities Blog

clothespin wreath. The tutorial uses pretty papers, but it would be equally cute to let kids paint this clothespin wreath. Use the clothespins to hold tiny envelopes or messages, or even little ornaments or treats!

countdown ladder via Her Tool Belt

countdown ladder. I love that you can keep this ladder on display all year!

P.S. Need even more Advent calendar ideas? I got you!

P.P.S. Do YOU have a favorite DIY Advent calendar? Share it with us in the Comments!

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