DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

I know… it is a bit late in the month to be sharing this but I had an idea on a whim, created it, we have been enjoying it, and then I had to wait 3-4 days for the sun to finally come out to take pictures to share it with you.  So this may be an idea you tuck away for next year, but it was just too fun to not share.

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar

One of my goals this year was to not only have a stress-free Christmas but to make lot of memories together as a family.  I created a bucket list of things we wanted to do this December during my 31 days to take the stress out of Christmas series.

Christmas Bucket List 2014

Even with that printed and on the front of the fridge, I found that we were several days into December and that list was easily being forgotten.  So I wanted to incorporate the ideas/activities from my bucket list into a daily “to-do” but in a fun way.  What better to accomplish that and to countdown the days until Christmas than with an advent calendar or a Christmas countdown calendar display!

I found lots of ideas online and posted a bunch of inspiration in this post. 

20  Advent Calendar Ideas

So I took some of those ideas and some fun things I found as I was walking the aisles of Michael’s and here’s what I ended up making…

Oh those mini red clothespins… LOVE! 

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

It has a very “Pottery Barn-ish” look to me too (for a fraction of the price!)

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

This was a very easy project and it only took me about an hour to assemble.  Just simply embellish 24 envelopes, pin them up, and you are done!

supplies for Christmas countdown calendar

This is what I used to make it:

  • mini red clothespins – scrapbook section at Michael’s
  • red chevron washi tape – Michael’s
  • little brown paper envelopes (24 in a pack – perfect!) – scrapbook/party/wedding section at Michael’s
  • Baker’s twine – $1 section at Target (but Michael’s carries it too)
  • number stickers – scrapbook section at Michael’s
  • green twine – came in a 3 pack from the Dollar Tree
  • chalkboard tags (not pictured) – wedding aisle at Walmart.  But you could find something similar at Michael’s or even cut little tags out of black cardstock.

I used a 25% off my purchase coupon at Michael’s a few weeks ago and some of the scrapbook stuff was on sale too.  So all of the supplies cost less than $10 and it will be able to be used again and again.  I chose things off of our bucket list, added a few more things, and used a white pencil to write them on the tags.  If you are looking for ideas to include, I listed a bunch of ideas in my Advent ideas post.

activities for Christmas countdown calendar

To embellish the envelopes, I cut a strip of washi tape in half and put a strip on the bottom and top of each envelope and then added the numbers on the front of the envelopes.  Each envelope got clipped to a line of green twine with those super cute mini red clothespins.  I tucked in a few pieces of fresh greenery from my backyard here and there to add some more green.    I thought about using an ornament for #25 or something different, but I ended up just writing “Merry Christmas” on the chalkboard. 

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

It is all displayed on my big DIY chalkboard (find tutorial here to turn a thrift store frame into a large chalkboard).  I knew I wanted to use this as my base from the beginning, but all the little details just fell into place as I was browsing the aisles of Michael’s after Thanksgiving.  There is just something about the black and white of the chalkboard with the added colors and natural look of the twine and envelopes.  So I used that as the base and just taped the twine strands on the back. 

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

This will be so easy to use again and again – just tuck it all in an envelope, ready to pull out for the next year.  I may string it on the mantel or across a window one year – who knows! Smile

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

Once we pull the tag out of the envelope, we hang it on the little tree next to it.  So the tag becomes even more décor!

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

This is such a fun Christmas display in our entryway over my $20 painted dresser. 

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

We caught up on the first few days of December… You know some fun, easy activities like this one!  Winking smile  (I think I might have put that on 2 tags! Smile)

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

And this one… pretty sure I have completed this activity several times already . 

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

I am enjoying being purposeful in making memories this year and a cute Christmas countdown calendar to display is just an added little bonus! Smile

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar (Advent Calendar)

Do you do a Christmas countdown  – mark the days off on a calendar, use a store bought advent activity, pull a link off a paper chain?  I would love to hear what you do and what memories/activities you have been doing too!


  1. Love this. It is beautiful and a great way to make memories for the holidays! I also really love that the tags become ornaments on the tree!!!!! Thanks for the great idea.

  2. This is so pretty. Such a neat idea. Love how your hanging them on the tree too.:-) I love how your dresser is decorated as well. Where did you get your white bottle brush tree?

    Have a wonderful Friday…

  3. My kids go a bunch of different things! My kindergartner brought home a chain count down at the beginning of December. Both of my gilrs have chocolate Advent calendars. (I was late getting them, and BOY, did they remind me what they were missing!!)

    And I put together a similar nightly activity box a few years ago. Each activity is listed on a card. They pull out the card for the night, each is numbered, and we do that activity as a family. Their favorite thing is to play “Christmas Tree I Spy.” Each family member takes turns choosing an ornament on the tree, and describing the colors on it. The rest of the family members have to guess which ornament was chosen. The game is a tradition in my husband’s family and it’s a favorite part of our Christmas.

  4. Hi Christina,
    I LOVE how your advent calendar turned out – it is SO Pottery Barn! ;o) I’ve pinned it to use next year! Looking forward to more of your decorations!
    Merry Christmas,

  5. This is such a great idea, Christina. I love everything about it….the little tree for the tags, using a large chalkboard, the chevron washi tape, the twine and the touches of greenery. I just love it all. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Heather @ Thrifty Stories recently posted..DIY Five Minute Pom-Pom GarlandMy Profile

  6. Design Furnishings says:

    I really love the rustic look of this advent calendar. The suggestions are great too, such donating a toy and going to a parade. What an excellent idea!

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