Today, I’m excited to show you guys exactly how to make this high impact, low-cost kids advent calendar with free activity printables to fill your days and even a little video tutorial.
I don’t know about you, but I get sooooo excited for Christmas. Seriously, the day after Halloween I’m one of those crazy moms who turns on the holiday music and starts taking out the decorations. As I get older, not only do I get excited to give my kids the perfect presents, but I also geek out over the random acts of kindness, family time, and holiday traditions we’ve created over the years.
Our favorite new tradition just may be our massive DIY kids advent calendar. We created this last year and loved it so much! I love how the minimalist design also allows us to refill the boxes year after year and personalize the gift inside to coordinate with our existing calendars. As the month goes along, I can also swap activities around so it’s always easy to maintain.
I’ve tried so many kids advent calendars with pre-filled boxes of activities and been disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I begin the month so motivated and excited but there’s always a few days that go terribly wrong. I’ll be running errands nonstop, trying to find the perfect gift for somebody I inevitably forgot, baking cookies for somebody else, getting up early to wrap presents…. and then the kids pull a “go visit Santa today” card from our advent calendar. Not cool.
What I love about this calendar is that each box can be opened and re-opened. Here’s a sneaky trick I’m considering this year: You could even leave them blank and only put the fun holiday activity you planned on doing the night before! That way, on the day you’ve already scheduled time to visit Santa, your kids will wake up in the morning, walk over to the advent calendar, and open a box that says, “Visit Santa” on it. You’re finally able to make all the memories on your kids advent calendar come true. Magic.
In short, this calendar is great to bring even more family fun every day and make a big impact in your holiday decor.
Click any link below to get all the supplies you’ll need to complete this project without adding extra errands to your day!
- Letter Stencils
- 4 ft x 3 ft piece of wood
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Peel and Stick VELCRO
- White Cardstock
- Avery 1.5″ x 1.5″ Printable Square Labels
- Beveled Ruler
How To Make A Kids Advent Calendar
STEP 1: FOLD 24 ORIGAMI BOXES
The first step is easy enough for the kids to get involved. My kids loved making these simple origami boxes. I bought an extra bin to store them in between seasons as well. Creating these boxes in cardstock also helps them hold up better for longer since they will be sturdier to begin with.
Heat up some hot cocoa and make 24 little boxes via the video tutorial below. Each of these boxes will represent one day and hold a little treat, a random act of kindness, or a Christmas activity (the free printables are below) to do that day. It’s up to you!
Since paper-folding is easier to learn via video, I created this little tutorial:
STEP 2: PRINT FREE LABELS TO MARK EACH DAY
Next, we labeled the boxes using (aff.) these printable stickers by Avery. You can design and print your own labels really easily on Avery.com/print. By placing a simple number on top of each box, they seem to have a more uniform, finished look overall. Don’t you think?
STEP 3: MEASURE AND APPLY TO WOOD
Next, we’ll need to mount your origami boxes onto a wooden board to make a beautiful advent calendar!
For this project, I used a 39″ x 47″ piece of unfinished wood and laid my boxes into 4 evenly spaced rows of six. The bigger the piece of wood, the bigger the statement!
Since this calendar will need to be stored easily in-between holidays, use Velcro strips to secure each box to the wood. This way, when the New Year rolls around, you can remove each folded box from the wood, place them in their own container, and slide the flat wood piece into a safe space until next Christmas.
Since the folded boxes are 3″ in length, it was easy to measure 3″ in between each box and 3″ in between the bottom and sides of the wood. Use your beveled ruler to make it accurate. To keep it simple, make your marks with a pencil and erase them after your Velcro and boxes are attached.
Now cut a 1″ strip of peel and stick Velcro and apply one end to your cardstock box. once it’s securely attached to your box, press your box onto the wood in exactly the space you want it to rest. Attaching your boxes this ways guarantees that they are all evenly spaced.
Voila! Now you can fill your advent calendar with fun holidays activities, little treats, or even random acts of kindness.
NOW FILL YOUR ADVENT CALENDAR…
I created some handy free printables to fill your new advent calendar with lots of simple, yet festive memories. In all, there are 6 pages and over 40 ideas to pick and choose from. Either click the link HERE to see the full post or just get the printables delivered straight to your inbox to print out!
We have really loved this DIY kids advent calendar and how versatile it is. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out and what you decide to fill it with!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I absolutely love hearing from you guys!
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