My daughter Kate is almost four years old and more excited than ever for Christmas, so I decided to make her a Christmas calendar countdown as we tick down our days to the 25th!
I knew I wanted something fun, festive, and reusable year after year. I also didn’t want candy to be the daily prize, so the compartments needed to be big enough for little toys and trinkets. Lastly, I really wanted to do something with empty frames. Here’s what I came up with:
I decided to use little metal buckets and paper gift card holders that I found at Target for $1 each. I liked that they were bright, whimsical and sturdy enough to handle being packed away for 335 days each year. I used 3M Command Mini-Hooks on the wall to hold each item, with the hooks facing up to pop the bucket handles into, and the hooks facing down to clamp the gift card holders. The number tags that I made were printed on cardstock, cut and secured with double-stick tape. They help us keep track of our days as we count down to Christmas, and also serve as great little cover up for the bucket hooks:
I found this gorgeous empty frame at Hobby Lobby on sale for 50% off and spray-painted it red to showcase all the goodies:
Our blank wall between the kitchen and living room was the perfect spot to put Kate’s Christmas Countdown Calendar on display:
I love that this new tradition of ours helps Kate learn about the calendar and “big” numbers, but I’m not going to lie – I especially love seeing how excited she gets each morning to discover what her gift of the day is going to be! I’ve been collecting little trinkets, toys, and kids crafts for a while now in anticipation of this activity, and most of what I’ve found comes from Target’s Dollar Spot, the Dollar Store, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.
I put smaller gifts in the buckets, and little notes in the gift card holders stating where Kate can find her larger sized gifts – it’s like a little scavenger hunt!
This super simple DIY advent calendar has been such a fun way for our family to count down the days until Christmas – only 7 more to go!
Update: Check out these posts for additional information on how to create this DIY advent calendar for your home!
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What a great idea! Love it!
Thank you so much, Carla!
We do the same thing but mix in several family activities as well like game night, going to visit Santa, making cookies, going ice skating, watching Christmas movies, drinking hot chocolate, etc. We’ve done it for a couple years now and we all look forward to it every year! Love the magic of Christmas!
Sounds like so much fun, Jenny! We also have family activities built into ours. So fun!
love this!! would you mind sharing the file for numbers?? Maybe in red and also in black?
Will do, Sarah! Look for them coming soon!
Love the advent calendar! I want to know more about those white cabinets in the background behind the family room chairs!
Great eye, Joanne! I recently got those and we’re loving them. They’re from IKEA!
Hi! Where did you find those great arm chairs in your living room? They are just what I am looking for!
Hi Jennie! The arm chairs are from Steinhafels furniture store. We got them earlier this year. Love them!
Steinhafels? Seriously? They do not look like Steinhafela to me! That’s great.
I know, right?! Such a great find!