DIY Advent Calendar

Fifteen years ago I made this wood advent calendar. This is one of the most treasured Christmas decorations as it represents holiday memories of our family!


I liked my wood advent calendar so much that I made five more to give to each member of my family. And it is the perfect Christmas gift. (Plus, I am sharing one more advent calendar today that I made too!)

I originally saw a DIY advent calendar similar to this in Better Homes and Gardens and decided to make one of my own. So I reached out to all of my siblings and asked them to send me copies of any family Christmas letters, recipe cards, or anything that could be used in the calendar. I also had them email me copies of family photos from their old Christmas cards.

Remember, you will need 25 pictures in total.

You can make yours using photos of your immediate family members, or any extended families. It’s up to you.

DIY Advent Calendar

W H A T    Y O U ‘ L L    N E E D: (links to items are below)

S T E P    B Y    S T E P: 

STEP  #1 

Select twenty-five photos for your calendar. On your computer resize them to 1 3/4″ square.  Print them out on the high-quality photo paper and cut them into 1 3/4″ squares. Set aside.

DIY Advent Calendar 2

STEP  #2 

Paint the edges of your wooden plaque in the color of your choice. I used green and then added some silver on top for a slightly antique look. 

STEP  #3 

Make black and white copies of the letters and recipe cards and decoupage them to the board.

DIY Advent Calendar 3

You can also add rub-on transfer letters in the saying of your choice. I found one that said “Tis the Season for Family”.

DIY Advent Calendar 4

STEP  #4

Next, cut large squares of tissue paper and decoupage with Mod Podge on top of the entire surface of the wooden board. This makes it look vintage. You can see the edges of the tissue paper in the photo above.

DIY Advent Calendar 5

STEP  #5

Cut 25 1 3/4″ squares of mat board. I talked the person at the art store into cutting them for me! Glue one piece of the 1 3/4″ square scrapbook paper on one side. Place the squares in five rows of five to make sure you have the paper designs in the random pattern you want. Using rubber stamps, add the numbers 1 – 25.

DIY Advent Calendar 6

STEP  #6

Turn all of the squares over and carefully glue one photo to the backside of each square. I chose a special photo for day #25 (my parents) which I just love!

DIY Advent Calendar 7

STEP  #7

With a sharp pencil, carefully mark the center point for a hole on the numbered side of each square. It should be exactly in the middle of the square which is 7/8″ in from each side. I placed the hole 1/4″ down from the top.

STEP  #8

Using the Eyelet Punch, Snap tool, and Maker, punch a hole and secure the eyelet in the hole. Make sure you always put the numbered side of the square on top when adding the eyelet.

DIY Advent Calendar 8

STEP  #9

Next, mark the location of the five nail holes in each row. The first row of nails should be placed 4 1/2″ from the top. Each nail will be 2 1/4′ apart. The height of each row of nails is also 2 1/4″ apart. Carefully tap the nail into each hole until it is secure.

Make sure there is enough of the nail sticking out to hold each square.

DIY Advent Calendar 9

When you are done hang each square on a nail.

Enjoy your DIY advent calendar for the entire month of December! And many years to come.

DIY Advent Calendar 10

I know this looks a bit intimidating, but the end result is so worth the work it takes to make! And it really does make the perfect Christmas gift for family members.

DIY Advent Calendar for Every Family

DIY advent calendar 11

If you are looking for an advent Calendar that holds gifts, you can make this one instead!

And yes, it is a lot easier!

These little tins can hold just about any gifts you want. Just think of all of the themes you could do with this advent calendar … a barbie advent calendar, candy advent calendar, hot wheels advent calendar, advent calendar for teenage girls, dog advent calendar, cat advent calendar, lego advent calendar, harry potter advent calendar, and even a pokemon advent calendar.

You can see how easily these tins can hold tiny treasures.

DIY advent calendar 9

Watch Me Live!

I know you might not have any idea what Watch Me Live means, but I am sharing Amazon Live broadcasts that are so much fun! And yes, filming LIVE makes me nervous.

My newest Amazon Live, How to Style a Pink Christmas goes live today, (Tuesday, November 23rd) at 11:00 AM PST, 2:00 PM EST.

Pin the image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

Advent Calendar

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  1. This is SO amazing!!! I am already thinking how I can make this & maybe gift it to other family members!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!????

    1. Thanks, Kristal! That’s what I was thinking! My family loves this tradition, so I hope yours does too!

  2. LOVE ❤️What a great idea and wonderful gift to give to family!!! You amaze me with your incredible ideas 💡🎁🎄🎅🏻

  3. Your family Advent Calendar is without a doubt, my favourite of all your many beautiful creations. So special and a family heirloom I’d say.

  4. This is just beautiful.. one of my favorite crafts you have shared. I love your blog !! Have a Merry Christmas 🎄

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