DIY Advent Calendar (With 25 Activity Ideas!)

My family was Catholic my entire life growing up and advent was always a big part of our holiday season. I remember going to mass each Sunday in December and eagerly watching as they lit each of the four candles of the advent wreath in anticipation for Christmas. I remember my mom always having one of those chocolate advent calendars for my brother and I to share, and I especially remember all the effort my mom always went through to make the holidays as special for us as she could.

For the last few years I've been wanting to do an advent calendar with our kids but I either didn't have the time, or would forget about doing it until it was halfway through December and then it wasn't very fun because I wanted to be all in or nothing. 

This year I finally remembered to make an advent calendar before it was too late. Instead of each day being a piece of candy though, I wanted to do a fun Christmas related activity to really bring the spirit of the holiday into our home, and so that I could have motivation to have more personal one on one interaction with Jay baking in the kitchen, or making crafts in the dining room, or pulling the entire family together to do something special. This calendar was pretty easy to make, and I'm so excited for all the fun memories that we're going to make together. You can follow along on all of our fun advent adventures on Instagram by searching the hashtag #FlammilyAdvent. If you try any of these ideas I'd love for you to tag me in your pictures using that hashtag as well!

Kraft Paper Tags (I used these)
Red Paint
Sponge Brush
Number Stencils (I used these)
Hole Punch
Scotch Tape
Gold Garland
Red Bows

Using your stencils, red paint, and sponge brush, paint the numbers on the tags. I started with 0 and Painted all 0's I would need to paint and then let them dry, and then painted all the 1's on tags that I would need, and then painted all the 2's. I did this so that I wasn't trying to paint the second number on the tag while the paint from the first number was still wet. 

Once all the numbers are painted on and dry, flip them over and write all your activities on the backs of the tags. Then using a hole punch, make one hole on each side of the tag so that you can weave the twine through the holes. 

Cut the twine into 5 equal lengths and then weave 5 tags in numerical order onto each piece of twine. Once all the tags are on the twine you can then hang them in rows on your wall with scotch tape. Then take your gold garland (I needed about 11 feet) and make a frame around the tags on the wall. Then tape a red bow to each corner and you're done!

To write these on the cards I took all the cards and shuffled them into a random order, and then wrote them on the back so that it was all random and you weren't watching Christmas movies five nights in a row, or so that you weren't baking things every single day. This way things should be spread out evenly. 
- Drive to the store and give money to the Salvation Army collector without purchasing anything
- Bring cookies to someone's house
- Purchase a giving tree gift
- Make sugar cookies
- Make homemade caramel corn
- Decorate graham cracker houses
- Make gingerbread cookies
- Visit outdoor nativity
- Read Luke 2
- Make paper crowns and talk about the gifts the wise men brought
- Hang mistletoe toe and give kisses
- Make red and green Christmas garland for the kids rooms
- Drive and look at Christmas lights
- Decorate Christmas cards for Sunday School teachers
- Write letters to Santa
- Make homemade red and green play dough
- Snuggle in mom and dad's bed and read the night before Christmas
- Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Watch Charlie Brown Christmas
- Watch The Polar Express and drink hot chocolate
- Watch Mickey's Christmas Carol
- Roast Marshmallows over the fireplace
- Make paper snowflakes to hang in kids rooms
- Color a Christmas picture
- Make thumbprint snowmen


  1. Great ideas!! We did ours recently as well, (posted about it today too...great minds) ;) and I can't wait for tomorrow!

  2. This is seriously the best idea! I love that it brings the family together! I'm definitely stealing this idea for when I have kids :)

  3. Well this is just awesome. Thanks for sharing this!!

    Pink Wings

  4. What a cute, Christmas DIY <3 Definitely giving this a go.


  5. This is the cutest idea ever! I love the advent calendar - one of my favorite childhood rituals! xo

  6. So many great ideas!! These are some of my very favorite movies too:) Love your calendar!!

  7. This is darling! I saw one comparable to this at Target...and it was expensive!