Are you ready to count down the days until Christmas? Advent calendars have been a beloved tradition for centuries, and what better way to embrace the festive spirit than by crafting your very own homemade advent calendar? In this post, we’ll explore the fascinating history of advent calendars, and provide you with a list of tips and ideas to create your own unique and memorable homemade advent calendars.
What Is An Advent Calendar?
An advent calendar is a special calendar used to count down the days leading up to Christmas. Typically, it begins on December 1st and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Each day, a door, window, or pocket is opened to reveal a surprise or treat. These delightful surprises can range from chocolates and small toys to heartwarming messages and acts of kindness.
The tradition of advent calendars dates back to the 19th century in Germany, where devout Christians marked the days of Advent, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Early versions of these calendars featured religious images, verses, or Bible passages behind each door.
Then in the early 20th century, the concept evolved to include small gifts or sweets, capturing the hearts of children, and sparking a global holiday tradition. Today, advent calendars come in various forms, from traditional paper designs to modern digital versions with interactive features.
14 Tips for Making Homemade Advent Calendars
- Choose Your Theme – Start by deciding on a theme for your advent calendar. It could be centered around a favorite holiday story, a winter wonderland, or even a nostalgic journey down memory lane. Once you have a theme in mind, it’ll be easier to select decorations, colors, and surprises that fit the overall concept.
- Get Creative with Containers – Instead of traditional paper doors, consider using an array of containers like small boxes, envelopes, fabric pouches, or even repurposed jars. This not only adds visual interest but also allows for more variety in the types of surprises you include.
- Personalize with Photos and Messages – Add a personal touch by including family photos, handwritten notes, or inspirational messages behind each door. These thoughtful gestures will infuse your advent calendar with warmth and sentiment, making it a cherished keepsake for years to come.
- Incorporate Activities – Mix in activities that bring your family together and spread holiday cheer. These could be as simple as “Bake cookies together” or “Watch a holiday movie,” creating lasting memories in the process.
- Balance Sweet Treats with Small Surprises – While sweets are a delightful addition, consider interspersing them with small trinkets, ornaments, or even experiences like a special outing or a coupon for a fun activity. This variety keeps the anticipation high and adds an extra layer of excitement.
- Hang it Up! – Display your homemade advent calendar in a prominent place where it can be easily seen and accessed by everyone. Whether it’s on the wall, a door, or a festive garland, a well-placed calendar becomes a beautiful holiday decoration in its own right.
- Mix in Handmade Ornaments – Consider crafting or selecting handmade ornaments to include in your advent calendar. Each day, your family can add a new ornament to the tree, creating a beautiful and meaningful decoration that grows throughout the holiday season.
- Encourage Acts of Kindness – Incorporate small acts of kindness into your advent calendar. Include suggestions like “Write a note of gratitude to someone you appreciate” or “Perform a random act of kindness for a neighbor or friend.” These gestures of goodwill spread holiday cheer and remind us of the true spirit of the season.
- Add a Touch of Nature – Bring the outdoors in by incorporating natural elements into your advent calendar. Pinecones, holly branches, or small sprigs of evergreen can add a rustic and festive touch. Plus, they’ll infuse your home with the delightful scents of the season.
- Consider a DIY Craft Kit – For a creative twist, include DIY craft kits behind some of the doors. Provide all the necessary materials and instructions for a fun holiday project that the whole family can enjoy together.
- Plan a Special Finale – On the last day of your advent calendar, plan a special surprise or activity to culminate the countdown to Christmas. It could be a festive family dinner, a visit to see holiday lights, or a cozy movie night complete with hot cocoa and popcorn.
- Reflect on the Season – Incorporate moments of reflection and gratitude into your advent calendar. Include prompts like “Share a highlight from your day” or “Write down something you’re thankful for.” This encourages mindfulness and helps everyone appreciate the little joys of the holiday season.
- Embrace Upcycling and Sustainability – Consider using eco-friendly materials and repurposed items for your advent calendar. Not only does this promote sustainability, but it also adds a unique and rustic charm to your creation.
- Involve the Whole Family – Get everyone involved in the process of creating the advent calendar. Assign each family member a day to curate a surprise, decorate a door, or add a personal touch. This collaborative effort will make the calendar even more meaningful.
11 Homemade Advent Calendars to Try
- Colorful Houses DIY Kids Advent Calendar | Sugar & Cloth – How cute is this little Christmas village? Mini boxes allow you to place a wide variety of goodies inside, which is ideal for larger families.
- Gumball Machine Advent Calendar | Happiness is Homemade – It’s time to start collecting those tiny capsules from the vending machine! Have fun filling them with a variety of toys, candy, and treasures.
- Easy Advent Calendar Tutorial | Ginger Snap Crafts – In just minutes you can have an advent calendar using only envelopes and Christmas cards. Then simply slide them into your window shutters.
- Glam Pink and Gold DIY Advent Calendar | Swoon Worthy – Love a little holiday glam? This homemade advent calendar is the perfect fit with adhesive rhinestones, gold washi tape, and sparkly numbers.
- DIY Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar | The House that Lars Built – If you love to do paper crafts, this advent calendar is for you. A pair of craft scissors, some twine, and a little glue is all it takes.
- DIY Felt Truck Advent Calendar | Studio DIY! – You can reuse this colorful advent calendar year after year. Perfect for young families, kids will love discovering what’s in the pocket each day.
- Shoe Organizer Advent Calendar | Elizabeth Joan Designs – Talk about repurposing! If you have a shoe organizer hanging on the back of your closet door, you can transform it into a reusable homemade advent calendar.
- Chalkboard Advent Calendar | Thistlewood Farms – Twine and clothespins give it a rustic feel. Use tchotchkes or thrifted finds to decorate your own chalkboard advent calendar.
- Lots of Boxes Advent Calendar | Modge Podge Rocks! – For this advent calendar, paper mache is the star. Get creative with lots of tiny boxes and colorful Christmas patterns.
- Oreo Cookie Balls Advent Countdown | A Subtle Revelry – Who can resist a homemade edible advent calendar? Whip up a batch of yummy Oreo cookie balls and top them off with sanding sugar and birthday number candles.
- DIY Punch Box Advent Calendar | Studio DIY – Based on the classic punch game, your kids will have a blast discovering what’s inside. Get creative with your favorite wrapping paper and any craft supplies you have lying around.
Crafting your own homemade advent calendars is a joyful way to embrace the holiday season and create lasting memories with loved ones. With a bit of creativity, a sprinkle of sentiment, and a dash of surprises, you’ll have a unique countdown to Christmas that brings warmth and delight to your home. So, gather your crafting supplies, let your imagination run wild, and get ready for a holiday tradition that will be cherished for years to come!
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