advent calendar ideas

Advent calendars can be as unique as a fingerprint. They can be made out of just about anything and are a fun thing to craft and customize. But what exactly is an Advent calendar you ask? Well, according to Wikipedia, “An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. […] Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3.”

So if you’re starting late, and need some ideas for this year’s Advent calendar, hopefully this roundup will inspire you to create your own for this year, or use this season to create one for next year!

Advent Garlands and Buntings

Peppermint Advent Calendar

Peppermint Advent Calendar Pouches by Allsorts [Pictured]
This is so adorable! Plus, you can customize them to use whatever colors you want, and put in any kind of treat or card!

Fabric Gift Tag Advent Calendar Tutorial by Skip to My Lou
The pattern is available so you can make this cute advent calendar too.

{Christmas Advents} Snowflake Christmas Countdown by eighteen25
Rebecca Cooper from simple as that shares a great snowflake activity advent calendar.

Box and Tin Advent Calendars

Advent Jar

Christmas Advent Jar by Just a Girl [Pictured]
A great way to upcycle matchboxes or other small boxes into an Advent calendar.

Advent Calendar by Lil Pink Pocket
Instead of putting treats or prizes inside they do a special activity together as a family each day.

Christmas Present Advent Calendars by Creation Corner
You get to open a little tiny present each day – how fun!

ALTERED PROJECT: Advent Calendar by A Matter of Memories
Another great use for those little tins.

Metal Tin Advent Calendar by Narrating Life
Jessie from Friendly Badger creates a calendar you can put on your fridge!

Printable Advent Calendars

Free Printable Advent Calendar

Countdown to Christmas with this Printable Advent Calendar by Make and Takes [Pictured]
Juliann Law of PB J&J shares a fun printable puzzle for kids to create.

Advent Dry Erase Calendar by The 36th Avenue
I love that despite a few craft glitches, this turns out to be a great project that can be reused every year!

Small Advent Box Tutorial and Printouts by There She Goes
The boxes start with the numbers showing, then when the treat is taken out, you turn them around to show a cute picture.

Personalized Christmas Advent Calendar {Free Printable} by Living Locurto
Includes three different printables you can use to start your own Advent Calendar.

Simple Spool Advent Calendars by Just Something I Made
Labels and stickers are provided for you to make your own version of this cool spool calendar.

Other Advent Calendars

Do you do this? {Book Advent Calendar} by Tatertots & Jello
This is a great way for kids (and adults) to rediscover their favorite Christmas books each year.

Beribboned Trees Advent Dry Erase Frame by Pressed Down, Shaken Together
These dry erase countdowns can be used for many occasions.

Little Crafts: Healthy Advent Calendar by Carolyn’s Homework
It’s always fun to add little notes into your kids’ lunch bag and this incorporates the little note and the advent calendar.

Recycled Christmas Card Advent Calendar by Crafty Nest
The beauty of this design is that it rolls up and stores easily to be used year after year.

{Christmas Advents} Shoe Organizer by eighteen25
Another great use for that shoe organizer hanging on your door!

Reader Roundup 

Box Advent Calendar

Leftover Box Advent Calendar by Marie M [Pictured]
Marie used leftover boxes from work to create this cute advent calendar for her little girls.

Advent Calendar and Story Book by Little Blue’s Room
Angela K didn’t just make an Advent Calendar, she had each day’s card correspond to part of a story book!

Clothespin Wreath and Advent Calendar by A Childhood List
Katie G. made a few of these to use throughout the season – one to hold holiday cards, and one to use as an advent calendar with little foam Christmas trees.

Other Roundups

9 Advent Calendar Ideas

9 Advent Calendar Ideas by CraftGossip [Pictured]
In addition to the 9 featured ideas, they include links to two more!

10 Advent Calendar Tutorials by Decorchick
This includes a dollar store advent calendar.

Great Ideas — Advent Calendars! by Tatertots & Jello
Jen shares 24 great religious and secular advent calendar ideas.

Great Ideas — 20 AMAZING Holiday Advent Calendars!! by Tatertots & Jello
Jen shares 20 more advent calendar ideas.

Advent Calendars by The Crafty Crow
I love the toilet paper tube calendar idea – way to upcycle!

{Christmas Advents} From Around the Web by eighteen25
I *love* the simplicity of the gum advent calendar!

Not enough inspiration for you? Check out the “Creative Advent Calendars” Flickr Group and my Advent Calendar Pinterest board for more ideas!