Years ago (at least 6 years ago), I got the CUTEST advent calendar from Target. It was colorful and I have loved it and used every year since. Sadly, it was only made that one season and hasn’t been available since. Whenever I share a picture of it (I’ll show one below) I get asked for the source. So I decided to make my own version as a DIY Christmas advent calendar.
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. P.s. I’m trying to build that page up, so if you’d subscribe, I’d really appreciate that!
- 25 Paper Mache round boxes 2″h x 1 1/2″ wide
- Paint for the boxes. I used- 1. Beloved Pink, 2. Shy Smile, 3. Ballet Rose, 4. Coral Fountain, 5. Lamplit, 6. Corn Stalk, 7. Frittata, 8. Frosted Sage, 9. Spring Reflection, 10. Country Weekend, 11. Serene Breeze, 12. Casade Green 13. Watery
- Wood hobby board 17″ wide by 20″ high
- Liquid Nails
- Gold Number Stickers or numbers cut on a Cricut. 1″ high
Start by painting all of the paper Mache boxes. Most of them I did two coats on for full coverage. It takes awhile to paint them all, but they still look pretty! I painted 12 colors twice and one color three times.
Next, to make the wood base, start with a 17″ wide by 20″ high piece of wood. Draw the Christmas tree on it. The base is a 3″x10″ rectangle. The bottom of the tree is a 17″ wide line. Draw a dot to mark the center of the board at the top. Then connect that dot with the sides of the 17″ wide line. Here’s the measurements drawn out- Once the outline is drawn, cut out the shape with a jig saw. This is a beginner level for using a jig saw and I promise that it’s doable!After sanding the sides, I painted them pink. If pink isn’t your favorite color, green sides would wok too!
Next, I played with which colors would go where for awhile. It seems like a big commitment so I wanted to make sure I loved it! At first, I was thinking I’d do it in rainbow order and then I liked them randomly placed on the tree. After figuring that out, I put the numbers on and then used construction adhesive to put them in place.
First I tested the new advent calendar on the mantle. I liked it ok there. Side note, this one is about 3″ taller and wider than the original since the boxes are a bit bigger.
Thank I tried it on the wall with my rainbow art and love it much more here!
Since it perfectly matches with the art (I used the exact same colors), it really looks nice. And gasp- I think I like it more than the original! What do you think?
For my advent calendar, I usually buy the $2 chocolate Advent calendars and open them and put the chocolates in each container on my tree. My mother-in-law buys my son a super fun toy advent calendar each year too though! I thought I’d include some of those in case you need ideas for what to fill the advent calendar with. Most of these are small enough that you could put them in this tree!
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.