It’s the Christmas Countdown! 30+ Charming Advent Calendars to Make or Buy

As Christmas approaches, it’s time to consider family traditions.  One of the most loved among many cultures is the advent calendar.  There are many different variations on the advent calendar, from minimalist countdowns to extravagant daily presents and everything in-between.  Some use candy, some small gifts and others incorporate family activities to get you in the mood for Christmas.  If you haven’t planned out your advent calendar for 2017, now is the time!  These 30+ charming advent calendars and Christmas countdowns are sure to inspire you!

Advent calendars are a treasured tradition for many, and it's time to begin! Whether you want to buy or make, here are 25+ ideas for your Christmas countdown.

25+ Christmas Countdowns and Advent Calendars

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Easy Christmas Countdown Calendars

The holiday season is so busy, sometimes an activity or gift to open can make the season feel overwhelming instead of anticipatory. If that’s your style, these easy countdown boards help you and your family get excited for the season while keeping it simple.

Printable Christmas Countdown Board // Remodelaholic

Christmas Countdown BoardWe shared this holiday countdown board earlier and we just love it so much! Count down to Christmas and all the other major holidays, plus fill in the cards for your own personal holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.

Faux Chalkboard Christmas Countdown // Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

Easy Chalkboard Christmas Countdown, Designer Trapped

Tasha shared here on Remodelaholic how to easily make these reusable faux chalkboard holiday signs, and this Christmas countdown is so easy and so cute! We also found a similar version here for purchase.

Chalkboard Christmas Countdown // Amazon

Chalkboard Christmas Countdown

This chalkboard countdown board is so cute, and the number-change dial reminds me of the daily calendar my grandma had when I was growing up!

Christ-centered Christmas Countdown // Kemley Design

Christ Centered Christmas Countdown, Kemley Design

Keep the religious parts of Christmas present daily with this Christ-centered Christmas picture countdown board.

Christmas Paper Chain Countdown // The Crazy Craft Lady

Printable Christmas Countdown Paper Chain, The Crazy Craft Lady

It’s hard to get any easier than this printable paper chain, and kids will love that they can assemble and count down all by themselves.

Outdoor Christmas Countdown Marquee // The DIY Dreamer

Outdoor Marquee Christmas Countdown, The DIY Dreamer

Take the holiday anticipation outside with this jumbo outdoor countdown sign.

Snowman Countdown // Amazon

Snowman Christmas CountdownJust twist this little snowman’s nose a little each day and befor you know it… Merry Christmas!

Christmas Ornament Countdown // Remodelaholic

Build this ornament countdown tree following our tutorial, and then 25 ornaments later, it’s Christmas!


Envelope Advents

With snail mail on the decline, even for Christmas cards, these envelope advents can still give you the thrill of opening up a surprise!

25 Days of Giving Pocket Calendar // Unexpected Elegance10bde5ff3b4203518bb9b6b216affaf0

This version uses decorative treat bags in a variety of colors and patterns for the envelopes.  Inside each is an act of service to complete for each day leading up to Christmas!

Plaid Advent // Houseful of HandmadeB7b2c3579f869818143ad1454f519d7a

Use the template to make these cute bow envelopes that pop open.  You can also make them magnetic and display them on a magnet board.

Christmas Tree Advent // Place of My TasteCdd9d4dfd9f72da589f1d3847b3c1a5c

Make a rustic Christmas tree frame with scrap wood.  The envelopes are triangles of cardstock – which mimics the tree shape.  Hang them with cute clothespins and you’re good to go!

Chalkboard Envelope Christmas Countdown Wall Chart // The Painted HiveA22047c8977df65c22b7c40e691c4c04

These are actually faux chalkboard envelopes – they are printed to look perfectly chalky!  Use the free printable templates and vintage looking shipping labels to create this look.

Advent Calendar Wreath // Fleece Fun87f1d5adda175c507581b3393a37202e

All you need are small envelopes or cardstock to create them and ribbon to make an advent calendar wreath.  Just hot glue the envelopes and tags to a pine wreath.

Galvanized Envelope Advent Calendar // Target52570045

You can find this amazing Hearth & Home with Magnolia version of the advent calendar at Target.  The envelopes are made from galvanized metal placed on a dark wood background, giving it a rustic feel.

Advent Boxes

Everyone loves opening up a boxed surprise at Christmas! These advent boxes are cute ways to have a little joy in every day.

Colorful Advent Calendar // Delineate Your Dwelling15b742bad44643042cf22d5e3d3beceb

This cute boxy calendar proves that Christmas can be more than just red, green and white!

Mini Tree Advent // Oh Happy DayEa1acc487c49f95c9cb8d56fd4e987eb

By attaching mini trees to the top of your simple boxes, and adding an extra touch or two (fun number flags, red car with tree, faux snow) you can turn your advent calendar into an adorable vignette.

12 Days of Christmas Advent // Three Little Monkeys StudioE06f6fb46c29f1bb96bd677f1bb672ac

These cute round gift boxes are dressed up with chalkboard tags, jingle bells and Christmas trees, making them part of the decor and not just a calendar.  This version of the advent involves putting handmade ornaments and notes inside each box for someone else to open for the 12 days leading up to Christmas!

Wood House Calendar // World Market71232 XXX V1

This natural wood house frame has mini pull-out boxes to fill.  Even better, it lights up!

White Wood Christmas Advent Drawers // AmazonE3039e660cc743be5fea6fbcccf91e47

Another version of the advent drawers on Amazon, has a clean, classic look thanks to the simplicity of the monochromatic white.


Advent Calendar Hoop // My Fabuless LifeA9ee08e9421376d16d03e28270722d7c

Use a giant quilting hoop to make this cute advent calendar.  Just hang canvas bags with clothespins!

Tree Advent Calendar // Ana White660c526159aeecc4139b6da02f484f01

Modeled after a Pottery Barn advent calendar, this easy build is a great Christmas project.  Create the simple, classic tree shape with pine boards, then staple on burlap bags stiffened with glue or mod podge to mimic the look of baskets.  It’s rustic, but clean and minimalistic.

Stocking Ladder Advent // BrendidFc8ede27d22f5e605810cf06092b09c9

Technically, these “bags” are really stockings.  This is another Pottery Barn knock-off.  Use a simple ladder you already have, or create a faux ladder that can be added to your daily decor when Christmas is over!

Fabric Tree Advent // WayfairFabric+Advent+Calendar

This cute tree is made out of high quality felt.  With brightly colored felt bags sewn directly to the tree, it’s sturdy and whimsical!

Just for the Kids (or Kids at Heart!)

Animal Advent // A Bubbly LifeF96aca874050bc8cc4bcca7efc476624

The animals glued on these boxes create a playful, whimsical theme, while the white and brown paper color scheme create a crisp, clean look.

Magnetic Ornament Tree Advent // WayfairCountdown+to+Christmas+Wooden+Advent+Calendar

This wooden Christmas tree from Melissa and Doug is magnetic, so kids can pull out a new ornament magnet each day and hang it on their own!  They’ll love rearranging their own tree, and the bright colors really pop.

Eric Carle Pop-Up Advent // AmazonA8a7afdc5a4b4a98be726a1013b6966d

Eric Carle’s colorful and playful children’s books are wildly popular, and this cute pop-up advent will be too!  Lift the flaps to reveal ornaments you can hang on the pop-up tree.  Use it year after year.

Lego City Advent // AmazonB3847d267c28738826301895580d1f5d

Lego Advent calendars are always a hit, and with the City advent you get to add some cute pieces to your Lego collection.  There are skiers, a hot chocolate stand, a zamboni, and even Santa!  The master builder in your family will love this one.

Unique Advent Ideas

Wood Clock Advent // Thrifty and ChicIMG 7065

Stylish, simple to use and very festive, this giant wall clock isn’t your ordinary timepiece.  It counts down the days to Christmas starting on the first of December.  But there’s a secret, too, because hidden on the back, behind each number is a felt pocket so you can slip in little pieces of paper with Christmas activities written on them.

Magnetic Advent Tins // MakoodleAdvent Calendar 13

Using magnetic favor tins and scrapbook paper, you can customize your calendar any way you want!  The tins are perfect for hiding candy or small toys, and you can glue a piece of paper with an activity on it to the inside bottom.

Advent Calendar Ugly Sweater // Shrimp Salad CircusAdvent Calendar Christmas Sweater Header

You’re going to kill it at this year’s ugly sweater party!  With a clever advent sweater that pulls double duty – counting down the days till Christmas AND looking horribly festive, you’ll win hands down.

Advent Calendar Door // The DIY MommyDIY Ornament A Day Christmas Advent Calendar Made From An Old Door 11 731x1024

You may not have an old door laying around in your stash, but if you’ve got a thrift or repurposing store nearby you can probably find one for cheap.  Then create this cute ornament advent with handmade ornaments and shipping tags!

Bonne Maman Advent Calendar // Amazon91fWFV87OKL. SY679

This delicious advent gifts you with 24 tiny jars of preserves!  It’s perfect for your sweet tooth when you’re looking for something a little different from the normal candy.  Plus, they’d make a great Christmas breakfast addition!


What’s your favorite way to countdown to Christmas?

More advent calendar ideas:

Here’s a cute pallet wood tree advent calendar that’s easy to make.

Pallet Wood Advent Calendar 18

Don’t miss this top ten advent calendars list!

And here are 25 MORE advent calendar ideas.

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Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram.

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