DIY Holiday-Countdown Calendar

DIY Holiday-Countdown Calendar

By: Amanda Sabo

Hello Friends! I’m back with a fun and easy DIY holiday-countdown calendar. For those of you not familiar with a holiday-countdown calendar, it is sometimes called an Advent calendar and is traditionally used to countdown the days until Christmas with a little gift or surprise hidden in each “window.” Filling the calendar is one of the joys of making it because the surprise or treat is up to you! Some of my favorite ways to fill it are with candy, toys, activity vouchers (think ice skating or sipping hot cocoa), small gifts, and/or ornaments for a small Christmas tree. Another beautiful thing about the holiday-countdown calendar is you can make one for any holiday or event that you want to get excited about. Imagine how excited a loved one would be if you made one to countdown to their birthday!

This is a great project to do with a tweenager to get the family in a festive mood. Of course, you don’t need young ones to enjoy the process of crafting this adorable cabin-shaped holiday-countdown calendar. Make one for yourself; you deserve it!


Bring with You:

  • 25 craft paper/toilet paper rolls—My guess is that there’s not enough time for you to save up 25 toilet paper rolls by December 1st. The good news is that you can purchase craft paper rolls at your local craft store in bags of 24 rolls. (Don’t buy two bags. Save a toilet paper roll for the chimney.)
  • 24 goodies

Use at Ignite:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Paper for windows
  • Cardboard
  • Laser engraver (optional)
  • Cricut and Cricut kit (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Cardboard cutter

Step One: Cut out the cardboard backing and roof

Luckily, Ignite has you covered with cardboard. Find a piece of cardboard in the cardboard cart in the clean arts area and set four columns of six craft paper rolls in one corner. (Tip: Leave a gap between each roll so that the window covers are easier to adhere later on.) Use a ruler to trace a rectangle around the rolls and add a pitched roof to the top.

Set aside the craft rolls and cut along your outline with a cardboard cutter.

Measure and cut a triangle the same size as the pitched roof. You’ll also want to cut out two rectangles (at least the same width as your craft paper rolls; the length should be about 7.5-8 inches) to complete the roof.


Step Two: Glue the ends of the craft paper rolls to the cardboard backing


Step Three: Laser Engrave (optional)

If you’ve been certified to use the laser engraver, make a reservation to engrave decorations onto your cardboard for more pizazz. I added shingles and “Merry Christmas” to give my calendar extra visual interest.


Step Four: Glue on the roof

Glue your triangle piece on the top of the craft paper rolls sitting closer to the front of the top row. Then glue your rectangle roof pieces so that they sit on your pitched roof.


Step Five: Glue on the chimney and smoke

Cut the bottom off of a craft paper roll at an angle so that it sits somewhat vertically on the roof. Glue the angled end to the roof. Using the paper cart, find a piece of paper to glue into the chimney for smoke.


Step Six: Fill each craft paper roll with one or more goodies!


Step Seven: Cover the windows.

There are many ways you can accomplish this step. Find paper on the paper cart or ask a studio assistant for a particular color or type. We’ll do our best to help you find what you need. For the numbers, you could cut them out using the Cricut with vinyl scraps from the Cricut kit. You could also use a marker and write the numbers by hand.

Using the Cricut is another great way to add visual interest to your roof. Consider using scrap vinyl to cut out holiday greetings, reindeer, or gingerbread men.

Adhere the windows however best suits you. You might try gluing them or using rubber bands.


Step Eight: Enjoy your calendar!

Here is a finished example from the blogger at Cute Kids Finds:

I need to run to the store to purchase holiday surprises before I can adhere the window covers to my calendar, otherwise it will be a huge disappointment to my niece!

I hope you enjoyed making this project or were inspired to make a countdown calendar of your own. If the log cabin shape isn’t your style, try out a Christmas tree shape and use green tissue paper for the windows. There are so many kinds of DIY holiday-countdown calendars, you are sure to find one that suits you!

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