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Photography by THE MERRY THOUGHT

There’s nothing more exciting than the buildup to Christmas morning. To embrace each December day, take part in the time-old tradition of Advent calendars—the DIY way. Making this tradition come to life will be fun, but watching loved ones open them will be even better.

Craft Sticks

Faux greens coupled with craft sticks complete this ultra sleek and minimalist take on the traditional Advent calendar. The twist? For each day, simply remove the evergreen sprig to reveal a festive and playful deed reserved for the holidays. 
 
Get the how-to on The Merry Thought.
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Photography by THE HOUSE THAT LARS BUILT

Christmas Bulbs

Fill each one of these vibrant bulbs with anything from sweet confections to stickers and pins, for the ultimate holiday treat. A month full of dainty surprises? We can definitely get behind that!
 
Get the how-to on The House That Lars Built.
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Photography by Third Floor Design Studio

Hang It from a Branch

For minimal effort with a large payoff, this easy-to-do Advent calendar can be placed just about anywhere you need for a little extra Christmas wall décor. Fill the bags with tiny gifts, and watch your family enjoy each one.

Get the how-to on Third Floor Design Studio.

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Photography by Studio DIY

Takeout Boxes

Christmas can come in a variety of colors, and so can your Advent calendar. Case in point, these sweet takeout boxes.

Get the how-to on Studio DIY.

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Photography by Fall for DIY

Dipped Bottles

For a more Scandinavian style, opt for this whimsical approach. These paint-dipped bottles can be filled with festive mementos, and kids will love opening them.

Get the how-to on Fall for DIY.

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Photography by Mr. Printables

Colorful Village

If bright hues are your thing, don’t hold back. These free printables turn into colorful matchbox-size houses in a snap. You can watch as kids visit each building, looking forward to the surprises inside.

Get the how-to on Mr. Printables.

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Photography by The Marion House

Use a Pin Board

Upgrade a normal pin board with fabric and muslin bags. In this tutorial, you get a peek at the cute ornaments and dainty objects that will be hidden inside.

Get the how-to on The Marion House. 

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Photography by Sugar & Charm

Wooden Houses

Adorn your mantle with numbered peekaboo houses. Bonus is they can be reused again and again.

Get the how-to on Sugar & Charm.

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Photography by A Merry Mishap

Paper Bag Chic

We’re taking cues from A Merry Mishap by going industrial-chic. If you have wall décor conducive for hanging string and paper bags, then this will be a cinch.

Get the how-to on A Merry Mishap.

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Photography by Hey Look

Monochrome Boxes

This grownup calendar in black and white is majorly stylish all its own. It also makes an awesome gift if you want to give that special someone a collection of small mementos to open every day leading up to Christmas.

Get the how-to on Hey Look.

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Photography by Casey Baudoin

Fun & Modern

Just because the Advent calendar is a tradition, doesn’t mean you need to stay traditional. This bright and colorful display will delight your inner child and vibe with your mod décor.

Get the how-to on Casey Baudoin

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Photography by Hank & Hunt

Chalkboard Boxes

For the avid DIY-er, here’s a slightly more challenging option (code: you’ll need a drill). However, the result will be this delightful box display that doubles as striking table décor.

Get the how-to on Hank & Hunt.

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Photography by Oh Happy Day

Mini Tree Boxes

You only need three craft supplies to create this cute Advent calendar: Mini trees, glue, and small boxes. You can display them on the mantle, as a centerpiece, or even the kid’s room—but no peeking.

Get the how-to on Oh Happy Day.

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Photography by Julie Blanner

Last-Minute

We get it, sometimes you don’t have time for another project—especially around the holidays. For an easy way to join in on the fun, just tape small brown baggies on the wall, fill with candy, and voila!

Get the how-to on Julia Blanner.

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Photography by The Merry Thought

Countdown Candle

No need for a big DIY project to get your countdown on. Why not opt for a simple, laidback way to get through December? One scented evening at a time.

Get the how-to on The Merry Thought.

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Photography by House of Jade Interiors

Paper Stars

A pretty display of stars is one way to get into the spirit. Place sweet sayings or reminders inside each star, and you won’t miss a single day of joy this holiday season.

Get the how-to on House of Jade Interiors

Originally published December 2016. Updated November 2017.

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