16 Creative Christmas Countdowns You Can Make

Advent calendars are a fun way for kids to count down the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Check out these festive and unique handmade Advent calendars you can create just in time to open the very first gift.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Gift-Wrap Magic

Transform discarded wrapping paper tubes into a colorful, tree-shaped Advent calendar the kids will love. Get the how-to.

Sweater Chic

Upcycle cozy, old sweaters into mini mittens to make this adorable and charming Advent calendar. Get the how-to.

Yard Takeover

Drum up some neighborhood chatter with this oversized Advent calendar made from a ladder. Get the how-to.

Upcycled Chic

Got lots of old, patterned dress shirts on your hands? Put them to good use! Copy designer Casey Noble and turn them into a chic Advent calendar garland that can be used year after year. Get the how-to.

Ornamental Additions

This advent calendar idea is simple and perfect for last-minute crafters. Blogger Melaine Thompson stenciled 24 numbers onto manila shipping tags and added glittery adornments. Each day, as Christmas draws closer and closer, the kids take off an ornament and place it on the tree.

Takeout Goodies

This Advent calendar made from takeout food containers is a clever way to get your kids to count down to Christmas. Blogger Layla Palmer made the standard white boxes more jolly with construction paper and stickers. Get the how-to.

Interactive Centerpiece

Dress up the dinner table with a sparkling and unique advent calendar centerpiece. Blogger Jessica Wilcox used a vintage chicken-wire cloche dome of gifts and printable Christmas tags to represent the 25-day countdown. Add small, wrapped presents, decorative ornaments and ribbons underneath the dome.

Traditional Countdown

This holiday advent calendar by Marian Parsons is full of traditional charm and vintage style, keeping the Christmas anticipation alive for both kids and adults. Get the how-to.

Frame Job

A frame, cork board, holiday cards and ribbon are all you need to make a cute calendar like this one by designer Brian Patrick Flynn. Just add five rows of five cards to the cork board with push pins and mark each card with the numbered days.

Merry Mittens

Add a sweet and colorful touch to any holiday mantel with a festive mitten advent calendar garland. Layla Palmer used a variety of toddler-sized mittens in traditional Christmas hues and printed out 24 numbers small enough to tuck into each mitten. To add extra holiday cheer, she added a sweet sentiment below each number. Get the how-to.

Can It

Recycled tin cans create a one-of-a-kind Advent calendar in this example by blogger Cindy Hopper. Fill each date with a toy, candy or an idea for family fun. Get the how-to.

Christmas Treats

For this year's Christmas countdown, give your family daily surprises they'll devour. Using a sweet, holiday-inspired fabric, create miniature sacks to fill with delicious treats. After filling, add a corresponding countdown number, tie twine around the top to seal the sack and hang from the tree. Get the how-to.

Repurposed Holidays

HGTV fan Cathe Holden reused vintage thread spools to create a one-of-a-kind holiday advent calendar in her home. On each spool she added a numbered wrap with a special note or a clue to a hidden gift. Cathe, a passionate crafter and designer, displayed her Christmas countdown on a vintage, modified spool holder. Cathe also suggests creating individual, numbered spool ornaments for the tree, or stringing the entire set together to create an advent calendar garland.

Countdown for the Kids

This traditional, felt advent calendar is the perfect addition to a child's bedroom door over the holidays. By using simple and inexpensive materials, each child can have a calendar of their own. Try to create different holiday-inspired shapes to form the background — a classic Christmas tree, snowflake, mitten or Santa Claus hat.

Rustic Stocking Stuffers

Using a simple stocking template and patterns and fabrics of your choosing, this handmade advent calendar garland is the perfect family project. After sewing all the stocking edges, let the kids decorate the fronts. Add adornments and numbers, and then string onto twine, hang on the banister and fill with candy, gifts or notes leading to hidden gifts. Get the how-to.

Special Delivery

HGTV fan Katie Watson came up with a fun and creative way for children to count down the 25 days of Christmas. Using simple square envelopes with string closures, she adorned each one with different holiday-inspired themes, patterns and colors. Inside each envelope Katie placed a coupon for each child that can be redeemed for something special at home, such as a cup of hot chocolate, a piece of Christmas candy or Mom reading a bedtime story. Strung up the banister with colorful foam balls, the advent banner is not only a fun family activity but an original piece of holiday decor, too.

More from:

Deck the Halls

Next Up

Christmas Cactus Care

Easy growing tips for this seasonal favorite.

How to Make a Boxwood Christmas Wreath

Why settle for plastic evergreen wreaths or natural greens that will dry out in a few weeks? Make a preserved boxwood wreath that will keep its good looks throughout the holidays and beyond.

How to Make a Christmas Cat Spinner Wand

In all of the gifting during the holidays, don't forget about your furry friends. This holly-themed cat toy is easy to make and will encourage hours of playful interaction.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating Idea: Mini Christmas Tree

Spread the holiday cheer to your front porch with this easy-to-decorate mini Christmas tree. A few handmade touches make it special.

Caring for Christmas Cactus

With the right care, this tropical cactus can be a highlight of your winter holiday decor for years.

Christmas Decorating Tips

From recycling favorite holiday cards to trimming a tree with treats, these holiday decorating ideas are fun and frugal.

16 Ways to Make Painting Less Painful

It's one of the easiest ways to transform a room, but painting can be tough! HGTV Magazine shares tips to ease the sting.

Easy-to-Craft Wooden Gingerbread Christmas Ornaments

These gingerbread cookie ornaments, made out of wood and paint, look as festive as the real thing, but can be enjoyed for many Christmases to come. Kids will love helping out with this fun and easy holiday craft.