Make a Giant Advent Calendar With a Ladder

Drum up some neighborhood chatter with this oversized Advent calendar made with a ladder.

DIY Outdoor Advent Calendar 02:01

Here's how to make a lighted outdoor Advent calendar on a stepladder frame.
Related To:

Materials Needed

  • ladder
  • long garland
  • floral wire
  • rope
  • (3) 1x6 x 10" boards
  • white spray paint
  • green spray paint
  • red latex paint
  • small paint roller
  • paint tray
  • plastic address numbers
  • wood screws (Phillips head)
  • cordless drill
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • small brass cup hooks
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • safety goggles
  • miter saw

Add Garland

Once your ladder is in place, add greenery by winding the garland around the ladder, securing with floral wire as you go.

Add Garland

Add Garland

Once your ladder is in place, add greenery by winding the garland around the ladder, securing with floral wire, as you go.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Add Rope

With the garland in place, layer in the rope, securing with floral wire.

Add Rope

Add Rope

With the garland in place, layer in the rope, securing with floral wire.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Cut and Paint Planks

Measure, mark and cut your 1x6 boards to fit across the ladder, sitting on each rung. Cut seven planks in all. Once cut, spray-paint each board with dark green paint for an aged look.

Cut & Paint Planks

Cut & Paint Planks

Measure, mark and cut your 1x6 boards to fit across the ladder- sitting on each rung. Cut 7 planks in all. Once cut, spray paint each board lightly with dark green paint for a vintage, aged look.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Attach Green Planks

Position each plank, pre-drill a hole, then attach the plank to the rung below using a screw. Repeat this on each side until all planks are secure.

Step 4: Attach Green Planks

Step 4: Attach Green Planks

Position each plank, using a clamp if necessary to secure it while you pre-drill a hole, then attach the plank to the rung below using a screw. Repeat this on each side until all planks are secure.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Cut and Paint Calendar Squares

Using the remaining 1x6 boards, measure, mark and cut nine 6"-wide squares. You’ll need these for one-digit days (December 1-9). For the smaller two-digit numbers (December 10-19), you’ll need a 7.5"-wide piece of board. For the last five days (December 20-25), cut an 8"-wide piece. Once dusted off, roll red paint onto the squares' front and back, then let dry.

Cut & Paint Calendar Squares

Cut & Paint Calendar Squares

Using the remaining 1x6 boards, measure, mark and cut nine 6 inch wide squares. You’ll need these for one digit days (Dec 1-9). For the smaller 2 digit numbers (Dec 10-19) you’ll need a 7.5 inch wide piece of board. For the last five days (Dec 20-25), cut an 8 inch wide piece. Once dusted off, roll red paint onto the squares’ front and back, then let dry.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Add Numbers and Hooks

If you want, spray-paint the numbers (we chose white), but make sure they are completely dry before screwing them onto the squares. To hang, add a small brass cup hook at the top. Make sure to center it so that the square will hang correctly.

Add Numbers & Hooks

Add Numbers & Hooks

If you like, spray paint the numbers (we went with white) but make sure they are completely dry before screwing them to the squares. To hang, add a small brass cup hook at the top, taking care to center it so that the square will hang correctly.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Hang Calendar Squares

Starting with the top green plank, use a measuring tape to mark where each cup hook should go on the horizontal planks. Predrill a hole, then screw the eye hook into the side of the green boards, hanging the red calendar squares as you go. Step back every so often to eyeball your spacing and adjust as needed.

Hang Calendar Squares

Hang Calendar Squares

Starting with the top green plank, center up using your eye (and measuring tape, if you prefer) and mark where each cup hook should go on the horizontal planks. Predrill a hole, then screw the eye hook into the side of the green boards, hanging the red calendar squares as you go. Step back every so often to eyeball your spacing and adjust, as needed.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Finish

Display your giant Advent calendar in your front yard or backyard as an eye-catching way to celebrate the season.

DIY Advent Calendar Ladder

DIY Advent Calendar Ladder

This oversized, unexpected Advent Calendar made with a ladder is sure to have friends and neighbors talking this year!

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

More from:

Holiday Countdown

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.