It’s that time of year when we start thinking about Christmas and what better way to countdown than with an advent calendar.
If you’re one of my lovely US readers (and there’s many of you), I know you have wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations before Xmas. But for the rest of us across the pond, November means Christmas is coming!
This year, I’ve gone for simplicity with this wooden advent calendar, keeping it all natural. I’ve made mini wooden houses, each with a little activity at the back.
I made an activity advent calendar last year and found that it was so much more fun for Anya than one filled with treats. So I’ve gone for activities again and if you haven’t tried one of these for your kids, I highly recommend it. Not only will they love it but it’s lovely way to spend time together and make memories that will last a lifetime. If you want some ideas, I’ve shared some advent activities at the end of the post for both kids and adults.
Of course, an advent calendar isn’t only for kids – I wish someone would make me one! But if you want to make one for your partner or bestie, then this wooden advent calendar will work just as well as an adult advent calendar.
DIY WOODEN ADVENT CALENDAR
balsa wood (6.4mm thick)
ruler and pencil
black number stickers
round white office stickers
Mini reindeer and trees
I added these to create a Christmas scene. These are optional but fun to add. They’re both cake decorations that you’ll find here – reindeer cake decorations and christmas tree cake decorations
1.Draw your house shapes on your balsa wood. I went for a range of different sizes to add interest.
2. Cut the houses out using your craft knife and ruler. Balsa wood is soft enough to cut with a sharp craft knife but make sure to use a fresh blade. Also don’t cut through the wood on the first go. Instead gently score the outline a few times, adding a bit more pressure each time. You’ll get much a cleaner cut this way. Hang on to the corners of the houses that you cut as these will make the stands for the houses.
3. Stick your numbers on to the front of each house. Write your activity on your round white stickers and stick these on to the back.
4. Finally glue the little corners (that you saved) with wood glue on to the back of each house. The shorter, squatter houses need just one whereas for the taller, skinnier houses, stick two on the back.
Note: If you cut the balsa wood in the direction of the grain, it cuts like butter with a sharp craft knife. Cutting across the grain takes scoring a few times before it cuts.
With the houses, I made a few different sizes to add interest. Some are short and wide while others are tall and skinny. And I made extra large ones for the 1st of December and the 24th. I tried painting the houses but I found that they looked much better in natural wood. But if you prefer a colourful look, go ahead and paint with acrylic paints.
Do you make your advent calendar each year or do you buy one? Do you think you’ll have a go at making this one?
P.S. Here are some more DIY advent calendar ideas for you – reindeer diy advent calendar, Santa and the elves advent calendar and a mini forest advent calendar.
ADVENT CALENDAR ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR KIDS:
- family game night
- surprise play date
- choose a story and I’ll read it to you
- let’s go to a carol service
- buy a tree and decorate it
- let’s bake some cookies
- buy gifts for a family in need
- £1 for your money box
- go see the Xmas lights in central London
- star shaped pancakes for breakfast
- let’s go ice-skating
- let’s have a dinner floor picnic
- decorate some Xmas ornaments
- write a letter to santa
- family dance to Xmas music
- family midnight feast
- lay out brandy, cookies and a carrot for santa and reindeers
ADVENT CALENDAR ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR ADULTS:
- date night
- Xmas dinner with family friends
- drink eggnogg laced with brandy
- have a cosy dinner in front of the fire
- family game night
- go to a Xmas concert
- visit an old peoples home
- go for a winter walk
- get dressed up for dinner at home
- decorate the tree together
- kiss under the mistletoe
- have a pyjama day and watch Xmas movies
- go to a Christmas market
- give to 3 homeless people today
- go to a carol singing evening
Honest Mum says
Love this minimalist, Scandi style calendar. You are so immensely talented Nomita! I love all the cute suggestions behind each door too. We have to all meet soon, lots of love x
Adorable and what sweet ideas…happy creating.
This is absolutely wonderful Nomita! I always love your advent calendars, and the idea of activities rather than sweets also means connections and quality time together – so much more of a treat! Definitely sharing this, and I may even attempt the craft knife and wood cutting, you make it sound so easy!!
(Ps, reminds me of when we used to have a lucky dip “good girl” bag for good behaviour, and it began with little toys and treats inside, then changed to folded pieces of paper with activities. Something we can do all year round!
Thank you Zaz. And it is easy – go for it. Really easy and it can all be done in a couple of hours. Love the idea of a ‘good’ bag. Might have to try that after Xmas or maybe even turn it in to a DIY idea – thanks for the idea xxx
This is so fabulous as always Nomita. Your advent calendar has me excited each year for Christmas and all the wonderful memory making opportunities the season brings. Love that you’ve included some adult advent suggestions too, this year I’m also very tempted by the Gin Advent Calendars I’ve seen floating about 😉 Well done for this year’s project, another brilliant keepsake to add to your family collection x
Thank you Uju. It’s probably one of my favouritest (is that a word?!?) crafts each year. We are hooked on activities here. I used to do little gifts before and really they were fun for all of about 10 seconds. But the activities create fun, excitement and memories forever. Ooh I do liek the idea of a gin advent – my friend had one last year and lets just say she is going for another this year! xxx
This is possibly the cutest advent calendar I have ever seen and so easy to make too! Can’t wait to give it a go! I’ll keep you posted 🙂
Thank you! Do share yours when you make it.