Countdown Advent Calendar for the kids

Have you ever made a countdown advent calendar for your grandkids?

Some time ago, I was wandering in the Dollar Tree store and came across these boxes.

I was intrigued by them and started loading my cart up. Mind you, and I had no idea what I was going to do with the boxes. However, I knew one day soon the idea would come to me. 

Then, like Magic, it came to me!

  Countdown Advent Calendar for the kids






Countdown Advent Calendar for the kids

I knew my daughter’s style was very neutral and a bit Scandinavian for the holidays, so this was going to be perfect.

I researched the history and story of the advent calendar so I could explain this to the children. And here is what I found from the

  • Christians thought of different ways of counting down the days from the start of Advent to Christmas Day.
  • At first, Christians kept track of the days by making chalk marks on their door, rubbed off one by one as Christmas got closer.
  • Advent Candles and putting up a small religious picture to mark each day were other ways of counting down the days.
  • The first actual advent calendar, which we still buy today, was produced in the early 1900s. Although first mass-produced in 1908 by Gerhard Lang, who worked at the Reichhold & Lang printing office in Munich, Germany.
  • A company produced over thirty different calendar patterns until the 1930s. These calendars had 24 doors and were a lot more decorated than the advent calendars we have these days.
  • Before long, advent calendars had doors that contained religious pictures, and some had chocolate when opened. They used candy to keep the children’s attention.
  • The Advent Calendar was favored over the years. However, it had to be put on hold when World War II started because paper, cardboard, and chocolate were limited.
  • Once the war was over, the production of advent calendars soon picked back up in 1946, not containing chocolates, though.
  • Towards the end of the 1950s, chocolate advent calendars re-appeared and started to spread across the world.
  • Ten years later, many countries were using the advent calendar to count the days to Christmas Day.
  • Advent calendars are still very popular worldwide and come in thousands of different varieties, some with just pictures in, others with just chocolate.

Here is how I made this Countdown Advent Calendar for the kids

I started with 24 of these boxes, some wood glue, and a package of these little wooden blocks from the Dollar Tree. You will also need clips to hold the boxes together while they dry and the branding tool with number attachments.

 First, I separated the inner box from the outer box.

Secondly, I glued the outer boxes together. Glue four rows of six boxes together, let them dry.

Thirdly, I glued the four rows of six boxes together. You can see in the image that I clipped the boxes together after gluing them to help keep them together while they dry.

Countdown advent calendar for the kids

Lay some heavy books on the top to help keep the boxes together. Unfortunately, these boxes are not all the same size, so there were a few gaps.

Next, I turned the inner boxes around, so the design was on the backside.

Secondly, I glued the small wooden cubes onto the front of the boxes to serve as a handle.

I just eyeballed where to glue these.


Just do your best to glue them all in the same spot.

Now that your boxes are all glued together, it is time to put an outer border on the box.

We purchased pieces of craft poplar hobby wood at home depot that were 3.5 x 3″ long. The color was perfect. We bought four pieces.

Advent Calendar

You need to trim 1/2″ off of the width of the boards and cut the lengths to fit the box.

Glue the two short sides first.

Secondly, glue the top and the bottom pieces to cover the side pieces.


You can see a gap between the border and the boxes. We used wood filler and filled in all of the gaps. Then, we added the edge because the boxes were not all even, and we wanted a smooth edge.

I then burnished the numbers on the Countdown Advent Calendar for the kids

You have to burnish the numbers one at a time. I just eyeballed the placement of the numbers.

In the end, I was delighted with the results!


Lastly, I filled the boxes with all kinds of goodies for the girls. I used candy, chapstick, money, crafts, and toys.

I know they are just going to love it when I give it to them next week.

Advent does not start until December 1st, so you still have time to get this project done.






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  1. Great idea Wendy! The girls are gonna love it. ♥️♥️

    1. Thank you Kathy, I just gave it to them today and we will see how it goes. Good luck to Meghan. LOL

  2. Such a sweet project! One I might could actually manage! Catching up on Deck the Hall Hop!

    1. Hi sweet Linda, thank you so much. Yes, this is a very easy one, I am sure you could do it :))))) I need an entire week to catch up on blog reading myself. I hope all is well for you.

    1. Hi Kim, I am so sorry I am just seeing this message. My server was down for a few days.
      Please feel free anytime to share my blog. I appreciate your kindness.
      I love this idea and need to jump on the bandwagon myself. There are so many talented bloggers out there
      with great ideas.

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