• awelldressedlife

DIY Advent Calendar

Updated: May 1, 2019

I've had a lot of questions about our DIY Advent Calendar that I created last year for our Cashton.

Here is a quick rundown on how I built it...

Items used:

  1. 1 - Square Riba Frame in White | IKEA

  2. 1 - 12x12 Decorative Cardstock (for background) | Hobby Lobby

  3. 4 - 12x12 Gold Woodgrain-look Cardstock (for backside of tags) | Hobby Lobby | Download my free template to print the tags

  4. Heavy White Cardstock (for pockets) | Download my free PDF template

  5. Various Gold Sticker Letters/Numbers | Hobby Lobby

I began by brainstorming on which 'acts of kindness' and seasonal activities that would be age appropriate for our then 3 year old. I came up with this list below, but feel free to tweak them to fit your child's interests and age group!

  • Write a friendly note on a sidewalk with chalk for passers by to read

  • Pick up litter from the neighborhood

  • Say ‘Hello’ to 3 people you’ve never spoken to before

  • Make cards and put them in your neighbors mailbox

  • Choose a toy to donate to a charity *

  • Family Fun! Visit Santa at the Yacht Club!

  • Write a Thank You note to someone that has helped you

  • Call a family member you haven’t seen in a while *

  • Volunteer at the local animal shelter

  • Offer to help someone

  • Draw a picture for someone

  • Family Fun Night! Ice Skating at Southpark!

  • Choose a child from the Angel Tree and fulfill their needs request

  • Family Fun Night! Drive around and look at Christmas Lights!

  • Leave the trash man & mail carrier a special note & a treat

  • Gather the toys to donate to charity and deliver them with Mommy

  • Unwrap a new book to read tonight, then share it with class tomorrow

  • Hold the door for someone at school and say “Good Morning!”

  • Write your letter to Santa and drop it in the mailbox


  • Write a special note for each of your grandparents, telling them what you love most about them and place under the tree for them to open on Christmas Day

* I also chose to duplicate the ones starred so they pop up throughout the month. For instance, I have one "Choose a toy to donate to charity" card mixed into each week on the calendar. I use this opportunity each week to join him in his playroom and encourage him to select one toy that he really enjoyed (but has phased out of now) that he thinks another little boy would LOVE to have. By allowing him ownership over the selecting the toys, I hope that it drives home the feeling of empathy and builds his internal desire to 'want' to give to those less fortunate.

I strategically place the cards throughout the weeks so they fall on appropriate days- like making sure that the Family Fun Night! cards are pulled on free days- like ice skating at the mall on a Saturday evening, for example. And ones that involve school related acts will only be pulled on school days...

You can download my free templates for the tags themselves as well as the pockets that hold them.