Create an easy DIY paper advent calendar with free printable templates for the boxes! This handmade advent calendar is a fun Christmas papercraft and lovely holiday gift idea for kids and adults. The tutorial includes PDF templates and an SVG cut file, and advent calendar filler ideas.
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Easy DIY Paper Advent Calendar with Free Printable Template
I’m so excited to share this easy DIY paper advent calendar this time of year! Holiday season should be celebrated with a homemade advent calendar, and this paper advent calendar is a great Christmas papercraft idea for this occasion.
The advent calendar tradition is a favourite in my household, and I enjoyed making this DIY advent calendar. It’s consist of cute pyramid paper boxes and works just like a traditional advent calendar: each box has a number and is filled with treats and small homemade gift ideas.
My paper advent calendar is great for children and adults alike, think husband, boyfriend, your best gal friend and even yourself. This make your own calendar kit comes with free printable templates to make crafting a breeze, and I’ve also included advent calendar filler ideas at the end of the post.
How to make a DIY paper advent calendar
How do you make an easy advent calendar? This DIY calendar idea with template is so easy to make… and oh-so-pretty. There are so many ways you can design your own advent calendar, starting with the paper colours you choose. I picked different shades of pink, two dark blues and light yellow. You’re going to love this cardboard advent calendar tutorial!
Let’s see what the steps are for how to make a paper advent calendar:
Cut and fold the pyramid boxes
- If cutting the advent calendar by hand, cut out the two templates.
- Put the template on a piece of cardboard and trace with a pencil.
- Cut out 24 boxes.
- If using a Cricut or craft cutting machine, load the SVG cut file into Design Space/your machine’s software and cut out 24 shapes.
- Optionally, draw on the folding lines using a pencil and ruler.
Decorate the advent calendar
- Decorate the paper boxes with pencils, markers, acrylic paint, washi tape, stickers or gold leaf. Scroll down to see more details and advent calendar decorating ideas.
This step is optional. You can leaf the homemade paper advent calendar as is – it will still be a gorgeous advent calendar idea!
Assemble the paper advent calendar
- Fold the triangles and flaps inwards. You should have 4 triangles and 3 flaps.
- Apply glue to the flap that says “Glue” and attach it to the other triangle.
- Fill the advent calendar with treats or small gifts.
- Fold the front inwards to close the pyramid box.
Apply the numbers
- Cut out the numbers and glue 1 number to each of the 24 advent calendar boxes using a glue stick or foam dots to sperate the numbered circles a little from the box.
And there you have it, a colourful and festive DIY Advent calendar!
How to decorate the DIY paper advent calendar
The little pyramid boxes look cute even without extra decorations. But if you have time and muse, be creative and decorate each box! There are literally endless possibilities for how to decorate an advent calendar.
I love sparkly and glittery things and used a mix of gold leaf, acrylic paint and glitter paper to decorate the boxes of my homemade advent calendar.
Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:
Use acrylic paint or markers and paint a pattern of dots, stars or lines on the boxes. Easy and so festive!
Dab irregular spots of metal leaf adhesive on the boxes and apply gold leaf or other sheet metals. Looks very modern and elegant. For more detail on how to use gold leaf, check out this tutorial.
Cut out triangles of (self-adhesive) glitter paper and adhere to the front of the boxes.
Embellish the edges of a box with border of washi tape or sticker borders.
Customise the advent calendars for men, ladies, boys and girls
If you need advent calendar ideas for adults or want to make a DIY advent calendar for kids or for toddlers, you can! I plan to use this holiday craft as a couple’s advents calendar for my husband and I and I chose pink, navy blue and light yellow as colours with some gold and glitter accents.
But you can easily customise the look and feel of this handmade paper calendar. Lots of options here:
- Use the recipient’s or your favourite colours.
- If you need advent calendar ideas for him, use colours men often like, for example, blue, green, red, or black. An advent calendar for boyfriend or husband in black, grey and silver would look stunning!
- An advent calendar for kids can be colourful. A rainbow or unicorn advent calendar would be much fun!
- If you make an advent calendar for boys, either use his favourite shades or hues boys usually like, e.g. blue, red, yellow, green and orange. The colours of his favourite sports team are also a great idea.
- Likewise, for an advent calendar for girls, use colours that are often associated with girls, like red, aqua, pink, white and purple.
Have more DIY advent calendar ideas? Drop a comment and let me know what colours you will be using.
Filler ideas for DIY advent calendar
What do you put in an Advent calendar? An empty advent calendar can be filled with anything that fits in the boxes, both homemade and store-bought. Sweet treats (e.g. chocolate, cookies, or truffles), small snacks (crackers), little gifts and toys (keychain, jewellry, lego), or beauty items (lip balm, nail polish) are excellent filler ideas for what to put in an advent calendar.
Here are a few homemade advent calendar filler ideas:
Beauty & Aromatherapy DIYs
- small peppermint bath bombs
- candy cane bubble scoops
- pumpkin spice lip balm
- rose bath truffles
- DIY wax melts
Festive DIY paper favour boxes and DIY gift packaging ideas for small gifts
Stead of making a paper advent calendar, use the little pyramid boxes as favour boxes for parties or weddings or as easy DIY packaging idea for small gifts.
Printable Advent Calendar Template
Tab or click the button below to download your free printable advent calendar template!
Advent Calendar Box SVG Cut File
Tab or click the button below to download your free advent calendar SVG cut file!
Over to you!
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Love this! However the link for Ava is not working? Is there somewhere I need to find on your page?
Hi Joy! Sorry about that and thank you for letting me know! I had to switch to direct download, it should be working now. Happy making!
These would make a fun New Year’s countdown to midnight too!
That is a wonderful idea! Thank you, Ellen!
Very pretty – I love how colorful this is!
Thanks a lot, Roseann!
This is a really cute idea! And I love the colors and prints you chose!
Thanks so much, Cherryl!
I love this idea!
So glad you like it! Many thanks, Rebecca!
How pretty are these advent calendar boxes! I got excited about this idea because I’m just learning how to use my new Cricut Maker. I’m thinking these would be wonderful on each place setting at the Christmas dinner table or as party favors for holiday gatherings. Pinned 🙂
Thanks a lot, Marie! It’s a lovely idea to use these little boxes as party favours.
This is a great idea and it’s so custom. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much!
What lovely little boxes for an advent calendar–and I absolutely adore your nontraditional color scheme! Gorgeous.
Thank you so much, Nikki! I thought it could be fun to take a break from the traditional holiday colours.
Paper crafts are my favorite and these boxes are so cute. What a fun idea to open a cute box everyday.
Thanks a lot, Jenny!