Make your own stylish and sustainable Advent calendar from wood

An Advent calendar made up of several small wooden boxes stands on a shelf.
The DIY Advent calendar doesn’t just look stylish – you can reuse the small wooden boxes every year.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    < 42 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h


A little present every day: The run-up to Christmas is a very special time, especially for kids. The Advent calendar gives them something small to look forward to every day. We show you how to build your very own stylish DIY version that’s sustainable to boot! You can redesign and reuse our DIY calendar every year.

It should go without saying that your safety is paramount throughout every step of the project, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find an overview of the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool here:

You need
  • pencil
  • pocket rule
  • adhesive tape
  • wood glue
  • craft knife
  • glue stick
  • wooden rail
  • Birch plywood panels (6.5 mm thick) in the following sizes: 100x100 mm (x40) / 120x100 mm (x20) / 140x140 mm (x36) / 20x60 mm (x2) (for spacers)
  • Templates made from cardboard (3x): 100x100 mm / 120x120 mm / 140x140 mm
  • Parchment paper in different colours
  • Universal spray paint in gold, silver, bronze
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Video instructions

Step 1 5


A small, square wooden panel is being sanded.
Get rid of sharp edges and rough surfaces.

You need: YOUseries Sander, YOUseries Sanding Paper G80, All wooden panels in the sizes outlined above (6.5 mm thick): 100x100 mm (x40) / 120x100 mm (x20) / 140x140 mm (x36)

Before you can start building your Advent calendar, you will first need an array of square wooden panels. You can find all of them pre-cut to the right sizes at your local DIY store.

Thoroughly sand down your panels first. Smoothen both the surfaces and the edges.

Step 2 5

Stick the panels together

Square panels are placed in line with each other on a work surface with the aid of a rail.
Square panels are placed in line with each other on a work surface with the aid of a rail.
Wood glue is applied to the wooden panels.
Square wooden panel are assembled to create a cube shape.
Four assembled wooden panels are secured in place using adhesive tape.

You need: g-clamps, adhesive tape, wood glue, wooden rail, 2 spacers (20x60x6.5 mm)

Make sure to clamp your rail to the work surface before you proceed.
Now place four square panels of the same size flush to the rail (image 1). Use the spacers and connect the panels using three strips of tape each (image 2).

Are all panels connected? Then flip the construction over and apply a line of wood glue to one edge of each panel adjacent to another panel (image 3).
Then, assemble the panels to create the shape of a box (image 4). Each box needs to fit together perfectly. Secure the open cube with some adhesive tape and allow the glue to dry (image 5).

Use this time to repeat these steps for the remaining wooden panels, until you have 24 open cubes in total in three different sizes in front of you.

Step 3 5

Spray paint the boxes

A small wooden box is being spray painted.
Are you looking for a festive or a more minimalist look? Choose your style by selecting the right colours.

You need: 24 wooden boxes from step 2, universal spray paint in different colours

Time to get Christmassy: Spray paint your boxes in any colour of the rainbow. We’ve gone for gold, bronze and silver.
But watch out: Remember to remove the strips of adhesive tape from the boxes before you get to work. And make sure that the glue has fully dried!

Step 4 5

Complete the boxes using parchment paper

A shape is drawn on parchment paper using a cardboard template.
A number is drawn on a piece of parchment paper using a decorative marker.
A piece of parchment paper is glued to a wooden box.

You need: Gluey (Evergreen), craft knife, marker, Parchment paper in different colours and patterns, template made from cardboard

You’ll need to get creative if you want your wooden boxes to look like a bona fide Advent calendar.
Parchment paper is the perfect choice for sprucing up your boxes. Make 24 paper squares to fit onto your boxes in total.

Use a cardboard template (in the same sizes as the boxes) to cut out the shapes from the paper – this will speed things up (image 1).
What kind of parchment paper you use and how you decorate it is totally up to you. We recommend using the Gluey hot glue pen to draw on the numbers for the calendar for a particularly nice touch (image 2).

You can then use a normal glue stick to simply attach the assembled paper squares to the boxes.

Step 5 5

Assemble the calendar

Lots of small wooden boxes are assembled.
Think outside the box: Why not jumble up your boxes for a unique look?
Two wooden boxes are connected using foldback clips.
Simple foldback clips give your calendar a little bit more stability.

You need: 24 assembled and decorated boxes, lots of foldback clips

You’re nearly done! Now all you have to do is assemble the Advent calendar. Feel free to get creative when you’re assembling the boxes – why not put them in a random order?

To make sure that the boxes don’t constantly shift or even fall over, you can use simple office foldback clips to secure them in place. This also allows you to reassemble your calendar if you like.

Remember to fill your calendar with little treats and presents before Advent kicks off on 1 December. We hope you have lots of fun surprising your nearest and dearest!