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DIY Nativity Advent Calendar for Kids

This advent calendar for kids is a great DIY that can become a family heirloom! You can make it into a nativity, or just stuff the pockets with little trinkets. Read on for the DIY and the downloadable template.

How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar

This is one of those projects that was born of necessity. We had this cute little nativity advent calendar that we love, but the container was just a pain. So I wanted to find another home for all of the pieces. And this is where we landed: a colorful advent calendar for kids.

Hey! While you’re checking out our advent calendar for kids, take a peek at these other holiday projects that kids will love:

And if you love this project, be sure to sign up for my VIP list where I’ll send more holiday ideas straight to ya!

Ways to Use our Advent Calendar for Kids

If the nativity isn’t your thing, you can always combine this with our kindness advent calendar, and just tuck the cards into the pockets on this calendar. I sized everything so that the two calendars are interchangeable. You could also tuck little trinkets, jokes, or sweets into the pockets for each day.

But if you like the little nativity set, snag the nativity figures here and follow along on the tutorial below! The nativity set is pretty cute, and each piece comes apart so that kids can put it together like a little mini puzzle each day.

Supplies for an Advent Calendar for Kids

Materials

Make Time: 3 Hours

Let’s Make It!

  1. First, cut the backing piece for your advent calendar to 17″ wide and 24″ tall. (I doubled up my backing and used fabric glue to glue two pieces together because my felt was a little thin.) On one end, make a light pencil mark at the halfway point of the short side. Then measure up 5″ on both long sides and make a mark at each point. Next, cut from each of these points to the halfway point on the short side to create a pointed, flag-like bottom for your backing.
  2. Cut out 24 squares of felt, each 3″ x 3″. Use your favorite colors.
  3. Using the instructions on the packaging, apply HeatnBond to one side of the felt that you’d like for your numbers. Download and print our number file right here, print and cut numbers 1-0, and trace numbers 1-24 onto the HeatnBond, being sure to trace them backwards. You’ll get the cleanest felt if you trace the numbers backward onto the wrong side of your felt. (This will avoid leaving pen marks.) Then cut these out with your scissors.
  4. Then place the numbers, HeatnBond side down, onto each square once you have decided the order of the colors you’d like. Iron the numbers onto the felt squares.
  5. Next, glue your squares onto the felt backing piece using hot glue. Starting about 2″ from the top of the backing, spread five squares evenly across the width of the backing. Then glue each of these down on both sides and the bottom, but leave the top of each square unglued to insert the nativity pieces. Repeat for four rows. You should have four squares left; center these on the bottom row.

Create the Advent Calendar Hanger

  1. Finally, finish your advent calendar for kids by using hot glue to glue the wood trim to the backing. We used a piece in the front and a piece in the back, then tied a knot on either end of our rope and sandwiched the rope between the two pieces of wood, with a knot at the bottom to secure it.
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar

Next, just stuff each pocket with either a piece from the nativity or a card from our kindness calendar and you’re ready for Advent! We actually do both calendars each day of Advent (a tradition we started last year), and the kids love it. They take turns pulling out the card or the figurine. I’m so looking forward to doing these again this year. Happy making! xoxo

How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar
How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar

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Yield: Advent Calendar for Kids

DIY Nativity Advent Calendar for Kids

How to Make a DIY Nativity Advent Calendar

This advent calendar for kids is colorful, fun to make, and will be come a family heirloom you use year after year.

Active Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Difficulty Intermediate

Materials

  • Advent figures or Printable Kindness Cards
  • Printable advent numbers
  • felt
  • HeatnBond
  • Wood trim
  • Cotton rope

Tools

  • Glue gun
  • Iron
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. First, cut the backing piece for your advent calendar to 17" wide and 24" tall. (I doubled up my backing and used fabric glue to glue two pieces together because my felt was a little thin.) On one end, make a light pencil mark at the halfway point of the short side. Then measure up 5" on both long sides and make a mark at each point. Next, cut from each of these points to the halfway point on the short side to create a pointed, flag-like bottom for your backing.
  2. Cut out 24 squares of felt, each 3" x 3". Use your favorite colors.
  3. Using the instructions on the packaging, apply HeatnBond to one side of the felt that you'd like for your numbers. Download and print our number file right here, print and cut numbers 1-0, and trace numbers 1-24 onto the HeatnBond, being sure to trace them backwards. You'll get the cleanest felt if you trace the numbers backward onto the wrong side of your felt. (This will avoid leaving pen marks.) Then cut these out with your scissors.
  4. Then place the numbers, HeatnBond side down, onto each square once you have decided the order of the colors you'd like. Iron the numbers onto the felt squares.
  5. Next, glue your squares onto the felt backing piece using hot glue. Starting about 2" from the top of the backing, spread five squares evenly across the width of the backing. Then glue each of these down on both sides and the bottom, but leave the top of each square unglued to insert the nativity pieces. Repeat for four rows. You should have four squares left; center these on the bottom row.
  6. Finally, use hot glue to glue the wood trim to the backing. We used a piece in the front and a piece in the back, then tied a knot on either end of our rope and sandwiched the rope between the two pieces of wood, with a knot at the bottom to secure it.

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