A couple of years back, this little Christmas village DIY from my friend Kelly took the internet by storm. The kids and I made our own version of the Christmas village for our home, and each year we add one or two houses to it. This year, I’m putting a twist on the village and turning it into an Advent Calendar!
The Advent Calendar village will eventually be part of a local project that I’m working on (stay tuned for the big unveiling, coming soon!), but you could use it just on its own like this. You can check out the Studio DIY tutorial for painting and decorating the village — she has an amazing how-to right here. For the rest of the tutorial on how to make your houses hold little gifts inside, keep reading!
How to Make a Christmas Village Advent Calendar
- assorted bottlebrush trees
- unfinished wood birdhouses (This is one of the houses we used. You can search Amazon for “unfinished birdhouses” and you’ll get a lot of options! I recommend getting them no taller than 7 inches, and varying your sizes.)
- Dremel saw
- optional: drill and cotton rope
- craft paint
- house decorations (I recommend going to your local craft store and checking out their Christmas miniatures section for ideas!)
- fake snow/glitter
- number stickers
- small gifts and gift wrap (I did lots of gift cards, some sweets, and tiny toys!)
Step 1: Start by cutting the back off of all of your houses. You’ll use an oscillating Dremel tool to cut off a portion of the back wall of each house. Cut a hole large enough to fit a small gift inside.
Step 2: Use sandpaper to smooth the edges on the hole that you cut.
Step 3: If you think you might want to hang your houses on a garland, wall, or tree, add a hanger to any houses that don’t already have one. Use a drill to drill a hole through the top of your house. Then take an 8″ piece of cotton rope, fold it in half, and tie the ends together so that it forms a loop. Put the loop inside the house and push it up through the hole you drilled. The knot should stop the loop and be strong enough to hang your house from. Mask all the loops with masking tape.
Step 4: Once you’ve got the back cut out and the loops added (if you want them), paint and decorate your houses using this tutorial!
Step 5: Allow your houses to dry completely. Then, wrap all of your little gifties and insert them in the houses via the holes you cut in the back.
Step 6: Add number stickers to your houses for the days of advent! We used 12 houses here (kind of a “Twelve Days of Christmas” Advent Calendar), but you could go big and do 24!
I just love this idea! It serves as decor and also as a countdown calendar for the holidays. I love that you can peek through the windows and get a glimpse of the gifts inside. Next week I’ll show you how we’re including these in a project that we’re working on for a local fundraiser (and you’ll see why we added the loops). Can’t wait to share! xoxo
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