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DIY house Advent calendar representing the house of St. Nicholas.

2. November 2017 - Alexander Schmidt

DIY House Advent Calendar: How to Make the House of Father Christmas | Tutorial


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Home-made gifts are personal and unique and show a loved one how important they are to you. This is how to make a pretty DIY house Advent calendar.

Advent calendars are one of the most beautiful customs around Christmas and the Advent season. Opening a door every day, opening a little bag or unwrapping a small parcel and being surprised is something that not only children love!

And that’s what I love most about Advent – not knowing what’s hidden in the little green felt bag that I get to open that day. Even as a child, I was never very enthusiastic about the chocolate Advent calendars you can buy. Sure, chocolate tastes delicious, but in the run-up to Christmas there was a lot to snack on everywhere anyway, so this kind of Advent calendar was nothing special for me.

It was completely different with the Advent calendar that my grandmother sewed and embroidered herself with 24 pretty little bags! My mother put a little surprise in each bag, which could be sweets of various kinds, small toys or sometimes even vouchers. But above all, everything was personal and nothing was prefabricated.

And of course, the way they were presented in a homemade, completely unique Advent calendar also played a central role. Making your own Advent calendar is easier than you think and you can let your creativity run free.

Our tip: Surprise your children, your sweetheart or your very best friend this year with a homemade Advent calendar! You’ll see that the smile on the recipient’s face is priceless! 🙂

How to Make your own DIY House Advent Calendar

This DIY house Advent calendar should look like a small house with a gable roof and 24 windows when finished.

The windows represent 24 mini drawers that you can pull out of the house. It takes a little time to make this house Advent calendar, but the result is visually very convincing and you have a beautiful decorative element for your Christmas living room 😉
The drawers are quite small if you use a shoe box like I do. That’s why this type of DIY house Advent calendar is particularly suitable if you plan to make your own vouchers.

Craft Materials

How to Make the House

Just like when you build a real house, the first thing you do is draw out the house with a triangle and pencil and become an architect. Depending on the size of your box, you have to decide exactly how big the drawers and windows of your Father Christmas house should be. To do this, first take the exact measurements and draw the ground plan and elevation of the house to scale on paper.

Tip: It is easiest to draw 1:1.

The 24 drawer windows on Santa’s house are best placed in two storeys. To do this, cut 2 windows on top of each other in 12 places around the side walls in the cardboard. How you distribute them and what their exact dimensions are is determined in the floor plan. For example, you place 2 rows of four windows on top of each other on each long side of the box and 2 rows of two windows on each narrow side. (Alternatively, you can put drawers in the roof, but that’s more for advanced hobbyists).

When pre-drawing the floor plan from above, you determine not only the width but also the depth of the drawers so that they do not overlap at the corners!

Theoretically, you can also draw the exact position of the windows on the long side and the short side of the box, but you can also do it this way. Make sure that the windows are not too close to each other, as there must still be room for the front of the drawers, which must be slightly larger so that the windows themselves do not fall through into the interior of the house! (see step II)

Prepare the Cardboard

In the next cut, glue Christmas wrapping paper to all sides of the box. Apply the glue evenly all over so it sticks well and let it dry.

If you don’t want to do this step, you can also use a ready-made Christmas patterned cardboard from the start. You can find a wide selection of beautiful motif boxes that look great in large craft shops and on amazon*.

Now draw the windows with a pencil on the inside walls of the box and then carefully cut them out with a carpet knife. If you have used good glue and worked cleanly, the wrapping paper on the edges of the windows should not come loose. If it does, you will have to be very careful.

Congratulations, the base of your DIY House Advent calendar is ready!!!! 😀

All that’s left are the 24 drawers and the roof.

How to Make the Drawers

Making your own DIY house Advent calendar isn't that hard: here's a tutorial

Calendario de Advieno by Daniel Sancho at CC BY 2.0

As far as drawers are concerned, there are a lot of options, both in terms of material and manufacture. But in any case, it is important that the dimensions are right!

The easiest method, which we also present here, is to draw them on cardboard with the help of a template in the shape of the outline with trapezoidal glue tabs, cut them out, fold them and glue them together.

Then trace the template 24 times onto coloured cardboard, cut out the pieces neatly and fold them together so that you can glue the tabs on the front and back of the drawer to the side panels from the inside.

You can of course vary the colours of the drawers, but they should match the Christmas pattern on the outside of the DY house Advent calendar.

Now you have 24 little drawers, but if you put them in the windows of the house like this, they will just fall in. What you still need are the show sides of the drawers, which are a little bit bigger than the windows so that they hold the drawers in place (see cover picture).

It is best to cut the fronts out of thick cardboard. The dimensions of these pieces should be approx. 0.5 – 1 cm wider and higher than the windows. Now you can glue the numbers from 1 to 24 on the front sides with pieces of fabric or motif paper cut to size.

Before you start decorating and embellishing all the drawers, I advise you to first finish one drawer – i.e. stick on the front side – and test whether the drawer fits into the windows in the house and holds.

When you have finished all 24 drawers, your work is almost done!

How to Build the Roof of the DIY House Advent Calendar

Making your own DIY house Advent calendar isn't that hard with a good tutorial.

Calendario de Advieno by Daniel Sancho at CC BY 2.0

The roof of the DIY House Advent Calendar should be a nice gable roof, like on old half-timbered houses. Draw a ground plan and transfer it to one of the sheets of cardboard. You can use this good template as a guide, but you will of course have to adjust the dimensions.

Once you have cut out the roof and pre-folded it, you can stick it with Christmas wrapping paper, paint it or decorate it however you like.

Have fun giving away your DIY House Advent calendar!!!

Wait, there was one more thing… You still have to fill the Advent calendar! If you’re still looking for inspiration, you can find ideas for filling an Advent calendar for adults and filling an Advent calendar for kids on Abenteuer Freundschaft!

Browse our Christmas gift ideas! You can find even more inspiration for gifts and craft ideas with DIY tutorials and tips for activities with kids, your friends and your sweetheart on our Leisure Ideas portal.

If you like our page, we’d love your Like on Facebook and Instagram. 😉

Image source Cover image: Calendario de Advieno by Daniel Sancho at CC BY 2.0.

*There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you order a product through one of these links on amazon, Abenteuer Freundschaft will receive a small commission. The product will not cost you a cent more.


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