DIY advent calendar finished

How to make a DIY advent calendar with handmade ornaments

DIY advent calendars are a fun way to count down to Christmas day. We’re going double handmade here with this handmade ornament DIY advent calendar.

At the end of this project, you’ll have a simple way to display all of your favorite handmade ornaments that’ll catch everyone’s eye. The best part? As you count down days, you can simply take an ornament off and pop it onto a tree. Think of it as a moving display!

So grab a can of spray paint and let’s jump into this.

DIY advent calendar display

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Collecting your handmade ornaments

I’m going to advocate that you make your own handmade ornaments here. Of course, if you’re pressed for time, you can always mix in your kids’ handmade ornaments with some of your own that you make, or mix in some vintage ornaments for this project.

For some quick sew handmade ornaments, check out Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies. This digital toolkit will walk you through how to stitch up 12 different Christmas ornaments. Did I mention they’re cookie themed? These are cookies so pretty you’ll be tempted to eat them plum off the tree.

Here’s some of what you’ll get inside of Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies:

  • 12 fun patterns and full step by step tutorials for handmade ornaments you and your family will love.
  • PDF and SVG patterns: if you have a Cricut or you’re more comfortable with scissors, you’ve got a way to get all your pattern pieces cut and ready to sew
  • Expand your creative embellishment skills with sequins, simple machine embroidery that doesn’t need a big expensive embroidery machine, and beading
  • These are patterns to sew right now, and each of these adorable ornaments are quick sews.  The most involved one will take you about 30 minutes, but most can be done in short order at the end of a busy day.
  • After working through these projects you’ll have a collection of handmade ornaments that’ll make memories for your family.  My kids are already telling stories with the ugly sweater shortbreads!

You can click on the picture to learn more about Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies.

fabulous felt cover

Stitch up your handmade ornaments per the directions inside of Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies. You’ll need 24, so 2 of each kind or mix and match to pick your favorites.

Get your frame ready

After you have your collection of handmade ornaments, it’s time to get them looking lovely!

Find an old picture frame that’s long and big enough to fit all your ornaments. Remove the glass.

In my case, I had a thrifted picture frame I meant for framing a scarf. In the end the frame was too small and the glass broke. Clearly this frame wanted to be something else!

spray painted frame

Wipe down the picture frame to remove any dirt and grime. Once you’ve done that, give the frame a light sanding.

From there, spray paint the frame, letting it dry between coats.

Adding the numbers to your DIY advent calendar

Next, paint 24 of the wooden hearts with your favorite color.

Let the hearts dry. After this, center your number stencil over a heart. Using the stencil brush and a contrasting paint color, tap the color into the stencil.

stencil plus painted hearts

Repeat this for all your numbers 1-24. Set these aside to dry.

Gluing the hearts to the clothespins

Next, hot glue a heart to a clothespin. Repeat for the rest of the hearts.

Ribbon up your frame

After this, cut 8 pieces of ribbon slightly wider than the back inside of your frame.

Measure up from the bottom and down from the top a few inches, marking the side with a pencil. Hot glue a ribbon at the top on either side of the inside of the frame at your mark. Then hot glue a ribbon at your bottom mark.

Measure in between the two ribbons, then divide that space evenly for the remaining 6 ribbons. Hot glue the rest of the ribbons on each side of the back of the frame.

Add the ornaments

Finish up your DIY advent calendar by clipping your handmade ornaments to the ribbons, 3 to a row.

DIY advent calendar finished

Enjoy your new sweet advent calendar!

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