DIY Lego Advent Calendar

Last year we began the tradition of an Advent Countdown Calendar. I purchased each of my boys a lego countdown. But at $50 a pop I simply couldn’t afford that this year. So I decided to DIY my own!

  • Design Inspiration: When I saw this calendar on Pinterest, I knew I had the base for my Advent Calendar.
  • Color Inspiration: I went with colors from my stash of Christmas papers. Love finding ways to use up old product!

I purchased a package of 100 white favor boxes from Michaels with a 50% off coupon. Since I’m making two calendars I needed 50 boxes. Which means I’ll have enough to make Advent calendars next year too! Bonus! Folding the boxes definitely took the bulk of the time for this project.

Then I punched a bunch of 2 inch scalloped circles out of leftover Christmas papers. I also punched some 1 inch white circles to stamp the numbers onto.

I alternated colors of paper and colors of ink. No rhyme or reason just tried not to use the same color ink as the paper it was on. Then I attached the numbers to the top of the boxes and stuck the boxes onto a piece of foam core.

Next it was time to add the title to the top of the calendar. I always like to start from the center of the phrase and work my way out. Helps keep everything centered on the project.

A little bit of washi tape (you knew I couldn’t create something without washi tape, right???) and the calendar was ready to be stuffed!

With some ziplocs and a lego set I was good to go.

I divided the directions into 25 steps then added the pieces and directions for each step into a little baggie.

I made sure to write the day number onto the baggie so I wouldn’t forget where it went. Normally my son would spend several hours putting together a set of legos like this. But this way we will spread the steps across the entire month of December and have a completed project to play with on Christmas day. An extra bonus is that the steps won’t take too long each morning leaving plenty of time for little things like getting ready for school! :) Love that too!

Done in plenty of time for the first of December…except for the fact that I have to make one more… ;) And while the lego set cost about $17 the rest of the supplies were under $5 (per calendar) which is WAY better than spending $50 for something that isn’t even a wrapped Christmas present under the tree! Yay for saving money!

Does your family participate in an Advent Countdown? How do you do it?

Supplies (click on images for links to products):

* affiliate links used when possible

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34 Comments

  1. Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    We are reusing this one http://blog.mshanhun.com/2011/12/december-daily-day-21.html
    I drew the pics myself! :)

    For Lego Club members here they are only $34 + $12 postage I think? We never had them growing up as they were too costly, Mum just bought a few paper ones and rotated through them over the years. We usually had 3 or 4 of us opening doors so we only got to open one every few days.
    We were simple back then! :)

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      That’s so cute Melissa! My boys don’t do so good on the sharing thing so they each have their own. :)

  2. Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    This is so cool!! Great tip for starting in the middle with letters, too.

  3. Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    This is my first year with the lego calendar. I did purchase mine but now I wish i had seen your idea first. I think I shall try this next year.

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Christy, purchasing is definitely easier! But this way is cheaper…and prettier. :)

  4. Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Love this clever idea Monica! I have a little boy who would love it. We do a Christmas book a day for our advent countdown. I reuse the same books each year, rotating a few new ones in each year.

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Katrina! I do the Christmas book thing too. :) I guess I just love counting down to Christmas!

  5. Posted November 28, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I love this and I love that you couldn’t create something without Washi!!! I wonderful if the hubby would like this – too old?? lol

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      I doubt it Dani! My hubby came in last night and asked where his Lego Advent Calendar was. I said, you are 35…get over it!

  6. Posted November 28, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    This is COOL!

  7. Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I may have to make these for T, T, & C for next year. Such a great idea! I may simply put a variety of things in each box such as a piece of candy, stickers, small cars, etc. to make it easy on myelf. I might also have to use your punch gadget! :>)

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      You totally should! And you can always borrow my gadget Sue. One of the perks of being my friend IRL ;)

  8. Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Great idea, you could use these for any kinds of treats :)

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      That’s so true Fleur! Anything would fit in those boxes.

  9. Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I *LOVE* this idea. Lego has the same Advent calendar as last year and I wasn’t about to spend $30 on it again. I’m keeping this idea pinned for next year so I can plan ahead and get a really cool set.

    • Posted November 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Erica! I’m so glad it inspired you!

  10. Posted November 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a really cool advent calendar. My children are grown now, but I bet it works with jewlery too :)

    • Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Laura! Jewelry would be perfect in there! ;)

  11. Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Monica, This turned out so cute! Love how you used the boxes and broke the set up to use across so many days! Nifty idea! Having a Lego loving little guy at our house, I may have to use this idea! Thanks so much!

    • Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Kristie! Use away! I bet your little guy would love it!

  12. Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful DIY Advent Calendar. I bought a wood one where you are supposed to decorate the boxes and its shaped like a Christmas tree. Well after I decorated all the boxes the boxes would not fit back into the calendar. I was heartbroken the other night. So now I am back to square one without an advent calendar. I have a plan of action in mind that I am going to this evening and see what happens.

    • Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Beth! I saw that same wooden one at my Michaels but was afraid the lego pieces wouldn’t fit in those little boxes. Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you! Hope idea #2 turns out better! :)

  13. Posted November 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea Monica! Good money saver! Love your little boxes. I have an advent calendar (that I have just been reminded I need to get filling!!) with little boxes I made using foam core. Your way looks MUCH easier!! Hope to post pics of mine soon.

    • Posted November 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Alison! I’d love to see yours! Have fun filling it!

  14. Posted December 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Love this! It will be on my to-do for next year.

    • Posted December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Oh I’m so glad you like it! If you make one next year I’d love to see what you create!!

  15. Cath
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    This looks great, but unfortunately this wouldn’t be cheaper for us Australians. I just bought that exact Lego set for my son’s birthday – $31 on 20% off sale in Australian Target. Obviously overpriced when our dollars are almost identical at the moment. I bought the 2012 Lego advent calendars for my children for Christmas 2013 just after Christmas 2012, so they are a year out of date, but were on sale for $45 each including postage on eBay. Had them in the cupboard for months already! I think I will do this for my daughter for next year, and put little girlie things in it like hair clips etc.

    • Posted July 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      That would be a really fun adaptation! I’m sure she would love the girlie stuff too. It’s so interesting to hear about the differences around the world. :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. Sheila
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Super cute execution! I did this last year, but stopped at the ziplocks. LOL! This year, I bought a mega set, The Winter Market Village (10235 pcs), now I have to figure out how to make it fair for 5 kids. I might alter your idea and wrap slightly larger boxes and put them under the tree. Thanks for the tips/inspiration!

  17. pamela
    Posted September 1, 2014 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing. Last year i searched high and low and only one shop here in Australia sold them and they wanted $69 for them and with 2 kids who would have fights over the one calendar i didn’t want to buy it. I looked online for them but the shipping to Australia from USA is was over priced. So they had chocolate ones. This year i have been buying mini lego men to put in each countdown but now i see your work and it has me thinking. thanks for the great ideas

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