Categories: Brain

Monthly Advent Calendar DIY: Advent Calendar DIY Ideas

Forget Christmas advent calendars—give one for the entire year!

A monthly advent calendar is like giving a gift each month. They’ll have something to look forward to for a whole year.

It’s a great gift for anyone—a partner, friend, child or parent. It’s also great for long-distance relatives or relationships.

This monthly advent calendar DIY is a great idea whether for the New Year or for someone’s birthday. If you’re looking for calendar DIY ideas, you’ll love how versatile this craft is.

In this tutorial, learn how to make a DIY monthly advent calendar.

Monthly Advent Calendar DIY: Advent Calendar DIY Ideas

This monthly advent calendar features a box for each month. Inside each box is a small wrapped gift. It’s completely customizable to your recipient. Customize the monthly calendar with important dates or birthdays. Add gifts you know your person would love

This monthly advent calendar DIY makes a great gift. Give for a Christmas or New Year’s gift to start the new year. You can also give as a birthday gift, starting with their birthday month, extending until their birthday month next year.

Step One: Gather Supplies

Before you start, gather everything you’ll need, including:

  • 12 small cardboard boxes with lids—same or varying sizes.
  • 1 large canvas
  • Hot glue gun
  • White glue
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tissue paper
  • Small gifts to fill (suggestions below)

Make sure your 12 boxes fit on your canvas. I bought all my supplies at the dollar store, so I could line up the boxes to see if they’d fit on the canvas. You can buy boxes of the same or different sizes.

It’s also helpful to plan your monthly gifts beforehand. That way, you’ll know the size of the box you’ll need if you have something in mind. For example, for the month of December, I planned to give Christmas ornaments as the gift, so I needed to use a larger box.

Step 2: Paint Canvas and Boxes

First, paint your canvas. Then paint your box sides and box lid sides. Since you’ll be gluing a calendar on the lid, you don’t really need to paint the top. Let dry.

You can use the same paint for the canvas and boxes or switch it up. Consider your recipient’s favorite color or something to go with their décor.

Step 3: Design Monthly Calendars + Glue On

The next step requires a bit more work. First, measure the size of your box lids. This is easier if your boxes are the same size. However, if they’re different like mine, that’s okay. You’ll just need to resize your calendars for different months.

Use your favorite program to create calendars for each of the months. I use Canva because they have free calendar templates. I just tweak the colors to my own preference. You can use this template as inspiration (signing up is free). For other years, search “calendar” in the “templates” section on Canva to see pre-made calendars for each month. Copy the calendar and paste it back into your template and resize/redesign.

On Canva, create a page for each monthly calendar. (If you start on the person’s birthday month, remember to switch years). Add in holidays, family birthdays or special days to the person. For these days. I fill in the box so it stands out.

Change the colors to match your calendar design. I chose a few shades darker than my pink paint.

If your boxes are different sizes, decide on the layout. Which size boxes belong to each month? Resize the boxes of the appropriate months.

Print, cut out and glue on the box lids.

Step 4: Glue Boxes to Canvas

Arrange your box bottoms on the canvas.

Use hot glue to attach the boxes in place. Try to glue them as straight as possible (I suck at this).

Step 5: Fill Boxes

Fill the boxes with gifts for each month. They might be gifts related to the month or time of year. Or they could be random things you know your recipient likes or needs.

Here’s some ideas:

  • Candies
  • Hot cholate packs
  • Single tea packaged tea
  • Mini picture frame
  • Magnets
  • Mini canvas paintings
  • Mini love letters or words of encouragement
  • Snacks
  • Small jams or honeys
  • Spices
  • Jewelry
  • Makeup
  • Essential oils
  • Creams or lotions
  • Nail polish
  • Small toys
  • Tickets for an event
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Panties/boxers
  • Trinkets
  • Gift cards
  • Gift certificates for services like massage, manicure, etc.
  • Cash
  • Crystals

Wrap your small gifts in tissue paper. Consider the color of your paper too. I kept with the pink theme and chose hot pink tissue paper.

Step 6: Finish Advent Calendar

Put the calendar box tops onto the boxes.

Your recipient can lean the box calendar against a mantlepiece or other furniture piece. To hang it, attach a hanging piece on the back with a wire. (Just make sure the weight of your gifts is light enough to be hung).


Monthly Advent Calendar DIY: Advent Calendar DIY Ideas

This monthly advent calendar DIY can be given as a holiday, birthday or random surprise gift. Fill each box with something your recipient will love. They’ll look forward for the entire year to come.
Keyword advent calendar diy ideas, birthday advent calendar, calendar diy, diy birthday gift, diy christmas gift, diy new years gift, diy personalized birthday gift


  • 12 small cardboard boxes with lids—same or varying sizes.
  • 1 large canvas
  • Hot glue gun
  • White glue
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tissue paper
  • Small gifts to fill (suggestions below)


  • Gather your supplies. Make sure all 12 boxes fit on your canvas.
  • Paint canvas.
  • Paint box sides and box lid sides. Let dry.
  • Use hot glue to attach boxes to large canvas.
  • Measure your box lids with a ruler. These dimensions will be used tocreate your calendar top design.
  • Use a program to create 12 monthly calendars to print and paste on your box lid tops. See post for Canva template inspiration. You can also create a new document on using your box dimensions. In the document, create a new page for each month. Search “calendar” in the “templates” section. Find a template you like and copy each monthly calendar and design to your own colors/size. Add your own custom dates/holidays. If your boxes are different sizes, which size boxes belong to each month? Resize the calendars boxes according to your measurements.
  • Print out the 12 calendars and cut out. Use white glue to paste on the box lids. Let dry.
  • Fill the boxes with monthly gifts. If there’s room, wrap in colored tissue paper that matches your design.
  • Place lids on the boxes.
  • For lighter lights, make advent calendar into a wall hanging. Use hanging pieces and wire. For heavier advent calendars, lean against a mantlepiece or other furniture.

Summary: Monthly Advent Calendar DIY

This monthly advent calendar DIY makes a great gift for the holidays, New Year’s or birthday. It also makes a great “just because” gift. These calendar ideas make your recipient look forward to the entire year ahead! Customize it with small gifts you know they’ll love or find meaningful.


YoHumanz is a blog dedicated to helpful and inspirational content about being human today—written in a non-bullshitty, (hopefully) more approachable way. We focus on 3 main areas: Heart, Brain and Soul.

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