Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Advent Calendar - DIY

I've always wanted to make my own Advent Calendar and every year I never do.  It seems that whenever I finally have the time, December is half over and it seems kinda silly to make one at that point.

But this year, I did it.  And I'm so happy with how it turned out.

 It is Pottery Barn inspired and it cost less than $20 to make.

To start, I picked up a some little white mini metal pails at the Dollar Tree in the wedding favor section.  They come in packs of 3, so I bought 9 in order to have 25 pails.  I brought them home and spray painted them with chrome colored spray paint to give them a galvanized metal look.  You could also use galvanized metal pails but I couldn't find any locally, so, this was the next best thing.

After all the pails were dry, I attached numbers to the front with double sided tape.  Here's the printable I used for my numbers.  For some reason there were only 24, so, I found a 25 online that was similar and printed it out as well.

Next up was the frame.  I picked up 6 - 3 x 6's at Lowe's and cut them down to have 7 - 32 inch long boards.

I laid them front side down and attached two beams with screws to the back to keep them together.

After that was finished, I stained the entire piece with Minwax dark walnut stain.  (sorry, no picture)

I wanted to frame the piece to give it a finished look and to also hide the beams in the back, so, I measured the sides and bottom and cut each piece at a 45 degree angle to create a frame around it.  I made sure to buy 2 extra 3 x 6's for the frame and then just turned them on the side and attached with a nail gun.

Then I stained those as well.

To hang the little pails, I wanted to use something unique, so, I picked these vintage styled nails that I found in hubby's collection.

I basically just eyeballed everything and created 5 rows of 5 nails for the 25 pails, predrilling holes first.  I hung all the little pails and then stenciled JOY at the top with vintage stencils and here's how the whole thing turned out....

I think this is one of my favorite projects to date!  I'm so glad I made the time to try making one before December was half over.  :)

I can't wait to hide little treats and notes in those little pails for my kids and hubby to find each day until Christmas.  It will give them big smiles and they will love it...  :)

Stay tuned for how it looks in the room and more Christmas decor coming up!

Have a great day!


  1. I love this! Even cuter than Pottery Barn's version.

  2. Cute.cute.cute! I love aqua and red together for Christmas! I know your family will feel pampered and loved! xo

  3. Wow...great job, Diana! It turned out beautifully. I made my own this year and am really glad I did. My boys love it and I love teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas:)

  4. That is adorable. I new advent in which I can hide goodies is on my To Do list too. :)

  5. What a fun look! You are amazing.

  6. Aaahhhh!!! Wish I didn't already have an Advent calendar....this is my favorite so far!!!

  7. That is so fun! Great project! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Just pinned this for when I'm off bed rest next year. Love, love, LOVE!!!

  9. Ok. That is the cutest ever! You're really inspiring me to DIY instead of DIH (do it hubby)!

  10. Wow- that is fantastic!!! I love pottery barn but everything is way over priced. I feel like I could totally make this.

  11. Great project! I love Pottery Barn recreations; they are often better than the originals. Just an FYI, traditional advent calendars always only have 24 numbers. The last one is opened/revealed on Christmas Eve, so there is no need for 25. BUT, it's still fun to have one for the actual day of Christmas as well!

    1. Hi Whitney, thanks! I realize it's traditional to only have 24 but since I was making PB's version, I wanted 25 like theirs. :)

  12. What a cute idea! Just stumbled across your blog and am a new follower now! =) Anja

  13. Amazing idea! I'm so glad, I found your blog!
    Best wishes, @Tile Adhesive

  14. This is so interesting! The great project! Thanks for sharing!
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  15. Do you know what size your buckets are? There are so many different ones online but I love the way yours came out with the spacing...


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