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Advent Christmas calendar

Overview

Countdown to Christmas with a handmade advent calendar filled with toys, treats and holiday cheer. Create one the family can share, surprise the kids with their own unique versions (nice keepsakes for the future!) or make one as a personalised gift for a good friend. This step-by-step guide will take you through the basics; from there, get creative with paint colours and other crafty add-ons.

Style tip: A few simple touches like festive lights, gold-painted stars and a small native tree work wonders to enhance the Christmas spirit.

Steps

1Paint the numbers

Set out the timber craft numbers from one to 25 on scrap cardboard and use a craft brush to paint them in two coats of black acrylic, leaving to dry after each coat.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Rinse and clean the brush to use again later.
Aerial view of a woman’s hand painting craft numbers

2Cut the drop sheet tabs to create rows

Spread out two door frame drop sheets and trim off the eight tabs using scissors, then cut three tabs in half. Take five whole tabs and five half tabs and use an iron to join with iron-on bonding tape to make five rows. 
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Position the hems with the visible edges over the raw ends, and follow the tape instructions to set the heat of the iron.
A woman cuts a drop sheet with scissors

3Hem the backing

Cut lengths of tape to span along the base of each row. Spread out one of the large rectangular offcuts to form the backing. Tuck the raw ends under the tabs they were trimmed from, and hem using tape and iron.
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Keep the remaining large offcut for another use.
Aerial view of drop sheet, iron-on bonding tape and dressmaking pins

4Position the rows and create the pockets

Use dressmaking pins to set out the rows on the backing, with the base tape in position. Add lengths of tape vertically inside each row to create five pockets. Use an iron to fuse the tape to the fabric and smooth out the backing. Brush adhesive onto the numbers and position on pockets.

A person uses glue to attach craft numbers to a drop sheet DIY project

5Attach pull-handles to the top corners

Double the pull handles over the fabric and push the supplied screws through from the back. Dab adhesive on the fabric around the holes, and then twist the fasteners onto the screws. Use bulldog clips to hold the fabric against the handles, leaving to dry. Remove the clips, thread dowel through the pulls and knot the cord to create a hanging loop. Fill the pockets with treats and gifts!

Green Bunnings hammer
Pro-tip: Timbers vary by state and territory; contact your local store for further information.
Paint colours may vary on application. Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.
PVA adhesive and a bulldog clip is used to secure a leather pull handle to a DIY drop sheet advent calendar

6More D.I.Y. Christmas projects

Take a weekend to give your cubby a festive makeover. To nail the theme, take inspiration from our Christmas cubby makeover project.  

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.