* All digital cards and invitiations have moved! Check out the new pingg.com >

Christmas Countdown Calendar

Kids of all ages get excited about Christmas -- what better way to countdown to the fun than by making some cute crafts using some of our Christmas craft ideas!  

This simple tutorial will show you how to make your homemade calendar using supplies you have on hand, and be ready to fill it with fun goodies in no time!


Empty paper towel, toilet paper, or wrapping paper tubes
Multi colored Construction paper and/or card stock
Scotch Tape
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Craft Glue
Matte board or large piece of cardboard
Christmas wrapping paper (optional)
Decorative Christmas Elements (optional)
Number Stickers/stencils – (optional)
Tiny treats for the compartments


Step 1: For this project, you will need a total of 25 compartments to countdown each day in December leading up until Christmas. For mine, I used 21 round compartments, cut from toilet paper tubes. Cover them in green construction paper or cardstock first by adding hot glue to the tube and topping with the paper.



Cut to size once dry – I got two compartments out of each TP tube. You’ll get more out of larger tubes. You can use regular glue too, but you'll have to wait longer for the drying process. 

Try and use tubes all the same size– for the TP tubes, I cut them in half for a good size. You can also roll additional tubes from cardstock if you need to but know that they won’t be as sturdy as those made from the cardboard tubes. 


Step 2: Next, you'll connect your tubes. Glue six together for the bottom row with hot glue connecting each side, making sure to keep them even. Add five more for the next row, and so on, until you reach only one at the top.

Take a piece of green cardstock or a piece of cardboard covered in green construction paper, and cover this with regular craft glue. Place your tube triangle on this for support and allow to dry.

Trim the backing paper into a triangle type shape, along the lines of your basic tree structure. 



For extra support, cover a piece of thin cardboard in green construction paper or cardstock, and cut so that it is as long and wide as your bottom row. Glue this underneath the last row. 


Step 3: In the meantime, you'll have to make a few extra boxes to have 25 compartments. Cut six strips of cardstock, about two inches wide. Fold one strip into two inch squares to form the sides of the box, and glue another strip perpendicular across the second square. 



Fold up the sides to make a tiny box and tape the sides closed. Trim the excess. Repeat for your other boxes, making three total. 


Step 4: For the tree trunk, I used a vertical toilet paper roll. Cut three sides to form a little door. Cover in wrapping paper, tin foil, or construction paper, folding over the decorative paper on the bottom to close it off. With scissors, carefully score the outside paper so the door can be opened. Fold additional paper over the top to close off the compartment. 


Step 5: Trim your matte board if needed, or cover your large cardboard in Christmas paper for your background. When the glue has dried on your tree tube triangle, hot glue this to your board, making sure to leave space at the top and bottom for your additional compartments.

Hot glue your trunk and extra boxes, and box at the top as well. You can add a border with construction paper or other decorations if desired.


Step 6: Next, we will cut flaps for the circular compartments. Cut strips of construction paper or card stock wide enough to cover the tube openings, and long enough to extend across each row.



Trim the bottoms in a rounded fashion for each compartment, and tape each end to the sides of the rows, starting with the bottom row and working your way up to the top. A plain square flap works well for the top compartment.

Make slits with your scissors to divide each flap for each compartment, but be careful not to cut all the way to the top of the strip. Use extra tape to secure as needed along the top of the strip.


Step 7: Now, number your compartments. You can use number stickers, markers, paint, or anything you’d like. You can put them in order, or mix them up and have kids search for the next one.


Step 8: Fill the compartments with treats! You won’t want to pick anything too heavy or large of course, but have fun – use small candies, coins, mini ornaments, tiny toys, etc.



You can also add little love notes or holiday wishes, or even a clue for a scavenger hunt for that day’s treat, hidden somewhere else in your home!



Use these fun Christmas decorating ideas and let the countdown begin!

Find more party planning inspirations for Christmas Ideas

Inspiration to your inbox

Want to receive the latest Celebrations.com ideas?

Get our newsletter »
Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

Read More »
Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »

Inspirations Delivered to Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and have party tips and ideas sent straight to your inbox! You'll be the first to know about our best recipes, decoration ideas, invitation inspirations and more.