Advent calendars are such a lovely Christmas tradition, and one I really look forward to every year. It feels so indulgent to have a lil gift for every day of the month in December – a tiny treat for every day! After years of cheap chocolate calendars, a few years ago I decided to upgrade and make a wooden advent calendar to refill every year.

I loved putting it together, and after a few requests I thought it was about time I put together a tutorial so you guys can make your own! Now, this tutorial does take a little bit of time as you need to leave everything to dry between several coats of paint, and you’ll also need enough space to lay everything out whilst it dries. I personally find painting therapeutic, but even if you don’t, I promise it’s worth the wait for the finished calendar!

For fillings, the options are limitless. The first year after I made this, I went all out, putting a handwritten riddle in each drawer that served as a clue to find larger presents for each day that I’d hidden around the house… It was lovely, but it took a lot of work to organise, and was easily more expensive than your average ready-made calendar! This year I’m going for simple chocolate, but the drawers are easily big enough for small toys, alcohol miniatures or maybe even a sparkly piece of jewellery or two, if you’re feeling extra generous towards the recipient…


A wooden tree advent calendar base – I used this one

White acrylic paint

Pink acrylic paint

Gold acrylic paint pen – I used this one

A small paintbrush – I used this one

A small wooden star – I used these, and made a garland from the leftovers

24 mini pom poms – I used these

A hot glue gun


  1. The first step is to paint your wooden base and drawers. Remove the drawers first before painting the frame with the white acrylic paint, then whilst the first coat is drying, apply the first coat of white paint to the front of the drawers. Paint the front of the star with the gold acrylic paint pen. Leave everything to dry for at least an hour.
  2. Repeat all of the first step for the second coat of paint, then leave to dry again.
  3. Once the front of the drawers are dry, paint the sides of the drawers with the pink acrylic paint. Apply a second coat after they’ve dried again.
  4. Once the drawer paint has dried, use the gold paint pen to draw the numbers on each one, from 1-24.
  5. Once the numbers have dried, use the glue gun to apply glue to each drawer, pressing a pom pom into the hot glue and holding for a few seconds until they’re secure.
  6. Use the glue gun to attach the gold painted star to the top of the tree, again pressing and holding for a few seconds to make sure it’s secure.
  7. Gently slot the drawers back in and VOILA it’s finished! The final step is to fill the drawers with whatever you fancy!

Don’t forget to let me know if you decide to give this tutorial a try – I’d love to see photos of all your advent calendar creations! If you’re on Instagram, post your photos using the hashtag ‘#thisgirlismaking’.


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