For an adventurous and truly unique homemade gift idea, consider creating a countdown calendar. Countdown crafts are a great way to get the holidays started, and they build lots of excitement and anticipation... especially for the little ones!
While the Christmas Advent Calendar is certainly the most famous countdown calendar, there are other holidays and special occasions that can be a BLAST to count down to as well.
One of my favorite countdown projects EVER has been the birthday countdown...
Kids often count down the days until their birthday, literally all year long! A birthday countdown is an amazing and adventurous way to celebrate and emphasize this special countdown with them.
As a bonus, when it comes to kids, countdown crafts and ideas can help them understand time, dates and the idea of anticipation. Plus they are super fun for all involved!
There are lots of ways to make countdown calendars! For example, you can make them super simple by printing a calendar and checking off the days with stickers or other creative stick-ons... or you can make them into an elaborate adventure, with a small gift, a message, a quote, a photo, a treat or any other small surprise for each day of the countdown.
They type of countdown you decide to create will definitely depend on the occasion, who your countdown is for and how much time you have to create it.
Countdown crafts have created a lot of buzz in my house. I love the adventures I've created for my kids with various ideas over the years.
Below you'll find some of the unique countdown calendars I've made, using my own custom advent calendar box templates. I've learned a lot over the years and am only sharing my latest, more polished tutorials.
I hope these ideas help you have a great countdown adventure of your own! And on a special note... although, kids are the most obvious target for one of these adventures, you can also make one for your significant other (for example, sharing romantic daily messages, photos or other personalized surprises).
First, here are two unique approaches to the Christmas advent calendar! The first is just my latest of many fun Christmas countdowns. Christmas advent calendars are a yearly tradition for us and since I can't stand the poor quality chocolates in most advent calendars, I always make them myself now.
The second is a unique idea I came up with that combines homemade origami ornaments with countdown gifts and turns the advent calendar into a fun daily treasure hunt. If you have young kids, this Christmas ornament countdown adventure is so much fun, enjoy!
There are many other occasions and holidays that make amazing opportunities for DIY countdown ideas. One huge benefit to making countdown adventures for occasions other than Christmas, is that life is often much less hectic other times of the year.
As I mentioned earlier, you can also make a countdown for your significant other, incorporating a little romance or other loving sentiment into the project. I've even thought a countdown calendar full of special clues could be a fun way to lead up to a proposal or a surprise vacation!
If you love the idea of making a countdown calendar, but you don't have time for one of the above projects, you may want to consider one of the ideas below. Countdowns can be as simple or as creative and elaborate as you want...
Check off the Days. Countdown the days by crossing out each day as it occurs. Simply print out the appropriate month calendar (here's some free templates), decorate the special day and cross out each day leading up to it as a fun little daily ritual. If you will be giving a countdown calendar as a gift, I suggest you make it beautiful with stickers, stamps, craft supplies or clip art. Always mat it on a slightly larger piece of paper for a sturdy feel.
Use Stick-ons to Count Down With. A similar idea to the one above, use stickers or homemade stick-on’s to “cross off” each day. Create fun images, shapes, objects etc. for each day that can be stuck in place of the check mark.
Sticky advent calendar craft ideas include felt on felt, magnets on metal, tape on paper, glue dots on paper and fun little items that can be attached to hooks or with clothes pins.
Another idea... rather than a standard rectangle you can shape the calendar in a festive way. For Christmas you could shape it like a tree and add “ornaments” each day rather than check marks or you could shape it like Santa’s beard and attach cotton balls for each day... counting down to Christmas and to Santa's full beard.
Lift-up Flaps. Paper or fabric flaps for each day can hide cute messages, quotes or surprise images.
Envelopes. Like lift-up flaps, envelopes can hide cute messages, quotes or fun images but they can also hide flat little gifts such as homemade gift certificates, notes and stickers.
Countdowns can be a fun way to start any holiday season.
They turn the days before a special birthday into an incredibly memorable adventure.
They can be used in extremely creative ways to give clues to an upcoming vacation, proposal or other surprise.
They present a unique opportunity to truly dote on somebody special!
I hope you get a chance to make your own countdown calendar... please share your adventure here! Your contributions are so inspiring!