Ask Design Mom: Advent Calendars

December 6, 2007

Hi Design Mom. I just found your website a month ago, and I love your recommendations. I’m on a search a stylish advent calendar that we can use to help our son anticipate Christmas for years to come. Looking for a wooden one, I think. Thanks, Kelly

Design Mom Answer:
Great question Kelly. You’re in luck. My favorite advent calendar belongs to my sister and happens to be wood. It’s the one pictured above. I really like it. Especially because the only thing about it that makes it an advent calendar is that it has 25 compartments. You could keep it on display all year with little trinkets and jewelry and stuff because it’s a neutral color.

Unfortunately, she bought it a couple of years ago at Pottery Barn and it’s no longer available. But I keep thinking this would be a good project to approach a woodworker with — have someone build one for me to my exact specifications. I’ve had similar (in scope) projects built and it’s much less expensive than you might think.

For something a little sleeker and metropolitan, I like this mirrored one from Target. Tres chic.

This one by Ali Edwards, which I also found via my sister, is more of a project than an object, and I looove it.

For something more childlike, this cloth one from PB Kids fits the bill.

Another cute one from Target — and on clearance for $15. Wood and sweet. But a little boring. It needs some red — maybe ribbon on some of the knobs or maybe a few ornaments dangling from the knobs. Or I might switch out the knobs themselves for something simple and colorful.

Oh. And look at this cute stocking version from etsy site.

Lots of great options out there. I hope you find the perfect one for your family.

Update: Just heard from Martha B. of Nibs. Here’s a link to her own excellent post on advent calendars. Lots more ideas.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tina December 6, 2007 at 7:49 pm

i love the ali edwards one! i’m a sucker for lidded containers.

now i need a method to deal with the daily family debate of whose turn it is to do the advent calendar.


2 Kristi December 6, 2007 at 8:38 pm

I love all of these, especially the Ali Edwards. Very cute ideas.


3 Androniki December 6, 2007 at 9:07 pm

I love advent calendars. I just found this lego advent calendar this year and my 3 girls are loving it!

It’s definitely not as pretty as the ones that you featured, but it’s very fun! Happy holidays :)


4 MamaChristy December 6, 2007 at 10:12 pm

I love the one from Restoration Hardware ( ). It says it is no longer available, but I say them in the stores just last weekend. I’m going to keep my eye out and see if I can find one on clearance after the holidays.


5 Heather December 7, 2007 at 2:08 am

Thanks for these – I love the first one made of wood. What a beutiful take on the advent calendar … I’ll have to assign that project to my husband. :)


6 alliehoopes December 9, 2007 at 12:02 am

I made my own version of the Ali Edwards one. I glued all the boxes to a fabric-covered canvas to save my wall from all the little holes. Great ideas!

My Boxes


7 Jane Maynard December 9, 2007 at 4:52 pm

my mom did the cutest thing when we were kids…she got an antique Coca-Cola crate…it has 24 openings – perfect! She hung that on the wall and then every day we would put a different item in the holes…mostly mini christmas ornaments. The last day was a mini mary/joseph/jesus set. it was VERY cute and I’m sure inexpensive.


8 britney December 10, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I love the wooden one (your sister’s.) That would be a great project for my husband. I also love the Ali Edwards one, but I agree — I would put it on something to save my 1927 walls. :)


9 Leah November 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

Pottery Barn has a 25-slot cubby organizer that is almost exactly the same. It even has numbers on it.


10 Chica & Jo November 14, 2010 at 9:55 pm

We would like to share our Grinch Advent calendar idea starting from on over-the-door shoe holder:


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