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DIY an advent calendar with a nutcracker theme this holiday | Nutcracker Advent Calendar Printables

DIY an advent calendar with a nutcracker theme this holiday | Nutcracker Advent Calendar Printables

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This holiday season, make your own advent calendar with a nutcracker theme! This easy DIY project is perfect for families and can be made for less than $20. With our FREE printable, the Nutcracker Advent Calendar printable, you can create your very own unique advent calendar. Simply follow the instructions below to get started. By making your own advent calendar, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also have a blast crafting it with your loved ones. So, what are you waiting for? This is also a great craft for the kids to get into as well. Get started today!

This year I want to make more sustainable choices, and part of that is creating a reusable advent calendar for my kids. Now, most of the wooden advent calendars out there cost upwards of $50 so I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to dawn my DIY hat and make it for less!

This Advent calendar only cost me $15 to make if I include all the paint and mod podge I already had on hand.  The wooden calendar was only $10 CAD at Michaels and I know they sell these calendars year after year.

advent calendar diy with candy inside reusable wooden advent calendar

My cute little pink and green nutcracker inspired this make, as I created a FREE .PDF printable for you to download with the nutcracker theme for this advent calendar.

Grab the FREE printable.

cute advent calendar pastel pink and green mid century modern crafts for christmas

Why you should make your own advent calendar this year

DIY advent calendars are the perfect holiday craft – they’re fun to make, they look great, and they let you have full control of what goes into each box. You can stuff your DIY advent calendar with awesome (but not too expensive) goodies, from your favourite sweets to small DIY gifts. Wouldn’t it feel much more special to put out an advent calendar that you’ve put together yourself? It’s sure to be a memorable Christmas craft that you and your family can share for years! Take advantage of the festive season by making your own DIY advent calendar this year.

Crafting your own advent calendar this holiday season is a great way to save money. By making it yourself, you can customize the contents and choose what goes in each box without breaking the bank. You’ll be able to find affordable goodies that will still make your DIY advent calendar look amazing – from sweets to small gifts – all for much less than buying a pre-made one. Plus, you’ll have fun crafting it with your loved ones! So why not try making your own nutcracker themed advent calendar this year? Not only will you have an extra special Christmas craft that the whole family can share, but you’ll also save some cash too!

How to put it all together – step by step instructions with photos

DIY projects can often seem like an intimidating undertaking, but with a bit of patience and creativity, you’ll soon be proud of your own DIY advent calendar. To help make it an easy process, let’s start by gathering the necessary supplies – a box with drawers or individual boxes for each day of Advent, some paint, brushes, and mod podge. Now that you have everything gathered, it’s time to assemble your calendar! Begin by painting each box and adorning it with a nutcracker – feel free to get creative here with colors and patterns if you’d like! Once the paint is dry, add the glitter (if you choose) and create your DIY craft masterpiece. Finally, place all your nutcracker adored boxes in a festive area in your home – now you have a unique DIY advent calendar perfect for counting down to Christmas!

Supply List

wooden advent calendar baseWooden Advent Calendar Base (like this one at Michaels)
Martha Stewart Decor Chalk Paint in white creamChalk paint in cream
acrylic paint in leaf greenAcrylic Paint in leaf green
acrylic paint in ocean breeze tealAcrylic paint in ocean breeze teal
mod podge for crafting and wood transfer methodMod Podge (I used matte, but the satin also works)
Champane gold glitter extra fineChampagne Gold Glitter
Acrylic paint in metallic champagne goldAcrylic paint in metallic champagne gold
Extra fine glitter in the colour crystalExtra fine glitter in the colour crystal
Rustoleum crystal clear enamel spray paintRustoleum crystal clear enamel spray paint


Free printable templates for the nutcracker Advent calendar

Ah, the holidays! A magical time of year full of family, friends, and yummy treats. For those looking to explore all the wonders of Christmas this season, why not take it one step further with free printable templates for a nutcracker Advent calendar? This free Christmas printable allows you to get creative by customizing your own nutcracker countdown to Christmas complete with colorful, coordinating decorations. Hang up the finished project anywhere in your home as you countdown the days until Santa’s big arrival and create lasting memories during this special time of year!

Prepare the Wooden Base

The first thing you will want to do is paint all the drawers.  I used a white chalk paint by Martha Stewart, as it was nice and thick, so I only had to paint a single coat of paint onto it.  If you are using an acrylic paint, be prepared to give it at least three coats of paint.  I painted both the face of the drawers, as well as the inside.

wooden christmas tree advent calendar diy

I have two methods to share with you on how to transfer the images to your wooden drawers, so be sure to read the whole blog post so you know which method you prefer.

Method #1 Transfer an Image to Wood | The Reverse Transfer

For this method you will be using the mirror image file from your FREE printable.

Begin by printing out the template with the best colour settings you have (selecting photo quality works great).  Print out on regular printer paper.

Next, cut out the boxes that are outlined in light grey (they should be about 3cm x 3cm).  I make quick work of this by using a rotary cutter and quilting ruler, but you can just as easily cut them out with scissors.

Begin by taking one of the squares and folding it in half and then in half again.  Clip the corner so that you create a small hole in the centre of the square when it is unfolded.  You do not want this hole to be larger than the handles on the drawer fronts.  

In order to get the paper to fit onto the drawer front, cut two vertical (or horizontal) slits on either side of that centre hole you made.

Using a small paintbrush, paint on an even layer of mod podge onto the front of the little wooden drawers.  You do not need to paint the handle with mod podge, but you need to ensure you cover the entirety of the front face of the drawer.

Next place the paper on top of the mod podge with the printed side touching the wet mod podge.  (Also be sure that the image is pointing upwards to the top of the drawer.) 

Lightly press down be sure not to allow the paper to slip or the image will be smudged.

Allow to fully dry (I left mine overnight).

Now is the fun part.  Using a cloth dipped in water, wet the paper, but do not rub. 

Then, gently using your fingers, rub off just the paper.  

Be careful, as if you rub too hard the ink will come off in that spot and if you use too much water you could have some running of the ink.

Now this method will give you a more washed-out appearance, but it really does look just like it was painted directly onto the wood surface.  This would look lovely with a rustic DIY.

Then once it is dry go over with mod podge to seal it up.

Method #2 Transfer an Image to Wood | The Decoupage Transfer

Now, I wanted to go for a more vibrant look on this one, so I decided to use the decoupage method.

This one is remarkably similar but with a few key differences.  First, download the REGULAR template (not the mirror image one) and print it out on regular printer paper.

Next, using a thin and even layer of mod podge, paint the fronts of the drawers.

Using the same technique as in method #1 cut out a small hold in the centre of the paper and make two small slits on either side of the hole.

Place the paper with the printed side up (not touching the mod podge) onto the front of the drawers.

Press down firmly, ensuring it is straight.  Allow to completely dry.

In order to get perfect edges, take a sanding block with fine grit sandpaper and sanding only away from the front down (otherwise the paper will lift up) sand away all the edges.

To seal the paper and make it durable, paint an even layer of mod podge on top of the paper.

Allow to dry overnight.

The rest of the Advent Calendar

Begin by painting the “tree” of the advent calendar.  I chose to mix two greens together to get a green similar to the Nutcracker’s pants and hat that inspired my drawings for this calendar.

I used three coats of acrylic paint on this in order to get even coverage.  The wood just soaks up the paint in this Christmas DIY.  Though, if you were to use a chalk paint, I suspect you could get away with a single coat.

Next, I painted the handles on the drawers with a metallic champagne gold.  You could leave them white, but I thought a nice metallic really made a pop!

This next step isn’t necessary, but I wanted to add a bit more gold to the piece and I had some teal washi tape in my stash that I wanted to use up and the colour matched perfectly.

I placed them on the bottom of all three tiers of the tree and wrapped around the sides.  I then used a small razor blade to cut away any of the overlap that I didn’t want in my design.

Next, to seal the washi tape (and the acrylic paint) apply a thin coat of mod podge on the entire tree base.

Allow to dry overnight.

Meanwhile, the drawer knobs have dried, and you can add some optional gold glitter suing mod podge to adhere it to the knobs.

Now is the time to also add some clear glitter details to the front of the drawers.  The key to this is painting a very light coat of mod podge in the area you want the glitter.  If you go too heavy on the mod podge it will distort the image slightly.

After the mod podge has dried on the tree, apply another thin layer of mod podge just to the edges of the tree and using the clear glitter apply it to the edges, like sparkly snow.

Seal everything up

Now we need to ensure glitter doesn’t get all over the place and our paint doesn’t chip off.  

Using a spray can of clear sealer (mine was satin finish, but you can also buy matte versions) spray the entire tree and the boxes (both the face and the inside of the drawers).

wooden christmas tree advent calendar diy

Allow to dry overnight.

cute advent calendar pastel pink and green mid century modern crafts for christmas

Have fun and be creative with your own personalized advent calendar

There’s no better way to gear up for the holiday season than with a crafty and personalized advent calendar. Whether you’re treating yourself or gifting it to a loved one, a DIY advent calendar is sure to spread much joy and delight. Take your craft game up a notch this festive period with Sheer Stitchery’s free printable and guide to creating a fun advent calendar. Let the crafty vibes spread far and wide!

This year, forget the store-bought Advent calendar full of chocolates that will be gone in a week. Make your own DIY advent calendar that you can use year after year! A nutcracker themed Advent calendar is perfect for anyone who loves Christmas decorations and homemade crafts. Plus, it’s easy to make with just a few supplies and our free printable templates. Watch the video tutorial or read the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to put it all together. Then have fun personalizing your own unique nutcracker, Advent Calendar. Download the free printables and get started today!

If you do decide to make one, I would love to see if and you can tag on Instagram @SheerStitchery and #SheerStitchery

nutcracker advent calendar DIY wooden christmas decor

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