Build a wooden advent calendar

Add a personal touch to the big Christmas countdown by crafting your own personalised wooden advent calendar. This fun and family friendly project can be personalised however you like, making it the perfect activity to get you into the festive spirit. Not only is our treat-a-day design easy to build, but it’s long lasting so it can be stored away for many Christmases to come.

Add a personal touch to the big Christmas countdown by crafting your own personalised wooden advent calendar. This fun and family friendly project can be personalised however you like, making it the perfect activity to get you into the festive spirit!

Planning & preparation:

Before you start, make sure you have all your materials to hand (including all your treats to fill the calendar!) and that you’ve decided how you are going to personalise it.

The measurements are based on using 18mm thick MDF board. If you opt to use MDF of a different thickness, then you’ll need to adjust the measurements accordingly.

When building, choose a sound and level surface to assemble your workbench and make sure that you always firmly secure the MDF before sawing. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions on safety precautions and drying time. Although Mitre Bond glue is really easy to use, it’s still best to lay down a protective sheet over any surfaces.

We estimate that it will take two hours to build the advent calendar and around half an hour to decorate. The wearing of Christmas jumpers throughout is optional, but recommended!

We estimate that it will take two hours to build the advent calendar and around half an hour to decorate.

Do it right:

Instead of using a ruler to create straight lines when marking wood, a helpful tip is to use the 90-degree guide marker on your saw. Always clearly mark the wood before sawing, so you have a guideline to follow. If there are any slightly uneven edges, smooth them down with sandpaper as you go.

A helpful tip is to use the 90-degree guide marker on your saw. If there are any slightly uneven edges, smooth them down with sandpaper as you go.

Aftercare:

Painting your advent calendar is a good way to stop the wood from attracting moisture, but it’s still best to store your advent calendar in a cool dry location when it’s not in use - a loft or garage is ideal.

Safety:

It’s best to wear protective glasses when using a handsaw. When using a circular saw, wear protective glasses, safety gloves, and a dust mask. Wear protective glasses throughout the painting process, but if you decide to use a spray paint then you should also wear a paint and odour respirator mask. When using Mitre Bond, wear protective glasses, a dust mask and safety glasses.

1

Take your MDF board, measure and mark out the following sections. Secure the MDF on your workbench, then cut with a circular saw. Check all power cords are safely out of the way and take care whilst using this product.

  • Back Panel - 530mm x 400m
  • Bottom Panel Strip - 205mm x 535mm
  • Top Panel Strip - 525mm x 100mm
  • 6 x Shelf Side Panel - 400mm x 80mm
  • 20 x Shelves - 85mm x 82mm
2

Mark the positioning of the shelves and the shelf side panels onto the backboard, making sure that the short edge of the shelf is glued to the back panel and that the shelves are evenly spaced. Secure all the sections using Mitre Bond.

3

Fix the top and bottom panels into position using Mitre Bond.

4

Mark out 6 x 400mm lengths for each stripwood. Apply Mitre Bond and secure the thinnest sections of stripwood to the front of the shelf side panels. Repeat this process and stick the thicker sections on top of the thinner sections. Then, mark out 25 sections at 80mm x 90mm onto the final section of stripwood, these will be the doors. Cut all sections using a saw and put the doors to one side.

5

Mark out a 530mm x 370mm section onto your MDF board; this will be the roof’s back panel. Next, mark out 80mm x 370mm lengths and cut all the sections with a saw. Use a mitre box to cut the ends of the 370mm sections at 45 degree angles. Join all the sections with Mitre Bond, and saw off the excess wood on the back panel. Finally, use Mitre Bond to fix the roof onto the advent calendar.

6

Slide the doors downwards and into position between the sections of stripwood.

7

Paint all surfaces of the advent calendar, even areas that will be out of sight, as this will help to stop the wood from attracting moisture. We’ve used a gold spray paint as it’s festive, quick drying and easy to apply.

8

Now it’s time to decorate! We’ve used Christmas decorations, battery powered LED candles and fairy lights. You can get even more creative and personalise your calendar however you choose! Christmas is a time for sharing - so share a picture of your calendar on Facebook and tag us @Wickes.