Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Advent Calendar

 Last Christmas I received a lovely Laura Secord holiday jam box for a hostess gift and once the delicious jams were consumed I just had to keep the cute little box. I had no idea what I was going to do with it until recently. Today is Day 3 of the 12 Days Of Christmas 2018 event and the theme is DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas. I'm sharing how I repurposed that little jam jar house into a fun Christmas countdown Santa cottage advent calendar with a magical red door that has a hidden surprise behind it each day.

Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Advent Calendar


Welcome to Day 3 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

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It's Day 3 and we are sharing DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas!

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Advent Calendar

What child wouldn't be delighted visiting Santa's cottage every morning to change the number on the chalkboard window and open the door to find a surprise waiting inside?

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage

It's large enough for a piece of candy and a small toy for one child OR one surprise each for two children.

Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar House

My 3 1/2-year-old grandson is a both a Paw Patrol and Mashable's fanatic so he should squeal with delight gasp when he sees his Chase (even though Marshall is where it's at with him) surprise waiting inside. Wonder which one he'll grab first, the chocolate Santa or Chase - probably both!

After the treats have been removed they are greeted by Santa, Woodstock, and Snoopy who seems to be enjoying a nap upstairs.

Christmas Countdown Calendar Santa Cottage

But it all started with this empty Laura Secord holiday jam jar box that I saved from last Christmas in hopes that I would find some inspiration for repurposing it. When the countdown to Christmas theme came up, I knew exactly what I'd do with it.

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Repurposed Jam Jar Box

How to repurpose a Laura Secord jam jar box into a Christmas countdown Santa cottage


With a little paint and craft supplies, many of which are from the dollar store, it was so fun and easy to make. There looks to be a lot of steps to making this wooden advent calendar Santa Cottage but they are quick and easy steps, I promise!

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Supplies

I've included affiliate links in this post for your convenience so you can see what products I used or recommend to make the Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage. See my disclosure policy.

Materials to make Santa's cottage


Step 1 - Create a snow-capped cottage roof

With a small art brush, dab snow-tex onto the roof, thicker at the peak where real snow would accumulate and droop it over the edge as well. Before it dries, sprinkle white glitter over the snow so it glistens. Place something beneath to catch the extra glitter to put back into the glitter container to reuse.

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Snow-Capped Roof

Step 2 - Paint the exterior of the house

Paint the exterior of the house with 2-3 coats of warm white craft paint. Paint the two bottom middle cubbies with 2-3 coats of holiday red craft paint to make the inside pop when the door is opened.

Step 3 - Prep the front for a new wall

Before adding a basswood wall on the front of the house we have to remove some of the scalloped snow on the front gable. Carefully notch out the inner scallops with a sharp craft knife (pictured below).

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Assembly

Step 4 - Add a front wall

Next, we're going to use thin basswood to create the front wall. With a straight edge and craft knife, carefully cut the basswood to fit horizontally across the front of the house. Remember to leave an opening for the door on the two bottom middle cubbies.

Helpful Tip:

Cut the basswood to fit over the divider slats on both sides, top, and bottom of the door opening so you have something to glue the basswood onto.

Step 5 - Paint the new wall

With the same white craft paint, paint 2-3 coats on the new wall.

Step 6 - Make a front door

With the leftover basswood, cut a front door to fit the opening. I made an arched door using a round container to trace the shape. Make adjustments as needed with your knife until it fits.

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Door Assembly

Once you have a good fit, paint the door with holiday red craft paint.

Step 7 - Add a scene inside the cottage

This next step is optional. I used Peanuts comic strip wrapping paper but any paper with a small image that looks like inside the room of a house would work. Cut to size and decoupage with Mod Podge.

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Special Door

Step 8 - Attach the front door

Remove the small hinges and latch from a small wooden box (purchased at the dollar store). Attach the hinges onto the inside of your door and the outside of the house with the tiny little screws that come with it.

Separate the latch on the small box and glue just one half onto the front of the door with E6000 glue. Doesn't it look just like a miniature door handle? Glue a small miniature wreath on the front and how cute is this red door!

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Chalkboard Window

Step 9 - Add the chalkboard countdown window

With a leftover piece of basswood cut out a window. Paint it with chalkboard craft paint and once dry, glue the window on with E6000 glue.

Before using the door it must be seasoned by rubbing the side of a stick of chalk in all directions and wipe the chalk off with a paper towel or chalk eraser. Now it's ready to start counting down the days to Christmas.

Christmas Countdown Wooden Advent Calendar

Step 10 - Hang a stick of chalk

Wrap red & white bakers twine around the stem of a gold thumbtack and attach it to the same side of the house as the chalkboard window towards the top. Wrap the other end several times around a stick of chalk (pictured above).

Step 11 - Decorate with embellishments

Now the fun part, decorating the front of the cottage.

Stocking Banner

With miniature wood stockings and mittens on a string, I made a cute banner for the front of the cottage. I added a little snow-tex and glitter around the stocking cuffs for fun. They are painted with the same holiday red and chalkboard paint and glued with E6000 glue.

Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Stocking Garland

Days until Christmas typography

I created the words in PicMonkey and printed them to fit the front of the cottage using this image transfer technique.

Wooden miniature Christmas trees, present, and glitter snowflakes

The miniature wooden trees were painted with holiday green craft paint. The plastic miniature snowflakes were found at the dollar store. Everything was glued on with E6000 glue.

I also attached a sawtooth picture hanger on the back of the cottage so the countdown calendar could either be hung on the wall or placed on a tabletop.

Christmas Countdown Kids Advent Calendar

And there you have it, an adorable Santa cottage ready to countdown Christmas and delight children young and old.


Christmas Countdown Santa Cottage Advent Calendar Idea

If you missed Day 2 of the blog hop where we shared oodles of DIY Gift Ideas, you can catch it here in this DIY Christmas Hostess Gift Basket post.

Now I invite you to scroll down to see many more DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas!




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