12 Days Of Kindness DIY Advent Calendar

Do you ever walk through the dollar store and see something you just must have but don't have a clue why? Such was the case with a wooden tile board that I've had collecting dust for months, maybe even a year. Recently, I finally came up with an idea to repurpose it into a festive 12 Days Of Kindness DIY Advent Calendar.

DIY Kindness Holiday Advent Calendar

Welcome to the 5th annual 12 Days of Holiday Ideas event, hosted by Shirley of Intelligent Domestications and Erlene of My Pinterventures Between Nov. 11th and December 6th there will be hundreds of new ideas shared by over 55 Co-host bloggers! 

Go here to see our kick-off collection of Holiday ideas as well as all of this year's talented participating DIY and Foodie Blogs. Download this year's November and December calendars with all of the topics and dates so you can make plans to watch for ideas!

We are hosting a BIG GIVEAWAY from our Sponsors this year! Be sure to scroll all the way down for more information and to enter to win!

12 Days Of Kindness DIY Advent Calendar

At this time of year, I think it's important we pause amidst the hustle and bustle to be empathetic to those who may find the holidays a difficult time. What really matters are the simple gifts in life that cost very little or nothing but our time. Like smiling at a stranger - you never know how that simple gesture could have a huge impact on someone's day.

That was the motivation behind my 12 Days of Christmas advent calendar for the holiday tour today. Sure it's fun to get a treat every day leading to Christmas but it's even more rewarding to be on the giving end of making someone's life a little brighter.

DIY 12 Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar

For my advent calendar, you turn over a numbered door each day to find an act of kindness tag. I've included a free printable of the kindness tags further down in the post that you're welcome to download.

12 Days Of Kindness Advent Calendar DIY

So here is where I started with this dollar store wooden tile board. Initially, I was going to make holiday coasters but the call to make an advent calendar was stronger and so it is.

DIY Kindness Advent Calendar Before

But if you're looking for a fun advent calendar idea for children, last year I made this Santa House Christmas Countdown from a repurposed Laura Secord jam jar gift box.

Here's how I made the kindness advent calendar

Step 1 - Turning the tiles into doors 

The first step was turning the bottom six wood tiles into 12 vertical rectangular doors. With a straight edge, spring clamps, and a retractable utility knife I carefully cut the balsa wood tiles in half into twelve  2" x 4" doors. The rough edges of each tile were smoothed by hand with 150-grit sandpaper.

Step 2 - Painting the advent calendar

The frame is painted festive Red Barchetta FAT Chalk-Style Paint but any red chalky paint or acrylic craft paint will work just fine.

The inner part of the frame that the tiles sit in and each door both front and back are painted white with Behr Chalk Decorative Paint that I had on hand. Again, any chalk-style paint or acrylic craft paint is fine.

Step 3 - Adding typography 

The next step is gluing the top three painted tiles to the inside of the frame with a quick bond glue (see supply list).

I'm embarrassed to admit this but last year my children got together and bought me a Cricut Maker for Christmas and I just turned it on for the first time for this project. After a Cricut 101 crash course, I made a self-adhesive stencil with dollar store contact paper for the top half of the calendar. I don't know what took me so long because it really was quite easy! Now I want to Cricut all the things.

If you don't have a cutting machine to add the 12 Days Of Kindness typography, I share detailed step-by-step instructions here in my Image Transfer Technique With Graphite Paper tutorial. I didn't include an SVG file of my DIY stencil because, well frankly, I haven't a clue how.

I also stenciled a few present and star graphics (stencil in supply list).

How To Make A DIY Kindness Advent Calendar

Step 4 - Decoupage calendar doors

To make the doors festive, I decoupaged red and white polka dot wrapping paper onto the front of the doors with Mod Podge and a small foam brush.

To keep the pattern lined up nicely across each door it is easier to decoupage a sheet of paper on top of all the doors while they are set inside the frame (pictured above). But first, place some painter's tape along the top edges of the frame (pictured above) so the paper sticks to the removable tape rather than the frame.

Once dry, decoupage a couple coats of Mod Podge on top of the wrapping paper to make it more durable and less prone to ripping with use.

Once the Mod Podge is completely dry use a small retractable craft knife to cut along the edges of the tiles and to separate each tile. You may need to add more Mod Podge in some areas if the paper is lifted in some spots.

Step 5 - Labelling the calendar doors

Number each door with white self-adhesive stickers. Mine has a little festive sparkle.

Step 6 - Adding a handle on each door

Separate a strand of pretty silver bead garland and hot glue one to the front of each door to act as a handle.

Step 7 - Act of kindness tags on the back of the doors

On the back of each door attach a daily kindness tag with velcro dots. I've included a free printable of the kindness tags to download if you like. Just click your mouse over the image below for an unwatermarked printable download.

 Advent Calendar Kindness Tags Printable
Now you're ready to brighten someone's day during the 12 days leading to Christmas but I urge you to keep the kindness going long after the holidays.

What you'll need to make it

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Supply List

Wooden Tile Board (Dollar Store)
Red Chalky Paint (or acrylic craft paint)
White Chalky Paint (or acrylic craft paint)
Red & White Christmas Wrapping Paper (or scrapbook paper)
Small Christmas Stencils
Mod Podge
Silver Bead Garland
White Number Stickers
DIY Stencil with contact paper (Cutting Machine)
Printable Tags (free printable included)
Hot Glue Gun
Quick Bond Glue
Velcro Dots
Straight Edge
Spring Clamps
Retractable Utility Knife
150-Grit Sandpaper


If you have any questions about the kindness advent calendar, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

I'd be so thankful if you pinned this idea or shared it with a friend. With gratitude! -Marie


Twelve Days of Kindness DIY Advent Calendar
I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

12 Days Holiday Ideas Blog Hop

Day 1 - Gift Guides
Day 2 - Survival Guides
Day 3 - Holiday Kid Activities
Day 4 - Party Games
Day 5 - Holiday Advent Calendar (you are here)
Day 6 - DIY Wreath
Day 7 - DIY Ornament
Day 8 - Holiday Printables
Day 9 - Christmas Potluck Recipes
Day 10 - Holiday Desserts & Treats
Day 11 - Christmas Breakfast Recipes
Day 12 - Christmas Tree Tour

Now let's take a look at more advent calendar ideas created by the other talented co-hosts in today's leg of the holiday tour. Press the links below the pictures to see more. But don't forget to enter the Giveaway at the bottom of this post. Good Luck!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


MEET OUR SPONSORS who have generously donated fabulous prizes for the Big Christmas Giveaway!
DecoArt winner will receive a prize package valued at $100!
Dixie Crystals/Imperial Sugar winner will receive a Keurig Coffee Maker valued at $100!
Oriental Trading winner will receive an OrientalTrading.com gift card valued at $200!
Cabot Cheese winner will receive a gift basket of Cabot products valued at $75!
Burlap Fabric winner will receive a prize pack of products valued at $50!
Zulay Kitchens winner will receive one Milk Frother and a Lemon Squeezer valued at $21
It's Home To You winner will receive one wooden Santa sign valued at $65
12 Days of Holiday Ideas Event Sponsors 2019

The giveaway began on Nov. 8th, 2019 and ends Dec. 6th, 2019. Winners will be notified by December 13, 2019. Sponsors will ship each prize to the winner. There will be a total of seven winners, one for each prize. Drawing is by random selection using the Rafflecopter widget. Must be 18 to win. Open to U.S. residents only. Terms & Conditions
a Rafflecopter giveaway



33 comments

  1. This is so cute! Kindness is so important and I love your kindness ideas, This looks like so much fun!

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  2. Your 12 Days of Kindness Calendar is amazing, Marie! What a wonderful idea! We all need something like this everyday of the year instead of twelve!

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  3. What a brilliant use of that board! I do stuff like that, too--get something just KNOWING that there's something clever I can do with it, even if I don't know what that clever thing is quite yet. ;-)

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one, Nicole! LOL Everything finds a purpose some day, right!

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  4. This is truly a wonderful idea for an advents calendar! I also love how beautiful your advents calendar looks!

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  5. This is an absolutely beautiful idea! It's so wonderful to teach our children to think of others during the holidays!

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    1. Thank you so much, Roseann! And yes, you're so right, It absolutely is important.

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  6. The world can use more kindness! I absolutely love this idea.

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    1. You are so right about that! Glad you like my kindness advent calendar. 😊

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  7. That is such a cool idea Marie. It's a great time of year to show kindness too!

    Tania

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  8. This is such a wonderful idea. I think I will do this with my grandchildren and let them come up with the 12 Acts of Kindness. Your board is too pretty!

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    1. That's a great idea, Shirley! I bet they come up with some wonderful ideas.

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  9. I love this idea for spreading kindness...especially throughout the holiday season! Pinned!

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    1. Thank you Lynne, I'm glad you like it and thanks a bunch for the pin too!

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  10. Another amazing holiday craft idea! I'm tellin you, girl....you should sell your clever ideas to a manufacturer. This is adorable!

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    1. Susie, can you come stand on my shoulder every day please? LOL Sending hugs your way 🤗

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  11. What a wonderful idea and so creative! I love that this reminds us to do something kind for someone else.

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  12. A kindness calendar is the perfect way to get ready for Christmas. Its a nice reminder during the holidays to take care of what really matters. As always your actual project is gorgeous Marie. Pinned

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    1. Thank you Leanna, I'm glad you like my version of an advent calendar and thank you very much for the pin!

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  13. What a beautiful and meaningful idea Marie. This time of the year I find that so many people get lonely and down but with all the hustle and bustle we completely forget about them

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  14. I love this idea! I work in an elementary school library and can see this as a fun season addition. The kiddos would enjoy reading the different ideas and I"m sure a few would act on them, especially the letter writing one if I keep some stationary next to this. Pinning and putting on my craft list. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Reading this makes me so happy, Audra! I'm so glad my advent calendar inspired you to make an interactive version for your school library to teach and encourage kids to do random acts of kindness. I do hope it is a popular activity for the kids!

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  15. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Happy Holiday!

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  16. LOVE this 12 days of kindness idea -- the world can always use more kindness in it!

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    1. That it can, Jaclyn, thank you so much for popping by for a visit 😄

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I always enjoy hearing from you so please don't be shy! I read and reply to every single comment.