DIY Tiered Wooden Houses Advent Calendar
Countdown to Christmas with this festive wooden houses Advent calendar. I give you all the steps to easily create one for your own home!
This DIY tiered wooden houses advent calendar project is sponsored by the Home Depot.
Who doesn’t love a good countdown to Christmas? So when the Home Depot reached out and ask if I’d like to create an Advent calendar – I jumped at the chance. And after some thought, a little design planning and some trial and error, I came up with a super cute tiered wooden houses Advent calendar.
Wanna know one of the coolest features about these wooden houses? They light up! 🙂
The top ‘attic windows’ lets out the softest glow! Another cool feature is that each house can easily hide a special treat or message to help everyone in the family count down the days until Christmas.
And even though the houses are kinda big, I designed them to all be placed on tiers so you can easily fit the Advent calendar conveniently anywhere in your home.
So would you like to build your own wooden houses Advent calendar? Heck ya you would. 🙂 Let’s talk about you need and how to do it!
Supplies Needed To Build Tiered Wooden Houses Advent Calendar:
(2) Birch Plywood (Common: 1/4 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft.)
(10) Pre-cut Boards .25 in. x 3.5 in. x 48 in. in Poplar
(4) Pre-cut Boards .25 in x 2.5 in. x 48 in in Poplar
(1) Dremel Saw
(1) Drill Kit
(1) Glue Gun
(2) Pkgs of 2 in. Black Numbers
(7) Pkgs of 3/4″ Supply Line Washers
(10) Mini Christmas Trees
Here’s the Step-By-Step Directions to Build the Wooden Houses Advent Calendar
1 | Create the Tiers for the Wooden Houses Advent Calendar
Using a saw, cut the tier platforms from the ¼ plywood in a circle pattern. Tiers should be in the following measurements:
Tier 1 – 18” Tier 2 – 15” Tier 3 – 12” Tier 4 – 9” Tier 5 – 6”
2 | Drill Hole into Tiers
Drill 1” holes into the center of tiers 2, 3, 4, and 5 using a 1 inch spade bit. These will be used to connect all the lights to each level of the tiers.
3| Cut the Houses
Now it’s time to make the houses! Using the poplar boards, cut out 25 houses. The houses are basically built from 6 pieces or cuts of wood. Two main frame house sizes (basically a square shape with triangle on top 3.5” x 2.5”), two roof pieces (square 3.5” x 3.5”) and two house sides (2.5” x 2”). If you need a visual of the measurements, see the template below.
The great thing about the boards I’ve selected is they are already to size on one side. So this means less cuts! For the roof and sides, just measure height, mark and cut. Super easy!
The main house is a little more work but worth it in the end. 🙂 But the square is super helpful when measuring out this part of the houses!
By the way, the Dremel is the perfect tool for this project too. It’s easy to handle and cuts these boards like butter!
Wooden Houses Advent Calendar Template
4 | Drill Holes into Main House Pieces
With two different sized spade bits, drill holes into the two main frame house pieces. One smaller 3/4″ hole in the upper point of the triangle area on the front pieces (for the attic window). And another 1″ hole placed at the lower bottom of the back main house piece (for the string lights).
5| Sand Everything
Sand all wood pieces (this includes all tier circles and house pieces). Sanding is your friend and will hide a ton of imperfections. 🙂 So definitely don’t skip this step.
6| Glue Together The Wooden Houses
Using a glue gun, put together the six house pieces to create one house. Repeat this step 25 times until all the houses are built. (This is a great time to put the kids to bed, put on some 80’s music or Christmas carols and just glue away. That’s what I did!)
When you have glued together all six pieces, the house should look something like this…
7| Add The Roof Shingles
Then using the sandpaper, measure out 1 inch strips. Then on each strip, mark 1/2 marks and cut slits into the strips only half way up.
Once the strips are cut with slits, hot glue these onto the roof in a shingle-like pattern to create the look of a home’s traditional roof.
Optional: There should be a very narrow strip left over from cutting the sandpaper. I used this to place on the very top pitch of the roofs to give the houses a more finished look. 🙂
8| Add Attic Windows
For the attic window I had to get pretty creative! To design this look, combine some letters and washers. Using straight letters like ‘I’, ‘L’ and ‘T’, cut thin lines to criss-cross the washer. And then attach those to the washer.
To attach the washer ring to the house, simply hot glue it on.
And this is the attic window complete….
9| Place Houses on Tiers
So now comes the fun part! It’s time to place all the houses on the tiers. Starting with tier one, place nine house on the tier. Attach the string lights by inserting one bulb into the bottom hole on back of the houses. (Please Note: you will have to remove the bulb cover first – insert bulb – and then reattach the cover inside of the house.)
Once tier one is done, place tier 2 on top and insert your light through the center hole of the tier. Then place seven house on top and repeat this process until you reach tier 5. There should be 9 houses on tier 1, 7 houses on tier 2, 5 houses on tier 3, 3 houses on tier 4 and one house on tier 5.
10| Add Numbers to Houses
Add numbers to all the houses. And if you are feeling really creative, you can take extra square symbols from the number kit and make side windows. Just a fun, little extra detail. 🙂
11| Paint Tree Bases
So you can leave your trees as is, but I decided to paint mine. It only took me about five minutes to paint the tree bases black. And then finally, hot glue the trees onto the tiers to finish the look.
And that’s it my friends! The only thing the Wooden Advent Houses need now is a couple of little treats.
Such a fun project to make. And I know the boys are going to love seeing what surprises await them in each house!
If you are looking for even more more fun holiday DIY projects that also makes great homemade gifts, be sure to check out the Home Depot website HERE!
And don’t forget to pin this wooden houses Advent calendar so you’ll have the tutorial saved for later!
OMG, this is amazing and beautiful! Love the step by step instructions and the size of the little houses! I would love to create one for next Christmas! How are your kids accessing the candy? I’m worried about my boys pulling out the houses with the lights attached :O. Should I consider adding a door for rough little hands? Thank you for sharing!!
Hi Linda! The boys have been able to access the houses fairly easy. We’ve been putting in small items like $5 gift cards, suckers and even written riddles to find items hidden in the house that were too big for the houses. If you don’t want to mess with the corded lights, you could use some battery powered tea lights. And then you could skip the step of drilling the back hole for the houses lights. Win/win! 🙂 Hope that helps!
Awesome, thank you! I can’t wait to start :D!
Hi Laura your Advent Calendar is so amazing that I am waiting since months to start it, since I discovered it last May! Finally Christmas is approaching. Still it’s not clear to me how your boys were able to access the houses to find little treats. Pulling one house out and putting it back? And if I use tea lights, how can one switch them on every evening? Thanks so much for your time! Martina
Hi there! Yep, the boys just slide one house each day to see what was inside. 🙂 And I would suggest remote controlled tea lights like the ones found here: https://amzn.to/3w0xOlo