8 Fun ways to count down the days until Christmas

Dec 12, 2014 at 2:57 p.m. ET

It's not too late to create the perfect Advent calendar, but it is getting close! You can turn almost anything into a countdown, with just a drop of imagination and holiday spirit.

Check out these great DIY calendar countdown ideas to create great decor for your holiday home and an exciting experience for your youngsters while they look forward to Christmas!

1. Buckets and cards

Image: Dusty/All Things G&D

Grab some cute buckets, envelopes and stickers from your local dollar store for this adorable Advent design! Frame it up on the wall, and you're ready to start your countdown.

2. Stacked boxes

Image: Susan/Organized 31

Build a Christmas tree out of folded boxes, to make counting down to the big day even more exciting. As the Advent tree comes down, the rest of the decorations go up while your home gets ready for the holidays!

3. Brown paper packages

Image: Carolyn/Homework

Here's a great way to start the gift excitement before the holidays even start; brightly wrapped holiday parcels are a fun way for your family to keep track of the days as Christmas gets closer!

4. Ornaments

Image: Jo-Anna/A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

If you've got extra ornaments, paint them with bold colors and add fun stripes of glitter for an exciting Advent calendar that's all about uncovering the surprise. No gifts necessary when fun ornaments are involved!

5. Shoe organizer and gift wrap

Image: Abi/Laughing Abi

Everyone's got a shoe organizer stored somewhere, and very few people use them for shoes! Turn yours into the perfect Christmas countdown, using wrapping paper and fun labels.

6. Picture cards

Image: Jessica/Cardstore

Make your Advent calendar personal by printing out your favorite photos of the year, and adding a numbered back to each one, to create fun, flip-able countdown cards that leave you with a photo gallery come Christmas!

7. Mason jar lids

Image: Ashley/Cherished Bliss

Use the DIYer's favorite material in a brand new way by collecting all those caps, giving them a pretty holiday design and hanging them up Christmas tree-style for a festive and thrifty countdown tool!

8. Clothespin record wreath

Image: Susan/Organized 31

With a re-purposed record and a couple colorful clothespins (24 to be exact), an Advent wreath is not far off! This awesome design keeps your countdown festive and totally rock 'n' roll!

Interested in even more great holiday decor ideas? Check out Hometalk's Christmas decorations topic page now!