16 Nov
2013
Posted in: projects
By    2 Comments

DIY LEGO Advent Calendar

We’ve bought LEGO advent calendars in the past, which our children enjoyed. The problem is the expense of the calendars. Spending $30-$40 on an advent calendar isn’t normally in the budget. Last year, I decided to make our own LEGO advent calendar. The kids loved the idea, so I made another one this year.

Full-size view of LEGO advent calender

I began searching store advertisements the last couple of weeks looking for a LEGO set with 200-250 pieces and cost around $15-$18. Last week, I found the perfect set.

LEGO Super Heroes Superman vs. Power Armor Lex (Set 6862) - LEGO advent calendar

The first step was to empty the contents of the LEGO set and separate the pieces into 24 piles, one for each day in December counting down until Christmas Day. I keep any LEGO minifigures for the last days of the calendar. This set had three minifigures: Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman and Superman. Superman is the last piece they’ll open on Christmas Eve. I also keep pieces that might help expose what the secret set is for later in the month.

LEGO piles - LEGO advent calendar Advent bags - LEGO advent calendar

I bought red party bags at the Dollar Tree and cut off the tops to shorten the bags. I put each pile in a bag, stapled it shut and numbered it accordingly. Each bag has one of the kids’ initials on the back, so we remember whose day it is to open the bag. I then used straight pins to attach the bags, in order, to a bulletin board that I use for random decorating ideas. I’ll put a jar next to the bulletin board for the kids to store the LEGOs until the advent calendar is fully opened. You could easily make the advent calendar more festive with stickers, patterned bags, ribbon or even the use of cloth bags. I chose to do a more simple, streamlined calendar. I keep the direction booklets hidden for Christmas Eve when the kids have all the pieces collected.

Why we like the DIY LEGO advent calendar

Closeup of LEGO advent calendar

  1. While the kids liked being able to make scenes with the pieces from the LEGO-brand advent calendars, they enjoy completing an entire set better.
  2. It’s a game for them to guess what set the pieces belong to. It normally takes almost two weeks before they narrow down the theme.
  3. The sets have bigger pieces, which they are more likely to use more often than the small pieces that come in the LEGO advent calendars.
  4. This will keep the advent calendar more of a surprise than the LEGO advent calendar.
  5. I can choose to do the calendar in different ways. Last year, the bags were placed in a big bowl, and they had to find the right bag each day. I like the endless possibilities in decorating the calendar and keeping it fresh each year for the kids.
  6. Price. When completed, it was about half the cost of a typical LEGO advent calendar.

 

I’m linking this post to:

The 36th Avenue

 

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2 Comments

  • Thank you for this idea! I started it with my son this year, and he is LOVING it!!!! Passed the idea along to several of my friends as well.

    • I’m glad you gave it a try. My children, so far, aren’t even close to guessing which set our calendar is hiding. Merry Christmas!