Make a Daily Ornament Advent Calendar from an Old Door

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This is the story of how I turned something sitting in our storage into a gorgeous, vintage rustic DIY Christmas decoration for our home. (Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see more beautiful vintage rustic Christmas ideas from my talented blogging friends!)

I have a love/hate relationship with doors. I love doors because they can be incredibly beautiful – especially old, weather-worn doors that have loads of history behind them. However, I hate doors now too. When we built Our DIY House, we had to order doors 3 (THREE!) times because of a comedy of errors. First, I made the mistake of consulting our blueprints for our door sizes rather than measuring the actual framed openings when our home was at the framing stage. Thankfully, my dear and patient husband was able to modify most of the frames to fit the doors, but some had to be re-ordered. When those doors were re-ordered I made another mistake. I gave Hubby the rough idea of what the doors looked like (“five panel doors – easy!”)… but there were a couple of different 5 panel door available and he bought the wrong ones. We now have a stack of gorgeous, brand new doors in storage that are all machined to open a specific way that are really impossible to sell because of this. I’ve been patiently waiting for an opportunity to use one (or 5!) of our extra doors for a DIY project, and I finally had the opportunity this past weekend! Hooray!

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

I’ve wanted to make a unique advent calendar for our family for quite some time. It needed to be something that was beautiful to display, but also functional and interactive for the kids. I thought it would be fun to take one of our extra doors, make it look like an old door, and turn it into a beautiful Christmas ornament advent calendar. I’m so happy with how this project turned out! I did use a new door, but let’s pretend this is an old, weathered door full of history that I scored at an antique shop. It’s just much more romantic that way, OK?

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

This project was really easy, but it was quite time consuming.

For this DIY Christmas advent calendar, I used:

  • a door
  • Annie Sloan chalk paint in French Linen
  • DIY chalk finish paint in white + water
  • a door knob
  • paint brushes
  • Annie Sloan Clear Wax & Dark Wax
  • twine string
  • eye screws
  • clothes pins
  • printer + paper (for the numbered tags – you can download the linen look ones I made for free here —> Advent Calendar Tags by The DIY Mommy)
  • a set of decorative metal antlers
  • 24 handmade, vintage or special Christmas ornaments
  • a handmade bunting made of map pages

First off, I took one of our old-new doors (this is a 32″ wide one) and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen. It’s a gorgeous warm grey – the same colour I painted the wicker baskets in our family room coffee table with. I didn’t care about brush strokes at all – I wanted the door to look old and rustic (plus, I was trying to get at least two coats on during the girls’ nap time).

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

After that colour (I did two coats of French linen), I waxed the door with Annie Sloan Soft Wax in Clear. Before the wax completely dried, I slopped on a white wash I made out of about 50% DIY white chalk finish paint and 50% water. Then, I took a clean dry rag and started wiping the white wash off the door in long strokes. The wet paint + the wet wax + the wiping creates a lovely aged look with lots of splotches and smears – just what I was going for.


I could have stopped here and put on a coat of clear wax to seal it, but I wanted to try some of my Annie Sloan Dark Wax, so I smoothed and buffed on a coat of that and then did another layer of white washing and wiping.

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

I’m smitten with the finish on this door! I even installed a new doorknob and white washed and waxed it to match the finish of the door:

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

I mounted my silver antlers in the center of the top panel of the door, and strung a banner made of map pages just beneath the antlers.

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

Next, I screwed 8 eye screws into the sides of the door. There are 4 on each side, and they’re about 1 1/2″ from the edge of the door. If you’re using a hollow core door like mine, remember that the sides and top of the door are solid, but the center is not!

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

I tied and strung twine string between the eye screws as shown and made some numbered tags.

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

Here’s where all of our handmade ornaments went! Each numbered tag represents a day in December, and I’ve hung them from the twine with clothespins. Along with each tag, I’ve hung a special ornament that my girls can hang on our tree that day.

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

Here are the ornaments I used for our advent calendar this year:

  1. Glittered Snowflake (old)
  2. Turquoise Ball (old)
  3. Cinnamon Stick Star (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  4. Wrapped Ribbon Ball (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  5. Glittered White Metal Snowflake from Lowe’s
  6. Green Glittered Ball from Lowe’s
  7. Wrapped Burlap Ball (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  8. DIY furry ball (Little C thinks this looks like a hair ball – ha! It’s two circles of faux fur sewn together)
  9. Silver Pine Cone (old)
  10. Pipe Cleaner + Beaded Snowflake (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  11. Cream Glittered Ball from Lowe’s
  12. A Peacock Feather in a small vial (DIY)
  13. A Peacock Feather
  14. Blue Vintage Glass Ornament
  15. Wrapped Ribbon Ball (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  16. Gold Glittered Snowflake (old)
  17. Map Paper Star (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  18. Gold Pinecone (old)
  19. Bronze Pinecone from Lowe’s
  20. Sparkly Snowflake (old
  21. Green + Turquoise Vintage Glass Ball
  22. Book Page Paper Star (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  23. Wrapped Drop Cloth Ball (here’s the DIY tutorial)
  24. Tree Snow Globe (here’s the DIY tutorial)

Thank you, May Arts Ribbon, for providing some gorgeous ribbon for my DIY ornaments!

A DIY Christmas ornament advent calendar made from an old door

Now our family’s ready to start the Christmas season with our pretty new advent calendar. I think it looks great in our living room – it’s a lovely feature behind our couch and between our two front windows!

Ready for more vintage rustic Christmas ideas from more Canadian bloggers? These are gorgeous!

Rustic Christmas Ideas

Santa Cookies from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

Deer Head String Art from Clean and Sentsible

Vintage Door Advent from The DIY Mommy

Rag Ribbon Christmas Trees from Craftberry Bush

Rustic Christmas Tree from Fynes Designs

Christmas Window Box from Echoes of Laughter

Ribbon Napkin Rings from Suburble

Vintage Table Setting from The Sweetest Digs

Twig Stars and Snowflakes from The DIY Dreamer

Pretty Gift Wrapping from The Sweetest Escape

Rustic Wreath from North Story

Wood Block Presents from The Happy Housie

Winter Swag from Satori Design for Living


  1. What a beautiful project, Christina! And, I’m a bit giddy that I found such a fabulous blogger that’s local (I’m in Spruce Grove). You now have a new follower 😉

  2. This idea is simply lovely, Christina! I know that my girls would love to hang an ornament every day, and the door – so fantastic! I love it!

  3. I’m a sucker for a good advent calendar. Who doesn’t love something that gives you gifts for 24 days!? I love that you made it a feature in your space and good work on making it look vintage.

  4. Hi Christina!! I LOVE this post! Including the ides of having kids decorate the tree with the ornaments, rather than candies, or chocolates. Such a great family activity! I’m also LOVING this Canadian blog hop. I just started blogging so it’s great to find some other Canadians out there! Thank you for sharing 🙂
    Lindi @

  5. The door is absolutely stunning, Christina, and looks totally vintage!! The perfect backdrop for so many pretty seasonal vignettes- including this beautiful little advent! It was fun to be on this hop with you- sorry it took me so long to get here (crazy couple of weeks:).

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