Christmas is coming, and we are super excited about this awesome LEGO® advent calendar that you can build yourself! Create an epic Christmas countdown with 24 doors to open. Each space can hold a Hershey’s kiss or another similar candy.
Designing the advent calendar is a fantastic LEGO® challenge for kids. Challenge kids to get creative with all of the different ways that they can build doors for the candy compartments. There is a lot of engineering involved. How large do the compartments need to be? Does the door restrict the movement of the door next to it? How can we fix that? How can we make the structure sturdy and stable?
We built doors that open with hinges, drawers that slide out, doors that open like an oven door, doors that open up from the bottom, and even compartments that swivel open to reveal the candy. One of my favorites is a gear that pushes out a platform with the candy on it. Then we used regular LEGO® house doors and windows as well. It was SO MUCH FUN!
We found a great place to display our LEGO® advent calendar, but it’s going to be hard to keep everyone’s hands out of it until December 1st! It’s just so fun to try out all the doors.
Want to see how it works?
Ready to Build your own LEGO® advent calendar?
You certainly don’t have to build yours the same way as ours, but here are some details about the bricks we used. Throughout the post, I have links to the parts on Brick Link so that you can find them easily.
One of the easiest ways to create a door is with a 1 x 2 plate with a handle and a 1 x 2 plate with two clips.
When you operate the door, the handle/clip plates will come right off if you’re not careful. They need a little reinforcement. I put more plates behind the 1 x 2 plate with two clips. Then I attached the 2 x 4 plate to the underside of that.
With reinforcement on the clips side, I didn’t end up needing reinforcement on the handle side.
I started the advent calendar with a row of 6 compartments. I used a row of 2 x 4 bricks on the back, which ended up being a great idea as it added more stability to the whole thing.
We decided to put 2 x 4 light gray tiles on the bottom of each compartment, but that is not necessary. We own a ton of them from building our LEGO® Foosball Game, so we used them. They do make the candies slide out more easily, and they look nice, but your advent calendar will still work just as well without them.
Make drawers for your advent calendar with 4 x 6 plates. You WILL need tiles on the bottom of each compartment where you have a drawer so that the drawer can slide.
Simply set the drawer inside a compartment with tiles on the bottom.
Another way to make a door is by using a 1 x 2 – 1 x 2 hinge plate. If you use two per door, the hinge will be more stable.
This photo shows the hinge door attached to the advent calendar, and on the right side there is also another drawer added with a 1 x 4 x 3 panel (clear) so that you can see the candy. I think it looks awesome with some of these!
As you build, attach the compartment walls to the back row of bricks for stability. It’s not necessary to have every row attach, but do this with at least 2 on each level of the project.
The top left compartment in this photo is a 4 x 4 round plate on top of a 2 x 2 turntable. Turn the compartment to get out the candy! More photos below for this type of compartment design.
Keep adding layers! We used 4 rows of 6 to get 24 compartments.
The easiest way to add each layer is to add a layer of plates between layers. I did not do that on the bottom row – instead, I built one compartment at a time. That didn’t work as well.
The third level is complete with a layer of plates on top, and now there is just one more level to go!
Here’s how the gear assembly fits into the advent calendar. Build a 1 x 2 Technic brick into the wall (brick with one hole). Insert a Technic rod through a 40 tooth gear (to use as a handle), then through the Technic brick, then through the 24 tooth gear. When you turn the larger gear backwards, the platform will slide forward.
Here’s another swivel compartment to build. Attach this structure to a 2 x 2 turntable.
The compartment will need to be able to clear all the walls when it turns.
We put some Christmas trees on the top of our completed advent calendar, along with Santa drinking a mug of hot chocolate. 🙂
Want more LEGO® Christmas project ideas? We’ve got tons!
- 3 Ways to Build a LEGO® Advent Calendar – Here are 3 more ways to build a countdown to Christmas!
- 5 LEGO® Christmas Ornaments to Build – A nutcracker, gingerbread man, penguin, and more.
- 5 LEGO® Christmas Projects to Build – Reindeer ornament, nativity ornament, and more.
- 5 More LEGO® Christmas Projects to Build – including an adorable nativity set