Tailgate DIY: Baseball Card Advent Calendar

Tailgate DIY: Baseball Card Advent Calendar

Tailgate DIY: Baseball Card Advent Calendar

It's the holiday season and baseball is still in our hearts.  So let's make a baseball card advent calendar!  This is an activity that is kid, tween, teen AND adult friendly.  Making this with your kid for them to enjoy after completion?  Have them help up to the point of putting the cards in so it's still a surprise. If you're making this for yourself, ask someone else to stuff the cards in for you so it's a real surprise each day! 

Check the bottom for variations so you can put your own twist on this DIY.

In total, this project will take 30-45 minutes.  Here are the steps(ish):

1. Get your supplies ready!

  • wrapping paper (of course I found baseball Christmas wrapping paper...did you think this was amateur hour?)
  • an 18x24" canvas - these are quite handy to have around the house for all sorts of crafts, not just painting.  And they can be quite inexpensive at your local dollar store
  • 24 lightweight plastic baseball card covers (I got mine from a sports card shop for only $3 for a pack of 25)
  • 24 or more baseball cards
  • a ruler
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • rubber cement (you NEED this in your craft kit all the time because a) so many uses b) the smell makes you feel like a kid again, haha)
  • a marker or pen
  • paper


2. Cut a piece of wrapping paper to fit around the front of the canvas. Fold it over and pull it taught on the back like you're wrapping a present.  Staple in place (use as many staples as necessary).  Stapling will hold better than taping, just be sure you're using a heavier weight of wrapping paper and not something that is thin like tissue.  


3. Flip your masterpiece over so now you're looking at the front with the wrapping paper.  Lay out the plastic covers so you can get an idea of how close they need to be on the canvas.  Once you've placed them where you think they should go using a ruler or just your eyeballs, mark a line under them at corner.  One at a time, spread some rubber cement on the back of the holder and in the area the holder will go.  Let the glue dry on each component for a few seconds (10-ish), then place the holder in position pushing down on the glue part.  By letting each side dry a bit, it means you're creating a less permanent bond.  You can slightly shift the card holder if it's not in the right place before the glue completely dries.  Be sure you're placing and gluing with the card holder opening at the top.  


4. Once you've added all the card holders, let the piece dry and get to work on the "doors".  In reality, these are just pieces of cardstock cut to cover the card inside each card holder.  The doors should measure 2.5 x 4.5" - this will be enough to cover the card but also allow a small tab sticking out of the top for easier removal.  If you have sausage fingers, just be careful removing the door that you don't rip the whole thing down.  

Here's a link to my "doors" PDF.  It's ready to print, just be sure you don't adjust the size when printing: 


5. Place the cards and the "doors" in whatever order you want on the board...linear or mix it up!  


6. It's December 1st...time to open "door" number one!  Slide that piece of cardstock out to reveal the card of the day.  You can either leave the cards in the calendar the whole month, slide them out, or remove the whole card holder.  The beauty of using rubber cement means it dries clear but also isn't so strong that it'll ruin your entire calendar if you remove the card holder carefully.  



  • Any collector card will work, not just baseball
  • Use whatever wrapping paper tickles your fancy...maybe match it to your home decor
  • On December 24, put a whole pack of cards on the board using doublesided tape
  • If you're a real baller (see what I did there...), use a pack of cards for each day.  Instead of the card holders, attach the packs right to the canvas  
  • If the person opening the calendar doors isn't particular about which cards they receive, save yourself some money and buy the discount packs at the dollar store 
  • Choose someone's favourite team and feature those players each day


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