Make A Halloween Treat Countdown Calendar!

If you're feeling (witch)crafty, and want to create more than Jack-O-Lanterns this year, this DIY project is perfect—it's reusable, fun to make, and helps prevent overindulging on Halloween night. Check it out!

Halloween is only a few short weeks away. It’s a great holiday for decorating. While ghosts, goblins, and Jack-O-Lanterns are the old standby, there are other ways to tap into your creative side this Halloween season. This reusable Halloween Treat Countdown Calendar is not only fun to put together, but it helps avoid the trick-or-treat candy gorge on Halloween night.

The concept is simple: the Halloween Countdown Calendar doles out small, manageable treats daily using a similar concept of the traditional “advent” calendar. Treats can be customized to your little ghosts and goblins. For example, you can use candy, small toys, stickers, or a combination of all of the above.

How To Make Your Halloween Treat Countdown Calendar


What you’ll need:

  • Top to a copy paper box
  • Black or Halloween-themed card stock or construction paper
  • 31 2-oz. plastic condiment cups (you can purchase from Amazon or from a local restaurant)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • White glue (such as Elmer’s™)
  • Pencil and fine point Sharpie™ marker (black)
  • Several large sheets of orange tissue paper
  • A small square of yellow cloth
  • 2 rubber bands
  • Assorted treats of your choice
    Halloween candy, toy spiders, spider rings, toy bats, stickers, and other Halloween-themed trinkets.

Step 1

Start with the lid of a copy paper box. Use the black or Halloween-themed cardstock and cover the box lid completely securing with glue or tape. You can add a header that reads “Happy Halloween!” at the top to create a haunted house.

Step 2

Hot glue the condiment 31 cups to the front of the box (be sure to plan the placement/fit before starting to glue). Allow to dry completely.

Step 3

Using the pencil or marker, draw 30 circles on the tissue paper sheets 1/8″ wider than the diameter of the cups.

Halloween calendar DIY project

Write out each date (1-30) in the center of each circle (be sure to put something underneath the tissue, as the marker will bleed through). Write “31” on the yellow cloth square. Get spooky with your numbers! NOTE: If you don’t want to use tissue paper, you can buy the condiment cups with lids and simply decorate the lids to save time each year, but there’s something very satisfying to kids about poking through tissue to get to their prize!

Halloween calendar DIY project

Step 4

Fill each cup with fun and spooky Halloween-themed treats and candy from the dollar store (3-4 small bags of candy are usually enough to put a couple of treats in each day’s cup). You can also add an extra special treat for the 31st since this will be the final treat cup opened, rather than more candy.

Halloween calendar DIY project

Step 5

Carefully cut out the tissue paper circles and set them aside. Line the rim of each cup with white glue and gently affix each circle to the cups, starting at the last date and working backward. Because the toy or present for the 31st doesn’t always lay flat in the cup, the yellow cloth (with “31” written on it) is gathered over the cup and secured with the rubber bands.

Halloween calendar DIY project

Your Halloween Treat Countdown Calendar is complete! Simply place on a credenza or lean it against the wall, but you can also easily hang it on the wall (although you’ll be pulling it down every night for your kids).

Pick a time each night for the kids to ceremoniously “poke” through the cup that corresponds to the day’s date. If you have multiple kids, they can take turns on whose “night” it is.

Halloween calendar

When all the cups are opened, pull off the remaining tissue and glue from each of the cups, to ready them for next year (you’ll just be creating new tissue paper circles). Hang on to the yellow fabric square for #31 to reuse.

What’s your favorite craft to make for Halloween? If you make this Halloween calendar, share your pictures with us on Facebook!

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This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!


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