Make Your Own Christmas Advent Calendar

8 November 2022. By Santa's Little Helper

Whether you’re looking forward to receiving your letter from santa, eating your huge Christmas Day lunch or opening those pressies, it’s a magical and wonderful time of year.

Let the Christmas countdown begin! Christmas is officially right around the corner. Instead of purchasing pre-made advent calendars at the shops, why don’t you do it yourself?!

DIY advent calendars make a fun holiday activity for the whole family.

All you’ll need is some cardboard, a hot glue gun, an assortment of Christmas decorations, colored paper, and a whole lot of creative energy. Christmas advent calendars are fun and easy to make!

Say hello to a personalised advent calendar and a fun new holiday tradition. This is how to make your own advent calendar… 

What is a Christmas Advent Calendar

An advent calendar is a special way we countdown the days till Christmas. It starts on the 1st of December and finishes on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas morning you get presents under the Christmas tree instead of an advent box. So, an advent calendar is 24 boxes that each have a special treat as a daily surprise. 

Advent calendars build excitement and anticipation for Christmas day all month long. They also make the most of every single day in the holiday season. Although, you do get extra special boxes in the days leading up to Christmas!

Countdown for Christmas day with your new, perfect advent calendar! You can craft one for every member of your family or gift one as an act of kindness to a stranger! Either way, this is a DIY family activity everyone will love. 

Advent Calendar

How to Make a DIY Advent Calendar

You can easily make an advent calendar at home with a few basic things. We like to make our own advent calendar with cardboard and hot glue.

Although, you can follow the same method with fabric instead of cardboard. You will need a sewing machine for a fabric advent calendar. 

You can be as creative as you want with your ideas. There really are no rules here! Every idea is a great idea!

Once you have the basic 24 boxes sorted, everything else is left to your imagination. Feel free to use our instructions as a basic guide.

Christmas activities should be as fun as possible, there’s no pressure here! Kids and adults alike will love this fun advent calendar activity. Keep reading to find out how to make your new Christmas advent calendars… 

Advent Calendar

What You’ll Need

Before we get stuck into the method, double check you have got everything you need! 

These are the key things that you will need to make a beautiful advent calendar: 

  • Hot glue gun. 
  • Construction paper or scrapbook paper. 
  • Cardboard or foam board. 
  • Envelopes.  
  • Christmas themed decorations (ribbon, sparkles, paint, pom poms). 
  • Number stickers or stamp numbers. 
  • Treats for inside the boxes (tiny toys, chocolate, candy canes or another small gift). 

If you want to make a fabric advent calendar, simply replace the steps that mention cardboard with fabric or felt. Remember, it will take a little more time to make an advent calendar with fabric. You will need to measure the dimensions of the base layer and the 24 boxes.

Next, everything needs to be sewn together with enough room to house the gifts (and keep them hidden away). With the right skill and a lot of patience, it’s possible to make a hand sewn advent calendar. However, there’s definitely more of a risk it will turn into a beautiful mess! 

Now it’s time to find out how to make an advent calendar! 

Advent Calendar

1. Cut the Board. 

Cut the cardboard that will form the base of the advent calendar. We recommend aiming for an A1 paper dimension. This is the standard size of advent calendars that are purchased at the store. It’s a practical size that fits all 24 boxes in.

An A1 size is approximately 23.4 x 33.5. Once you have outlined the shape you want to cut, get the kids involved and let them cut out the cardboard. Just don’t forget to supervise them! 

2. Make the Envelopes

The envelopes house the small treats that are stuck on the advent calendar. Envelopes can be club crafted or studio DIY. They can be made from paper bags, colourful paper, or any other scraps you have lying around.

Be wary that paper bags may not be as sturdy as construction paper. Next, create 24 envelopes from your chosen material. Glue the edges together so they don’t fall apart. Make sure there is enough room inside to securely hold the treats and gifts. There should also be a fold that hides the treats from prying eyes.  

Ask the kids what kind of colours and themes they want on their advent calendar. Your envelopes could be multicoloured, block coloured, decorated pictures, or be covered in ribbon! Let the kids create their dream advent calendar!

Remember, there are no rules you have to follow. Decorate your envelopes exactly how the kids want them to look. They are the ones who will be using them after all! Let them be as creative as they want with their ideas. 

Note, a paper bag or a small box can be used instead of envelopes. There are many different ways to make the advent compartments! However, a paper bag can be easily looked inside. A small box can be good if it’s got a good lid on it.

Envelopes are our favourite way of making an advent calendar. They are easy to make and practical. But it’s good to know there are other options! 

3. Stamp Numbers on the Envelopes

Each of the 24 envelopes should have a number on it. Number the envelopes from 1 through 24. You can do this with number stickers or a stamp. This is an easy step the kids can do by themselves.

We always like to add a little ribbon to each envelope next to the number! Remember, your advent calendar should be bright and fun! Don’t forget to decorate as you go along!

4. Stick the Boxes onto the Cardboard

Stick the boxes or the envelopes to the cardboard base. Advent calendars are not in chronological order. So, you should randomly place the envelopes on the board. Again, the kids can easily do this. Use a glue stick, sellotape, or a hot glue gun to stick the advent calendar together.  

5. Fill the Advent Calendar With Gifts, Candy, and Little Treats

Fill the advent calendar with gifts and treats. We have so many ideas about what to fill your advent calendar with. You could fill your advent calendar with mini bottles, candy, chocolate, gift cards, tiny beauty products, little trinkets, or kids toys.

Create your kids dream advent calendar and put lovely personalised gifts inside. This is one of the best parts of making your own advent calendar.

Our favourite unique gifts are mini bottles filled with hot cocoa powder, cute stationery, and little lego sets. Have fun with the gifts you choose.  You don’t have to stick to boring chocolates! If you’re still stuck for ideas, have a look online. There’s so many great gift ideas out there! 

Make sure your kids don’t know what’s inside the kindness advent calendar. It should be a surprise for the recipient! Ask them to leave the room or fill the advent calendar a couple days after you have made it. 

Advent Calendar

6. Hang or Display the Advent Calendar

Hang your advent calendar on the wall or place it on the mantelpiece on the 1st of December. Hanging advent calendars is easy with a piece of string on the back.

Ensure the string is strong enough to support the advent calendar on the wall.

Hang your advent calendar in a place that is easily accessible. Alternatively, you can display it on the mantelpiece.

Simply lean it against the wall or hang it right on top of the shelf. Make sure you fill the advent calendar with the gifts before you display it.  

If you’re gifting your advent calendar to a friend or a family member wrap it up and add gift tags. Gift tags and cute wrapping paper make your present more personal.

These acts of kindness will definitely get you on the nice list this year.

Santa loves to see people doing nice things for their loved ones. Acts of kindness like gift giving will send you right to the top of the list! 

7. The Countdown Begins

Now it’s time to use your advent calendar and start the countdown! Santa and all his gifts are right around the corner. Hopefully, you can enjoy the subtle revelry in the meantime!  

Your DIY Advent Calendars Are All Done!

Your DIY advent calendars are all done! It really is as easy as that. There’s no excuse to purchase a premade calendar ever again.

Make sure you get your calendars finished before the start of December! You don’t want to miss out on any of the Christmas countdown.

You need to make the most of the whole Christmas season. Santa will be very impressed! 

Once your advent calendar is done you can settle in and countdown the days till Santa arrives. Your advent calendar will tell you the exact number of days before he arrives with gifts under the Christmas tree.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how to make your own DIY advent calendar! Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Check out our other blogs for more ideas on how to create the best Christmas ever! 

Advent Calendar

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