Are you looking for a simple Do It Yourself Advent Calendar that doesn’t cost a lot of money to make? This idea is fairly popular and I’m sharing all the details for our own DIY Advent Calendar.
The best part of this calendar beyond its basically free to make with craft supplies is that you can stuff it with your small gifts and sweet treat ideas. This is a great way to count down to Christmas morning with little kids or big teens.
Do It Yourself Advent Calendar
I didn’t have to buy any supplies to make this Do It Yourself Advent Calendar because I used scrap wrapping paper and toilet paper rolls.
Actually a few were paper towel rolls that I cut down to size as well but you get the gist, this is a very inexpensive idea for advent calendars.
Do It Yourself Advent Calendar Supplies
Again I wanted something easy and inexpensive to make, so I opted for the toliet paper rolls idea that you can find all over the internet, although not everyone details how to make it. I am going to share my steps and supply details with you.
I am a bit of a craft supply hoarder so I already had enough cardboard tubes to make this calendar. I often throw my leftover toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls into my recycling craft stash box. I also opted to make one calendar for the boys to share, simplifying things in some ways but creating a different problems which I will share about later.
- Paper Tube Rolls (toilet paper or paper towel rolls cut down)
- Wrapping Paper, washi tape or other decorative paper scraps
- Tissue Paper
- Hot Glue Gun
- Glue stick
- Duct Tape
- Candies, tiny toys or other small gifts to fill it
- Labels or stickers to number each tube
Our Advent Calendar is 24 rolls, counting down until Christmas day. I know some people will do 25 or just 12 for the 12 days of Christmas. Make. your advent calendar as long as you want, there is no absolute right way to do it.
Easy DIY Christmas Advent Calendar
Start by saving or acquiring the toilet paper rolls. You can also cut down paper towel rolls, I was able to get 2 ‘toilet paper roll sized rolls’ from each paper towel cardboard tube. If you don’t randomly save materials for crafts, you might need to start saving them a month or so before, or ask your friends and family if they have any saved. Or just buy them if you don’t have the time/patience.
Then wrap each tube in wrapping paper, being sure to leave the both sides open so you can slide your little gifts in. I used both a glue stick and tape to secure the wrapping paper.
Once all the paper tubes are covered, then arrange them how you like. I used different patterns of wrapping paper so I tried to keep the design random. Or keep it simple and just use one style of paper.
Add your numbers to the front of each tube. You could just write on it with a sharpie but I opted to print cute little number labels from my favorite portable label maker.
Then you can attach each roll in a line using a hot glue gun. I added a ribbon at the top to hang it. It turned out super cute. Then I add little treats wrapped up in tissue paper for each day. I separated each child by color (one is red tissue paper and one is green tissue paper) and alternated the colors on each side.
Possible DIY Advent Calendar Issue
I did end up having to add some duct tape support in a few places once I had all my treats added because it got really heavy and the top roll started to pull away. If I had made two separate advent calendars for my kids, then the weight would have been halved, and I think the hot glue attachment would have been enough.
Other Advent Calendar Ideas
In years past, my boys loved getting a LEGO Advent calendar. I always tried to buy them after Christmas or in July when they would pop up randomly on sale. My kids loved getting new minifigures for their LEGO collection.
Besides getting them in big sets, trading for minifigs at LEGOLAND, getting them from their Advent Calendar was the next best thing.
But alas, their interest in LEGO minfigures has waned as they hit their teens years and I don’t want to spend $30 on an advent calendar they don’t love.
We have tried chocolate advent calendars as well. I grew up with the store grocery store chocolate advent calendars, my mom would buy each kid one and we enjoyed that little piece of chocolate each morning. I wanted to continue the fun Christmas tradition with my own family.
My kids are chocolate snobs and when I bought a couple of inexpensive chocolate advent calendars, all they said was the chocolate was weird and waxy. And I tried to buy the Reese’s advent calendars last year because they boys do love Reese’s but they literally put like 3 Reese’s pieces in most days, so that was disappointing.
That’s why I decided to make my own DIY advent calendar that I could stuff with chocolate my boys like and I can wait to buy on sale.
DIY Advent Calendar Ideas
The great thing about DIY Advent Calendars is that you can to add whatever you want inside each day, counting down to the big day. Small toys or small gifts from the dollar tree, sweet treats you buy on sale, or even pieces of paper with fun activities your family can do together (like random acts of kindness). It’s customizable to whatever works for your family traditions and values. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays everyone!