5 Make Your Own Advent Calendar Ideas

With the start of advent just 2 weeks away, all thoughts turn to the faithful advent calendar. Far from being a children-only treat, advent calendars can (and should) be a joy for all ages. Popular belief links the first advent calendars to Germany where they were used in the 19th Century to count down to Christmas. Back then you’d only find a picture behind each door but of course nowadays the standard is chocolate, followed by an increasingly assortment of novelty calendars for kids and adults featuring beauty products, Lego, tea, beer and even, beard oil.

Browsing all of these ideas however, and I couldn’t help but think how simple it would be to make some of them yourself so here are 5 do-it-yourself advent calendars you can make before the start of December.

  1. Decorate your own wooden calendar.

Pop along to Hobbycraft and pick up one of their wooden advent calendars. You can get a traditional tree or house shape, or go for a train design. Whatever you choose, it’s a blank canvas to paint, spray, glue and adorn to your heart’s content. You don’t have to spend loads on decorations either, try making a collage effect from torn up magazines and newspapers, or decorate with pinecones and holly from the garden.

  1. Parcels from the elves

You don’t need a solid advent calendar; instead why not make up 24 little parcels? You could use fabric or paper squares to wrap up gifts and secure with pretty ribbon. Then simply spread them out over a table or fireplace, or across the whole house to make it into a game of hunt the treasure! 

  1. Advent train

This is a very cute idea for kids and might even make use of a train set they already have. Use the open top carriages to hold a gift for each day of advent and label the carriages with the numbers. You will need a lot of space for this one, but you can turn it into a whole Christmas scene.

  1. Jewellery boxes

This idea is similar to the idea of creating individual parcels, but instead you place the gifts in little jewellery boxes. Mix it up with different sizes and decorate them individually. If you have less time you could buy pretty boxes and a set of wooden numbers and just stick those on.

  1. Last minute envelopes

A really last minute, cheap and eco-friendly idea – make an advent calendar with envelopes. Ideally you want fairly small, square envelopes, or cut larger envelopes in half and seal back up the sides. Brown paper envelopes look vintage and just need a pen to jot down the numbers. Stick them up on your wall or door and as a change from sweets fill with inspirational quotes or festive jokes (save the cracker jokes for next year perhaps?).

If you’re looking for an ethical advent calendar and don’t have time to make one, try Traidcraft. Happy crafting!

Emma Waight
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