Making your own Advent calendar – different homemade Advent calendars lined up on a table.

Making your own Advent calendar: 4 creative ideas for children to make their own homemade Advent calendar

An Advent calendar hides 24 little surprises that makes Advent even more exciting for children and adults alike. If you would like to put your own treats or surprises in an Advent calendar, then it is worth making your own Advent calendar. This way you can fill everything individually and even reuse your Advent calendar each year. If you would like to have a go at making your own Advent calendar, below you will find 4 simple creative Advent calendar ideas.

Ad­vent cal­en­dar idea 1: make your own Ad­vent cal­en­dar with 24 hand­made Ad­vent cal­en­dar bags

The 24 colourful Advent calendar bags are filled with sweets and little surprises for children. You can easily make this Advent calendar yourself and upcycle old items of clothing at the same time. We'll show you how to make 24 Advent calendar bags from old pieces of material and old items of clothing to create your very own Advent calendar.

Handmade little Advent calendar bags – the little Advent calendar bags have been made just using textile glue.

What you will need to make your own little bags for an Advent calendar

  • Old items of clothing or material such as shirts, t-shirts, cloths or old pieces of material

  • Scissors

  • Textile glue

  • Pinking shears if needed

  • Thin cord

  • Tags or pendants for the numbers

Step-by-step in­struc­tions on how to make lit­tle Ad­vent cal­en­dar bags

By using spare pieces of material and some fabric glue you can make some fantastic Advent calendar bags without a sewing machine:

1. Cut out 24 rectangles from spare pieces of material by using some (pinking) scissors. You can decide whether you want all the bags to be the same size or whether you want a mix of different sizes and colours.

2. To make your first calendar bag get one of the pieces of spare material and place it in front of you, but make sure to check both sides to see which would be the best one to use. Now, fold the rectangle once in the middle and then apply some fabric glue to the long edges starting in the middle. Next fold the rectangle back together so that the best side is now glued to the other side.

3. Repeat this step with each advent calendar bag and afterwards leave them to thoroughly dry.

4. Once the glue has dried turn the bags over and fill them. Close each door with a ribbon and attach a numbered tag.

5. Now you can put all the Advent calendar bags onto a piece of string and make your own Advent calendar.

Making your own Advent calendar bags – a handmade Advent calendar made out of individually packed mini bags.


Did you know that...

you can alternatively sew 24 Advent calendar bags by using some old items of clothing? To do this, cut out some rectangles from the material and then fold them once in the middle so that the best side is on top and then sew along the long edges to close them. Finally, gently iron along the seam and turn the finished Advent calendar bags inside out.


Ideas for Advent calendars– using 24 socks for a fantastic last-minute Advent calendar.

Advent calendar-idea 2: using 24 socks to make a last-minute Advent calendar

The traditional English stockings at Christmas are also great to use to make a homemade Advent calendar. To make one of these traditional-looking calendars for your children, you will need either 24 Christmas themed socks or 24 socks which are in traditional Christmas colours. Another option is to use some old socks and you can decorate them to make them look Christmassy. After Christmas, you can put the socks and decorations away and use them again next year.

To finish off this Christmassy homemade Advent calendar hang up all 24 children's socks with a piece of jute twine and some clothes pegs. Afterwards add a card or tag with the corresponding number on it, a small fir branch and a small string of fairy lights to give the Advent calendar a Christmassy look.

Ad­vent cal­en­dar idea 3: turn­ing re­cy­cled glass into a fan­tas­tic look­ing Ad­vent cal­en­dar

By using some old jars, bottles, candle jars or old vases and adding a little colour and some Christmas decorations, you can make an Advent calendar out of recycled glass in no time at all. This way you will not only create an Advent calendar that will really stand out, but you can also reuse your Advent calendar every year and thus help to be more environmentally friendly at Christmas time.

Reusable Advent calendars – using painted old glass jars as an Advent calendar.

Making your own Advent calendar: what you will need to make an Advent calendar out of recycled glass

  • 24 jars, bottles or vases (preferably with lids)

  • Different coloured spray paint

  • Ribbon for decorating

  • Tags or pendants for the numbers

  • Pair of Scissors

  • If needed- old or spare pieces of materials for the jars, which don’t have a lid

Step-by-step in­struc­tions on how to make an Ad­vent cal­en­dar out of glass jars

It is best to start collecting old glass jars a couple of months before making this calendar. Make sure to thoroughly rinse them out and leave them to dry before use.

You can start making your handmade Advent calendar just before Advent. Start by spraying the jars outside with spray paint. You can use one colour or use different colours to create a Christmassy look. Finally, spray the lids in the same colour to match the jars and leave them to dry.

Once the spray paint has completely dried, you can give each jar a number and fill it with a little surprise. This Advent calendar looks very Christmassy and classy, but it is also environmentally friendly at the same time.


Bear in mind that...

Advent calendars are part of the lead up to Christmas. They are a great tradition, especially for children as they enjoy counting down the days to Christmas.


Ideas on what to put in your home­made Ad­vent cal­en­dar: handy lit­tle sur­pris­es

As soon as your homemade Advent calendar is finished you can start thinking about what you would like to put in it. There are lots of things besides chocolate, biscuits, oranges and other treats, you can use to put in a homemade Advent calendar for children.

Below you will find some ideas on practical things that you could use to put in your homemade Advent calendar:

What to put in a homemade Advent calendar: a couple of ideas on what to put in an Advent calendar.

Practical things to put in an Advent calendar

Oth­er ideas on what to put in a home­made Ad­vent cal­en­dar

  • Cuddly toy

  • Pens/Finger paint

  • Modelling clay

  • Biscuit cutters

  • Bubble solution tub with wand

  • Bath bombs or bath salts

  • Fairy lights

  • Toy figures

  • Marbles/ bouncy balls

  • Mini puzzles

  • Magnets

  • Magnifying glass

  • Cress seeds

  • Puzzle books

  • Card games

Using a glass for an Advent calendar – a last-minute Advent calendar filled with a family activity for each day of Advent

Advent calendar idea 4: give the gift of time with a jar full of family activities

At Christmas time a lot of families spend a lot of time together. As the days get shorter and the weather becomes cold you can use this time to do some family activities. One of the best gifts to give is the gift of time. You can spend time with your children bymaking a homemade advent calendar. For a jar advent calendar, all you need are 24 small pieces of paper that you can label with activities to do together. You can plan the activities for weekends and weekdays depending on how much time you will have. This is a great way to enjoy Advent and to spend lots of quality time together as a family.

Ideas for fam­i­ly ac­tiv­i­ties

Below you will find some family activities which you can put in your homemade Advent calendar:

Christmas activities:

Creative activities:

Family activities:

  • Film night

  • Go ice skating or sledging

  • Game night

  • Reading bedtime stories or Christmas stories

  • Build a den

  • Build a snowman


Don’t forget to …

make a little secret list of what activities you have planned for each day. By doing so each day you can get everything ready beforehand.


Con­clu­sion: 4 ideas for mak­ing a home­made Ad­vent cal­en­dar

Get inspired and try out some of our homemade Advent calendar ideas, which are easy to make. The best thing about it is that your homemade Advent calendar is reusable, and you can choose what to put in it each year. It's worth the effort and your child will be very excited to receive their very own unique Advent calendar.

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