DIY Advent Calendars

Our Advent Calendar Tradition:

We discovered advent calendars for our family a few years ago. It was when Lego advent calendars came onto the scene. I bought one on a whim for my son (who was really still too small) and it was like I discovered some secret magic.

Each morning my son would wake up, and instead of fighting over whether we could turn on the TV before daycare, he went right to his advent calendar. He opened the little door, and regardless of what tiny project awaited him, he followed the directions and immediately put it together. Then he took it apart. Then he put it together. Then he played with it. Then he wanted to tell each and every person that we encountered for the rest of the day how to put it together.

It was a magical way to score some free time to drink coffee, clean the dishes, and get ready before the work day started.

This year I have two little ones who are ready for some advent calendars. Searching (or rather scrolling) the shelves I was a little disappointed with the selection – especially for my 2 year old.

So here is a round up of 5 fun (yet easy) ways to make your own advent calendar this year. (Don’t worry – you still have time – it doesn’t matter if you start a few days late.) The best part is customizing what goes in them, so that you know your kid will love each and every thing!

I’m excited to see how yours turn out! Tag us in your pictures @givethekidssomethingtodo on Instagram or Facebook!!

Full Disclosure: I’m referencing advent calendars in a totally non-religious way. This is just something used as a countdown to Christmas. I know that others may use various methods for religious advent practice.

Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar

This is a fantastic way to use up all of those toilet paper rolls you have been saving! You can make one for each of your kids, or the toilet paper tubes are large enough to hold several trinkets so that they can share. Check out all of the directions from It’s a Mother Thing.

Adorable Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar

Storybook Advent Calendar

I love children’s books. I always buy too many. This is a fabulous reason to overstock your shelves! If you have multiple children, I suggest mixing up the books and having them all share (instead of doing multiple sets of 24 books!). Check out the post from The Frugal Homemaker for all of the details.

Christmas Book Advent Calendar (4 of 5)

Hanging Reusable Advent Calendar

I was drawn to this idea from Mindful of the Home because of the entire list of advent calendar projects geared towards reusing what you already have! This is a great version because you can use items you have around the house, and customize items to fit the size of the gifts that you have. If you want to coordinate packaging, you can also make sure that it fits into your home’s decor.

This would be easy to hang on bedroom doors, in a play room, or near the breakfast table. You can choose whatever stick or other item matches your aesthetic – it doesn’t have to be rustic if that isn’t your thing.

presents hanging from branch - DIY advent calendar

Party Cup Advent Calendar

This is such a simple + fun idea from Pretty Little Party Shop. You can buy fancy cups to use, but you know that your kids will be happy with whatever you have! Check out all of the instructions in the original post.

DIY Advent Calendar Tutorial - Paper Cup Advent – Pretty Little Party Shop

Party Cup Advent Calendar

I love this simple idea + beautiful presentation from The Ginger Home. Click through to the original post to get free printable tags and learn how to organize your gift bags in the shape of a tree. (I LOVE the light accents!) This really makes it a part of the decorations in your home.

If you don’t have the time to orchestrate this quite so much – you can still use the concept of gift bags and attach them to what you have at home. A bunk bed rail, a clothesline, anything works! Or just attach one bag per day somewhere that your child will see when they wake up. It doesn’t have to be too complicated or perfection to work for holiday magic.

I can’t wait to see what advent calendar fun you have this holiday season! Regardless of what you put together, taking the time to enhance the magic just a little bit each day is worth the effort.

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