The Christmas countdown can be just as fun and exciting as Christmas morning. If you're feeling adventurous, or like to get crafty, there's no need to rely on store-bought Advent calendars to get what you want this holiday season.
A DIY Advent calendar can let you be as creative as you like while allowing you to customize the contents of your Advent calendar.
A quick Pinterest search can help you find more information on what's out there and where to find a tutorial if you need one (1). If you haven't used Pinterest before, users provide their email account and you're able to search through pictures from sites that are created and maintained by a third party.
Overwhelmed by the options and looking for a place to get started? Check out these DIY Advent calendars to get you started. If a DIY advent calendar is not your thing, and you'd rather buy a unique one, we got you here, too. Go on and read our roundup of The Best Food Advent Calendars you can by for yourself or the foodie in your life.
Do It Yourself Advent Calendar Ideas for Foodies
1. Upcycled DIY Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar
Love to make a positive environmental impact with your Advent calendar while gifting and celebrating this holiday season? Save a tree and avoid creating extra waste by collecting toilet paper rolls for this easy-to-do Advent calendar.
Paper towel rolls can also be used for a larger family-sized Advent calendar and it's a great option for families with kids.
Sweets are a traditional favorite for Advent and Advent calendars, so hit your favorite chocolatier to pick up hand-crafted and exotic candies to fill your cardboard tubes with.
Working with kids instead of the sophisticated palate of an adult group? Go ahead and snag some favorites during the post-Halloween sales and you'll have your Advent calendar — DIY style — at an even more affordable price point.
If you need a tutorial, they're out there, but this is one Advent calendar that's straight forward enough you may be able to skip the tutorial altogether. Simply fill the toilet paper or paper towel tube with your item(s) of choice (one for each day of December leading up to Christmas) and reach for your favorite decorative paper.
If you're feeling extra inspired, you can decorate each tube with washi tape, bric a brac, felt, or ribbon and match to your Christmas decor.
Once your tubes are stuffed and your paper is selected, simply roll them in the decorative paper, secure with tape and add some pretty ribbon ties at each end. You can print paper numbers and affix with tape to the tube.
Hang your calendar on the wall to display them or place in a festive basket bear the Christmas tree and you have a home studio DIY Advent calendar worth showing off.
2. DIY Advent Calendar Wreath for a True Foodie
Nothing says delectable and fresh to a through-and-through foodie like butcher paper and red and white twine. Eye-catching and reminiscent of the kitchen, while also speaking to the holiday season, use the paper and twine to wrap items to open during the Christmas countdown.
Use a wreath form or pluck some inspiration from nature to create a twig and branch circle to display your advent calendar on. Remember, many places that sell Christmas trees during the season also have fresh tree cuttings available at no cost that are perfect for displaying this type of Advent calendar.
Once your wreath is put together, tie your wrapped items directly to it with the twine. Label each package with a number for the true countdown experience, or let the opener choose on their own.
Looking for inspiration on what to include in the wrapped packages? Choose a theme and run with it.
Have a recipient who loves to grill? Grilling accessories, seasonings, and even recipes can be a great place to start.
Know a baker who needs an Advent calendar? Wrap up cookie cutters and sprinkles to get the Advent season started.
3. DIY Advent Calendar for a Tea Enthusiast
Leading up to Christmas, most people embrace cooler temps with hot beverages — even in places where a sweater is all that's needed to get through the winter! If you have an evening ritual that involves kicking back with a seasonally appropriate movie or a fun board game, a hot cup of tea can be just the right way to cap it off during Advent.
Putting together Advent calendars for tea enthusiasts can be fast and easy, and doesn't have to be expensive. It's a great choice if you're making multiple calendars to gift, as well.
You'll want to start with a wreath shape, and recycled cardboard can be great for the job. A tutorial video for this one may be helpful, but you'll start by cutting out a large circle and a smaller circle in the center.
Looking for something a little festive to add to the holiday decor during the countdown to Christmas? Go ahead and paper the wreath shape or decoupage it with wrapping paper to add to that Christmas feeling.
Once you have your wreath ready, you'll just need an assortment of tea bags and some clothespins. Slide the clothespins onto the wreath form from the inner circle and clamp a tea bag at the other end. The finished result is both attractive and functional.
Buy assorted teas in bulk to put together multiple DIY Advent calendars and enjoy a wide variety of teas leading up to Christmas during Advent.
4. Mini Canister DIY Advent Calendars
Looking for more ideas for putting together the perfect Advent calendar — preferably an easy one that doesn't require searching for a tutorial? — for this year's Advent season? Consider using small tin canisters (or small canning jars) to create the perfect DIY Advent calendar/Advent celebration.
Use small, food-safe tins to store specialized herbs, spices, and seasonings to gift in your Advent calendar. Select a different season for every day of the Christmas countdown and provide some recipes that use the seasonings you choose.
Unveil the recipes at the end of the calendar or interspersed between the seasonings and your Advent calendar recipient can enjoy one or two new recipes with their holiday meals.
5. Festive Beverage DIY Advent Calendar
Hot beverages are even more convenient when they are grab-and-go style. Avoid the extra chore of decorating your Advent calendar by starting with holiday-appropriate hot beverage paper cups. Equip each cup with a lid and place a surprise warm drink inside.
Gourmet single serve coffees, tea bags, hot chocolates, or an assortment of all of them can be perfect for 24 days of Advent giving. Add a number to the lid and your Advent calendar is ready to go.
Storing 24 full-sized disposable cups can be challenging, but one way to do so involves turning to boxes for a box Advent calendar. For this, choose a box that has a lid. Wrap the box base and the box lid separately in festive wrapping paper and place the cup Advent calendar inside. Even wrapped, the top of the box should fit easily on the base.
Now, this DIY box Advent calendar is ready to masquerade as a regular gift under your Christmas tree this Advent as you enjoy the countdown to Christmas each day.
6. DIY Alcohol Sampler Advent Calendar
DIY Advent calendars geared toward alcohol can be a fun way to get into the holiday season — and may earn you some bonus points with your friends. Advent calendar ideas abound and there's no reason to stick to a single type of alcohol when putting together your DIY Advent calendar.
With alcohol, you can embrace the idea of the brown paper bag aesthetic and do an alcohol bag Advent calendar. Mini paper bags are available in traditional brown as well as fun holiday colors for a fun bag Advent calendar. Number each bag and you have a calendar DIY Advent-approved.
To display, choose a Christmas-appropriate decorative basket to place under the tree or choose a backdrop to hang on the wall. Attach your paper bags with an office stapler and 24 days of alcoholic holiday treats are ready to go.
Not interested in a rustic paper bag look for your final product? If you're able to find small decorative boxes, they can be a great choice for your DIY calendar make.
The biggest challenge with using boxes will be finding a size that works for all of your alcohol bottles. Make sure you start with your mini alcohol bottles first so you know exactly what size boxes you need for your Advent calendar.
Nestle the bottles in tissue paper, tinsel, felt, or confetti in their boxes. Finish by using a label maker or even your printer for mini decorative numbers to add to the lid of your boxes.
7. Traditional Envelope DIY Advent Calendar
Looking for ideas for DIY Advent calendars that you can hang to display? Envelopes can do the trick. An envelope Advent calendar is easy to do — no tutorial needed! — and still has holiday appeal.
There are many envelope sizes out there, so you can choose how small or large your envelopes are. You may also choose to use mini envelopes and fill each with a recipe or clue to a larger gift that will be received at the end of the Advent countdown.
When it comes to displaying an envelope Advent calendar you have plenty of options for your envelopes. A rustic stick to dangle from, a pretty basket under the tree, or even arranged on the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree Advent calendar are perfect options for this calendar/Advent project.
8. Festive Beer DIY Advent Calendar
A great choice for a recipient who prefers beer over liquor or wine, this DIY Advent calendar is perfect for celebrating Christmas. Start with a collection of empty Pringle cans. A beer can will fit snugly inside, so there's no reason to juggle boxes, bags, or wrapping paper.
Simply place your beer selections inside the can and attach a printable number label to the lid with glue or tape and your Advent calendar is good to go — no tutorial necessary.
Whether you display it in the shape of a Christmas tree, place them all in a basket or box for an under-the-Christmas-tree Advent calendar, this Advent calendar will bring plenty of joy.
If beer isn't your thing, or you're working with a younger crowd, an assortment of sodas or flavored waters can also work as a fun holiday treat as you count day by day until Christmas.
How Do You Make an Advent Calendar at Home?
Making an Advent calendar at home is fun and can be easy — you don't have to have a home art studio, either. DIY Advent calendars can be made with materials you have around the house — recycled boxes, bottles, and cans are perennial favorites — or you can purchase items if you have a specific vision in mind.
Embrace the feeling behind Advent and the Christmas season and create something that adds to your memories of the season — there's no wrong way to do it.
How Do You Make an Advent Calendar for Kids?
Making an Advent calendar that's suitable for kids is all about the surprise and the experience.
Kids will enjoy being in on a craft, but the most exciting part is the moment where they get to open their little surprise each day.
Cater to what your kids love, whether it's a specific type of toy or food, and it will be memorable for both you and them. For a healthy foodie option, try dried exotic fruits such as mango, dragonfruit, kiwi, and durian.
What Can I Put in My Own Advent Calendar?
Chocolate is a classic favorite for an Advent calendar, but there's no wrong way to celebrate Advent. Inspirational quotes and messages can even be used for a no-cost option.
Small toys, foods, and accessories are all great choices for Advent calendar surprises.
Hard candies, tea bags, chocolates, recipes, and even novelty-themed kitchen toys and items can make great choices for your Advent calendar surprises.
Do You Start at 24 or 1 on an Advent Calendar?
Generally, you open the number on the Advent Calendar during the corresponding day of the month. So, on December 1st, you open the "1" package on your calendar. On December 24th, you'll open the one marked "24."
DIY Advent Calendar Ideas to Complete Your Season
Christmastime is full of tradition and celebration and Advent calendars can be a great way to embrace the season and appreciate each day.
Whether you go with boxes, bags, or envelopes, choose to hang or hide under the tree, an Advent calendar — no matter how big or small — can make each day special as you make your way to the final celebration.
Go all out with complicated projects that require a tutorial, or skip that step and enjoy a simple Advent calendar both kids and adults can use and enjoy.
Either way, grab your glue, felt, and favorite Christmas decorations and take a good look at the materials around you. In no time at all, you can be enjoying a new Advent calendar to gift or love this Advent.