We all love a chocolate advent calendar, but sometimes there can be an overload of sweet things at this time of year. Making your own festive display is not as daunting as it might seem, and we have 20 homemade advent calendar ideas that you (and your kids!) will love.
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Create some fantastic family memories with your own homemade advent calendar, many of which can be reused year after year. We have compiled a list of 20 more fun and easy ideas for you to fill each day with a little treat or a Christmas activity to enjoy as a family.
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How to Make a Homemade Advent Calendar
Christmas Advent Jar
With some empty matchboxes, wrapping paper and a pretty glass jar, Just A Girl created this fantastic idea for a Christmas Advent Jar. Each box was labelled with a number for the day, and inside each was an idea for spending time together as a family – play a board game, watch a Christmas movie, do a Christmas craft, bake cookies, and so on.
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Countdown Calendar Garland
This countdown calendar garland from Maya Made will need a supply of empty toilet or kitchen roll tubes (or make the tubes from thick craft paper), as well as some wrapping paper to decorate, and string to create the garland. Hang your garland around your tree, from your mantel, or along the stairs, and enjoy the daily excitement!
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Bonbon Advent Wreath
What a sensational idea for fun and festive decor! This advent wreath from Oh Happy Day features little gifts (sweets, temporary tattoos, stickers, hair clips, or a ticket for a family activity. Each one is wrapped in coloured crepe paper and stuck to a wire frame (you could make this from a wire coat hanger if you can’t find it at your local craft store).
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Advent Calendar Bags
All you need for these homemade Advent Calendar bags from Moment to Moment are 24 paper bags, string, and some craft paper or even festive wrapping paper for the numbers. Inside each bag could be a small treat, a Christmas printable (try our Christmas word search!), a book, etc. You could also leave equipment for a Christmas activity, such as a recipe and cookie cutters for an afternoon baking. The best thing is that these bags are reusable each year!
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A Natural Advent Calendar
The Li’l Sparrow came up with a really eye-catching (and easy!) idea for a homemade advent calendar by using a large stick, some gold paint and individual wrapped gifts.
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A Monochrome Christmas
Elegant, stylish and still very festive – we love this quick and easy homemade advent calendar notice board idea from You Did Blog. A mix of fonts, styles and designs transforms a noticeboard into a homemade advent calendar.
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This advent tree from Maya Made is not only cute for the kids to enjoy, but it’s a fantastic decorative piece too! Each little door is made from card or craft paper, with a door for the kids to open. Behind each is an activity to look forward to, or in Maya’s case, a ‘time ticket’ for one-on-one time with a parent.
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Festive Craft Stick Calendar
This simple idea of using craft/lollipop sticks to create your own homemade advent calendar is chic and effective. The Merry Thought used fake greenery to decorate the craft sticks, but you could paint, decorate or use wrapping paper instead.
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Egg Carton Calendar
Although Linfa Creativa is in Italian, it is easy to see how to make this egg carton calendar. Paint the egg carton, then use craft paper to create discs to cover your hidden treats.
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Create a reusable advent calendar with chalkboard paint, like this great one from The Merry Thought. Plywood is painted with chalkboard paint, then your child can use chalk to mark off each day and choose an activity from one of the ‘Give’, ‘Make’ or ‘Do’ envelopes.
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Advent in a Jar
We love Penelope and Pip’s idea for Advent in a jar on PoppyTalk. Using craft materials you probably have already (or can easily source), create 24 activity tokens and decorate with pompoms for a little festive cheer! This is a really kid-friendly (and space-saving!) way to have some family fun.
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Advent Stocking Garland
Cardboard and crepe paper Santa stockings, like this one from Hello Glow, are a great way to give out a little sweet treat – plus it looks great hung on the wall!
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Balloon Advent Calendar
Print or write out some activities or Christmas jokes, roll them up and put them inside 24 balloons. Once you have blown up the balloons, number them (carefully!) and create your own version of Look What I Made’s balloon tree to be popped each day!
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Little kids will LOVE this reindeer advent calendar from Balancing Home. Different variations could include snowmen, Santa Claus, penguins, or a combination of several characters.
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Pillbox Advent Calendar
Well this is one way to repurpose a household item…! A Subtle Revelry made this look so fun, quick and easy – we’ve got to give it a try.
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Paper Ornament Garland
This paper ornament garland from Oh Happy Day is amazing! The template for the boxes can be downloaded and cut from card stock, then these gorgeous decorations can be hung from a mantel garland, the Christmas tree or even hidden around the house for the kids to find.
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LEGO Advent Calendar
Not only is this one quick and easy to make – it’s fun too! Follow Jacks & Kate’s lead and use LEGO to create a festive scene, complete with seasonal activities on each of their little lollipop signs. We love it!
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Toilet rolls come in to their own with this surprisingly elegant Christmas house calendar from Morning Creativity. Each tube holds a treat and is sealed with brown paper, ready and waiting for little hands to poke through!
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Christmas Books Calendar
Wrap up a Christmas book for each day – we love Oopsey Daisy’s simple brown paper wrapping – then snuggle up for some festive bedtime reading with your little one!
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Martha Stewart’s baby sock calendar is cute beyond belief – but you could make use of mismatched socks and mittens for an equally effective look.
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Would you make a homemade advent calendar? Which one is your favourite? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!