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Easy and Alternative DIY Advent Calendars

It’s nearly time for the Christmas countdown and we’ve had so much fun creating our Potato Print advent calendar for you that we wanted to share the excitement and share our ideas for a DIY advent calendar you can create yourselves.

A homemade advent calendar is a great idea if you want to enjoy the Christmas countdown with activities or your little ones’ favourite treats, or perhaps your kids have a food allergy and you don’t want them to miss out on the fun! Here are our top DIY advent calendar ideas of varying levels of crafting.

Activities in a jar calendar

This is one of my favourite ideas and it’s so simple to make. Simply take a big jar and an A4 sheet of paper. You can decorate the jar with anything festive, such as twine or tinsel, or candy canes. On the paper measure out 24 (or 25) rectangles and cut out. On each piece of paper write an activity, such as ‘Movie night’, ‘Make Christmas cookies’ or any fun activities your little ones enjoy. Fold up your paper so the activity can’t be read and fill the jar.

Photo Advent calendar

A simple way to create a photo advent calendar is to take a very long piece of string and hang it up in your house. If you don’t have a wall big enough for one long piece, you can use as many as you need in a row underneath each other or find an old frame and attach string in rows horizontally. Print 24 of your favourite family photos from your year, polaroid style works perfectly for this DIY make. Underneath each photo write a little message or activity that you can do that day. On the reverse of each photo you can decorate it with coloured paper or simply draw a number 1-24. Hang up the photos, numbers facing forwards, so each day you can reveal a photo and activity. Our tip is to match up the dates with the treats, so plan the bigger activities for the weekends!

Tree decoration advent calendar

Depending on if you choose wood or a notice board, this DIY advent calendar may require a bit more DIY in the traditional sense, but the effort is really worth it. You will need a panel of wood or a notice board approximately A1 or A0 in size. Take 24 nails and pin them evenly across the board. With gift tags numbered 1-24, hang these and a Christmas tree decoration on each pin. The idea is that you place a new decoration on your tree each day.

Envelope advent calendar

I particularly love this idea, because I love stationery and treasure hunts! Take 24 lovely envelopes and decorate them with the numbers 1-24. Hide 24 treats around the house and write clues on cards on where to find them. Perhaps the 24 treats make one larger gift at the end of the advent? Pop the cards in the envelopes ready to be opened! If you don’t fancy the treasure hunt option, simply fill each envelope with an activity to do that day.

Toilet tube advent calendar

Yes, that’s right – time to start saving up your toilet tubes! Take 24 used toilet roll tubes and place a small treat or gift inside each one. Wrap each tube up with festive wrapping paper. Stack your tubes and glue together in a design of your choice. Carefully write the numbers 1-24 on one end of the tubes.

Paper bag advent calendar

Again, this is a really quick and simple make that is hugely effective. Take 24 (or 25) paper bags. Fill each bag with a treat or treats if you have more than one family member taking part! On a separate piece of paper write or print off the numbers 1 – 24 (or 25).

Using wooden pegs or clips fold over the top of your bags and clip a number to each bag. You can place these in a box or hang them on string.

Book advent calendar

So this idea is a little more costly than some of the other options, but requires a little less crafting, is something the whole family can enjoy and will certainly build the excitement for Christmas. The idea behind this advent calendar is to open a new festive book each day for a bedtime story. You will need a range of festive books for this, if you can’t find 24 new ones, you can use ones you already have or for larger books these can cover a couple of days. Wrap up each book and write or stick the numbers 1-24 on each of the books. Every night before bedtime pop the books on the end of your little one’s bed and let them unwrap the story you are going to read that night.

There are so many combinations you could create of the above ideas, let your creativity go wild and see what you can come up with.

Don’t forget to check out our Advent calendar on the 1st December to see what treats we have in store for you!

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