DIY Advent Calendar


This post walks you through the steps to make a DIY advent calendar, using simple supplies, for the up and coming holiday season.

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It’s difficult to believe, but we are approaching Thanksgiving and the end of November. Before we know it, the Christmas season will be upon us. With that in mind, today I want to share with you how to make your own advent calendar. These homemade advent calendars are pretty and cost very little to create.  Also, an advent calendar is a fun way to count down to the “big day”, particularly if you have children. A Christmas advent calendar has a way of bringing more magic to the season as we approach that 25th day of December.

As a little kid, I used to love to wake up in the morning to find a small daily gift in celebration of the season. I think you and your family members will enjoy advent calendars too.

Advent Calendar Filler Ideas

Often times, store bought advent calendars are filled with chocolate or candy. By creating your own calendar, you can choose to fill the little gift bags and boxes with healthier and unique gifts that are tailored to your children or family members. The following small items are perfect for advent calendars:

  • a new hair clip,
  • lip balm,
  • nail polish,
  • small toys,
  • erasers,
  • fancy pens, or
  • Christmas tree ornaments.

These can be used instead of chocolate and or candy. There are plenty of great ideas for advent gifts, all you need to do is consult google for more ideas. Also, you can find some fun items to include in advent packages at your local dollar store. Little advent gifts don’t have to be expensive or complicated. Just find what works best for you and your family.

Creating a handmade advent calendar is a perfect way to make the holiday season more special and meaningful. So with that, let’s get started.

DIY Advent Calendar

The first thing we need to do is gather our supplies. I have linked most of the supplies below if you want to purchase them online. Many of these items you may already have in your home. You can also purchase most of these supplies at your local craft store.


My theme for Christmas this year is winter whites with metallics. So, I wanted my DIY advent calendar to reflect this. As a result, you will see an emphasis on metallic paints on white bags and boxes. Having said this, you can customize your advent calendar to any theme or color scheme you desire.  

Advent Calendar Supplies
  • 8 White paper lunch bags (You can also use brown paper bags)
  • 8 Kraft paper die cut stars
  • 8 3” square boxes
  • 8 Pillow pouches gift boxes
  • Velvet ribbon
  • Gold metallic twine
  • White twine
  • Metallic copper paint
  • Metallic gold paint
  • Scissors
  • Craft paint brush
  • Hole punch
  • Tissue paper 
  • Brown Kraft paper

I used three different types of packages when creating this advent calendar. The diversity in packages accommodates different sized items and creates a visually interesting display. 

Step 1: Create Advent Bags

For this first type of advent packaging I used the following supplies

  • 8 Little bags (I used lunch bags)
  • Velvet ribbon
  • Hole punch
  • Die cut stars
  • Metallic Gold paint
  • Gold Metallic twine

First I painted the stars gold and let them dry.

 While the stars were drying I wrapped up my advent gifts in tissue paper and put them into the white bags. 

Hole punch in the bag

Then I folded the top of the lunch bags down and using the hole puncher, put a hole in the middle of the fold. I secured the bag in place by putting velvet ribbon through the hole and tying it in a knot. Finally, I adorned each bag with a gold painted star. I simply used gold metallic thread and looped it through each star and then secured it to the bag through the punched hole. 

Step 2: Create Advent Boxes

For this type of advent packaging, I used the following supplies

  • 8 3″ square boxes
  • kraft paper
  • Metallic Copper paint
  • Scissors

I assembled 8 of the 3” boxes into squares. You can use boxes that are smaller or larger but I found that the 3″ boxes were the perfect size for accommodating different gifts. For good measure, I secured the bottom of each box with a bit of scotch tape. Then, using tissue paper, I carefully wrapped up 8 advent gifts and put them into each of the boxes.

Then using a piece of 12” by 12” brown kraft paper, I painted it with metallic copper paint. This is the same process I used for creating the DIY Copper Wreath

Making copper strips

When your copper painted paper has dried, cut it into 8 strips about ¼” in width.

Adding copper strips to boxes

Then simply wrap one of the copper paper strips around the outside of the boxes. Secure the ends of the copper strips with scotch tape. 

Step 4: Create Advent Pillow Boxes

These are the easiest part of the DIY advent calendar. I purchased these little pillow boxes and they came with silver dots on them. All I did was wrap the gifts in tissue paper and put them into the pillow boxes. After closing both ends of the pillow boxes, I wrapped the outside of each box in white twine.

These little pillow boxes are perfect for gift cards, cash, or small accessories. (Like a cute pair of Santa earrings or a key chain)

Step 5: Assemble your Advent Calendar

You can add numbers to your advent gifts so as to indicate which day they should be opened. You can also adorn the outside of each package with pom poms, little treats, or stickers.

I used some chunky yarn, strung across the fireplace, to attach all of the individual advent packages. When I finished tying each of the packages onto the yarn, it looked like a garland of small gifts! This is such a fun advent calendar to make.

advent packages on tied to yarn

Other ideas

You can also attach Christmas ornaments and small figurines to your garland. If you don’t want to use chunky yarn, you can use some rope. You can also use a branch from a tree. Simply mount the branch to the wall and tie the advent packages onto the branches. Another bonus, these advent calendars can double as DIY Christmas decorations.

Step 6: Enjoy your DIY Advent Calendar

The holiday season can be stressful and sometimes it feels like we are operating on autopilot. Creating a homemade advent calendar is a way to slow down, and embrace the season. It’s also a fun to find and share little gifts with those you love. Finally, advent calendars are a great way to get the whole family excited for the Christmas countdown. I hope this becomes a fun Christmas tradition in your home.

Here are some other simple advent calendar ideas:

  • Create a wooden advent calendar with little drawers and stack them into a “tree” shape
  • Use a sewing machine to make little advent pouches out of fabric
  • Use some washi tape to make paper advent pouches

Below are some images of my own DIY advent calendar. Feel free to pin these images to your Pinterest account so you can reference it in the future. If you have any questions on how to make the advent calendar, please feel free to reach out. 

DIY Advent Calendar 1

I got some much enjoyment out of making this easy DIY advent calendar and it’s a great way to bring the holiday spirit into your home. It’s a festive way to count down the days until Christmas morning while celebrating the season with your family members.

DIY Advent Calendar 2

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    1. Thank you so much Rachel! I appreciate the find words. Advent calendars are a fun way to celebrate the season.

  1. This is such a great idea, love all the personalization possibilities, from color scheme to gifts within, just wonderful. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  2. Omg Anna, this is the cutest advent calendar I have seen! First of all, I love how you are going with a metallic colors with neutrals. So pretty. Second, you made each day so special by the way you personalized each gift! Pinned my friend! I hope you have a great weekend. – Meagan

  3. Your creativity is shining through again! Love your advent calendar, it is adorable! I like how you used different boxes and bags! I know you’ll enjoy counting down to Christmas!

  4. Love this fabulous idea, Anna! The mix of copper, white and gold is so beautiful. Plus, I love the size of these packages too – they totally doable. By the time I figure out Christmas gifts, and stocking stuffers I’m out of ideas, this really helps! Big hugs, CoCo

  5. I couldn’t stop thinking about this adorable advent calendar so I’m excited to tell you this post will be featured in Tuesday Turn About Link party this week! Thanks for joining us and I hope to see you at the party this week! Pinning! 😊

    1. Aww Thank you Cindy. That is really kind of you. I truly appreciate you featuring the post. I hope it inspires others.

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