Christmas is the perfect excuse to get crafting! How about making your own DIY advent calendar?
You can buy advent calendars everywhere, but it’s so much nicer to make your own.
(Oh, please note this post contains some affiliate links.)
It also means you have control over what goes inside. This is especially good for children. Goodbye crappy or overpriced chocolate, hello personal treats!
This is also a lovely festive decoration in its own right, and if you’re careful you can keep it to use year after year.
This DIY advent calendar uses cupcake boxes!
They measure 8x8x8cm, and have plenty of space for all manner of little goodies.
The boxes arrive flat and require folding, but it’s’s pretty easy. It also gets easier the more you assemble.
So many boxes!
Once you’ve assembled them, check your layout. 24 boxes make a very neat Christmas tree shape.
You also need to figure out in which direction you want the handles to face.
Horizontal, vertical, or a mixture.
Make sure you do this before you start sticking them together! Hot glue sticks extremely well, and you really don’t want to make any mistakes.
I decided to go for vertical, as I liked how the reflections looked.
First I stuck the individual rows together. Each row needs to be offset, so I figured it was easier to do this in rows rather than individual boxes.
Once I had the tree shape complete, time to add the numbers.
I remembered to set them out to make sure they were all there! It was also much easier to keep track as I went along.
They are pretty fiddly, so I used tweezers to apply them. Sounds crazy, but they’re small and made from fabric, and this was so much easier!
The numbers were the one things I didn’t use the glue gun for, as it’s not sufficiently precise. Regular white glue worked fine.
Note: the ones linked above are actually self adhesive. They were not available when I originally made this advent calendar. I wish they were, because it would have been SO much easier than fiddling around with glue.
I chose to apply the numbers randomly, with the 24 at the top of the tree. I think it’s more fun to have to look for each number, though of course you can arrange them any way you like.
Now, if you’re looking for something quite minimalist, you could leave it as it is. Sometimes less is more.
But while I like minimal as much as the next person, it’s Christmas, so let’s have some tinsel.
This is a string of white and silver tinsel from Tesco. Again, you could choose any colour you like, but I think this has the right combination of bling and class.
Of course if you’re making this with different colour boxes, choose whatever colour you think would be nice. I think red and white go well together, or gold on gold.
I used the glue gun to stick it along the edge of the boxes. There was a little bit left over, which I folded up and stuck on the top, to give it a little bit of extra height.
The last bit was the ribbon.
I made a loop and stuck it down, then stuck the whole thing onto the back. The ribbon is quite long, as I wanted it to have as much support as possible.
So this is what it looks like now! Pretty nice huh?
But this is Christmas, and when it comes to festive decoration, more is definitely more.
These come from Amazon, a string of 20 mini LEDs on wire. They’re pretty inexpensive, especially when you buy them in bulk, and there are a million things you can do with fairy lights, especially at Christmas.
The first thing I did was to make sure the lights were equal on both sides, so I stuck the middle of the string on top first. The light string was longer than needed, but I managed to fold the wire as I went along to make them fit nicely.
Little word of warning: hot glue can easily melt tinsel! Apply with care, unless you want to have big bald patches in your tinsel.
One of the best things about these particular lights is that are powered by those flat batteries, so the battery case itself is not bulky. I stuck it on the back and it didn’t interfere with how it hung.
The finished DIY advent calendar!
I’m so pleased with how this has turned out. It looks gorgeous even with the lights off, and the light string doesn’t show at all.
This has been made for my daughter, who adores Sylvanian Families. The little boxes are a great size for lots of the little Sylvanian goodies, plus other treats. (Though there won’t be 24 Sylvanian Families characters in there, I’m not made of money!)
There are tons of things that would fit in these boxes:
Mini toiletries, mini beauty products, cosmetics, sweets and chocolates, lavender sachets, mini bottles of booze, Lego, crafting supplies, mini cars, bath bombs, Christmas ornaments, scrunchies, hair accessories, jewelry, socks, knickers, little stationery items, treasure hunt clues, even money.
This DIY advent calendar is going to have pride of place on our wall, and filling it is going to be almost as much fun as making it!
Thank you for reading. Pin this for later, comment and share! You can also find a few other crafty things I’ve made here.
For a full festive round-up, check out Freddie’s Mummy’s Ultimate Guide To Christmas Planning!