Tips For A DIY Advent Calendar


Photo by Wedding Magazine

Advent calendars are a great way to count down for the anticipation of Christmas and give yourself some fun little treats along the way! They usually come in the form of chocolate, but the idea is that every day between the 1st and the 25th of December, you open a little window on your advent calendar and collect your treat to enjoy until Santa comes on the 25th. The presents inside an advent calendars can be quite impersonal, so to help put a little extra joy into your Christmas, you can give the gift that keeps on giving – your own DIY advent calendar! Here are some tips for making your own:

Plan, Plan, Plan!

Making an advent calendar takes a lot of planning – much more than just going out to the shops and coming home with one already wrapped gift. If you want each item to be super thought out and well received by the recipient than you will need to plan what they are getting each day and ensure it will be something they like. Because of this, it’s generally best to start planning your gifts in November – or if you are super organised you can collect gifts throughout the year!

Match the gifts to the days

Planning your advent calendar to reflect the days of the week you are giving the gift on is a great way to ensure the gifts will be well received and able to be used right then and there – that’s the whole point of the advent calendar – so try and plan the specific days to a T when putting your advent calendar together.

As an example, you can give your partner a ticket to the movies on a Friday night when they will likely want to go out and be social, or give your recipient something that will match well with the office Christmas party that is scheduled to take place the following Monday afternoon.

You can also plan to give your gifts from the 1st of December, and then have one big gift for the 25th of December which is the recipient’s main present that can sit under the tree, so as a bonus that you only need 24  smaller presents before you need to give your big one!

Christmas Tree

Photo by Family Disney, as found on Apartment Therapy

Plan the dimensions of the actual calendar

Advent Calendars come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a row of little brown paper bags pegged to a line of Baker’s Twine, they can be rows of tin buckets or hessian bags, wrapped presents, boxes, cookie tins, canisters or even mini Christmas trees. The idea now is to plan how you are going to present the calendar and what size the dimensions of each “window” is going to be. This will also determine the type of gifts you plan on getting, in order to ensure they fit in the calendar properly.

Theme the calendar

Themes are fun, and are a great way to tie everything together, so decide on a theme of your advent calendar and follow through from the calendar itself to the actual gifts. You could decide to go on an all out Christmas theme, or maybe theme it their favourite colour. If your recipient loves to play around in the garden you can theme it using herb pots, or if you would prefer something timeless you can go for a classic brown paper bag style. The possibilities are endless and extremely fun!


Photo by Brigette

Theme your gifts

As I mentioned, most advent calendars involve window boxes full of chocolate but they can be so much more than that! There have been advent calendars that are themed boxes of imported beer, rows of toys for children to play with, stuffed toys or beauty products. When planning your advent calendar, plan a particular theme of presents that are going to go inside the “windows” of the calendar based on something that the particular recipient likes. If you want it to be random, then that’s fine too, but just make sure you have an idea of the gifts in your mind when putting it all together.

Make it easy

Once the calendar is together and you give it to your recipient, make sure it is in a place that is easy to locate and easy to access – you don’t want to go through all that crafting and have your recipient forget to utilise the gifts! Hanging it near the Christmas tree or putting it in their office means that you will have 100% chance for a successful advent calendar!

So there you have it  – six simple tips to making your own DIY advent calendar. Let me know if you have made one of your own this year, and what you decided to theme and give as the gifts by leaving a comment in the section below.

While you’re here, check out some of the other ideas for an advent calendar below:

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