A DIY advent calendar is a foolproof way to get the spirit of Christmas well underway. Not only will the maker have their own fun crafting something special for their loved ones, but the receiver will delight in the little surprises that are waiting for them each morning.
Below is a detailed list of all the materials we used to make our advent calendar, but remember, this is meant to be a personal project. Feel free to alter the list to your tastes and to the supplies available to you.
- Brown parcel paper
- Brown parcel string
- Love heart wrapping paper
- Cream and turquoise wool
- Pink sparkly ribbon
- Mini red tinsel
- Mini wooden pegs
- Brown card gift tags
- Mini gift bows
- 24 mini gifts
- Begin by making the string from which your advent calendar pockets will hang from. Cut a 1.5m length of your wools, ribbon, mini red tinsel and any other strings you might be used. Lay the ribbon and tinsel flat on a table, then wrap one length of wool around it. Repeat with the other length of wool, wrapping in either slightly longer or shorter twists. Fasten all the strings together at each end with a knot.
- Place the mini wooden pegs (from 1-24) along the string. You can either do these in order or randomly if you want the receiver to have to hunt for their goodies - the choice is yours).
- Next, it's time to wrap the gifts. Place a gift on some rolled out brown packaging paper or love heart paper, then pull the end over the gift until the paper sits both beneath and below it, making a sort of pocket (you'll need to leave around 3cm extra room at the top for folding). Cut along the top and the sides of the pocket, then staple along the sides, close to the gift, to seal it. Fold the top down once, then again and press along the edge. Repeat with all your gifts. (You may choose to wrap some gifts more traditionally to add contrast).
- Punch a hole through the top of the gift pockets (or parcels) and thread either wool or parcel string through the hole. This is also the time to add your gift tags - make sure the wool is threaded through it too and it is sitting on the front of the gift. Then, fasten the loop with either a bow or a knot and clip the peg over the top of the loop. Repeat with all your gift pockets, using a variety of wool and string of different lengths.
- Once all your gifts are attached, it's time to hang up your advent calendar! The ideal place is on nails over the fireplaces, but anywhere accessible will do.
- Finally, add any embellishments you have, such as the small gift bows.
The only downfall with advent calendars is that they can get pretty expensive if you let yourself get carried away. The key is to stick to small 'treats' rather than full-on presents.
Cheaper shops, such as Poundland, Tiger, Wilko and B&M are always a good bet, especially if you're making multiple advent calendars/have more than one person to gift.
Some of our own gift ideas include:
- Chewing gum
- Lip balm
- Hair ties
- Hand sanitiser
- Chocolate treats
- Car air freshener
- Hot chocolate sachet
If you do find your advent calendar getting a little expensive, why not ditch the stockings or an additional present? Although presents and stocking are nice, spreading the Christmas magic across the whole month with a glorious, handmade advent calendar is arguably a better use of money, and it's probably healthier too!
No time to faff around or about as creative a brussel sprout? Fear not! Tiger Copenhagen have got you covered.
This year, they're selling £4 'pakkekalender' you can fill with mini gifts to make the Christmas countdown more special than ever before.
Will you be making your own advent calendar this year? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.