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DIY Advent Calendar

Posted in DIY, and Holidays

Tomorrow is December 1st and the holiday excitement is real. I’ve always liked the idea of advent (or Christmas countdown) calendars. Since the kids love receiving little trinkets each day as the holiday draws near. You can purchase all sorts of Christmas countdown calendars in stores from chocolate to high-end toys. But this year I thought it would be cool to make my own DIY advent calendar with candy and small gifts that I know my kids will enjoy.

DIY Advent Calendar Materials:

  • 12 toilet paper rolls (cut in half)
  • craft paint
  • glue stick
  • hot glue gun
  • tissue paper (in the same color as the paint)
  • felt, ribbon, or various decorations (get creative!)
  • 2 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock paper


  1. The first thing you want to do is decide what shape you want your diy advent calendar to be and map it out. There are 24 days from December 1st until Christmas so you’ll have 24 circles to work with when mapping out your shape. I made a square gift box for my daughter and a Christmas tree shape for my son. Both of these were fairly simple and I’ve included the guides below if you want to copy those.
  2. Cut your 12 rolls in half. For my fellow type B personalities, don’t worry about cutting them perfectly even (that sounds like a lot of work, and who has time for that?) Instead, I intentionally exaggerated the different heights which added a little whimsy to the DIY advent calendars.

    Once they are cut, paint the TP rolls and set them aside to dry. (Be sure to paint both the inside and outside of each roll).
  3. Next, cut out your tissue paper into small squares, large enough to cover one side of the toilet paper roll. The next thing you’re going to do is glue the tissue paper to the roll…BUT, before you do, check to make sure all of your gifts fit in the tubes. For these calendars I used an assortment of gifts and candies that I knew my kids would like. And while the candy fit the easiest, some of my gift choices were more oddly shaped (I’m looking at you, Tsum Tsums) and needed to be stuffed before adding the tissue paper to cover it up. So keeping that in mind, place one of your presents in each roll.
  4. Now it’s time to start building your shape. To create the backing, tape together two pieces of card stock in a color that either matches or compliments your tp rolls.

    Place the rolls on the paper in the shape you want to build outline the shape with a pencil. Once outlined, remove the rolls and cut out your shape. Now start gluing! The method you use to glue your shape will be entirely up to you and your design but I definitely recommend using the hot glue gun. I placed a bit of glue on the open-end of each tube and then placed it on the card stock. As I added each roll, I repeated this process adding glue to the sides and tops of each roll to connect them.

  5. Almost done! Now it’s time to add your numbers and decorate! Write the numbers 1-24 (in any order you like) on your calendar and add color, felt, ribbon…get creative and really make it your own. And when you’re done, stand it up and you have a holiday count-down that makes every day as exciting as Christmas morning! (Well… almost)
diy advent calendar gift
Gift Box Calendar
diy advent calendar christmas tree
Christmas Tree Calendar