How to Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar

How do you fancy making a simple DIY advent calendar? Shop bought advent calendars can be so costly; I thought it might be nice to make one from scratch that can be bought out every year.

When I was a child, being bought an advent calendar every December was a real highlight of my year.

When I was very little it was always a cardboard one — with tiny jewel like illustrations behind every door. Then as the years went on, the simple cardboard variety was replaced with a chocolate version.

Not quite so pretty to look at — once the doors have been opened — but very good to eat nevertheless! :)

Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar

The first Christmas we didn’t bother with an advent calendar. But the moment the boys were really aware of what going on, I couldn’t wait to make an advent calendar for them.

Their nana will always buy a couple (of the chocolate variety). But the idea of creating something a little more permanent — that can come out year after year — to really act as a marker for the countdown to Christmas is really lovely.

Especially when we’re all trying to live a more sustainable life.

I thought I’d use my peg board from Rose and Grey as a base.

Then sourced a few bits and pieces to make things as simple as possible.

If you were feeling particularly crafty (or had a lot of spare time on your hands) you could make your own bags. And numbers for that matter!

But I couldn’t be bothered I bought mine off Ebay.

So here we go — how to make a simple DIY advent calendar.

You will need:

  • A peg board
  • 24 little draw-string bags (mine cost just a few quid off Ebay)
  • 24 miniature pegs and string (I’ve a stockpile of things like this, so nothing to buy here!)
  • Some self adhesive felt numbers — I got these from The Orchard Craft Company
  • Little gifts to fill the bags with :)
How to Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
How to Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
How to Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

How to Make This Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar

  1. Stick the felt numbers on to the little bags.

They have a peel off backing and are really simple to use. Just make sure you position them before you stick them, to avoid any mistakes.

How to Make a Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
How to Make a Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

2. Fill each bag with a little treat; chocolate, stickers or a tiny toy.

How to Make a Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

3. Then attach each bag with a little peg onto string, that you can suspend between the pegs in rows.

How to Make a Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar
The easiest DIY advent calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
How to Make a Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
How to Make a Reusable, Fillable Advent Calendar
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

It’s really simple to make.

But the best thing about this kind of simple DIY advent calendars that you can fill it with whatever you like!

The first year, I went for bright stickers, chocolate bears and coins; but next year it could be filled with little lego figures, marbles or toy cars.

Thinking I may like to make one for myself too. Only my little advent sacks may well be filled with miniature bottles of gin ;)

Caro Davies editor of The Listed Home
 | Website

Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

Home | The Listed Home Blog | How to Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar

38 thoughts on “How to Make a Simple DIY Advent Calendar”

  1. Ah, you are just like me! I made the boys a perpetual advent calendar a few years ago and it comes out every year without fail. They love it. In years past I have filled it with Playmobil figures and accessories – a knight one day, his shield the next, then the sword, etc. Another year it was bits and bobs like penguin-shaped bath oils that dissolve in the bath water and Celebrations sweets.
    I love filling it and hanging it the night before December begins.

    Reply
  2. Brilliant idea, that looks gorgeous & I think I’d be just as excited about buying all the little surprises as the kids would be about opening them! I wish my boy was old enough, and hope I can remember this for when he is.

    Reply
  3. This is an adorable idea! It’ll certainly brighten up those dark winter mornings and your boys will be thrilled. I love advent calendars too – especially Matthew Rice ones and 3D ones from Phoenix cards. This year we are having LEGO and Playmobil ones for the first time. I may have to buy myself an old-fashioned one to have as well. And possibly a chocolate one too. x #HomeEtc

    Reply
  4. Ooooooo I like the sound of an advent calendar filled with little bottles of gin. My kind of calendar. I really like the little bags and as you said you can fill it with different things each year. I need to think outside the box for this year. Last year the teen decided to eat all his chocolate on the 1st December….. kids. Love how it all looks on your peg board. I really need to invest in one xx

    Reply
  5. This is such a fun idea, I love how you can fill the bags with little surprises for each day so it’s not always going to be chocolate! #HomeEtc

    Reply
  6. I love this – and I’m sure they will too, but I’ve a feeling you’ll have to make another one at some point so they can use it in the future with their own children! Love, love, love. #homeetc

    Reply
  7. I love this idea. We always struggle with advent calendars for my son who doesn’t like chocolate. I’m toying with the idea of making one out of matchboxes and filling it with nik naks. A beg board is a great base for your calendar, you can use it all year and maybe fill it again at Easter. Have fun filling it up!

    Reply
  8. Wow this is amazing Caro- you are so talented! The boys will love it I am sure. Last year we did a book advent, we read a new book each night related to Christmas. I loved it, but it ended up being quite an expense so I don’t know if we will do that again this year! x

    Reply
    • Gosh — yes — that’s a lovely idea but would end up being so costly! I bought a couple of little books from the supermarket yesterday and they were only £3.99 each — which seemed a bargain — but I guess if you buying 24 that would be almost £100!!! Blimey!!

      Reply
  9. What a great idea! My son has a wooden reindeer advent calendar with drawers in that my auntie fills for him each year. She always fills it with sweets and chocolate but I like the idea of little gifts too! I must dig it out actually and give it to her to fill in time, I can’t believe how quickly December is coming around!

    Reply
  10. It’s so pretty and I’m a huge fan of something that can be reused again and again. Although I would never be able to think of enough things for 24 little bags, that would really challenge me! I could try making a doggie version but I’m not entirely sure she’d appreciate it ;) Thanks for hosting as always Xx

    Reply
  11. Oh I love this! It’s really nice that you can fill it up with lots of little things too – I would definitely vote for the gin idea for myself! The challenge is to try to make sure they don’t open them all on day one! x

    Reply
  12. Oh just beautiful and so super stylish – love the little bags and what a greta alternative to the chocolate ones! Great job lovely :)

    Thanks for being my gorgeous host :) #HomeEtc

    Reply
  13. Hi

    I was just checking my website back links and stumbled upon this. Thank you for mentioning and using our Advent numbers.Your finished Advent Calendar looks lovely Kind regards Lesley, Orchard Craft Company

    Reply

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Listed Home featured publications