How to make your own advent calendar

As the festive season is now upon us, some of us may be panicking about the lack of advent calendars in our lives. And even more of us might be wondering if they could upgrade their advent calendars to something more… personal. What better way to get what you want than to make your own advent calendar! Using our crafty lil tips and tricks, you could create your classy advent calendar filled with tasty treats and personal favourites to make each day of December worth smiling about. 

Not feeling up to the effort of crafting? We’ve also got some delightful Christmas gifts that you can send along with any of our brilliant Christmas cards

Making an advent calendar

So when it comes down to the nitty gritty, there are a few different ways to do this. You could obviously just buy an advent calendar from the shops, or buy a custom advent calendar with all your favourite treats from a posh shop. But that would be too easy, and here at thortful we like a challenge – and we love some good old fashioned Christmas crafting ideas. So if you’re ready to get crafty, here are some different ideas for creating your own advent calendars at home!

How to make an advent calendar with chocolate

One classic way to make your own advent calendar with chocolate is to take a shop-bought advent calendar, either already empty (or you find a way to empty it by scoffing all 25 chocolates at once) and taking the plastic tray out of the cardboard box. Then, take your favourite chocolate bar and melt it over boiling water in a glass bowl, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water – this is called the Bain-marie method.

Wait for the chocolate to cool slightly, so it’s still runny but not piping hot anymore, and pour it slowly and carefully into the individual plastic moulds of the carton. Let this cool in the fridge overnight, and by the next day, you’ll be able to slide the plastic carton back inside the cardboard box and enjoy 25 days of your favourite chocolate!

How to make an advent calendar with beauty gifts

Now another really fun way to pamper yourself during this season of dry, cold weather is to create your own little beauty advent calendar. These normally cost A LOT of money, but you can make one for yourself with smaller, cheaper items like facemasks and nail polishes from the pharmacy, or even with beauty items you already own that are unopened. We’ve found that the best way to do this is to create 25 little boxes that you can stack in the shape of a Christmas tree (so cute, we know!). 

Our favourite free template for creating little boxes can be found from All Free Printable, and this handy template can be printed out and used to cut some small boxes from a larger bit of thin cardboard, a great way to use up all the boxes you’ve accumulated buying Christmas presents! Then, when you’ve masterfully crafted your boxes and of course painted them in beautiful colours or coloured in numbers on each, you’re ready to fill your boxes with your special beauty gifts and place it all in pride of place on the mantelpiece. If you’re struggling for present ideas this year, this makes for an ideal homemade Christmas gift.

How to make an advent calendar with alcohol

Now this is one craft where you could totally break out the power tools and cut up some PVC pipe to create your round tubes for holding alcohol bottles – or, you could use some tins that are ready to be recycled, like baked beans or tomato soup, making sure to rinse out the cans thoroughly, and remove the labels. You could even make use of used toilet rolls! You can paint the cans/tubes using acrylic paints and sealing with a glossy finish. Alternatively, you can cover them in festive wrapping paper or stickers. 

Then, you’ll want to glue all of your tubes/cans into a neat little shape, maybe a Christmas tree or even a star if you’re feeling adventurous with your glue. Next, you’ll want to create some lids for your tubes/cans, so that each day can be a little surprise of a mini tipple. You can do this by either placing all your individual alcohol bottles into the cans and then covering them all with wrapping paper, or using muffin cases with stickers or numbers written on them pushed inside the tins/tubes to create a little cover. Taaa-daaa! You’ve got yourself a gin/beer/whatever you fancy advent calendar to enjoy throughout the year!

How to make an advent calendar with dog treats

Now everyone loves to spoil their dogs at Christmas, it’s a well-known fact that they are the favourite member of every family. So how about treating them to a little festive treat every day with their own doggy treats advent calendar? Now we know what you’re thinking – dog treats can be really stinky, why would I put one of those inside a cardboard box? And we’re here to say – obviously don’t do that. We have an alternative method.

Create your own sealed pouches, either using small sealed plastic pouches, envelopes or tiny gift bags. Then, fill them with your puppy’s favourite treats and attach these to a pin board or a large bit of cardboard with numbers written on them for every day of advent. Our only request is that you make sure their advent calendar is kept well out of reach – no-one wants their four-legged friend to have too many treats at once!

Make an advent calendar with your kids

Christmas is about spending time with family, and what better way to enjoy the company of your beloved little monsters than with a fun arts and crafts session where they can make their own Christmas decorations, or make their own advent calendar. Maybe they want to put some small toys inside as well as little chocolates, or maybe you’ll be mean and fill every pocket with coal, but there’s some really fun ways you can try different methods of creating an advent calendar they’ll remember!

Why not try creating different themes, like using reindeer names instead of numbers on your boxes? Or you could just get really creative with lots of glittery stars and pompoms! You could even use little figurines instead of chocolate to create your own nativity scene one day at a time, using finger puppets or action figures. There are so many ways you could make an exciting advent calendar with your kids, so get out there and play!

If you’re looking to send one of your relatives or friends a little advent treat, why not include one of our hilarious and festive cards to write a heartfelt message to really make them smile? You could even include one of our hand-picked gifts if yours is a little too perishable for the post. Happy crafting!