DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

Every single year I swear I am going to make an advent calendar for my kids. And every single year, time runs out in November and there I am on December 1st, getting the last minute chocolate calendars available at every grocery store on the planet.

You know the basic rectangle cardboard calendar that you get for $1, where you pop open a cardboard window and out pops a chocolate?

Then within the first week of using them I am reminded of why I hate these calendars. Because within that week by the time you struggle to pop out that sliver of chocolate, you manage to shake the calendar as you’re doing so. This causes random chocolates on other dates that you have yet to open, to fall out of their respective holders and land at the bottom of the calendar box. Suddenly your child is opening dates without any chocolate and by the 22nd you’ve got 10 chocolates lodged at the bottom ready to be eaten.


So this year I said Pinterest you win, I will make my kids their own calendar.

And being the “Hey what can I turn this leftover household item into?” hoarder that I am, I went into my stash of saved toilet paper rolls and go to work. Yes my family actually knows not to throw out the toilet paper rolls anymore.

So this is my upcycled Advent Calendar made from leftover toilet paper rolls. Thank you Kirkland brand from Costco.

I initially wanted to do pillow boxes but then I changed my mind and tried to make them look more flat kraft paper envelopes. Except instead of fancy folding, I got out my stapler and did this on both ends after filling them with chocolates and treats.

Toilet Paper roll craft

Oh yes, that is leftover Halloween candy. This is the ultimate upcycle.

And last years Christmas ribbon.

Got out my key rings. Took out the key ring part and stamped the tags.

Upcycled Advent Calendar (4)

Upcycled Advent Calendar (5)

Embellished and decorated.

Upcycled Advent Calendar

Stuck them a foam board and done!

DIY Advent Calendar

Homemade Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar Craft

 Should you try your hand at this, here are some tips I learned through trial and error as I did this.

– Use the good double sided tape to tape the boxes to the foam core. You know what I’m talking about. Not the crappy cheap stuff. If you do not they will fall off. Better yet, use a glue gun.

– Depending on how you wrap your ribbon, finish it (attach the ends of it after you wrap it around the box) with a glue gun and not tape (unless you can do some fancy tying). Or again the ribbon will fall off while attached to the double sided tape. Oh yes I was that naive.

– Do not use heavy clunky chocolates. Lighter is better. Thinner is also better. Common sense but it’s amazing what you overlook when you go “Oh the mini coffee crisp bars will totally fit in there.” Especially when you’re cramming in 2 of them, per box, for both of your kids. I could have made 2 separate calendars but…oh come on, do I even need to explain that part?

– For when your kids take off the box so you’re not stuck with a ripped spot or some glue, have them put up a Christmas sticker, small ornament or make their own small festive drawing over the spot. I vote for the craft part to occupy them.

There. Now you can make sure that your family doesn’t throw away all your toilet paper rolls either. And when your spouse gets mad at you for this, send them here. My husband will tell you it’s a lot better than me spending all our money at Michael’s.

Which I would never, ever. Do.

Upcycled Advent Calendar using Toilet Paper rolls