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How to Make Your Own DIY Advent Calendar for Cheap

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Jen loves finding ways to save money while crafting for the holidays.

This is the DIY advent calendar I put together using supplies from Michaels and the Dollar Store.

This is the DIY advent calendar I put together using supplies from Michaels and the Dollar Store.

Customize Your Own Advent Calendar

I made this advent calendar last Christmas season after being turned off by the price of one of those large wooden Christmas calendars with drawers. I wanted something with drawers that could hold small items easily. This was perfect for holding lip gloss, small toys, and candy. My niece really liked our countdown to Christmas because of this calendar.

The products I used to create this project were mostly found at my local dollar stores. The only other thing that I purchased was from Michaels. I splurged on the numbered stickers because I was not able to find any at the dollar store that fit my needs at the time.

You may notice that the sticker on box 13 looks a little off. Somehow this sticker went missing so I just replaced it with a hand-drawn numbered sticker. It does stand out a bit, but I really did not want to buy another pack of stickers to replace a single missing number. I might still do that, however, because it is starting to bother me when I look at it.

Supply List

This is what I used, but I encourage you to use what you have around the house.

  • Printer paper to make a template
  • Wrapping paper and/or cardstock
  • Tape
  • Clear drawers
  • Pencil
  • Ribbon
  • Toy train
Pictured is box 1 of the advent calendar.  Inside of the box, paper is secured with tape so the contents aren't visible from the outside.

Pictured is box 1 of the advent calendar. Inside of the box, paper is secured with tape so the contents aren't visible from the outside.

My Procedure

  1. I bought two sets of clear drawers from Dollarama and hot glued them together so that I would have 24 sections. Each unit held 12 drawers. I used hot glue but you could use something with a stronger hold if you plan on moving your decoration around more often. Mine just sits in one place.
  2. I used printer paper to measure out the paper I would need to cover the clear containers. I covered the lids and sides of the boxes. I did not cover the bottoms. You may wish to do this depending on if the recipient will try to peek ahead of time.
  3. I cut out enough scrap paper to cover the boxes then taped them in place.
  4. I used thick metal ribbon and wrapped it around the outside of the container and hot glued it tightly around.
  5. Finally, I attached the wooden train I found at the dollar store to the top of the unit to give it a more festive look.

Love This!

I saw this the HGTV Christmas wreath above on youtube and I thought I would share. It would be fun to try something similar.

More Advent Calendar Ideas

There are many creative ideas that people have used to make their own calendars. Here are some more DIY Christmas calendar ideas:

  • Decorate paper bags and hang them from a string with clothes pins.
  • Glue toilet paper rolls together in the shape of a tree. Seal the back of each tube with a circle cut out. Put your item inside and seal the other end with another cut out with a number on it.
  • Decorate a box filled with numbered envelopes.
  • Use a cupcake tin with circle magnets to cover the openings. You will need two tins of twelve or one with twenty four.

Calendar Inspiration

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