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DIY Advent Calendar Ideas & Over 30 Ways to Fill Them!

Looking for DIY Advent Calendar ideas to celebrate the season? Here are 18 different advent calendars you can easily make this year – plus over 30 ideas for what to put in homemade calendars that your kids will love!   

Homemade DIY advent calendar

DIY Advent Calendar Ideas to Celebrate the Holidays

Advent Calendars are one of our most treasured family holiday traditions. First used by the German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries, advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days until Christmas.

From simple chocolate calendars you buy for a little over one dollar at Aldi and Trader Joes to more expensive pre-made advent calendars featuring socks, coffee, wine, cheese, and even legos, Advent calendars have become all the rage for the holiday season Christmas Countdown.

We always buy the dollar version of the chocolate advent calendar at Aldi for our kids, but it’s not hard to make your own diy Christmas Advent Calendars either! What a fun and meaningful thing to do for your kids – but coming up with ideas of what to put in it is sometimes a little more difficult! 

Germans celebrate Christmas on December 24th, so the typical advent calendar includes 23 small gifts, and a larger gift for Christmas on 24th.

Instead of starting with 24 and counting down, a traditional advent calendar counts up. That means the gifts are opened on the day that corresponds to the number. Door number 1 is opened on December 1, door number 2 is opened on December 2, as so on.

Fill Your DIY Advent Calendars with these 30+ Small Gift Ideas

If you think you’d like to make your own advent calendar this year, you’ll need to come up with 24 small gift ideas. We’ve put together a list of small gift ideas for advent calendar fillers your kids will enjoy and that also won’t break the budget!!

We have four kids and the cost to make an advent calendar for each of them can really add up quickly. I sometimes try to buy items in packs of four so I’ll have one thing for each kid.

  1. Cell phone charger
  2. Air Tag or Air Tag key chain
  3. Money – dollar coins or two dollar bills are fun!
  4. Gift cards
  5. Chocolate
  6. Nail polish
  7. Waterproof stickers
  8. Small candle
  9. Funny socks
  10. Small piece of jewelry
  11. Craft idea, like these Waldorf Window Stars
  12. Christmas book to read together
  13. Popit fidget toy
  14. Little lego kit
  15. Tea or coffee bag
  16. Hair accessories
  17. Croc charms
  18. Art pens
  19. Cupcake liners 
  20. Cutter cutters
  21. Cold fashioned candy
  22. Hot chocolate bomb or better the molds so you can make them together!
  23. Little succulent
  24. Chapstick
  25. Bath bomb
  26. Little christmas lights
  27. Post it notes
  28. Mini clothespins
  29. Coupons for lunch dates or dinner out
  30. Old fashioned candy or a German Kinder Egg

Advent Calendars you Can Buy

If you don’t want to make an Advent calendar, here are a few of our favorites you can buy. They come ready to open on December 1st with all the gifts already inside.

Now that you have advent calendar filler ideas, here are 20 different calendars to make at home. Some are quick to make, some take a while, some are completely recycled and there are ideas for every budget! 

Regardless if you live in a tiny home, a minimalist or vintage home, you’ll find the perfect diy advent calendar to fit in with your holiday decor in this list!

DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

Countdown the days to Christmas with your own homemade Advent Calendar. From wooden and magnetic to burlap bag and paper and everything in between, there is an idea for everyone, every budget, and every space.

Now that the creative juices are flowing, what type of advent calendar are you going to make this year?


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