Countdown to Christmas with these 6 DIY advent calendar ideas!

Countdown to Christmas with these 6 DIY advent calendar ideas!

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A home-made advent calendar is a wonderful idea to brighten up your loved ones’ day (or rather, month!). If you’re feeling stuck for suggestions, read on to find 6 ideas that will be sure to fast-track the festivities and add extra joy in the wait leading up to Christmas. 

Is it even Christmas without an advent calendar?

The scent of gingerbread and hot chocolate wafting through the air, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” playing in every shopping mall you visit… the festive spirit is well underway! And with that said, how can one possibly celebrate Christmas without an advent calendar?

How the advent calendar came about

The advent calendar has come a long way since the idea first came about in the 19th century. From simple printed calendars, to those with chocolate, to charitable calendars that encourage donations… We now have lots of options available to choose from. This year though, homemade advent calendars are especially popular. If you fancy a bit of DIY, here are 6 ideas that are super easy to implement.

DIY Advent Calendar: 6 ideas that can’t go wrong

1. The Classic One: With 24 Small Gifts of Love

No one knows your loved ones better than you. Whether it's chocolate, tea or a hand cream or two (you can never have too many) – just think of 24 little delights and pack them in tiny boxes, labeled for each day of the month. Alternatively, you can also hang the packages on a stick.

What you need:

  • 24 gift boxes
  • 24 small gifts as calendar fillers
  • Pen (to label the boxes/packages!)

Optional: wrapping paper, thread, stick

Top 5 Filler Ideas

  • Tea (alternatively—Microteas!) 
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Small self-care products e.g. lip-balm 
  • Microdrinks 


2. The Tasty One: A Gourmet Calendar From Your Own Kitchen

Are your loved ones foodies and gourmands? If yes, then the way to their hearts is through their stomach. Warm their hearts with a home-made calendar filled with self-made goodies from your kitchen! From biscuits and cookies to jams and granola bars, unleash your inner Gordon Ramsay and let your culinary magic shine through!

What you need:

  • 24 gift boxes (alternatively: jam/preservative jars)
  • 24 small treats to fill
  • Pen
    Optional: wrapping paper, thread, stick

Top 5 Filler Ideas

  • Biscuits
  • Jams & Chutneys
  • Spice mixes
  • Muesli bars & brownies
  • Tea blends

3. The Loving One: A Photo Advent Calendar with Memories

Show your special someone how much you cherish your memories with a home-made photo advent calendar. Start by finding 24 of your favorite photos, and then think carefully about what it is about this memory that means something to you. Write this on an extra piece of paper to attach to the photo and you’re done! P/S: You can also stick the photo directly on the card or just put them loosely in envelopes, it’s up to you!

What you need:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Thread
  • Rod, pole or cardboard for hanging the photos
  • 24 photos
  • 24 small slips of paper to go with the photo
  • Pen
  • Optional: gift boxes

4. The Thoughtful One: An Advent Calendar With Messages

An advent calendar with beautiful sayings, messages and musings about life, is the perfect way to share your ideas with a loved one. There are no limits to your creativity. With these daily doses of messages, you now have 24 chances to express what you've always wanted to say. 

What you need:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Thread,
  • Rod, pole or cardboard to hang the messages on
  • 24 small pieces of paper for the messages
  • Pen

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Compliments—things you particularly appreciate about the receiver
  • Small tasks that encourage you to think and reflect or promote self-love. For example, "Write down three things you appreciate about yourself." or "Do three things to make yourself feel good today."
  • Quotes and words of wisdom
  • Favourite sayings from your time together

5. The Timeless One: Vouchers for Time Together

Vouchers for time together are also great fillers for a DIY advent calendar if you’re gifting it to someone extra special. Whether it’s cooking together, a movie night or a wintry walk with mulled wine, make sure you take time for each other and enjoy some meaningful moments with this calendar.

What you need:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Thread
  • Stick or cardboard to hang the vouchers on
  • 24 small pieces of paper for the vouchers
  • Pen

Some ideas to get you started:

  • A cooking session
  • A movie night with popcorn and more
  • A visit to a Christmas market together
  • A Christmas cookie baking session
  • A trip to a place that holds special memories for you both 

6. The Charitable One: The Advent Calendar That Gives Back

Christmas is a time for charity and gratitude and an advent calendar that gives back is the perfect way to share your blessings. Rope your loved ones in to do good together–the more, the merrier!

How does this work?

Instead of opening a present each day, set up an empty box with the person on the 1st of December and start filling it, day by day. Put in things that can really help people in need e.g. a warm winter coat you don’t use anymore. At the end of the month, take the box to a charity of your choice that accepts donations and give yourself a pat on the shoulder for a job well done! 

What you need:

  • 1 large cardboard box for the gifts
  • 24 thoughtful gifts for those in need

Practical donations for people in need:

  • Food with longer shelf lives e.g. canned food
  • Warm socks
  • Hygiene products e.g. shower gel
  • Scarves, gloves and hats
  • Toys for children

Note: it doesn’t have to be something super fancy, a little goes a long way!

Conclusion: Be it bought or home-made, it’s the thought that counts!

Advent calendars are an essential part of Christmas. They enhance the lead up to Christmas and the actual day becomes the cherry on top of an already wonderfully festive cake. Not only that, advent calendars are a great opportunity to show your loved ones you care and bring a smile to their faces. Of course, with so much to do, not everyone has the time for a DIY advent calendar and the one thing you shouldn’t do is feel bad. Regardless of whether it’s home-made or store-bought, it’s always the thought that counts!

Our waterdrop® advent calendars

Have you already checked out our waterdrop® advent calendars for this year? Unlock your daily surprise and be delighted by our limited edition accessories. From Microdrinks and Microteas to festive extras for your everyday life, our waterdrop® advent calendar is sure to add flavour to your life and spice up the month of Christmas.