How to make a DIY Advent Calendar for kids

Can you feel the bustle and the excitement in the air? These are the first signs that the holidays are coming, the most heartfelt and appreciated time of the year!

We are quickly approaching the Christmas holidays: the time of year that brings young and old together. That moment when adults can become children again, rediscovering magic, mystery, imagination and expectation... just like the little ones. To newly experience these emotions and help the little ones at home get closer to Christmas, one day at a time, we suggest making a DIY Advent Calendar. In this way, children can receive a small, different gift every day and always feel pampered, while adults can brush up on their manual skills and have fun choosing the surprises.

Here are two simple ideas for making a DIY advent calendar.

Childhood is the time when every holiday and special occasion is experienced with amazement, wonder and enchantment. Would you like to recapture a bit of this sensation from your childhood? Get everything you need and try making an advent calendar with the little ones!

Advent calendar with hanging bags

In order to make this first version of a DIY advent calendar you only need a few things, easily available in every home. Here is the short list:

  • 24 paper envelopes or bags (they can be colored or you can decorate them with Christmas-themed elements)
  • a branch or a wooden hanger
  • twine
  • markers
  • small Christmas decorations
  • 24 small wooden clothespins
  • rounded tip scissors
  • glue.

The first step is to decorate the paper envelopes or bags. You can decorate them using Christmas stickers with elements such as stars or snowflakes, glitter, silver or gold ribbons, but also drawings done together with the children... once the bags have been decorated, think about how to put them in order without forgetting to write the number of the day in which they will be open, from 1 to 24.

The decorating step is definitely the most fun, not only for the kids, but for you as well. Help them choose colors or make drawings and let your imagination run wild.

Once all the bags are finished, it's time to choose the surprises. For this second step, make sure the kids don’t see you, otherwise it won’t be a surprise!

A tip? Choose different small gifts for each day. To make them less recognizable to the touch, wrap them in sheets of newspaper. In this way, even the most curious children won't be able to guess what's inside.

And now the final step: preparing the branch or hanger to hang the bags on. After cutting 24 strands of twine of different lengths, firmly tie them to the branch or hanger one after the other, and clip each bag to the corresponding strand with a clothespin. Remember to place the branch or the hanger at a height where the little ones can reach each bag!

DIY advent calendar for kids with recycled fabric

The second creative idea for making a DIY calendar includes old t-shirts and recycled fabric. To make the advent calendar with recycled fabric, you’ll need:

  • 24 pieces of fabric, better in different colors for a cheerful and lively final result
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • needle and colored thread
  • fabric markers
  • small Christmas decorations
  • colored ribbons.

After getting all your fabric together, cut 24 rectangles of different sizes. These scraps of fabric will be used to make the bags. Simply take each piece of fabric, fold it in half inside out and sew the two open sides together (vertically to the base). There's no need to be afraid: you don't need to be an expert tailor to do this, the important thing is that there are no holes that allow a glimpse or, worse, a surprise to come out.

Don't worry about the sewing: the imperfection of each seam will make each bag unique and will give it a touch of originality, especially if you use colored thread!

Now turn the bags right side out and decorate them along with the children: snowflakes, small Christmas trees, other fabric scraps or small charms. Always remember the numbers, from 1 to 24, which you can choose to embroider or write with fabric markers.

Fill the bags with your chosen small gifts and close them with the colored ribbons.

You can hang each bag in different places around the house, display them all starting from the first day, or you can decide to hide the bag of the corresponding day around the house, so kids can have fun going on a daily treasure hunt. Another solution would be to put them in a Christmas basket, easily accessible to the little ones at home!

A world of surprises: ideas for what to put in your advent calendar

Now that you know how to make advent calendars at home, it's time to turn yourself into Santa and choose the surprises to hide in each "box". Ideally, each little gift should be different from that of the previous days, to make it a new surprise!

One of the best things about advent calendars is that the little surprises can be personalized and tailored to each child's taste, age and needs.

There are so many gifts to choose from. On the other hand, children are easy to please and every gift will always be appreciated and welcomed with amazement. So let's take a look at some ideas for your advent calendar.

Stationery. Erasers, sharpeners, some crayons or colored chalk. These little items are always useful both for drawing and crafting, and for school.

Stencils, stickers and temporary tattoos. These are loved by all children, especially if they refer to their favorite cartoon or comic book character.

Small toys. Cars, miniature action figures, but also small animals... when it comes to toys, success is guaranteed.

Hair clips or colored scrunchies, nail polish. Any small colored object can open up a world of imagination and fun.

Then there's the ultimate advent calendar gift: you can alternate some of these little gifts with something yummy. So go ahead and include some chocolates, candies, but also our Soft Amaretti which are prefect in their practical single portions, becoming delicious surprises in the calendar.

What are you waiting for? Get ready to make your DIY advent calendar: a solution that lets you spend some extra time with your children, pampering them a bit.