DIY Advent Calendar and what I used to fill ours

When I showed you all my DIY advent calendar that was in progress, I received so many DMs asking for me to show you how to make it. Well, I have to be honest, my mom did most of the DIY-ing. The sewing machine and I are just not friends. But she very kindly wrote out all of the instructions for me to share with you – thanks mama!

I love the idea of this reusable DIY advent calendar for a few reasons:

  1. You can use up all your scrap material and bits and bobs lying around like buttons and ribbon
  2. It can be used every single year
  3. It’s kinder to the planet which is something I’m really putting an emphasis on this year
  4. It just looks all festive and happy hanging up don’t you think?

Don’t be intimidated about how long the instructions seem, it’s really not difficult, in fact if I really tried I could probably whip one up too. Oki dokes, here we go…


1 piece of fabric for the background (we used white) roughly 1m x 1.5m

Scrap material in various colours and patterns

Piece of dowel slightly longer than the width of your background material

Scrap pieces of ribbon, pom poms, bells, etc to decorate with

Long piece of ribbon to use for hanging


Divide the background material into 5 rows, roughly the same height. Mark these off with a pencil – this is where the bottom of the pockets will go.

Hem the background material.

Do one square at a time, you can either have them all the same size or do them all different sizes like we did. Measure them out onto your rows one by one, keeping in mind that you will be tucking the edges in when you attach them.

First fold over the the top edge and hem, maybe with a ribbon on at the same time. Then finger press the three remaining sides in slightly and pin onto the material using the pencil line as your base.

Gather the pocket a little bit at the bottom to make it big enough for bulkier objects (like baubels), just a small fold or two.

Sew down the three edges.

To put on the decorations, you can use a glue gun and/or needle and thread. The numbers are felt and can also be glue gunned onto the pockets. You can decide if you want them in numerical order or jumbled up.

To hang the advent calendar up, make loops or a long tube out of fabric and sew it onto to the back so that a dowel stick can go through. Tie some ribbon on each end and then hang your advent calendar up.

Now that the advent calendar was all sewn up, I needed to fill it up. I bought a few little bits and pieces as I saw them in the shop that I’ve listed and linked below:

Unicorn hair clip

Reindeer pom pom kit

Father Christmas pom pom kit

Shortcake Christmas cracker

Father Christmas chocolate sucker

Gingerbread man kit

Piggy Paint Kids nailpolish (non toxic)

Assorted baubles

Stick on earrings (from Cotton On Kids but couldn’t find them online)

In the pockets that didn’t have one of these small little suprises, I put in a little card with a Christmas activity to do on that day. To help you out, I’ve created a free printable that you can use for your DIY advent calendar too! Here are links to some of the activities:

Paper Christmas tree (this one is also good)

Christmas colouring in pages

Christmas tree ball game

Santa searchers

Potato stamping

Paper plate wreath

Father Christmas hat ornaments

You can download the printables via the link below:

DIY advent calendar activity cards

I printed mine on card but I didn’t laminate them as I will probably want to do different activities next year.

Last but definitely not least, I wanted to include the Christmas story into our advent calendar, to really remind Aria of the reason for the season. I approached Sarah Jager who is incredibly talented, and she created these gorgeous nativity flash cards for me. There are 24 in the pack so enough to fill up each pocket in the calendar. Once I printed mine out onto card, I laminated them so that I can use them every year, just like our advent calendar!

And there you have it, how to create your very own DIY advent calendar. It’s so special and I really can’t wait for Aria to start with it on 1 December! If you make one, please do upload a photo and either tag me or #MMMadeMe so that I can have a look at your wonderful creations!

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  • Reply
    December 12, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    So cute – love this DIY!! x

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