100 Ideas for Handmade Advent Calendars

For as long as I can remember I've had Advent Calendars for the lead up to Christmas in December.
The earliest ones I remember were a hanging card with a Christmas picture on and 24 little card 'doors' to open. Behind each door was a different Christmas picture.
When I was a little older, I remember the Chocolate Advent Calendars starting - so this time behind the door was a small chocolate instead of a picture.

When I was about 11 years old I made my first advent calendar out of matchboxes. I painted all the matchboxes red - inside and out and stuck them all flat onto a strong piece of card covered in Christmas wrapping paper and wrote a number on each box.  I also glued a small bead to each matchbox drawer to open them with. Inside each box was a small piece of tinsel to provide a little 'cushion' for the small chocolates my parents then used to fill the boxes with!

I made a similar calendar for my daughters years ago, which they still use now!
The boxes were given to me by a friend - they were left over favour boxes from her wedding, and already had the gold bows attached, so I just added the numbers.
Inside each box I stuck a picture cut from old Christmas cards or wrapping paper.
The boxes then get filled with a chocolate each day (the chocolates have to be kept hidden in the fridge until early each morning up here in the tropics otherwise they will melt!)

I also made an upcycled clothes advent calendar one year, with fabric ornaments to hang on a button each day!

There are so many creative ideas out there for Handmade Advent Calendars, I thought it would be nice to gather them together as part of my Christmas Shouldn't Cost the Earth Series this year. So here is my round up of 

100 Handmade Advent Calendar Ideas 

grouped together according to what they are made from.

Food and Drink

Card / Paper / Origami



Muffin Tins

Other materials

Printable Advent Calendars

I hope you found some inspiration from this big list of Advent Calendar ideas.

For more Christmas crafting inspiration, do take a look at our group Pinterest Board

Every day more ideas are being added for Christmas Crafts, Cooking and Gift ideas. If you would like to contribute to this board the please ask! The more the merrier!


  1. I love all of these great ideas to make advent calendars.
    Thanks for sharing them with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the week.
    Julie xo

  2. This is really a great roundup, full of inspiring ideas - and thank you so much for including my super simple Advent Calendar! So happy and proud! Thanks again!


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