DIY advent calendar from toilet rolls

The last couple of years the kids have been truly spoilt with expensive toy advent calendars, creating an entire Christmas scene with playmobile. This year feels the time to go for a handmade alternative.

I have made a DIY advent calendar out of old toilet rolls:) I have gone for simple is the best approach. Each toilet roll is filled with two sweets and a Christmas themed activity for the day.


Simply fold an end in, fill with your sweets and activity. Wrap some tissue paper round, followed by washi tape.


Fold the other end, wrap in washi tape again and you are done! I have a horrible feeling I should have put two identical sweets in per toilet roll to save the kids arguing about who was having which…

Ideas for Advent Activities for Families:

  • Decorate your bedroom door for Christmas.
  • Read a Christmas book.
  • Make a new Christmas ornament.
  • Make paper snowflakes.
  • Attend a local Christmas activity or party.
  • Do a Christmas word search.
  • Build a gingerbread house.
  • Make biscotti for Gran
  • Create Christmas cards.
  • Collect food for the food bank.
  • Make Christmas (Ice Cream Cone) Trees.
  • Create a paper chain for your bedroom
  • Go on a hunt for holly with berries.
  • Make a Christmas wreath with a paper plate.
  • Make some fudge
  • Make jingling jewelry.
  • Read christmas books next to the fire or tree
  • Go buy a new toy for charity.
  • Make a Christmas wreath.
  • Take Christmas pictures.
  • Make paper snowflakes and decorate the windows
  • Sprinkle the yard with reindeer food (dry oatmeal & glitter).
  • Write a note for each member of the family to put in their stocking
  • Have an indoor snowball fight (with styrofoam or newpaper).
  • Picnic next to the Christmas tree
  • Make presents for a pet.
  • Make ornaments to give and keep.
  • Wrap presents.
  • Bundle up and watch for shooting stars.
  • Make Christmas pancakes (with cookie cutters and sprinkles).
  • Clean up old toys to donate to charity.
  • Make a birdfeeder.
  • Read the Christmas Story from the Bible.
  • Camp out in the living room.
  • Mail Christmas cards.
  • Dress up for dinner.
  • Play a Christmas Matching Game.
  • String popcorn for a Christmas tree garland.
  • Write a letter to Santa.
  • Host a Christmas Scavenger Hunt.
  • Dance to Christmas music.
  • Bake a birthday cake for Jesus.
  • Play Daddy’s naughty or nice game
  • Bake Christmas cookies.
  • Color a Christmas coloring page.
  • Make a Christmas craft.
  • Write and illustrate a Christmas book.
  • Take a bath with glo-sticks.
  • Make gifts for a teacher.
  • Take a drive to look at Christmas lights.

If you wish to download the list click here. What do you do for advent?


8 thoughts on “DIY advent calendar from toilet rolls”

  1. I love this idea have been looking for a simple cheap activity to do with three of the grandchildren. They love chocolate and some of your ideas for each day will be great to try. Some pine cones, cardboard and glitter little things for their hair and finger nails. You have started some ideas for me to try. Valda from Australia. as I think my comment will be a no reply and I have no idea how to alter this.many thanks , merry Christmas to you and family.

  2. Lovely idea, and a great way to encourage children to go back to the basics! This can be a year-round idea for when kids get “bored”… which they invariably do from time to time. 😉

  3. I’ve seen these advent calendars around a bit and always fancied making one – but we have 3 different advent calendars already, probably don’t need another one… Love your version!

  4. Vicky back again from Australia, you really inspired me and I have put together some of your suggestions, plus i made up some little plastic containers to plant some basil seeds, printed off some carols and made a song book. This has been so much fun, thank you. I have family in Upper Walthamstow, London and each year I have been sending small gifts to open each day, just something for them to know they have a Nana and Pa in Australia, thinking next year I might try this new activity instead. I send Christmas blessings to you all. Valda mason.

  5. What a great idea and I am definitely going to do this next year. Off to pin it now. This year I read the ingredients in the chocolates in advent calendars and they ALL contained palm oil which is a No No in our house so I might make sweets to go in mine next year.


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