DIY Christmas Advent Calendar: Ideas for What to Put Inside

We have a wall-sized advent calendar that I sewed for the kids a few years ago – as a way to build excitement for the holidays.


Here’s what I tucked inside this year:

Items I bought:

– advent calendars with chocolates inside (on day 1)

– a sheet of Christmas stickers

-notebooks and pens from the dollar store

– plastic ball ornaments for their bedroom Christmas trees (from the dollar store)

-a domino game (from the dollar store)

-a bag of Christmas M&M’s (divided up into mini Ziploc bags for each child – for smaller portions)

-a block of air dry clay to make ornaments

-a package of Voortman Christmas cookies

-a snowman door decorating kit from the dollar store

-a ticket to a drive through light show

-homemade marshmallows from a local coffee shop

-gingerbread house and then for the three days afterwards, I tucked in different bags of candy for them to use for decorating (we did this in the four days right before Christmas as we did the houses on Christmas Eve)

-foam snowmen cutouts from the dollar store (for the kids to decorate as a craft)

-watercolour palettes (I wrapped them and tucked them in on the 25th to open. We let on that Santa had left them)

-smelly markers


Materials I re-used from home:

-Santa toques (which we already had from last year)

-a Christmas colouring book (that we had tucked away from last year)

-wood disks to make ornaments

-I sewed the kids little Rudolph face masks

-paintbrushes (which we already had at home – tucked it to show we were going to paint our ornaments that day)

-gingerbread men cookie cutters (to show we were going to bake cookies that day)

-hot chocolate


Gifted items:

-our neighbours gifted the kids each a molded chocolate on a stick (so I tucked them in a pocket one day)

-friends sent the kids Christmas tattoos in a Christmas card

– Christmas jammies (my Mom had bought them for the kids. We tucked them in so the kids had them for pajama day at school)


This year I found myself re-using items more just because I didn’t want to go out shopping with covid. It worked out for the best! It made me get creative with what we already had in the house and I would definitely do it more next year.

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