Customizable calendar

To show creativity! Here’s how to make an advent calendar

The holiday season is a magical time with visits from Santa Claus and familiar elves. If you love the fun and surprise of holiday traditions, you’re probably a big fan of Advent calendars. The fun of an advent calendar begins on December 1 with 24 special surprises, counting down the days until Christmas. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to learn how to make an advent calendar yourself.

What is an Advent Calendar?

From German and Lutheran traditions, early advent calendars revealed verses or bits of the nativity story leading up to Christmas. Today, contemporary advent calendars are still used to celebrate Christmas, but have evolved into premade calendars filled with treats.

There’s an advent calendar for just about everyone, from adults to kids.

You can look for a pre-built, decorative and festive Advent calendar. These sets look like mini cabinets with a series of 24 drawers to fill with personalized treats and feature winter village designs. Some even include LED lights for added Christmas magic. The best part? You can reuse these sets for years to come.

This refillable advent calendar from Anthropologie not only lights up, but plays “Deck the Halls” to bring joy to your holiday home.

Shop at Anthropologie

If shopping at the store isn’t your thing, advent calendars are easy to make and you can fill them with gifts you or your loved one are sure to treasure.

Autumn is here, let’s get comfortable. We offer a Solo Stove bonfire with stand. Enter to win by November 18, 2022.

How to make an advent calendar

Credit: Revised/Emily Northrop/Anthropology

Artisans on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Anthropologie create advent calendars you can fill.

When it comes to making an advent calendar, there are two things to consider: how to store your 24 gifts and choosing the gifts.

At a very basic level, you only need 24 pre-built boxes, bags or drawers to create your advent calendar. Any little gift box like this one from Amazon is perfect for creating your advent calendar and filling it with small gifts and trinkets. Once you have all your boxes, label them from 1 to 24. A set of paint markers, like these Christmas Sharpies, will come in handy for decorating your boxes to add some real flair.

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon

You don’t have to be a master craftsman to create a special advent calendar display. In fact, these artisans have done a lot of the work for you, offering advent calendars that you can print or have shipped to you.

On Etsy, OhHelloMaker has created a PDF of DIY Christmas houses that you can print and make at home.

Buy on Etsy

What to put in your advent calendar

Once you’ve secured your advent calendar setup, it’s time to fill it out. This is the fun part because you can customize it to suit your gift preferences. Pick a theme (think 24 Days of Chocolate or Nail Polish) or choose a variety of small toys. Advent calendars are a joy for kids and adults alike, so you can make one for anyone.

Here are some gift ideas for the advent calendar.

Advent calendar gift ideas for children:

Mini Brands and a mini paint kit for kids from Bedwina are two advent calendar ideas for kids.

Credit: Examined/Emily Northrop/Amazon

Collectibles and art supplies make great advent calendar gifts for kids.

Advent calendar gift ideas for adults

Bonding a Tony's chocolate sample pack and Starbucks Holiday Blend K-Cup pods are two advent calendar gift ideas for adults.

Credit: Revised/Emily Northrop/Amazon/Target

Chocolate and coffee products are must-haves for adults.

Review’s product experts have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Avis on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, TikTok or Flipboard for the latest deals, product reviews and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.