Upcycled DIY Advent Calendar

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Holiday crafts are fun, but they can get kind of expensive considering you’re also likely close to braking the bank with gift shopping this month.  That is why I love this low to no cost Upcycled DIY Advent Calendar!  Not to mention it is totally cute and your kids will love punching through the paper to find their surprises each day.

Upcycled DIY Advent Calendar


Here are the supplies you’ll need to gather–all of these are things I already had in my home:

DIY Advent Calendar Supplies

  • 13 toilet paper rolls (I knew they’d come in handy some day!) – If you don’t have that many, paper towel rolls will work just the same. If you are only using paper towel rolls you’ll need around 8 or 9. If you don’t have either of these, text your friends. I’m sure someone you know collects these. 🙂
  • 25 rubber bands. Those rainbow loom ones are the perfect size and stretchiness.  We just had bands for my boys rubber band guns so, though they were a bit big, I just tied a loop in them and used those.
  • 3 sheets (or 6 sheets if you want double thickness like I did–but probably not necessary) of tissue paper cut into approx 3 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ squares: 2 green, and 1 brown, red, or whatever color you want to use for the trunk.
  • Glue gun
  • Paper bag or cardboard to use for backing
  • Treats for the inside: printable coupons (found below), candies, or whatever else you’d like to put in the advent calendar.
  • Ribbon to hang the calendar with
  1. Begin by cutting the toilet paper rolls in half (If using paper towel rolls cut them into thirds. If you’re using both just make sure they are approximately the same height.) and cutting the tissue paper into squares.
  2. Set the rolls out on the bag or cardboard to form the shape of a Christmas tree.DIY Advent Calendar tutorial
  3. Once you’ve done that you can begin gluing the rolls to the paper bag or cardboard backing.  Don’t worry if the glue looks a little messy.  It won’t show when it is finished.DIY Advent Calendar tutorial
  4. Once you have all the rolls glued in place, drop your treats in.  My boys are sharing this calendar so on the days I dropped candy in I made sure to put one candy for each boy. (Below you’ll find printables for cute little coupons you can include for your kids.)DIY Advent Calendar treat ideas
  5. Write numbers 1-25 on the squares of tissue paper.  Then one by one place a numbered sheet on a toilet paper roll and secure it with a rubberband (beginning on the bottom toilet paper roll).  This is what your project should look like when you’re done.Upcycled DIY Advent Calendar
  6. Finally, punch holes in the top of your bag or board, put a ribbon through, and hang in a place your kids can see.  This way every time they ask you “how many more days until Christmas?” you can tell them to go count on the calendar. You’re welcome. 🙂

Upcycled DIY Advent Calendar


Now, for the DIY Advent Calendar printables I promised you…

Christmas Advent Printable coupons

For 2 more Advent printables, including a blank one, click here.

Enjoy your DIY Advent Calendar and don’t forget to Pin It!


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Cute! We never got around to making an advent calendar this year but I'm going to bookmark this page and make this tree with the kids next year. It looks like a fun craft.
  2. DEFINITELY need to do this next year. This is an excellent way to upcycle toilet paper rolls.
    • It has been even more of a success than I thought it would be when I first made it. My boys get so excited every night when it is their turn to poke a hole in the day's number and find their prize.