Cheap homemade advent calendars – 7 ideas with toilet paper rolls
Instead of just tossing those empty toilet paper rolls into the trash, we can repurpose them as creative crafts for toddlers and preschoolers or use them as Christmas home decoration. Here are 7 homemade advent calendars for your inspiration. Each Xmas calendar consists of 24 paper tubes converted into small baskets and filled with toys and candy. The countdown for Christmas begins, make it much more special and exciting for everyone with these Advent calendars!
Toilet paper tubes wrapped in red tissue paper
– 24 toilet paper rolls
– Red tissue paper
– White felt fabric
– Scissors, pencil, utility knife, adhesive tape, number stencils, 4 cm ribbon and glue stick
Step 1: Draw the numbers
Using a stencil, draw with pencil the numbers from 1 to 24 on a piece of thin white felt. Cut them out. You can also use construction paper or craft foam.
Step 2: Wrap the paper rolls
Cut rectangular pieces of tissue paper (30 x 21 cm) and wrap the 24 cardboard rolls. Close the bottom with adhesive tape and insert the excess paper through the top hole towards the inside.
Step 3: Glue the numbers
The idea is that the paper tubes are like small cups in which to keep a surprise. You can give consistency to the bottom with a piece of cardboard – circle with the diameter of the tube, placed inside. Glue the felt numbers using a glue stick.
Step 4: Make the garland
Finally, using an utility knife make two cuts at the same height on each roll. Pass a ribbon through the hole to string all the tubes as a garland. Leave 50 cm over at the ends to tie it to some hooks on the wall.
To make it easier to pass the ribbon through the holes of the rolls, hook a safety pin at one end.
How to make a Christmas tree advent calendar
Take the recycling to a higher level and turn the rolls of toilet paper into a beautiful Christmas tree advent calendar! This will add a personal touch to your Christmas decoration, not to mention that everyone will be impressed by your creativity! (and your skill)
• Cutting mat
• 25 empty toilet paper rolls (or any other cardboard tube)
• Scrapbooking paper in two colors and different patterns
• Hole punch
• Cotton twine
• Decorative buttons
• Stickers with numbers to number templates (you can also use a permanent marker or the template from the other tutorial)
• Glue gun
• Gift wrapping paper preferably green and brown
• 25 small plastic bags (from those for sandwiches)
Using a roll of empty toilet paper as a template draw 75 circles on the scrapbooking paper. These circles are used to cover the back and the front ends of the rolls. Keep in mind that the front ends will have to be double-sided.
Cut out all the circles you have drawn.
To decorate the covers, use a mixture of the two scrapbooking papers. Remember that these circles must have double sides so that as the days go by, you turn them over and there is no visible number.
Use a paper punch to make small holes at the top of each double-sided circle.
Cut the cord into pieces of 15 cm and fold each one in equal parts. Pass the rope through the hole and pull the ends to make a loop as you see in the picture above.
With the glue gun and buttons, decorate the covers. If you do not like the buttons and prefer to use another ornament, perfect, just make sure you leave space for the numbers!
Number the covers of the rolls from 1 to 25.
Place each cover on the front end of the tube and glue the string along the tubes body. The rope should be pulled tight, as in the image above.
Line each roll of toilet paper individually with the paper or decoration you want, glueing the paper firmly in place. For the bottom of the tree you can use brown wallpaper, the rest will look best with green paper.
Using the glue gun, place and fix the remaining circles to the back of the 25 rolls of toilet paper.
Using the glue gun start assembling your calendar tree by gluing some rolls to others. The first row is the base of the tree: start with the rolls that have the numbers one, two and three. Glue them carefully together. Repeat the process with the next row and continue ascending in numbering. Repeat this step one more time, until you have three rows and three columns of toilet paper rolls. All rolls must be glued before moving to the top of the tree. Pay special attention to the numbers going in the correct order!
Start making the tree shape with a row of five rolls. Once all five are glued and the glue is dry, place another four rolls in the slots left by this row of five. Continue to look at the numbers you are taking and make sure the structure is secure. Think that the goal is to create the shape of a triangle that, as it ascends, becomes smaller, decreasing the number of rolls until there is only one in the upper part of the tree that will be, clearly, day 25.
Glue the base and top of the tree together, so you’ll finally see your Christmas tree calendar complete.
Divide a chocolate bar into 25 servings, or buy 25 chocolates or candy, and put each one in small plastic bags, such as those for sandwiches, and tuck them carefully into the rolls of toilet paper.
Tip: Decorate the top with a star, it will look beautiful!
And remember: when I finish each day and you eat the corresponding chocolate at home, turn the lid around and hide the date!
Cute paper tube dolls
Children enjoy toilet paper roll crafts so much! This idea we are sure they will like. From the cardboard tubes you will make these beautiful little dolls. You can fill them with sweet surprises and messages for the kids!
• 24 toilet paper rolls
• Hot glue gun
• Felt fabric in Christmas colors
• Pompoms, buttons, etc.
• White paper
• Black marker
• Star punch
Take advantage of all the classic Christmas colors such as red, blue, white and green. And if you dare, you can add other colors such as pink, light blue, yellow. There are no limits for your imagination!
The best thing about this idea is that you can customize the dolls as much as you like. Buttons, pompoms, feathers, sequins, beads … all the small accessories you have on hand will be useful for this craft project. Also do not forget to prepare sweets and messages to place inside each doll.
The first step will be to assemble the clothes of each doll. Open the felt on the work surface and cut a strip several centimeters smaller than the cardboard tube. Do not worry if it is bigger than you need, after wrapping you can cut the excess.
Glue the first end using the hot glue gun, wrap the felt around the tube and secure again with hot glue. You decide whether you want this end to be on the front of your doll or not. Taking advantage of this detail on the front, it will looks like a real jacket by adding two small buttons.
You can glue another piece of felt at the bottom of the tube so that you can fill it with candy and messages for the little ones.
Now make the hats! Cut a cone shape by eye or use a pattern from other crafts. Roll it and secure the ends using hot glue.
Then put the hat on the cardboard tube. You can either leave it loose or just put a dab of hot glue to the back. So the kids can open it to get the surprises.
Using the black marker make the face. Now, using the star punch cut out 24 stars and paste them on the front of the dolls or on their hats. And you are ready!
DIY hanging advent calendars
If you prefer an earthy, organic style, you can use a tree branch to hang your paper rolls. The red wool string adds a festive touch. You can use kitchen paper tubes, as well. And instead of tissue paper use wrapping paper to line them.
These homemade advent calendars are a great way to keep your little ones entertained because the projects are very simple. Another plus is that it won’t get messy! Only glue sticks are used, the rest is a matter of making holes and knots.
After wrapping the tubes, it is easier to attach them on the branch. Hang them to different heights so that you can arrange all 24 cups on the branch. But pay attention to the weight otherwise the branch can break.
A creative way to use wooden dowel rods!
– 24 empty rolls of toilet paper
– 6 round wooden dowel rods (30 cm)
– Burlap rope
– Baker’s twine
– Red fine liner
– Paint and red glue-glitter
– White Chalk Paint or any white acrylic paint. (The coverage of chalk paint is fantastic)
– Paint brushes
– Stapler and hole punch
The first step is to close the opening at the bottom of the tubes using a stapler. Paint all the 24 toilet paper rolls white and allow the paint to dry.
Using the red fine liner we draw the numbers. You can use a template, stickers with numbers or just draw them by freehand, for example. Using a flat brush fill with color and let dry. Finish off with glitter glue. It conceals possible failures, as well.
Using the hole punch make holes on both sides of the roll and pass the twine.
Now go with the wooden dowel rods and the rope. You have two options: either you are skilled with the drill or you have someone nearby that can do this for you. Use a small drill (3 mm) and drill the ends of each dowel rod, pass the rope through them and make a knot after it has gone through each one. If this is not possible, tie a knot around the ends of each stick, putting a drop of glue so that they do not come loose.
When we already have all the sticks joined by the rope, one way or another, we make a knot with the remaining ends and hang the calendar. In this way you can easily attatch the rolls.
If you have used 30 cm sticks, you will see that there are 4 rolls on each one. If they are longer, they will fit more and you will need less sticks to accommodate the 24 rolls.
And that’s it! Now we just need to fill it with chocolates or small toys!
Another idea for decorating the paper tubes as reindeers:
Toilet paper roll pillow boxes
* Toilet paper rolls
* Wrapping or scrapbook paper
* Double-sided adhesive tape
* Felt star ornaments
* Number templates
* Baker’s twine
* Other decorations: small trees or pieces of wood, mini clips, felt stars, washi themed tapes … Everything you can think of to decorate your box.
1. Cut out the numbers for your advent calendar boxes.
2. Continue making a box for December 1. Take the roll and fold the two sides of one end. Repeat at the other end. Before closing it, put the surprise inside the roll.
2. We began decorating the roll: cut a strip of wrapping paper and I attached it to the roll by putting double-sided adhesive tape on the ends so that it is well fixed.
3. Continue decorating. To decorate the scroll, you only have to take everything you have from Christmas from the trunk of the memories: wooden trees, stars and felt figures, mini clothespins decorated with Christmas motifs and colors etc.
Once you have all the boxes ready and decorated, you can hang them on a branch, a dowel rod or on a garland.
Advent calendar wreath
This ist another great space-saving idea! All the boxes were arranged on a cardboard circle so that the advent calendar looks like a big door wreath.
– utility knife
– paint brush and forest green acrylic paint
– crepe paper
– number stickers
– hot glue gun
Cut out the wreath out of cardboard and paint it with dark green acrylic paint.
Cut the crepe paper into rectangles that are big enough to wrap a roll, so that it looks like a candy.
It is time to fill the rolls … before closing them completely, put a crumpled paper napkin and a couple of sweets for each day. So that the trinkets do not escape make a bow on each side with cord.
Let your kid glue the stickers on each roll. Then arrange the rolls on the wreath by alternating colors: purple, pink, mint and yellow.
As soon as all the paper rolls are placed in position, glue them using hot glue gun to the cardboard wreath. And hang your masterpiece!