How to make a simple DIY advent calendar | Featuring Rose & Grey

When I was a child, being bought an advent calendar every December was a real highlight of my year. When I was very little it was always a cardboard one — with tiny jewel like illustrations behind every door — then as the years went on, the simple cardboard variety was replaced with a chocolate version. Not quite so pretty to look at — once the doors have been opened — but very good to eat nevertheless! :)

As this will be the first Christmas that the boys are really aware of what’s going on, I thought it might be nice to make an advent calendar for them. No doubt their nana will buy a couple (of the chocolate variety) too but I quite like the idea of creating something — a little more permanent — that can come out year after year, to really act as a marker for the countdown to Christmas.

I thought I’d use my new peg board from Rose and Grey as a base and sourced a few bits and pieces to make things as simple as possible. If you were feeling particularly crafty — or had lots of spare time on your hands — you could make your own bags (and numbers) but I couldn’t be bothered I bought mine off Ebay.

So here we go — how to make a simple DIY advent calendar.

You will need:

  • A peg board
  • 24 little draw-string bags (mine cost just a few quid off Ebay)
  • 24 miniature pegs and string (I’ve a stockpile of things like this, so nothing to buy here!)
  • Some self adhesive felt numbers — I got these from The Orchard Craft Company
  • Little gifts to fill the bags with :)

diy-advent-calendar-2

diy-advent-calendar-3

diy-advent-calendar-4

diy-advent-calendar-5

diy-advent-calendar-6

diy-advent-calendar-7

diy-advent-calendar-8

diy-advent-calendar-10

diy-advent-calendar-9

The best thing about this kind of advent calendar is that you can fill it with whatever you like! This year, I’ve gone for bright stickers and chocolate bears and coins but next year it could be filled with little lego figures, marbles or toy cars. Am thinking I may like to make one for my big boy too, only his little advent sacks may well be filled with miniature bottles of gin ;)

I was asked to join in with Rose & Grey’s styling challenge and was kindly sent a medium peg board, to complete my task. You can buy these — plus lots of other lovely products — from their website. Pop along and have a look www.roseandgrey.co.uk

All photos, thoughts and words are my own.

logo

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

38 Comments

  1. 17th Nov 2015 / 8:22 pm

    Ah, you are just like me! I made the boys a perpetual advent calendar a few years ago and it comes out every year without fail. They love it. In years past I have filled it with Playmobil figures and accessories – a knight one day, his shield the next, then the sword, etc. Another year it was bits and bobs like penguin-shaped bath oils that dissolve in the bath water and Celebrations sweets.
    I love filling it and hanging it the night before December begins.

    • 18th Nov 2015 / 11:57 am

      Yes — I’m really loving the thought of filling it with ‘interesting’ gifts — rather than just chocolate! :)

  2. 18th Nov 2015 / 6:31 am

    Caro its gorgeous, you are so clever. I have a set of little houses that we fill every year but i love the bag idea, a little bigger than our houses too!

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:30 am

      So exciting choosing the gifts to put in it!! Nice too that it doesn’t have to be chocolate! :)

  3. 18th Nov 2015 / 6:42 am

    Brilliant idea, that looks gorgeous & I think I’d be just as excited about buying all the little surprises as the kids would be about opening them! I wish my boy was old enough, and hope I can remember this for when he is.

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:27 am

      This is the twin’s third Christmas but the first year that they really have any idea what’s happening! :) It’s SO exciting!!! Probably more for me than them!! ;)

  4. 18th Nov 2015 / 9:59 am

    This is an adorable idea! It’ll certainly brighten up those dark winter mornings and your boys will be thrilled. I love advent calendars too – especially Matthew Rice ones and 3D ones from Phoenix cards. This year we are having LEGO and Playmobil ones for the first time. I may have to buy myself an old-fashioned one to have as well. And possibly a chocolate one too. x #HomeEtc

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:26 am

      The Matthew Rice ones remind me of the ones I used to have as a child. There’s something so lovely and nostalgic about them, isn’t there? :)

  5. 18th Nov 2015 / 10:13 am

    This is such a lovely idea. Always nice to be able to reuse again and again…x #homeetc

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:21 am

      Aah yes definitely — also nice to see how the contents changes over the years :)

  6. Tracey Williams
    18th Nov 2015 / 11:53 am

    Ooooooo I like the sound of an advent calendar filled with little bottles of gin. My kind of calendar. I really like the little bags and as you said you can fill it with different things each year. I need to think outside the box for this year. Last year the teen decided to eat all his chocolate on the 1st December….. kids. Love how it all looks on your peg board. I really need to invest in one xx

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:20 am

      Hahaha!! I can’t believe he massacred his treats on the first day of December!! LOL!! Maybe you should make one and padlock each treat!! ;)

  7. 18th Nov 2015 / 12:09 pm

    I love this idea – it manages to look quite traditional (with the lettering, etc) and modern at the same time :) #HomeEtc

  8. 18th Nov 2015 / 6:32 pm

    This is such a fun idea, I love how you can fill the bags with little surprises for each day so it’s not always going to be chocolate! #HomeEtc

  9. 18th Nov 2015 / 6:32 pm

    I love this – and I’m sure they will too, but I’ve a feeling you’ll have to make another one at some point so they can use it in the future with their own children! Love, love, love. #homeetc

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:19 am

      I did think about that!! I think I might keep this one for my ‘big’ boy — and fill it with manly treats for him!! ;)

  10. Louisa
    18th Nov 2015 / 6:38 pm

    I love this idea. We always struggle with advent calendars for my son who doesn’t like chocolate. I’m toying with the idea of making one out of matchboxes and filling it with nik naks. A beg board is a great base for your calendar, you can use it all year and maybe fill it again at Easter. Have fun filling it up!

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:18 am

      Thanks Louisa! It’s been really fun sourcing all the little bits to fill the bags with! I can’t believe your boy doesn’t like chocolate?! That’s amazing!!

  11. 18th Nov 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Wow this is amazing Caro- you are so talented! The boys will love it I am sure. Last year we did a book advent, we read a new book each night related to Christmas. I loved it, but it ended up being quite an expense so I don’t know if we will do that again this year! x

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:17 am

      Gosh — yes — that’s a lovely idea but would end up being so costly! I bought a couple of little books from the supermarket yesterday and they were only £3.99 each — which seemed a bargain — but I guess if you buying 24 that would be almost £100!!! Blimey!!

  12. Kim (sisterkin)
    18th Nov 2015 / 7:50 pm

    Oh I love it. Starting to feel decidedly festive. #HomeEtc

  13. 19th Nov 2015 / 6:27 am

    What a great idea! My son has a wooden reindeer advent calendar with drawers in that my auntie fills for him each year. She always fills it with sweets and chocolate but I like the idea of little gifts too! I must dig it out actually and give it to her to fill in time, I can’t believe how quickly December is coming around!

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:14 am

      The boys are obsessed with stickers so I think they will feature heavily in this years calendar!! :)

  14. 19th Nov 2015 / 10:45 am

    Oh my gosh this is soooo cute! I love that you can put whatever you like in them, such a simple idea for a advent calendar. Off to Pin it!

  15. 19th Nov 2015 / 11:28 am

    Caro this is fantastic, we have calendars with pouches from the USA and we love them, yours is so stylish and simple. I just love being treats for the boys calendars x

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:13 am

      So looking forward to filling it up!! Got lots of little treats in mind! :)

  16. 19th Nov 2015 / 12:34 pm

    It’s so pretty and I’m a huge fan of something that can be reused again and again. Although I would never be able to think of enough things for 24 little bags, that would really challenge me! I could try making a doggie version but I’m not entirely sure she’d appreciate it ;) Thanks for hosting as always Xx

    • 25th Nov 2015 / 11:13 am

      A dog biscuit in each one with a bone for treat number 24? I think your furry faced child would LOVE that!!! :)

  17. 19th Nov 2015 / 8:26 pm

    Oh I love this! It’s really nice that you can fill it up with lots of little things too – I would definitely vote for the gin idea for myself! The challenge is to try to make sure they don’t open them all on day one! x

  18. 24th Nov 2015 / 1:45 pm

    Oh just beautiful and so super stylish – love the little bags and what a greta alternative to the chocolate ones! Great job lovely :)

    Thanks for being my gorgeous host :) #HomeEtc

  19. Lesley
    14th Jun 2018 / 8:38 pm

    Hi

    I was just checking my website back links and stumbled upon this. Thank you for mentioning and using our Advent numbers.Your finished Advent Calendar looks lovely Kind regards Lesley, Orchard Craft Company

    • 18th Jun 2018 / 11:11 am

      Hi Lesley, you’re more than welcome! Best wishes, Caro xx

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.