There are many excellent reasons for making your own reusable advent calendar. It is an eco-friendly choice, it provides great flexibility for customization and in future years having your own can save time and money. My favourite reason is having something to anchor years of childhood Christmas memories that could later on be passed on to the next generation. Sustainable reusable advent calendars in fashion this year. It is a great time to buy one and do something different with it.

Thrifty Choices

Advent Calendars does not have to cost a small fortune. If your child is an avid reader, make your own with books. Car boot sales are filled with second hand books at the 10p – 50p price point, pick a selection and finish off with a few Christmas stories when approaching Christmas Eve.

Make your own with string, present parcels and a stick. Collect small trinkets – again car boot sales are excellent and probably the only place left where some toys can be bought for 5-10p. If tying string isn’t your thing, use washing pegs (as is, decorated or craft supply stores like Hobbycraft and The Range sells festive pegs) if the parcels are light.

An advent bucket also looks good and has the added advantage of being very accessible to make and use. Place it on a chair or the floor and small children can easily reach in and find the right parcel. Alternatively, use small containers and arrange them on an empty shelf or cabinet. Think outside the box and scour the house for pots, jewellery boxes, storage boxes, baskets and buckets. It does not have to match.

Special Needs Advent Calendars

For children with special needs a custom advent calendar is a great way to make sure they receive items that they can use. Make a sensory advent calendar or if they have a particular passion or interest, indulge it. It also makes it easier to have age appropriate toys when you buy your own. It is easy to make your own Braille Advent Calendar like this one.

braille advent

Christmas Tree Ornaments Calendar

My three-year old loves Christmas and she loves trees and that makes Christmas trees magical things. We made 24 salt dough Christmas decorations and each day she can choose one to hang on her very own Christmas tree. The boxes each contain a little present as well and I picked up a tin bucket from Hobbycraft to keep these from getting misplaced and lost.

dough 1

Salt Dough Recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup water
1 cup salt
Food colouring

Mix together and knead until the dough is smooth. If it is sticky, add more flour and if it is too dry and does not stick, add more water. It is much easier to add food colouring now than to paint it later. I divided the dough into four parts and made each a different colour. Roll out and use cookie cutters to make the decorations then use a straw to make a small hole in each decoration.

Pre-heat the oven to 100 C and dry out for 1-3 hours. Remove before it begins to discolour. Alternatively, put them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Once dry, spray with lacquer on both sides to give your decorations a good finish and ribbon or raffia for loops.

The Tree

We picked up a small artificial tree from the local supermarket for £5, but if you can afford to spend a little more, real trees are usually available from 1 December and going out to buy it can be a lovely start to the festive season.

The Calendar

Our advent calendar this year is a second-hand wooden house with 24 boxes as well as 24 pegs on it.