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How to make an advent calendar for kids

Learn to make your own advent calendar with your child this year to get you both into the Christmas spirit. Check out our fun and simple ideas.

Want to make your own advent calendar but think it’s too complicated or unsuitable for the kids to take part in? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Christmas tree advent calendar tutorial – it’s the perfect craft for making with your children.

Important: This craft is recommended for children aged 5+ years. The assembly of the advent calendar should be left to responsible adults as it involves the use of a hot glue gun!  

How to make an advent calendar

There are many ways to make an advent calendar. This is one of many advent calendar ideas but it’s rather sweet (if we do say so ourselves), easy to make and doubles up as a night light.

1. Dress the cardboard rolls

Pop some sweets, nuts or a small present, into the tube before wrapping it. If you don’t want the kids to know what the surprise is, then wrap these up first!  

Wrap a strip of silk crepe paper around each cardboard roll, fastening with some tape. The ends can be tricky to smooth down, so use an elastic band to keep the paper down while you tape the sides. Use brown wrapping paper instead of green silk crepe on three cardboard rolls to make the tree trunk.  

2. Assemble the tree (adults only)

When you make an advent calendar, you need to be prepared for a bit of mess. You can minimise this by using an old cloth or newspaper to cover the work surface you’re using and wearing protective clothing like an apron or a painting smock. However, if you do end up getting glue or paint on your clothes, you can always refer to Persil’s trusty stain removal tips. Arrange your tubes into a tree – or triangular – shape. Remember to mix up the arrangement so that the numbers don’t follow on and add your three brown tubes at the base of the triangle to form the tree trunk.

Using a glue gun, glue the rolls together row by row, adding one roll to each row until you have six rows with between one and six rolls. Glue the rows together so that they form a triangle. Make sure the ends with stickers on are facing the same way when you glue the rolls together. Finally, attach some wooden sticks (lolly sticks or thick, flat ended skewers work nicely) to the back of the tree in a cross shape to add some stability and fasten with glue. If you’re planning to mount it on the wall, you can add a loop of string and fasten it to the centre of the cross.  

3. Decorate the tree!

It’s up to you and your child to personalise your tree with stickers, paint or glitter. If you want to use baubles, a good idea is to tape the hanging loops to the tree to make sure you don’t rip the paper. Just make sure the glue has finished drying before you start to decorate! Put a number sticker between 1 and 24 on one end of each roll. You can also use stamps, but in that case we recommend doing this before you wrap the rolls as you will risk ripping the paper otherwise.

You can also make use of some more traditional advent calendar ideas and add little hidden surprises between (or inside) the rolls that tell a story – anything from the nativity story to Cinderella. Don’t forget to add a topper of some sort to the top of the tree! If you want to, you can attach some mini fairy lights to the tree using mounting putty or sticky tape. This will make it look a bit more like a real Christmas tree and it means your child can use it as a night light at bedtime too.       

Now you know how to make advent calendars for kids at home it’s time to get creative. Why not experiment with other ideas of advent calendars for kids to make and get more creative with the kids this Christmas?