3 Make your own advent calendar

What would be the run-up to Christmas without an advent calendar! And they can become even more personal and better if you make and fill them yourself. We have put together instructions for three simple advent calendars that you can make yourself to delight your family, friends or colleagues.

Make your own advent calendar – with stapler, tacker and guillotine

The Novus J-29 hand tacker makes particularly light work of fastening the little bags to a piece of wood or coat hanger. There are no limits to your imagination. You can use fabric or paper bags that you decorate and fasten to your hanger with stapler and ribbon. Cut out particularly pretty tags for the 24 numbers with the Dahle 505 rolling trimmer. The rolling trimmer is a talented all-rounder with inserts for different cutting styles:

- Straight cuts

- Wavy cuts

- Deckle edge cuts

- Perforation

- Folds

You can cut our template for the 24 advent calendar numbers using the wavy cut feature on the Dahle 505, for example.

Coat hanger advent calendar with paper bags and decorative ribbons

Turn 24 paper bags, decorative tags, wide gift ribbon and a coat hanger into a lovely advent calendar in a flash. It not only offers ample room for different gifts; it is also an eye-catching feature in the Christmas season. 

What you need to make the advent calendar:

  • 24 brown or white paper bags
  • A printout of our numbers template
  • Gift ribbons (at least 6 m) – fir twigs
  • Silver or gold cardboard
  • Novus stapler
  • 1 hand tacker (e.g. Novus J-29)
  • Staples
  • Scissors & pencil
  • 1 wooden coat hanger
  • 24 small surprises

How to make the advent calendar with coat hanger

  1. Print out the numbers template and cut out the numbers using our Dahle 505 trimmer with the wavy insert.
  2. Take the silver or gold cardboard and use a glass to draw 24 circles. They need to be a bit bigger than the cut-out numbers. Approx. 8.5 cm in diameter. Cut out the circles.
  3. Take the bags and fill them with gifts. Fold the top down approximately twice.
  4. Cut the gift ribbon into different lengths ranging from about 15 cm to 30 cm. This allows the gifts to all hang at different heights.
  5. Take a cardboard circle, a number, a piece of ribbon and a small fir twig and staple them together to a bag. Do exactly the same with the rest of the bags.
  6. Then use the tacker to staple all the ribbons to the back of the coat hanger. Feed the bags through the opening so that the ribbons are at the front.

2. Variations on paper bags for the advent calendar

You can make your own simple paper bags by cutting out squares of parcel paper measuring 20 cm x 20 cm and rolling them up to form an ice cream cone. Staple the tip at the bottom and the seam at the top. 

Then, again, take the paper numbers from our template and staple them together with a piece of eucalyptus or fir twig to the top of the cone. You might want to wrap the gifts in serviettes to make sure they are not visible from above. 

 

3. Advent calendar with wooden branch or on a piece of wood

This advent calendar gives you a decorative eye catcher and you can choose a colour scheme to suit your taste. Before starting, the best thing to do is a take a gentle stroll through the woods. Keep a lookout for a pretty, somewhat thicker branch. Also, make sure the branch is big and sturdy enough to bear the weight of 24 small surprises during the advent season. If you want, you can also cut a fir tree shape out of a wooden board, to which you can then staple the gift bags. 

What you need to make the advent calendar:

  • A sturdy branch or piece of wood cut to resemble a fir tree 
  • Non-transparent fabric in a Christmassy colour of your choice (e.g. red velvet)
  • Scissors
  • Gold or silver numbers from 1 to 24
  • A hot glue gun
  • A hand tacker (e.g. NOVUS J-29)
  • Fine wire staples (e.g. Novus Type A )
  • Needle and thread or stapling pliers
  • 24 small surprises

How to make the advent calendar

1. Make 24 bags

First cut 24 rectangular pieces from the fabric. Make 24 bags by sewing or stapling the fabric seams. 

2. Glue on the numbers

 Use a hot glue gun to stick the numbers onto the bags. Silver or gold numbers from the crafts shop are particularly lovely in the advent season.

3. Fasten the bags to the branch

Spread the 24 bags evenly along the branch and staple them on. You can choose whether to stick with consecutive numbers or whether to confuse them on purpose. 

4. Fill the advent calendar with 24 small surprises

And finally, the most important step: Place a small surprise in each bag. This original advent calendar is lovely to look at and makes the run-up to Christmas even more exciting. 

Advent calendar – ideas for gifts

As soon as you've made your advent calendar, you need to fill it. There are all sorts of options for the 24 gifts. To stop your home-made advent calendar becoming a stressful affair, we have put together a couple of ideas for you. Is it for colleagues, mum, kids or your partner? Thinking first of what the recipient of the gifts particularly likes is a huge help when looking for specific small gifts. Alongside sweets, nuts and fruits, gifts with some reference to hobbies are a good idea. 

 

For colleagues 

Generally, you wouldn't give a home-made advent calendar to a colleague, although your favourite colleague would probably be delighted. Alongside bought sweets and home-made cookies, why not go for cool gadgets that make everyday office life more fun:

Particularly strong coffee to get through the day. Gift a matching funny mug. Or how about unusual pen holders, colourful office equipment or a USB desk ventilatorfor particularly hot days in the office – all cool gift ideas for colleagues. 

For DIY enthusiasts

Is the recipient a DIY enthusiast? Then how about adding a few highlights to some sweets. New crafts scissors, for example, or masking tape featuring their favourite motif, patches for their home-made clothing or a hand lettering set. 

For spa enthusiasts 

Friends who love chilling out will always love samples of unusual shower gel, bubble bath, mini soap, hand cream, or a fragrant candle.