The best part of Christmas is the build-up, all the crafting and gift-making. It’s like many things in life; the anticipation is the most exciting. I started my Christmas crafting with this simple upcycled advent calendar.
A big part of this Christmas hype is the countdown to the big day. Of course, an advent calendar is the best way to do this. We have at least 2-3 advent calendars in our house.
I like making upcycled advent calendars to put in my carefully selected treats and pictures. My upcycled advent calendars usually contain a daily chocolate treat and a cheesy Christmas joke to make my boys smile, hopefully.
Simple Tin Can Upcycled Advent Calendar
As with most of my crafting and DIY, I like to make my advent calendars with stuff I have. Last year I made a paper envelope Christmas calendar. I saved up all my tin cans this year and made my upcycled advent calendar using them.
I also love the rustic look of this upcycled advent calendar. It wouldn’t look out of place in a home with a farmhouse or industrial vibe.
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What you need
- 25 Tin cans – (I saved my tin cans from all the tin tomatoes and coconut milk I use in my cooking.) You can always rope in family and friends if you don’t have enough tin cans. Mine are always giving me their tin cans to upcycle.
- 25 Red Rubber bands
- White Kraft paper – You can always use brown if you want an even more rustic look. I went for the white as I thought it was more Christmasy looking.
- Number Stencil Ruler
- Red Sharpie/felt tip pen.
- Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks. Or you can use double-sided sticky foam pads.
To fill your upcycled advent calendar.
- Christmas chocolates and sweets.
- Old Christmas cards – for the pictures.
- A collection of cheesy Christmas jokes – I used the collection published in the Telegraph Newspaper.
How to make your upcycled advent calendar
Step 1:First, make the paper covers of your tin cans. On the white paper, draw around a bowl or something else round that is a bit wider than the top of the tin can.
Step 2: Cut out these paper discs. You will need 25 paper discs, one for each day. Then, write the numbers 1 to 25 on each paper disc using a stencil and red sharpie.
Step 3: Fill your tins with your treats. As well as a treat, I cut out the pictures of last year’s Christmas cards and wrote a cheesy Christmas joke on the back of them. My kids look forward to guessing the Christmas picture and seeing how bad the Christmas joke is.
Step 4: Using a red rubber band, secure the paper cover to the top of each tin. Carry on until you have all 25 tins covered, each with a different number.
How to construct the advent calendar
Step 5: I arranged my tin can advent calendar into a Christmas tree shape. This involved a pyramid of tin cans; a row of 1, followed by a row of 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, then 6. The final four tin cans were stacked in a 2-by-2 formation to form the trunk.
Step 6: I used a hot glue gun to stick the tin cans together. I constructed each row of my upcycled advent calendar first. Then I attached the rows, finishing off with the trunk.
I found the hot glue gun worked well for this task, as the glue has a volume filling any gaps. The only thing with a glue gun is that you have to work fast. The double-sided sticky foam pads work just as well as the glue gun. I used a combination of both.
Personally, I like the numbers in my advent calendars to be in a random order. To me that is part of the fun of the advent calendar, hunting for the right day. Are you random or ordered, and what do you put in your advent calendars?
If you like homemade advent calendars, you might want to check out the paper envelope advent calendar I made last year.