How to Make An Upcycled Advent Calendar Using Tin Cans

Simple Tin Can Upcycled Advent Calendar

For me, the best part of Christmas is the build-up, all the crafting and gift making. It’s like a lot of things in life the anticipation is the most exciting bit. I started off 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, the best way to do this is with an advent calendar. We have at least 2-3 advent calendars in our house.
I like to make my own upcycled advent calendars so that I can put in my own treats and pictures. My upcycled advent calendars usually contain a daily chocolate treat and a cheesy Christmas joke to hopefully make my boys smile.
As with most of my crafting and DIY, I like to make my advent calendars with stuff I have around. Last year I made a paper envelope Christmas calendar. This year I saved up all my tin cans and made my upcycled advent calendar using them.
Make a rustic farmhouse style advent calendar for Christmas by upcycling your old tin cans.
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 to make a tin can Upcycled advent calendar



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

    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.
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    3. Cut out these paper discs. You will need 25 paper discs one for each day.

    5. Using a stencil and red sharpie, write the numbers 1 to 25 on each paper disc.

    7. Fill your tins with your treats. As well as the treat, I cut out the pictures of last years Christmas cards and write a cheesy Christmas joke on the back of them. My kids actually look forward more to guessing what the Christmas picture is going to be and seeing how bad the Christmas joke is.
      Treats and jokes for upcycled tin can advent calendar.

    9. By 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.
      tin can upcycled advent calendar


    How to construct your upcycled advent calendar

    1. 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 4 tin cans were stacked in a 2 by 2 formation to form the trunk.

    3. I simply used a hot glue gun to stick the tin cans together. I constructed each row of my upcycled advent calendar first. Then I stuck the rows together one by one finishing off with the trunk.
    4. I found the hot glue gun worked really well for this task, as the glue has a volume which fills in any gaps. The only thing with a glue gun is that you have to work fast as it sets very quickly (which is actually a good thing). 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?
    Make a rustic upcycled advent calendar for Christmas using tin cans.
    upcycled advent calendar with tin cans pin2
    If you like homemade advent calendars you might want to check out the paper envelope advent calendar I made last year.
    Also if you like upcycled Christmas crafts check out my sweater upcycled felt garland.
    More advent calendar ideas!
    15 of the best handmade Christmas Advent Calendar

    34 Responses

    1. I love this idea of reusing empty tin cans! This advent calendar is so beautiful! Such a fun DIY for kids too! Thank you for submitting to DIY Crush. I just published it.

    2. Such a great idea! I love reusing items and keeping them out of the landfill. Another version of this might be to make mini tree advent calendars with plastic Kerig cups.

      • Thank you. Being from the UK I’m not familiar with Keri cups but they sound like a good idea.

    3. […] Party Games    Simple Joys of Home —  Banana Muffins      Pillarbox Blue — Upcycled Advent Calendar    Sadie Seasongoods — Individualized Party Coasters   Our Unschooling Journey — […]

    4. […] Yay another use for the tin cans I’ve been hoarding saving. Check out Claire’s Upcycled Advent Calendar. […]

    5. […] had to feature this great Upcycled Advent Calendar from Pillar Box Blue.  I have been having my mother save cans for me and now I am thinking this is the reason why!  My […]

    6. This is such a neat idea! Thanks for linking up with Merry Monday!

    7. This is such a darling idea! So clever! Pinned and sharing. Thank you for linking up at Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party this week. We hope to see you back again starting Sunday at 12 EST.

    8. This is a cute idea and how easy is this project to make. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. We love having you.

    9. I’ve never made an advent calendar before and I just may have enough cans laying around to pull this one off. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend.

    10. Claire, your tin can advent calendar is so fun!! I like the random order you put them in. I’m in the process of making my first advent calendar for my little kiddos, and I think I’ll keep it in chronological order for their sake, but as they get older I like the idea of mixing the numbers up.

      • Thank you Keri, I always have my advent calendars in a random order. My kids like hunting for the right day.

    11. Very clever! Thanks for linking up to The Creative Exchange! Holly 🙂

    12. Love it, Claire! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm–pinned!

    13. What a cute idea! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party-and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned and tweeted!

    14. So clever, I love this idea. I was such a bad mom, I hardly every had an advent calendar for my daughter. But I’ll make up for it when she had kids. Pinning this!

      • Thank you Toni. My boys wouldn’t let me get away with not making them an advent calendar.

    15. This is a smart and super budget friendly idea – thanks for sharing! 😀

    16. Very fun idea! I’m sure part of the fun is breaking through the seal to reveal the treat. With three kids now, I need to come up with a new Advent calendar system so each kiddo can have their own.

      • Thank you ! The cans are big enough to hold 3 treats. They could all just take turns in breaking the seal.

    17. That’s a great advent calendar; love the recycled materials! And cans are a good size. Making my own advent calendar is on my list; it’s not happening this year, but I’m pinning your idea. Maybe I’ll get my act together next year…

    18. I think your advent calendar turned out really cute! I think my son asked if we were going to do one this year. I’ll have to keep this one in mind. Stopping by from This is How We Roll Linky Party. Hope you have a great weekend!

      • Thank you. One of the best things about this calendar is there is room for lots of treats.

    19. That’s so clever! I just made an advent calendar this week too & will post it on my blog tomorrow. But yours is so, so clever! Is your mind just filled to the brim with ideas?

      • Thank you Wendy, I will definately pop over for a look tomorrow. Yes my head is constantly buzzing with ideas and it can be hard to focus sometime and just make them.

    20. I always make advent calendars for my college-aged children from recyclable items. Your tin can version is funky. I love it. Thanks for sharing at the This How We Roll Link Party.

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