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How to Make An Upcycled Advent Calendar Using Tin Cans

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.

Make a rustic farmhouse style advent calendar for Christmas by upcycling your old tin cans.

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What you need


To fill your upcycled advent calendar.

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.

Drawing around the bowl

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.

Stencilling the advent calendar numbers

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.

Treats and jokes for upcycled tin can advent calendar.

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.

tin can upcycled advent calendar

          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.

          arangement of upcycled tin can advent calendar

          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?

            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’s upcycled felt garland.

            Denise/DIY Crush

            Sunday 11th of December 2016

            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.

            Claire Armstrong

            Sunday 11th of December 2016

            Thank you so much, look forward to seeing it.


            Tuesday 6th of December 2016

            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.

            Claire Armstrong

            Tuesday 6th of December 2016

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

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