Our DIY Advent Calendar for Kids

Hi everyone!

It’s this time of the year again, hurray! I just love December and all it promises. Especially with the kids around, December and Christmas take on a whole new meaning.

Every year we try to make our very own DIY Advent Calendar for our two kids. Last year, we actually made two! One only with books and the other filled with treats and notes with fun activities that we would do together as a family. This year, we decided to make one advent calendar that would combine both concepts.

How to make an easy DIY Advent Calendar for kids out of toilet paper rolls

Using toilet paper rolls, printer, hot glue gun, and cardboard, we were able to make an adorable Advent Calendar. You can see from our pictures how our DIY Advent Calendar for kids was made. First, you have to make the back out of cardboard and cut your paper rolls in half. You will need about 30 half paper rolls (25 for the notes and some to use to make your advent calendar).

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One side of our DIY Advent Calendar

Next few steps to make our DIY Advent calendar

Time to make the background out of cardboard in any shape you want. We did something that resembles Santa’s sleigh bag, but you can easily choose something else. To make it, we printed out Santa and his bag and sleigh (we found ours by googling “Santa Coloring Pages”). Next, we cut out Santa and his bag and sleigh and used this as a template to cut out the same shape out of cardboard. Then, we cut away Santa’ s bag and cut out another piece of cardboard, but this time only Santa and his sleigh.

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The other side of our DIY Advent Calendar

Glue the Santa and his sleigh onto the same shape cardboard. Set aside.

Next, glue the 24 paper rolls onto the cardboard where Santa’s bag is supposed to be. Use some of the leftover toilet rolls and glue them where the sleigh and Santa are supposed to be.

The final step is to print out and cut out notes with activities and covers with numbers from 1 to 24 for your toilet rolls. Place the notes inside the toilet rolls and glue the covers into place. Make sure to think about the right timing of your activities! Put the last and most important note into the toilet paper roll that will be covered by Santa. Now you just need to glue your Santa (add the number 25 to Santa) and his sleigh cardboard onto the leftover toilet rolls. And there it is!!!

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Our finished DIY Advent Calendar before our kids decorated it!

Ideas for family Christmas activities

Some ideas for activities are:

The only thing that matters is to make it a family activity!

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Our decorated Advent Calendar! Isn’t it cute?

The first task for our kids on December, 1st, was to decorate their new Advent Calendar with markers and some stickers we printed out on self-adhesive paper sheets.

If you think our concept is a little too complicated or you simply don’t have the time, take a look at these easy but sweet DIY Advent Calendars made out of toilet paper rolls as well.

Source: oh-write.blogspot.com

easy christmas advent calendar

Source: thecountrychiccottage.net

I hope that it will bring them joy and memories to keep and cherish for all the years to come!

DIY Glitter Foam Christmas Ornaments with photos

glitter foam photo ornaments
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Yes, we are still continuing and tireless making more Christmas crafts! One of my favorites each year is to make some DIY Christmas ornaments. We have made ornaments out of citrus fruits and out of white, glittery clay we made ourselves (get the recipe and instructions here) in the past, so this year I wanted to do some keepsake Christmas photo ornaments. They needed to be easy and cheap since we wanted to make a lot. I want them to be gifts for grandparents and friends, as well as for children from our kindergarten. The idea that stole my heart was DIY Christmas Glitter Foam Glitter Ornaments using photos of our kids!

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Some of the glitter foam photo ornaments materials you will need

Materials you will need

  • Christmas glitter foam sheets – or is it foam glitter sheets? Anyway, I chose white ones, but you can pick any color you think will go with your tree! I think silver, gold, red or green glitter foam sheets would be great choices, too!
  • Your frame template (you can find a lot of frame templates online and just choose what you like most. A bubble ornament shape, rectangles, ovals, stars, hearts, or one like I used – you can find it here – are all great ideas). You can make one by yourself, too, by drawing it on cardstock or by even using different sized cookie cutters as a guide.
  • Cardstock
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors, craft knife, pencil and ruler
  • Glitter foam stickers or other embellishments (optional)
  • Your favorite photos, printed dimensions 6×4,5 cm (height x width)

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Instructions to make DIY Glitter Foam Christmas Ornaments

To make these easy DIY Glitter Foam Christmas Ornaments, first, adjust your template so it will be the size of your choosing (and capable of framing your photos). I made mine so they would suit my 6×4,5 cm photos. Next, print out your templates on cardstock. You can print two templates – one to make your frame and the other to leave without cutting out the inner shape.

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Prepare your template by simply drawing or printing them onto cardstock and cutting it out

Preparing the glitter foam frames

Now it’s time for the glitter foam (I love that stuff!).

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You can use any glitter sheets, but I used a glitter foam sheet that has only on one side glitter

Using your template, pencil, scissors, and ruler, cut out two pieces: one frame and one back side for each photo. To cut the inside piece, I used the knife to make an “x” first, so it was easier to use the scissors afterwards.

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To make cutting out the inner piece easier, I made an “x” first
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For each photo, you will need one glitter foam frame and one glitter foam backside

Using your hot glue gun, glue your ribbon to the non-glitter side of your backside piece. Next, glue your photo onto the same non-glitter backside piece. Finally, put some hot glue on the back of your frame piece and glue it onto the back side piece so you will end up with a frame that both front and back is glittery.

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Final step: glue the frame onto the simple foamy back side of your ornament

Let it dry, cut off any excesses, remove any silicon residue and your beautiful Christmas ornament is ready to be given away or hung on your tree and bring joy!

Lovely keepsake: photo ornaments

I really loved how they turned out and they look so great on our tree! The kids loved them, too, as they got to choose their photos and hang them on the tree and they are really easy to make! I used black and white photos as well as colored ones and they all look gorgeous. You could also add some decorations to the frames and make them even more fun!

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45My kids’ glitter foam ornaments, on the tree!

We made a lot of these DIY Glitter Foam Christmas Ornaments with photos and gave them away as presents to our kids’ grandparents!

Make them for your loved ones or just to have some fun and add it to your family Christmas craft traditions! They will make a wonderful keepsake for many years!!!

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Easy DIY Kids Advent Calendars

Every year as December begins, we prepare one or two easy DIY advent calendars for our kids. Sometimes we take the easy road and get some of those chocolate countdown calendars as well, what can I say!

1. Easy DIY Kids Book Advent Calendar

It has become kind of a Christmas family tradition to make a book advent calendar, just as making Christmas cookies and DIY Christmas ornaments are! It’s easy and kind of inexpensive since we use a lot of loved and treasured books as well as a few new ones. You can find our 5 favorite books for the Christmas Advent Calendar here. I also include some Christmas activity books and even a Christmas Recipe booklet for kids – we will be making a lot of cookies I can tell you! You just wrap the books up and number them and open one book each day! It’s super fun and the kids really love it!! And so do I to be honest!!

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Our book advent calendar

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You can use whatever paper you want to wrap them…after all, it’s the book that counts!

2. Activity DIY Advent Calendar for Kids

The other DIY Advent Calendar for our kids we made this year was my husband’s idea and he did all the work! He used cardboard and toilet paper tubes to make it! In each tube, he placed a couple of treats, chocolates mostly, and a small piece of paper. On the paper, he added a variety of “coupons” and activity suggestions that we can do on that day. The first was to decorate the actual calendar! So, we have coupons to watch a Christmas movie, make some Christmas tree ornaments, bake Christmas cookies, sleep all together in the big bed, make some fun Christmas crafts and so on. The kids are really excited and can’t wait to open all of the surprises!

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These calendars are really easy to make and all you need is some inspiration and to put love into them! Here are some other ideas to make DIY Kids Advent Calendars, there is still time!!!

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Rustic and easy DIY Advent Calendar (image source: Pinterest)

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DIY Advent Calendar using cute buckets (image source)

Kids Christmas Craft With Cardboard Paper Tubes

We have been busy the last days since Christmas is on our doorstep! One of the crafts we did was making some Christmas people out of cardboard paper tubes! Those are so versatile, I did never think about them that way.

You can use whatever tubes you can find, from paper towel rolls to toilet paper rolls everything goes. We also used some googly eyes, but you can paint the eyes on. So, you’ll need, other than the tubes and colored paper, glue and scissors and maybe some items for decoration.

When you’ve decided what you want to make, measure the paper and cut it the length of the tube. Then put some glue on the tube and wrap it with the paper. If you don’t have colored paper, just paint on some plain white paper. Or you can paint directly on the tube or even use it as it is.

The tubes can also be used to create wreaths or ornaments and some even use them as gift tags, napkin holders or treat or gift boxes; when they are beautifully crafted and decorated that is.

And finally!!! My son’s creations with a little help from me cutting the paper pieces.

My boy's tube creations
My boy’s tube creations

Try it and have some easy, inexpensive, creative fun making these or try making easy Christmas ornaments from dried fruits!!!

Amazing Dried Citrus Ornaments for DIY Christmas Decor

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Dried citrus fruit ornaments (image source)

Making our own Christmas ornaments with my kids is one of my favorite activities this time of year. One cheap but awesome and beautiful idea is to make some Dried Citrus Ornaments for DIY Christmas Decor, using citrus fruit peels! Sooooo nice!

You can use any citrus fruit you like; oranges, mandarins, limes, grapefruits or lemons. Then, you have two choices. Either cut the fruit carefully into thin slices or peel carefully the skin off the fruit.

Dried orange slices and other natural craft material can also be found on Amazon.us:

 

If you choose to slice the fruits, arrange the slices on a lined baking tray and put the tray in a preheated oven at about 90-100°C. They should not touch each other. Bake them for about 2-3 hours, depending on how thick the slices are while turning them on the other side every 30 minutes or so. You should check every slice separately and when one dries out, get it out of the oven and let the others dry some more. Let them cool down completely and then pierce a hole in them. Now you can use anything you like, some yarn, cord or a nice ribbon, depending on the use you are planning for them. Even paper clips or ornament hooks could do the trick.

Using cookie cutters to make citrus peel ornaments

If you choose to use the peel, take some nice cookie cutters, like for example a star-, moon-, tree- or heart cookie cutter and cut the shapes out. Now, do the same as above. Isn’t it easy?

You can use also some spices or essential oils for more aroma, and even decoration!

Related: Orange Peel Roses: Step by Step photo instructions

Related: Orange Peel Rose: a Romantic Dried Fruit Decoration Idea

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Dried citrus fruit ornament with cinnamon decoration (image source)
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Dried citrus fruit ornaments on hooks (image source)

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Thank you!

Did you know you can buy dried natural materials to create your wreaths or garlands? There are even whole dried oranges or handy mixes of materials… You can find them here from Amazon.co.uk:

For more DIY Chrismats Ornaments, check out some of our other ideas: