Make an Advent Calendar from Toilet Rolls

I got all excited about making an Advent Calendar when I read this post by Along Came Cherry. I was totally going to follow her idea except I realised that I didn’t have any tissue paper. This meant I wouldn’t be able to place the rolls horizontally and forward facing so Talitha could burst the fronts. Wanting to use only what I already had, I ended up with something quite different – pockets! I’m really happy with the result.

Make an Advent Calendar with toilet rolls  Circus Queen

Here’s what I used:

13 toilet roll tubes
green gift wrap (to cover the tubes)
gold gift wrap (for the numbers)
red patterned gift wrap (for the backdrop)
red card
a star shaped cookie cutter
a big old box
a black marker
purple pom poms
a printer

What I wish I’d had:

a glue gun
gold number stickers

What I did

First I gathered materials. I didn’t use all these rolls in the end. The rest will come in handy for a star craft we’re going to do soon.

Toilet rolls for making an Advent Calendar

I had little hands to help me so, as you can imagine, it was slow work!

Gathering toilet rolls for Advent Calendar

Then, because I didn’t want the calendar to be huge, I cut the rolls in half and stapled one end to make them into pockets.

Pockets for toilet roll Advent Calendar

We covered the pockets with green gift wrap paper, making a couple of cuts into the loose end to fold the paper inside.

Covering pockets for toilet roll advent calendar

For the frame, I used an old box we had lying around. I laid out the shape first then worked out how big the tree needed to be before cutting. I covered the tree in red patterned gift wrap just in case any spaces between the pockets became visible. Then I taped the lot on. They’re secure but, to be honest, this would have been SO much easier with a glue gun.

Frame for toilet roll advent calendar

We used a cookie cutter to stencil stars on to the red card (left over from my wedding!) and wrote all our Advent activities them. We’re doing activities instead of chocolate. I slipped the red stars into the pockets. They kind of look like Christmas tree decorations!

Stars for toilet roll advent calendar

Then I printed off numbers and used them to cut our days out of the gold gift paper to glue them on. Believe you me, if I was doing this again, I would so just go get a pack of gold stickers from one of Hobbycraft‘s Advent calendar sets instead. This was UNBELIEVABLY fiddly! But I was determined to only use what I had. I happened to have some purple pom poms around so glued them on for nice a “Christmas decorations” touch.

Homemade Advent Calendar with toilet rolls

And le voila! Our 25-day Advent Calendar!

The activities are in but I’ve not yet put in the Scripture references and Children’s Bible references. I’ll slip those in later. I decided to forgo the raisins in the end as I think there’s enough going on in the calendar. If you’d like to see what activities we have planned, take a look at my 25 Advent Activities for Children post.

PS: you liked this post, follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.
PPS: I’ve added this post to Thinly Spread’s Festive Friday linky.


  1. November 21, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    Love it! I love your idea of using activities in it too, in fact I still have a few left in Cherry’s so might do that, I don’t just want to buy any more cheap crap just for the sake of it! x

    • November 21, 2013 / 2:10 pm

      I know what you mean. And the forget about it so soon. Then it ends up in random places like the sofa!

  2. Jo
    November 21, 2013 / 1:51 pm

    This is great… I’ve been thinking about ours too over the last week and can’t decide whether to do toilet rolls. Or make bunting with pockets and numbers….

    For the scripture references are you working that out yourself or using a pre made set?

    Jo x

    • November 21, 2013 / 2:12 pm

      Bunting sounds so exciting! I’m going to look around the internet a bit and have a think.

    • November 22, 2013 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks, Chris! I’m loving all the entries for Festive Friday!

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