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.

[she/her] • writer • unschooler • team Soul Farm • Revillaging podcast • breastfeeding counsellor • Trinidadian in Cornwall

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