DIY Tin Can Christmas Advent Calendar

3 Materials
$5
2 Hours
Easy

To me the best bit about Christmas is the run up to the big day itself. An advent calendar just adds to the anticipation and excitement. I love to make our families advent calendar, that way I can decide what the daily treat will be. This year I made our Advent Calendar out of tin cans in the shape of a Christmas tree. One can for each day, with a chocolate treat in each a Christmas picture cut from old cards and a cheesy Christmas joke to make the everyone smile.
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
You need 25 tin cans for this calendar. I have a big stack of cans that I keep for all sorts of upcycling projects like my very popular colourful tin can planters.
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
You also need 25 red rubber bands white paper (I used white wrapping paper from IKEA). Hot glue gun like this one or double-sided sticky foam pads Red sharpie Old Christmas cards for pictures Treats Collection of cheesy Christmas jokes (link on the blog)
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
On the white paper draw round a bowl slightly larger than your can. Cut out this disc and repeat until you have 25. Using the sharpie stencil or write the numbers 1-25 on each disc. Cut out 25 Christmas pictures from old Christmas cards and write a different cheesy Christmas joke on the back of each picture.
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
Put a picture and a treat in each can. Then cover with your white paper disc and secure with a red rubber band.
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
When all are done. Arrange your cans in a triangle tree shape with a trunk. Then using a combination of hot glue gun and foam sticky pads glue your tins together. (see blog).
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
To me half the fun of an advent calendar is finding the right day so I put my numbered cans in a random order. However I know some people like to have their calendars in date order. It doesn't really matter, just do it your way.
diy tin can christmas advent calendar, crafts, fireplaces mantels, gardening, pallet, repurposing upcycling, seasonal holiday decor
You might want to check out the DIY advent calendar I made last year, by making my own Christmas paper envelopes click here to see. If you have any good Christmas jokes I would love to hear them, please put them in the comments below so everyone can see them too.

Suggested materials:

  • Tin cans
  • Glue
  • Rubber bands and paper
Claire at Pillarboxblue

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Dolores DeLuise
    on Nov 7, 2016

    Since when do treats go into advent calanders? They used to contain good acts to perform or prayers to say.

    • Ran10317227
      on Nov 7, 2016

      We were introduced to Advent calendars when we lived in Germany 50 years ago. They had treats in them.

    • Heike C O'Day
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I grew up in Germany. My Advent calendars ALWAYS had treat in them. I do love your idea very much though!

    • Dolores DeLuise
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I grew up in Brooklyn. I went to Catholic school. We only had prayers and good acts, I guess.

    • Ellen Kunasek
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I don't see why you couldn't have prayers/good works AND a treat.

    • Kimberley Mouser
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I have always purchased Advent calendars (we live in Australia) they have a small (uselessly a square) piece of chocolate in them.

    • All the advent calendars I have had, have had a daily treat in them and a Christmas picture. I am from the UK so I don't know if it's different in the US.

    • Ellen DeVilbiss
      on Nov 8, 2016

      As a child, the advent calendar we had just displayed pretty pictures behind each door. But the way I did it with my kids, each compartment held a small tree ornament for them to decorate a children's size tree.

    • Ellen DeVilbiss
      on Nov 8, 2016

      As a child, the advent calendar we had just displayed pretty pictures behind each door. But the way I did it with my kids, each compartment held a small tree ornament for them to decorate a children's size tree.

    • Irma Salazar
      on Nov 8, 2016

      I didn't have an advent calendar as a child I used a wall calendar that hung over some family pictures and a big candy dish. We said our prayers before leaving for school and before bed. No lack here. California grown...

    • My family is all from Europe and Grandma sent us the advent calendars from there. Each had a picture and a treat for each day. They were also beautiful works of art and now sorry I do not have them.

    • Susie
      on Nov 8, 2016

      Growing up in the UK, we had advent calendars with a Christmassy picture behind each door - that was treat enough. Traditionally no chocolate in our calendars, AND there is no day 25, they stop on Christmas Eve !

    • Sue
      on Nov 8, 2016

      I have never heard of the prayers or good deeds idea. I like it better than treats. I will add that to my advent calendar this year.

    • Janine Bartram
      on Nov 9, 2016

      We didnt have them as a child. Got some this year for the grandies that have stationery items in them instead of chocolate.

    • That sounds like a good idea, my kids have had mini Lego kits as treats before.

    • Diane
      on Nov 11, 2016

      I was raised in Phoenix Arizona, there were six of us kids so that many treats a day were out, but we took turns opening the little door, there was always a prayer. But other family's had the treats, it's fine i don't understand why some make it sound like a bad thing. Happy holidays all.

    • Thank you Diane. It's up to you whether or not you have treats and the treat could be a decoration to hang on the tree or something really simple like a nice picture.

    • Susan Snyder
      on Nov 11, 2016

      I was born and raised in NJ. In my 50+ years, I've made and/or bought many advent calendars but I've never heard of the prayer/good deed version. I am familiar with the candy, joke, picture, tiny tree ornament, 24-day and 25-day versions though. I think all versions are nice and I love hearing about new ones. One year, I made one for each of my nephews using photos of them. I started with their sonogram pics behind Day 1 and ended with their most recent pic on Day 24. And I always include treats. I don't have kids, so I consider it my duty as an Aunt to spoil my nephews and "adopted " kids! 😄🍫🍬🍪🍭🍩🍿🍰

    • Thanks for that Susan, the photos sound like a really fun and special idea.

    • Carey
      on Nov 15, 2016

      We spent a year in Germany and that is where I was first introduced to the advent calendar. I do like the ideas that you ladies have experienced, and I am thinking that since the holiday is celebrating the birth of the Savior, a bible verse from the Christmas Story. For instance, Luke 2:1-And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. You can go through the Story in Luke 2 and find where the angel came to Mary and so on. Not only would they have treats, a neat picture but they would learn about the holiday as well.

    • C J Marks
      on Dec 1, 2016

      We have started a new trend. Each day has a note telling you what to buy or add to a box for the Crises Center. It feels good to be helping the less fortunate.

    • That sounds like a very thoughtful and lovely idea.

    • Muriel J Moore
      on Dec 6, 2016

      I never had one as a child, mixed messages about the day. However, when my kids, grandies and great grandies came I had one that played a Christmas Carol that we would teach and sing with them. We don't seem to have Carol singing much lately, so they hear and learn them and start to love them. Christmas traditions seem to only live in homes and churches today.

    • Dolores DeLuise
      on Dec 6, 2016

      Upon thinking about my take (above) on the Advent calendar, I believe that when I was growing up (b. 1946), the Catholic Church was more traditional than it is now--no meat on Fridays, no eating before communion, etc. Advent was a "penitential season" like Lent, and fasts were in place; can't remember the details. But I do remember that candy and cookies were a no-no. So the idea of a treat during Advent is antithetical to the orthodox Catholicism I was taught. Some people have responded with experiences from other countries, but they're probably not predominantly Catholic countries. Thus my reaction.

    • M. M..
      on Aug 5, 2017

      Wow, this post got a lot of reactions!!My mother started us on a new tradition of writing or saying one thing that we were grateful for. By the time you get to 24/25, you appreciate your family and friends and enjoy the time together much more. It really took away the 'chore' or obligation feeling of socializing with those you need to get to know better instead of avoiding them, haha! Doesn't every family have members like that? Are YOU that one? ;-) Cheers, everybody!

  • Isma sheikh
    on Nov 12, 2016

    I have lots of tins of my baby's milk powder and cerelac but they are printed tins.its not like paper wrapped on them the tin itself is printed.how can i clean it

    • Not sure, maybe you are best painting your cans or covering them with plain paper.

    • Jeanette S
      on Nov 13, 2016

      You can probably use any white glue that drys clear (add in a touch of water) and any Christmas paper. Cut paper into strips and then to the right size adding a little for overlapping . Brush both sides of paper with glue (or dip into a shallow pan of glue) then wrap around can. Let dry and see if this works. These should last for years. (You can glue just at the overlap if you wish)

Join the conversation

4 of 68 comments
Your comment...