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Top 5 Alternative Advent Calendar Ideas #DIYXMAS

Here at Preloved we relish in all things creative, repurposed and fun! We all know that waking up to little cardboard window to reveal a chocolate every morning is exciting…but what if it was something different one morning?

Perhaps a lemon sherbet? Maybe you could wake up to clue to a help you find some hidden treasure? Or maybe it’s a new task, like sorting through old toys to sell second hand or give to a charity, making a bird feeder to help feed the songbirds through winter, writing to Santa, or a day out to take treats to a local dog shelter? However much time you have to plan, and however much you want to spend, creating a unique advent calendar for you and your family can be fun to make!

Once you have your ideas in place whether they are as simple has a different sweet for each day, or a mixture of days out, stocking fillers, fruits and nuts – the next step is making your unique advent calendar! Here are some of Preloved’s favourite alternative advent calendar ideas to get the creative cogs turning.

1. Wooden Peg Advent Calendar

christmas paper cups pegged onto string

So simple and affordable, but so effective! All you need is a pack of wooden pegs (maybe even some unused pegs you or a family member has in the home), string and something to, well, peg to the string! Simply pegging a note in Christmasy paper can create excitement – after all, it is all about the surprise.Christmas bucket If you want to to be extra Christmasy, then you needn’t spend much. You can find pegs for as little as £1 mini red pegs, and simply attach Christmas paper cups to hide the treats as shown by Red Ted Art above.

2. Christmas Bucket

I loved this idea when I came across it onWork Man Family (pictures to the right)! All you need is a used (and thoroughly cleaned) basket or bucket, 24 items (new or pre-owned) wrapping paper, bits of ribbon and buttons (depending on how crazy you would like to go on the presentation) and voila! A bucket of festive fun.

3. 24 Christmas Books

Running a bit low on cash? Why not simply add a bit extra fun to story time before bed by wrapping up all the Christmas books on your home. Each night your little ones will get to unwrap their bedtime advent gift and enjoy a Christmas story before bed. Not got enough Christmas books? Buying second hand books can be a great way to keep the cost down whilst enjoying new stories with your little ones.

second hand christmas books

4. Christmas Advent Adventure Jars

Want to keep their little minds busy? What a better way to re-use the jam jars before sending them off to be recycled then creating the ultimate Christmas adventure treasure hunt! Give your children a riddle or clue every day after they get home from school or in the morning during the weekends and holidays, to go hunting for their advent treat, be it around the house or in the garden.

The glass jars will keep hidden treasure safe from dirt and dust whilst hidden away, and means you will only need a few jars (hiding a new jar every day) to keep the hunt going. Why not be adventurous and hide them when you are out and about with them, like walking the dog in the park, or when visiting family?

5. Toilet Paper Roll Holder Calendar

toilet roll holder advent calendarIf nothing but a chocolate calendar will do, then why not try making your own? I love this toilet roll holder idea by Morning Creativity – it is the ultimate recycled, and recyclable, advent calendar!

After some time collecting toilet roll holders, and an afternoon of crafting, you can get busy filling this with sweets, tasks, and of course tasty chocolates.

With the end of the toilet roll holders sealed by brown paper, all your children have to do is “pop” open the paper seal to reveal there hidden treat! Learn how to make this by clicking here.


I hope this has given you some inspiration to get crafting and make your own advent calendars this year! Remember to share your advent calendar ideas with us by using #DIYXMas and sharing your images and tips via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Adele Gardner

Adele Gardner

Creative Writer

Adele is a creative writer for Preloved. She loves literature, travelling, baked goods and is always hunting for new music.