• Nathalie

DIY Advent calendar

November 2020.


Oh I love waking up every morning to a chocolate! My advent calendar is unique in many ways: it runs from December 1st to December 27th (my birthday) and it's made of reused items I found around my apartment.


My love/hate relationship with packaging goes way back to my childhood. I have a very strong memory of myself opening the carton of my advent calendar and wondering how to reuse the plastic inside... I appreciate a beautiful packaging but I never understood the concept of single use.


Our actual advent calendar was inspired by a calendar that resembles this photo. But I wanted to make my own.


This article is a way to inspire you to be creative when it comes to your advent calendar. Make something that will follow you and your family years after years and even be perfected by the next generations.


Christmas is a very personal notion: make a unique advent calendar!

My calendar is made of:

  • 25 containers

  • Paper and clips

  • Little treats or gifts

  • A rope or a box

My tip: start making your own now, don't wait for the last week of November.



1. Contain

The containers could be anything from 25 baby socks, jars, paper envelopes, jewellery pouches.

Mine are pouches made of fabric scraps from our damaged clothes. Patterns are not christmassy but they are definitely "us". I folded the fabric and sewed very quickly three sides to make the pouch. I did not take time to do the finishes properly but I am fine with it! They are not all the same sizes either as I was inventing my calendar as I was finding the material.


They were approximately 17x20cm = 17x10cm folded before sewing.

After I sewed them they are about 15x9cm.



2. Label

My number labels where made of half reused biscuits packagings, half craft paper (I ran out of biscuits packagings). +/- 3x3cm squares.

I clip them to the pouch with wooden clips from our wedding. If you want to hang your calendar, the clips will be useful too.




3. Fill

When my kids where smaller I filled the pouches with finger puppets and small animal figurines. Now they want chocolate!!


This year I am trying to find second hand Lego's because they are obsessed. I am thinking they could find each day a few pieces to assemble, that will make something Christmas themed in the end...



4. Display

I used to hang mine with a cord. But last year I made a travel version in a metallic tea box and I really like how it looks. I align the pouches, numbers facing the front of the box. My kids get to look for the number every morning (it is even funnier when they are learning how to count).




It's important to change our ways of "consuming" Christmas as we produce and throw during Christmas time approximately 30% more rubbish compared to the rest of the year, including unwanted presents, packaging from food and objects, Christmas trees, decorations, cards, wrapping paper and single use advent calendars wrapped in plastic, made of plastic and un-recyclable laminated carton...

This the season to be jolly, not to trash our planet!


Are you making your own? Use the hashtag #RespectfulChristmas, tag me on Instagram or send it to me via @RespectfulLivingFamily on Facebook and I'll feature it on my social media accounts.


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