Use a Muffin Tin to Create a Frugal Christmas Advent Calendar

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This DIY advent calendar is the perfect holiday craft.

holding colorful circle with the number 12 on it

Excited to make Christmas crafts?🎄

Although Advent calendars have been around for what seems like forever, they’ve really exploded as a holiday tradition in recent years. They’re such a fun way to build excitement while counting down the days until Christmas, especially for families with children.

One drawback to popular store-bought Advent calendars is that they can be pretty pricey, especially if you have multiple children in your family. Thankfully, you can make your own DIY Advent calendar and totally customize it for your family’s budget and interests!

Advent calendar made with a muffin tin

It’s so easy to re-purpose a mini muffin tin into a cute homemade Advent calendar for counting down the days until Christmas! It’s super easy to put together, and it can also be a fun kids’ craft activity too.

Then, when they’re not looking, you can fill each space with a small piece of candy, chocolate, sticker, written note, or handmade token to redeem for holiday-themed family activities. Your child can then reveal a new surprise on each day leading up to Christmas!

supplied for DIY advent calendar

holding circles of red and green paper

supplies needed to make muffin tin advent calendar

holding numbered holiday stickers

muffin tin advent calendar

Muffin Tin DIY Advent Calendar




Cut twenty-four 2.25 inch circles out of holiday scrapbook paper. I used my Cricut cutting machine to do this task quickly, but you could also trace and cut.


Fill each spot with candy, a chocolate coin, or a written message. The round metal tags I had fit perfectly inside so I used those to make little tokens with written messages.


Cover each hole with a circle. I secured them with Glue Dots, but you can use magnetic strips or a glue gun if desired.


Apply numbered stickers on top of each circle, or write them by hand. Note: I glued a round metal tag to each circle then added a number in order to see it clearer.


Add some optional sticker embellishments, if desired. All of the ones pictured in this DIY were purchased at Michaels craft store.


Open one by one each day in December leading up to Christmas!

muffin tin advent calendar

I love how this DIY Muffin Tin Advent calendar turned out!

Using a mini muffin pan is so perfect since there are exactly 24 spots! You could also use two standard-sized muffin pans if you wanted to fill each space with bigger surprises or multiple treats.

I also love that you can totally customize this for your kids, your family, or even your pet! To make this DIY project even more budget-friendly, you could fill it with things that you may already have on hand, like leftover Halloween candy.

holding up a christmas bucket list

Rather than putting tiny surprises inside, you could opt to fill your Advent calendar with ideas for holiday-themed family activities or acts of kindness to spread holiday cheer.

Need ideas? Head on over here to print our FREE Christmas Bucket List for lots of fun, frugal, and family-friendly activities. Be sure to check out our FREE Random Acts of Kindness printable too, for ways to spread a little Christmas cheer beyond the walls of your home. 🎄Enjoy!

Looking for more Advent calendars? Head here!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 8

  1. tigglesr

    Cute idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)


  2. aacmom

    When my kids were little I forgot to pick up an advent calendar from the store . In a moment of mom ingenuity I used two egg cartons taped together with a candy in each indent. They looked a at me puzzled. Now that they are grown we have a laugh about it every year and I think it was their favorite one .

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ha OHHH I love this cute story! Thanks for sharing <3

  3. Annie

    good idea

  4. Megan

    I have 7 kids so I love this! We have a tub full of Halloween candy that I just snuck to the top of the closet 😆 I kept them a treasure box full out.

    I can’t wait to do this!

  5. karastrong

    I use a rectangle shoe hanger for my advent calendar. Each pocket I put in enough prizes/candy for each person in the family. We do an advent reading and then everyone can go get something! And since I’m picking the treats I know they’ll all taste good 😉

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I love this! Thanks for sharing that idea!

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