This Reader Made an Easy DIY Advent Calendar for Her Kids

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diy advent calendar

Looking for an affordable Advent Calendar idea? 

With the Christmas season among us, Advent calendars are practically everywhere. If you’re not finding one that fits your kiddos’ interests, you can always try making your own! This week’s Happy Friday reader Emily DIY’d her own Advent calendar in a simple, yet cost-effective manner.

snack box candy

My kids are older now, 17, 15, 14, and 9. Filling Advent calendars got harder as they got older. The calendars they each have had only small spaces for an item for each day. This year, I got theater boxes of candy priced at 4 for $4 (or less with coupons) at Walgreens.

sugar babies candy

I tried to pick candy the kids have never or rarely seen or tasted. Some of these had enough flavors that one pack was enough for a couple of days. I picked things like Sugar Babies, Runts, Jujubes, Snow Caps, Chewy Sweet Tarts, Mamba, and more.

dots candy

Each day, they get just a few pieces (since that’s all that fits), but it’s enough to get a taste of a new candy. I did splurge for some mini Turtles for the last day. Also, with all the deals posted throughout the year, I had enough reward money to cover filling the calendars for my four kids for free!

Thanks for all the deals posted all year and Merry Christmas!

diy advent calendar

Emily, what a simple yet special way to create an Advent calendar! I’m sure your kiddos appreciated the sweet treat surprises that await them every day during the countdown to Christmas.

We love scoring that reoccurring 4-for-$4 candy deal, so be sure you keep an eye on our Walgreens weekly ad because we always update the latest deals!

TIP -Use a muffin tin as an Advent Calendar this year!


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?! 🎙 Fill out our Happy Friday form! Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. For the best odds of having your submission picked, check out our Happy Friday tips post!

If yours is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon eGift card! 🛍

Here are the latest Advent Calendar deals!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

Join The Discussion

Comments 11

  1. thrift

    Very cute! Thanks for the idea.

  2. KimLy

    My daughter and I made an advent calendar for her this year using these 4×4 boxes. We taped them together, used wrapping paper on 3 sides and will use the cricut to cut vinyl numbers for the tops. Then I find different things to put in each box. I did this for my husband years ago to make a beer advent calendar (used different boxes) and he loved it so much, my daughter wanted one too! LOL

    These are the boxes:

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How neat! Thanks for sharing how you made yours! Love that idea too! 🥰

  3. hellfiregainz

    For kids we did dollar tree metal mailboxes with the flags on them. We set them up under a 3 foot tall tree that became our advent Calendar tree. The mailbox could hold a good sized item like a can of play-doh, a can of soda, socks, etc. Raise the flag after filling at night and in the morning it was the first thing they did. For adult children, we do 24 small gifts they could use. Wrapped them and labeled each a number 1-24 and gifted to them on Thanksgiving so they had them for December.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s awesome! Thanks for commenting! Those mailboxes are SO cute! ❤️🎄

  4. Tracey

    Nice job on the calendar! What a great idea and I know your kiddos will love it. 🙂

  5. Patricia Goff

    What a great idea. I am not able to go to Germany to get our calendars this year (not sure if mom can ship them in time) due to surgery. Maybe I can do this. Thanks.

  6. Joanne

    My daughter loves to collect Disney trading pins, so I made her an advent calendar using a $2 pet advent calendar I got in the Target holiday clearance section last year. It is made of fabric and has small numbered pockets (maybe for pet treats?) that are the perfect size to hold pins. I bought a set of pins from eBay since she doesn’t really care if the pins are official. For a Christmas Day stocking stuffer, I got 3 large Disney ornament/pins using Disney Movie Insider points. She is going to love it, and the whole thing cost under $20. If they have that size advent calendar again this year, I think it would also be a perfect size to hold earrings or charms.

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Fun idea, Joanne! Thanks for sharing!💞🎄

  7. Tricia

    After spending $40 every year for an advent calandar with toys, my son never uses, I did something new this year. I got 25 popsicle sticks and wrote a fun thing to do each day, some sticks have fun surprises like .99 cent robux for the game he likes. Some have movies nights, fire pit nights, favorite dinner etc. I’m excited for December 1st. Also a great way to spend more time as a family. I did 25 instead of 24, so Christmas day has an extra little surprise 😁

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow!! That’s a great idea, Tricia!!! I’m sure you will make some great memories doing this. Thanks for sharing!! 🎄💕

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