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Karen Silas The best reusable empty DIY advent calendars – whether wooden, paperboard or hanging – plus advent calendar filler packs and ideas for your make-your-own Christmas countdown.

It won’t be long before December is here, so it’s time to get your Christmas thinking hats on. First priority, which advent calendar will you be going for this year? While there are plenty of pre-made advent calendars, from beauty advent calendars to men’s advent calendars – and even some totally unique Christmas countdowns – you may want to choose an empty reusable DIY advent calendar to make your own bespoke creation that you can cherish as a keepsake for years to come.

RELATED: 9 of the best Harry Potter advent calendars

Check places like eBay or Etsy, which has a whole section devoted to creating your own advent calendar, from empty boxes to advent calendar bags, boxes and fillers. There are empty DIY advent calendars for just about any decor or need, including make-your-own advent calendars made of wood, hanging advent calendars and inexpensive paperboard advent calendars, too.

We’ve put together an edit of the best empty DIY advent calendars you can shop now, and also have some suggestions about what kinds of treats and treasures you can put in your make-your-own countdown for this Christmas 2021.

Reusable DIY Advent Calendars under £25

If you’re on a budget, take a look at these make-your-own advent calendars at wallet-friendly prices.


Giant red Christmas tree advent calendar, £14, NotOnTheHighStreet


Fill this metre-high advent calendar with your own treats for a Christmas countdown that kids will love.

diy empty advent calendar boxes bags ebay

Make your own advent calendar kit, more designs available, £6.99, eBay


You could keep it simple by making your own advent calendar with sets of boxes or bags, like these Christmas crackers.


Advent calendar paper bag kit, £18, NotOnTheHighStreet


How cute are these paper bags for filling with treats? The pegs, stickers and twine are all provided.

brubaker wood empty advent calendar

Brubaker traditional wooden DIY advent calendar, various models, from £15.12, eBay


On eBay, this seller has a whole array of refillable DIY Christmas countdown displays, from traditional nativity scenes to a gingerbread house.

amazon top rated diy advent calendar

BlueIves fill your own advent calendar, more designs available, £9.98, Amazon


Amazon’s Choice for DIY Advent Calendar is this simple set of Christmas boxes you fill and stack yourself.


Wall-hung advent calendar, £14.99/$17.99, H&M


This wall advent calendar with a polar bear design has four pockets to add gifts to and would be perfect for small children.


DIY Advent calendar coffee cups, more designs available, £18.56, Amazon


These twenty-four ‘Coffee to Go’ cups are perfect to create your own coffee or tea advent calendar.

Wooden empty advent calendars

These make your own advent calendars are built to last! Make them part of your yearly Christmas decor as a cherished keepsake.

ebay empty light up advent calendar

Garden Mile wooden village DIY advent calendar, £24.99, eBay


Enjoy the glow of the tiny village (courtesy of LED lights) in this empty DIY advent calendar with 24 drawers just waiting to be filled – it’s eBay’s #1 top-rated advent calendar.

empty diy advent calendar wooden truck ebay

Wooden truck advent calendar with lights, £42.99, eBay


This handcrafted Christmas truck DIY advent calendar features Santa Claus at the wheel and an illuminated snow-covered village scene powered by two AA batteries.


Wooden Advent Calendar House, £40, My 1st Years


This jolly advent calendar house can be filled with the loveliest treats for your little one, and can be personalised for free too.

empty diy advent calendar beer wine 2

Personalised advent calendar for drinks, £60, Etsy


Fill this personalised oak advent calendar with your favourite beers and wines – it holds both 330ml size beer bottles and mini-bottles of wine, Prosecco or Champagne in 187-200ml sizes.


Wooden tree countdown calendar with drawer, £39.99, Wayfair


Handcrafted from sturdy MDF and beautifully decorated with festive details, this is the perfect advent calendar to bring out every Christmas.


Gisela Graham wood LED house advent calendar, £39.99, Amara


This Gisela Graham advent calendar has been painted in a wintery white colour and features a festive scene with built-in LEDs, plus twenty-four compartments to fill with small treats.

What can you put in an empty advent calendar?

The sky is really the limit – as long as you think small! You can find inexpensive DIY calendar fillers or party packs from places like Amazon, or you can REALLY go custom and handpick 12 or 24 treasures yourself to fill those empty boxes with individually chosen gifts you know they’ll love.

Need some ideas about what to put in your make-your-own advent calendar? We have some suggestions!

If you’re looking to fill a…

  • DIY advent calendar for him: Socks, pocket sized-tech like mini USB phone chargers, coffee or tea bags, beer or mini-bottles of his favourite tipples are all good choices.
  • DIY advent calendar for boys and girls: You can stash sweets, coins, tiny toys, chocolate or even kids’ jewellery and accessories inside.
  • DIY advent calendar for adults: Jewellery and hair accessories, handwritten notes, travel size beauty products, mini home sprays or even lockdown-friendly gifts like face masks or touchless door openers.

Here’s a handy DIY advent calendar tip: Look for packs of travel sizes and minis, whether beauty products, candles, grooming or manicure sets, splitting up the set to put one treat in each day of the advent calendar.

Advent calendar filler ideas

If you’re still unsure about what to fill your DIY advent calendar with, here are some ideas for your bespoke calendar, plus some advent calendar filler packs that are ready to go!


25 advent calendar chocolates, £8.99, Etsy


Chocolates are always a fail-safe treat.

diy advent calendar filler pack alcohol

Fever Tree Ultimate Gin and Tonic Selection Gift Set, £19.49, Amazon


If you’re making an advent calendar for an adult, you could fill them with wine, beer, whisky or gin. You can get creative with mini bottles to pop into a DIY advent calendar for a make-it-yourself treasure trove of tipple.

DIY advent calendar filler pack candles

Tiptree Wilkins & Sons Mini Candle Gift Box, £20, Amara


Or go for scented candles for the ultimate relaxing gift. Treat them to a new mini every day.

advent calendar fillers pins accessories

Enamel pins 24-piece set, £13.49, Amazon


These colourful pins would make cute and unique advent calendar gifts.

tea bag advent calendar filler

Kusmi Tea The Wellness Pack, 24 tea bags in six flavours, £20.99, Selfridges


One for the tea lovers – they come in six soothing flavours.

advent calendar filler for girls

Advent calendar set for kids in pink, 40 pieces, £65, NotOnTheHighStreet


This girly 40-piece set includes sweets, jewellery, lip balm and stationery.

RELATED: The Lookfantastic advent calendar 2021 has landed and it’s better than ever

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