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Get Creative With A Fill Your Own Advent Calendar

ideas for your fill your own advent calendar
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There’s no better way to revel in the excitement of the Christmas countdown than with an advent calendar! It’s one of our favourite festive traditions, and a lovely way to treat someone special every day through December. Why not start this Christmas season off on the right foot and create your own advent calendar, designed and filled by you? It’s more personal than anything you can find on the high street, and a thoughtful way to wish your favourite people a merry Christmas. 

pet photo printed on cover of a self fill advent calendar

One of the reasons our Fill Your Own Advent Calendars are so great is that they give you the ability to tailor the contents to your recipient. Would you like to treat someone with a dairy allergy to the advent calendar they usually miss out on? Or perhaps really spoil your favourite person with a special little gift all December long? Read on for our list of creative ideas and advent inspiration!

How to fill your advent calendar

Step 1: It only takes a few minutes to create your Fill Your Own Advent Calendar online, using your own photographs.  We’ve a whole range of templates, designs, layouts and backgrounds for you to choose from, as well as the ability to Clipart and custom text. So you can make it as personal as you like!

Step 2: Prepare your gifts. We’ve wrapped ours in cellophane and decorative string to help them look a little more festive. However you could also use wrapping paper, curling ribbon or anything else that takes your fancy!

Example of filling a DIY advent calendar with small toys.

Step 3: To fill your advent calendar, simply open the side, pull out the plastic tray and fill it with your gifts. Then return the tray to the advent calendar box, remove the adhesive tape on the side, and press closed. This will help keep your calendar securely closed once you’ve finished filling it.

What to put inside your custom advent calendar?

So you’ve decided to create your own personalised advent calendar, but what to fill it with? Whoever your recipient is, we’ve compiled some of our best ideas to help get you started!

For Kids

Advent calendars can be a minefield for those of us with dairy, soy or nut allergies. Most parents of allergy kids know all too well the disappointed little face of someone who can’t have the advent calendar that features their favourite character because of allergens in the chocolate. If you want to create your own personalised advent calendar, you can use any image you like on the front, and fill the inside with allergy-safe treats.

a self fill advent calendar with chocolate coins and childs painting printed on cover
  • Alternatively, if your child isn’t the biggest fan of chocolate, why not fill your advent calendar with small packets of jelly sweets or individually wrapped chewy treats?
  • If you’d rather avoid the daily sugar this year, a Fill Your Own Advent Calendar is a great way to spoil your favourite little people! Fill with small toys, such as animals, squishies, toy cars or plastic building blocks like Lego.
  • Why not give your child the gift of time, and fill your calendar with experiences? They can be as simple as a handmade voucher redeemable for a trip to the park, or cinema tickets to go and see a festive film.

For Tweens and Teens

  • For that awkward age when they’re just starting to lose interest in toys, treat your tween to a fun advent calendar packed full of nail polish, glitter and hair clips.
a custom photo calendar with nail polish inside
  • Got a teen with a strong creative streak? Encourage their artistic side with a craft calendar! Fill with embroidery floss, stamps, ink and stationary. Maybe they’ll discover a talent for a new medium!
  • Give the gift of music, movies and even TV shows. Streaming services like Amazon, iTunes and Spotify all allow you to generate gift codes, either for Premium access or to buy individual movies and TV episodes. Fill the calendar with your codes, and impress them with advent gifts they’ll genuinely enjoy.

For Adults

  • Do you know someone who deserves some “me time” among the busy holiday season? Show them you care with a thoughtful aromatherapy advent calendar. Fill with scented tealights, mini bath melts and essential oils.
  • Many of the big brands offer calendars full of sample-size toiletries such as skincare, makeup and hand creams. You can make your own version (usually for a fraction of the price!) featuring a more diverse range of brands and scents, specially tailored to suit your recipient’s tastes.
  • Looking for more masculine ideas? Treat him to a month of male grooming products, such as beard oil, pomade and mini sample bottles of aftershave. 
personalised advent calendar with teabags
  • Give the tea or coffee lover a month of the best mornings ever! You can purchase sample sachets of individually wrapped coffee sachets or teabags online, in a selection of different flavours.

For Pets

Why should your furry friend miss out on the festive fun? Give the gift of wagging tales! Just make an advent calendar that features your favourite photo of your pet and fill it with healthy treats. This is a great gift for your dog or cat, or the perfect advent calendar for the animal-lover who likes nothing more than seeing their pet happy.

a photo advent calendar for your pets

For the Whole Family

Instead of creating individual calendars, why not create just one calendar for everyone to open together? Try filling it with Christmas tree ornaments, to stretch out the tradition of decorating the tree together.

Alternatively, fill your calendar with ways to spend time together this December. You could add a small cookie cutter ready to bake some gingerbread together, or even tickets to a local pantomime.

family photo printed on a fill your own personalised advent calendar

Whatever you decide to fill it with, we’re sure you’ll agree that a personalised Fill Your Own Advent Calendar is the most thoughtful way to show your loved ones how much you care all the way through your Christmas countdown. 

Do you have any more ideas we’ve not listed here? Drop us a comment below and tell us what you’d like to fill your advent calendar with.

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