Cardboard roll advent calendar

DIY Toilet Paper Tube Advent Calendar

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The countdown to Christmas is always one of the most exciting times of the year. Why not start a new holiday tradition by helping them make a fun toilet paper tube advent calendar?

When you have finished making your advent calendar, you can make some pinecone crafts, a Christmas tree luminary, or a cute elf bookmark.

Cardboard tube advent calendar

Advent calendar filler ideas

The best thing about making a DIY advent calendar for kids instead of buying one is that you can customize however you want for each child. Decorate it in your child’s favorite colors and fill it with their favorite small toys, candy, and notes.

Some good ideas for advent calendar fillers:

Toilet paper tube advent calendar supplies

Supplies:

Instructions:

  • Cut all of the toilet paper rolls in half. 
  • Place the cut paper rolls on the piece of cardboard in the shape of a tree.
  • Starting with one roll at the very top, add two underneath it, increasing each row by one paper roll until you have formed a row of six rolls. 
  • Finish the tree shape by making the trunk. Add a row of two paper rolls and end with a single toilet paper tube on the very last row.
How to make a toilet roll advent calendar
  • Outline the paper roll tree with a marker then cut the cardboard in the shape of a tree. 
  • Paint the tree-shaped cutout dark green with a foam paintbrush or sponge and let dry. 
  • While the tree is drying, cut (16) 4” x 4” squares of tissue paper.
  • For our toilet paper roll advent calendar, we chose red, green, and blue tissue paper, but you can choose whichever colors or patterns you prefer.
Toilet roll advent calendar ideas
  • Once the tree is dry, glue the first cut toilet paper tube to the top of the tree.
  • Insert a gift into the paper roll and cover it with 2 pieces of tissue paper. Secure the tissue paper to the tube with a rubber band. 
  • Repeat this process and increase each row by one paper roll as you did back in step two, adding a gift and sealing each toilet paper roll shut with tissue paper and a rubber band.
DIY advent calendar for kids
DIY advent calendar
  • Finish the tree shape by making the trunk. Add a row of two paper rolls and end with a single paper roll on the very last row.
  • Now take your marker or number stickers and put a number on each paper roll from 1 to 24.
  • You can add the numbers chronologically or you can mix the numbers for added fun.
Advent calendar made from toilet paper rolls

Now that your toilet paper tube advent calendar is finished, stand it up on a table or your child’s dresser. Starting on December first, have your child punch open the tissue paper to get their prize each night, ending with Christmas Eve.

An advent calendar is such a fun Christmas tradition that your child will look forward to year after year. With any luck, they will also carry on this tradition with their own children when the time comes.

Toilet paper roll advent calendar

Customize your toilet paper roll advent calendar

Colors and patterns

Instead of plain red, green, and blue tissue paper, you could use gold, silver, and white tissue paper. Or tissue paper with snowflakes, candy canes, Christmas trees, or a holiday variety.

Instead of tissue paper

If you don’t have tissue paper on hand, you could use wrapping paper or cupcake liners as covers for your toilet paper roll advent calendar.

Different DIY advent calendar shapes

If you would rather make your cardboard tube advent calendar in the shape of something other than a tree, you could try a wreath, snowman, or any other festive holiday shape you can imagine.

Your creativity is limitless.

More fun Christmas activities

Christmas Eve Games for Kids

Christmas Books for Preschoolers

DIY Christmas Deco Balls

Cookie Box Christmas Village

How to make a toilet roll advent calendar

Yield: 1

DIY Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar

Cardboard roll advent calendar
Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Materials

  • A rigid piece of cardboard; size 12” x 15”
  • Black marker (sharpie)
  • Tissue paper (color of choice)
  • 12 empty toilet paper rolls
  • 24 rubber bands
  • Dark green paint
  • 24 small gifts of your choosing

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush or sponge
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

Instructions

  1. Cut all toilet paper tubes in half
  2. Place your cut paper rolls on your cardboard in the shape of a tree starting with one roll at the very top, adding two underneath it, and increasing each row by one paper roll until you’ve formed a row of 6(six) rolls. 
  3. Finish your tree shape by making the trunk. Add a row of two paper rolls and end with a single paper roll on the very last row.
  4. Outline your paper roll tree with a marker then cut off the excess cardboard. 
  5. Paint your tree shaped cut out in dark green with a paintbrush and let dry. 
  6. While your tree is drying, cut 4” x 4” squares of tissue paper. For our project, we chose red, green, and blue tissue paper, however, don’t feel limited to these colors. Whichever color you end up choosing, make sure to cut out 16 (sixteen) squares of each color.
  7. Once your tree is dry, glue the first cut paper roll to the very top of your tree.
  8. Insert your gift into the paper roll then cover with 2 pieces of tissue paper and secure with a rubber band. 
  9. Repeat this process and increase each row by one paper roll as you did back in step two (2) remembering to add your gift and sealing each paper roll shut with tissue paper and a rubber band.
  10. Finish your tree shape by making the trunk. Add a row of two paper rolls and end with a single paper roll on the very last row.
  11. Now take your marker and identify each paper roll with a number from 1 to 24. They do not have to follow each other, you can mix the numbers for added fun.

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