This refillable homemade advent calendar is made from dollar store items and is an adorable accent for counting down to Christmas. Fill this homemade advent calendar with your favorite treats, small presents, or activities for a memorable and personal Christmas season!

Dollar Store Homemade Advent Calendar


What?! It’s not even Halloween yet, and I JUST posted a Halloween tablescape a few days ago! Have I lost my mind!? No – I have not. Well, maybe a little. But that’s not new or news! What IS going on is that I, along with a few of my friends, am hoping to help you lovelies get a jump start on the season! I’m super excited to be joining the My Dollar Store DIY girls with some super easy holiday ideas that won’t break the bank and are doABLE! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom to see all the other holiday ideas as well!

Christmas is in 62 Days

Today, I am sharing a beautiful homemade advent calendar made from simple Dollar Store items that can be reused every year. Metal favor buckets (from the wedding aisle) are the perfect way to create a customized Christmas countdown calendar. This homemade advent calendar is made with 25 little buckets for you to fill up for each day in December. There are so many different you can use to fill an advent calendar – this one uses small treats – but you could just as easily fill the buckets with activity ideas or small toys.

Treats for the Kids and One for You!


I got so far ahead of myself that I even wrapped up a few little presents in my favorite wrapping paper – I hope I can find it again this year! I also printed off a sheet of fun gift tags from last year. Want to download them, too?  Get these adorable Christmas Gift Tags for free –  click HERE to get them! Now on to the how-to!

How to Make a Homemade Advent Calendar

homemade advent calendar - materials

You’ll need:

  • 12″x 24″ rug or piece of foam board
  • white paint
  • 25- metal buckets (9 packages from the dollar tree) with tags and ribbon
  • decorative pattern file folder or cardstock
  • Scissors or 2″ paper punch
  • bakers twine
  • Number stickers – I used something similar to this
  • small hooks with adhesive backing
  • ribbon
  • 2-small eye screws
  • 2 – 12″x 1″ pieces of wood
  • 2 – 24″x 1″ pieces of wood

Prepare the Board

easy advent calendar idea

Paint the board or posterboard white. Let dry.


Make the Tags

advent calendar ideas

Cut out 25 cardstock circles and punch a hole in the top of each card.

ideas for advent calendars

Apply the number stickers 1 through 25 to the unprinted side of the tags included with the buckets. Then, stack the numbered circle over the cardstock and thread together with a piece of baker’s twine.

Add the Buckets

diy advent calendar

Remove the handles from all 25 buckets.

do it yourself advent calendar

Thread the number tags through one side of the bucket tabs used to hold the handles. Fold the flap over to prevent the tag string from coming off, then, add a loop of baker’s twine to the other tab to be used for hanging.


Position and stick the hooks evenly onto the board. I used a 5-4-5-4-7 pattern, but use what looks best to you.

reusable advent calendar diy

Add trim pieces around the rug to create a frame using glue then screw eye screws into the top and thread ribbon through for hanging.

candy advent calendar

I added some snowflakes to each of my buckets, giving my homemade advent calendar the final touch I was looking for.

bucket advent calendar

Once completed, hang the buckets on the hooks and fill with your favorite treats, toys or activities!

homemade advent calendar

Now I’m just sitting here waiting for December 1st to roll around so I can start using it! How about you – are you thinking about Christmas yet?


Don’t forget to stop by and take a peek at these other lovely Christmas Decor ideas! Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Christmas Decor Ideas | Holiday Decorating Ideas made with Dollar Store supplies

Southern State of Mind | My Thrift Store Addiction | Knock It Off Kim | This is our Bliss | Redhead Can DecorateMonica Wants It | Heathered NestCreative Ramblings | Refashionably Late projects

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  1. Monica Benavidez on October 25, 2018 at 8:47 am

    What a cute idea!

    • Kim on October 25, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Monica!

  2. Ruthie on October 25, 2018 at 11:28 am

    This is so fun! I love advent calendars and this would be a fun one to make!

    • Kim on October 27, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Thank you, Ruthie! I can’t wait to fill it up with goodies when the countdown begins!

  3. Sarah on October 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    What a fun idea! My kids love a countdown every year and I try to change it up to keep it interesting, thanks for the inspiration.

    • Kim on October 27, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Thanks, Sarah!

  4. Cecilia on October 25, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    This is such a darling idea! So fun! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    • Kim on October 27, 2018 at 7:24 am

      Thank you, Cecilia!

  5. This is our Bliss on November 2, 2018 at 10:41 am

    This is the CUTEST!! I love those little white buckets and your tags turned out to be adorable! Thanks so much for joining in this month!! 🙂

    • Kim on November 2, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks for including me! So fun!

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