I know it’s another Christmas post and I promise we aren’t trying to bombard you but after discussions amongst the team everyone seems to be in full planning mode now so they can relax and enjoy December. Plus the John Lewis advert has been released today and we’ve already fallen in love with Marks & Spencers Paddington Bear offering so we figured Christmas is really in full swing. On that note what do you think of this years John Lewis ad? I fear I am swinging more towards Paddington in the festive stakes.

Therefore we felt it was only fair we shared all our thoughts and finds with you nice and early. Today is the turn of the advent calendar.

Every year Edd’s dad buys the girls an advent calendar. For the last few years this has been a toy related one filled with playmobil, lego or playdoh which they have loved but this year I wanted to bring a little bit of my own magic back. So I am setting about creating my own advent calendar and have been scouring Pinterest for ideas. Seems the Rock My Team are the fountain of all knowledge though as Laura creates the most beautiful homemade calendars for her little girl and this year Lauren is attempting one for her husband which I think is the loveliest touch.

Last year the elves left the girls a mini christmas tree in their room on the 1st December and each day they got a little decoration to hang on it but I obviously can’t do that again so my plan is that on the 1st December the girls will wake up to find the calendar and a little note from the elves. I know, I am so good giving the elves the credit for my creation but the girls love things like this!

For those of you hoping to make your own calendars for your kiddies read on for our top tips….

Choose Your Holder {Homemade}

I have decided to go with the homemade approach, purely because I love making things and possibly love wrapping presents even more. I have taken inspiration from some of the lovely designs in our gallery and am planning little parcels, bags, and envelopes in brown paper accessorised with pretty ribbons to hang them from, pegs and cute tags. I will probably just end up with the envelopes but I will aim high to start with! We already have a cute hanging wooden tree a bit like this one so will be tying the ribbons to this to hang the presents from.

There are lots of cute ideas you could make yourself either from scratch or by popping to Hobbycraft for a few supplies.

I love the coat hanger idea where all the little presents are bunched together hanging at various lengths. It looks so effective or this idea also works from a branch.

How about getting crafty with the loo roll? You might need to get stealing from a few friends and relatives as you will need 24. First place a little gift inside each one, then stick a circle of brown paper over one end before sticking the other end on to a sheet of card. This tutorial gives you more detail and she’s also made it in to a super cute house.

In a similar vein matchboxes look cute wrapped and stacked with each box containing a little treat.

If you have one of the nice wire notice boards knocking around your house how about using bulldog clips to attach little gift bags?

Choose Your Holder {Shop Bought}

If you want to choose your own fillers but can’t be bothered with the hassle of constructing a holder or wrapping millions of presents there are some beautiful calendars out there to fill. The beauty of these is that you can use them year after year.

I always lust after the Ferm Living one but this year H&M have released the cutest one at a brilliant price point. This gingham one from The White Company is also so festive.

You can also buy lots of lovely boxes like the Meri Meri star garland or the gingerbread house hanging garland from NOTHS.

Laura shared this cute hanger from House Doctor with the team and I love the little loops that let you suspend little presents from each date.

This wooden train with it’s little drawers on the carriages is absolutely beautiful and can be personalised for a bit of extra magic.

I am kicking myself that I didn’t buy this amazing Fabelab set earlier this year when I found it half price in the sale. Each little pocket turns inside out to make a sweet pepper toy for your children to play with.

This wooden house from Hobbycraft is a bargain at £5. I rather like the plain wooden effect but you could decorate it to your hearts content with different papers in each section or by writing, stamping or sticking numbers in each bit.

We have a christmas stocking garland that my dad once sent the girls from Germany. They were so excited to receive it in the post filled with chocolates, Schleich animals and other treats. There were also lots of sprigs of Christmas tree poking out (they live in the forest so they have an abundance of trees!!). This one from John Lewis is similar and is a lovely decoration to hang in the house.

Choose Your Fillers

Now for the fun part, choosing your fillers. You could opt for sweet treats, toys, activities or a mixture of all three. I think I am opting for a mixture to give a bit of variety and also to keep the cost down. If they had a toy every day I’d probably spend as much as Christmas. Believe me, they will be just as happy with a chocolate coin! We’ve included some handy pins of the types of things you could include but go wild.

For the activities you could include the things they might need to complete it so a cookie cutter for the gingerbread men or a paper, envelope and stamp for writing letters to Santa.

I also love the idea of a book advent calendar where they unwrap a new wintery book to curl up and read together each night.

Laura’s top tip is to buy ahead to spread the cost so get organised for next years and hit the sales! She also recommends buying sets and breaking them down.

Homemade Advent Calendar Ideas and Inspiration

Is anyone else planning their own advent creation? What little treats will you be hiding inside?

Images via Pinterest.