When I was young, the ladies at the church where my before and after school program was held made all the kids an Advent Calendar. It was super simple, tiny trinkets wrapped and hot glued to a piece of green cardboard. But I loved opening my tiny gift every day leading up to Christmas. I see different Advent Calendar ideas on Pinterest every year and I’ve long wanted to create one for my dogs. And finally, this year, I collected the supplies in time to make it happen!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 25 cardboard tubes (I used toilet paper tubes cut in half, you can use whole tubes, paper towel tubes, paper cups, plastic cups, whatever size you want! Michael’s even sells packs of cardboard tubes the same size as TP rolls)
- piece of cardboard (large enough to fit all of your tubes/cups)
- green wrapping paper
- green tissue paper
- hot glue gun
- scotch tape
- Advent Calendar date stickers
- double-sided tape (optional)
- dog treats
Fair warning, I realized, literally seconds after completing my advent calendar that they’re supposed to be 24 days, not 25. But, I was already done and obviously wasn’t starting over. So, you may want to do it correctly and make yours 24 days. My dogs will enjoy the extra day of treats.
To begin, set up your tubes (or cups) into a Christmas tree shape on your piece of cardboard. Use the ruler and pen to mark out your cut lines.
Once your cardboard tree base is cut out, wrap it in green wrapping paper.
Now, set your tubes back up and attach them using hot glue.
Hot glue cools nearly instantly but I waited a good ten minutes just to be sure it was completely dry before loading my treats in.
Even using half tubes, I was able to squeeze three treats into each tube. If you want to use larger items like a dental treat, or jerky, you’ll need to use a taller tube or cup.
To cover everything up, layer your tissue paper until you can’t see through to the treats. That took three sheets for me. Then, just use scotch tape to secure it down, trimming excess as you go. You can do this neatly if you plan to leave the tissue paper as is. I added a wrapping paper collar in the next step.
Here I covered the edges of my tubes with strips of wrapping paper using double-sided tape.
And here’s the finished product with the wrapping paper attached.
Finally, print out a set of my Advent Calendar Date Stickers. Each sticker is 1-inch in diameter, so if you have a 1-inch circle punch this step will be much quicker. If not, I added cut lines to cut them by hand. I printed mine onto sticker paper, but you can just as easily print on regular paper and attach them using double-sided tape. Just feel around to find each tube under the tissue paper and place your sticker in the center.
At this point you can add a ribbon to hang your calendar, but I am displaying mine on a shelf. I am afraid a ribbon might come loose and the dogs would have a smorgasbord if it fell off the wall!
The boys got a sneak peek so we could get a photo of the Advent Calendar in action, and you can see it is a big hit! The hard part was keeping them from busting into the rest of the days while I took photos.
If you decide to make a Doggy Advent Calendar, tag me on social media so I can see!