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Counting Down to Christmas with an Upcycled Advent Calendar

November 25, 2020

Contributed by: Denise of Thrifty by Design and Salvation Army Thrift Store Creative Expert 

Today officially starts the month-long countdown to Christmas with December just around the corner.

The yummiest way to count the days until Santa’s arrival is an advent calendar, and what better way to start off a Green Christmas than with an upcycling DIY that allows you to choose your favourite gifts and treats to put inside?!

This super simple crafted advent calendar repurposes a secondhand muffin tin to create a festive and fun addition to your holiday décor.


• thrifted muffin tin
• sheet of self-adhesive film
• cardboard
• tissue paper
• Mod Podge
• sponge brush
• Sharpies
• stencil
• treats
• X-acto knife
• scissors
• cord

Muffin tin advent calendar

< STEP 1: Source your thrifted tin

Source a thrifted muffin tin from your local Salvation Army Thrift Store. You may need to purchase two if you can only find tins made for baking a dozen muffins. 

STEP 2: Time to decorate! >

You can either leave the muffin tin as is or decorate it by painting it, decoupaging the surface or using self-adhesive film. I used a silver glitter self-adhesive film. I covered the surface of the tin then used an X-Acto knife to remove the adhesive from the muffin holes. 

< STEP 3: Fill each space with your gift of choice

Fill each of the muffin spaces with small gifts or sweets. 

STEP 4: Cover them up! >

To cover the muffin spaces I used cardboard. I added a coat of Mod Podge then placed festive tissue paper on top. Rub the tissue paper into the glue then add a coat of Mod Podge. Once dry then trace a circle shape on the cardboard and cut it out. The circle should be slightly bigger than the diameter of the muffin hole. 

< STEP 5: Glue them down

Once your cardboard circles are dry then you can glue them to your muffin tin covering the treats. 

STEP 6: Number the days >

Add the numbers for the days leading up to Christmas. You can use stickers, hand drawn numbers or a stencil and Sharpies. 

Hang your advent calendar. I was lucky my muffin tin had holes along the top for hanging. I used some scrap fabric from a felted wool sweater. 

And that’s it! I have the 13th to the 24th good to go. Now for the 1st to 12th! And so many yummy chocolates to dive into!