Tin can advent calendar

Upcycling idea for empty tins

A homemade Advent calendar has got to be one of the best surprise gifts of all in the run-up to Christmas. And it’s not just kids’ faces that light up, because even as grown-ups we look forward to receiving an Advent calendar every year! Here we show you how to make your own Advent calendar using upcycled tin cans. You’ll need a total of 24 empty cans – but don’t worry about having to eat tinned peas and carrots for weeks on end because, luckily, you can buy empty ones without labels in the shops. Each tin is then covered with a new label made from dark-coloured paper before being decorated in stunning metallic colours with the help of edding gloss paint markers. Next to the numbers, you can add stars, small Christmas trees and other festive motifs to enhance the overall look. We used a superfine gloss paint marker in our example, but you could use a paint marker with a broader tip if you prefer. There are three bullet nibs and two calligraphy nibs, plus a wide range of colours to choose from... so the only limit is your imagination!

Paint markers
Paper, carton and cardboard
Easy peasy
Images (ZIP)


Products and materials

Other materials

  • 24 empty tin cans
  • Black paper for the wraparound labels
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Additional images

Related ideas

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