Man shares genius hack to make advent calendars out of last year’s leftovers


Darren, from Kent, managed to create a more eco-friendly take on the Christmas tradition, using old toilet roll tubes and leftover wrapping paper, and his children love it

A man has shared a genius Christmas hack to make advent calendars out of last year’s leftovers – and it’s so simple everyone can do it.

Magician Darren Cullen, 34, watched a video about the home-made advent calendar on TikTok so decided to create his own version, and was amazed by the results.

The dad from Kent, took the cardboard insert from toilet rolls, which could be substituted for the innards of wrapping paper, and shaped them into the outline of a tree – with 25 individual segments.

Then he painted them green and filled each compartment with sweets and treats, before sealing them all off and labelling the doors with numbers from one to 25.

Darren said: “I found this advent calendar idea while thinking up videos for my own TikTok account. I create content for children making magic tricks and funny videos.

“It took roughly a week or so to complete but mainly because I sourced the toilet roll tubes from friends and family.

“The actual making took about three days. I bought some glue and some green paint to decorate the trees but the main reason for the glue was so that my two sons could join in and make them as well, otherwise I’d have used strong glue gun stuff.

“That would have halved the time but wouldn’t have been so fun and so messy and that’s what it was all about.”

With two kids, Stanley, three, and Daniel, seven, Darren had to make two individual advent calendars to make sure there wouldn’t be any quarrels.

Now, when December comes round the kids can punch in each hole and get their treat throughout the festive season.

Darren spent a total of £7 on the two calendars as he needed to buy glue, paint and the chocolates.

Darren said: “Everything else was recycled – another great reason to make them.

“The great thing about them is we can use them again next year. However, I’d like to fine tune them a bit and neaten them up.

“I am still getting people offering me more toilet rolls now it’s finished – but that’s ok though as I’ve also had a few requests to make more.”

After posting about it on Facebook, Darren received over 2,900 likes and hundreds of comments.

One person said: “What an awesome idea.”

Another added: “What a good idea. You could fill with Kiddylicious and Organix bars for those that can’t have chocolate. Brilliant.”

Someone else wrote: “You save money and reuse cardboard and it’s 100 per cent recyclable as well. Great idea.”

Others had tried a similar idea themselves and some made suggestions on how to make an adult version for parents too.

One person said: “I did that and my kids loved it and have asked for it again this year.”

Another said: “I also done this last year for my father in law using different vodka miniatures and he loved it.”