One of the things Beauty Markdown is most well-known for is our big annual Advent calendar comparison post. However, shop bought beauty Advent calendars aren’t for everyone; they can be quite expensive, and some of us don’t need or want lots of tiny little samples of loads of different products.
We’ve written in the past about our problems with hoarding samples, so we thought it might be fun to try and make a DIY beauty Advent calendar with them. It cost us £20 to make it all in all, and compared to some of the £100+ Advent calendars that are out there in the shops, this is a good budget option for a present.
How we did it
The first thing you’re gonna need is an empty Advent calendar. When we first thought about doing this post we imagined we’d buy a wooden Advent calendar with little drawers that we could fill with beauty samples. But there was one big problem, we woke up early to go and get Aldi’s wooden advent calendar, but once we got it home we realised it was way too tiny.
Quite a few places are stocking these types of Advent calendar this year, including Poundland (where it’s £5 not £1), M&S, Harrods and Aldi like the one we got. I would seriously warn against getting one of these for a project like this though, because the doors are so small! Not even a sachet sample of most products would fit, even a tiny vial of perfume would be much too large, never mind a lipstick, mascara or anything else you might have wanted to include.
We picked up our calendar from John Lewis for £20. (Here is an £8.99 eBay dupe if you want it cheaper). All it essentially comprises of is as a rope with 24 little stocking shaped pockets hanging from it. Now, I don’t see why if you’re good at sewing or craft you couldn’t make one of these yourself, I’ve seen sets on eBay you can buy quite cheaply, that come as a piece of fabric with shapes printed with numbers on. Then all you need to do is cut out the shapes and either sew or hot glue gun them together and then hang it from a rope.
The second thing you’re going to need is lots of little beauty samples.
This might seem like quite a number of items to collect but we managed to get way more than 24 over the past 6 months just from claiming freebies that we post on the site, tearing out sachets of shampoo etc from magazines, and asking at beauty counters for free samples of things like perfume and foundation.
Here are a couple of beauty samples that you can apply for as of right now:
- Free Mon Guerlain 5ml perfume sample
- Free Aveeno moisturiser sample
- Free Elie Saab Girl of Now perfume sample
Some of the things included in our calendar are actually leftovers from the beauty Advent calendar we bought from M&S last year. I really enjoyed that calendar and I’ve used a lot of the things that came inside it, but as with most things that aren’t custom made just for you, a lot of the items were things I would never use or weren’t suited to my skin tone or hair type.
If you can’t find 24 little beauty things to slot inside your calendar don’t worry, it’s fine to use wrapped sweets on some of the days. I’m sure the recipient of your calendar won’t mind.
Then just put all of your goodies into the daily slots. Try and break them up so the recipient of your calendar doesn’t get two similar days in a row. Remember, save the best thing for Christmas eve!
If you’re a beauty hoarder like we are, then this is an easy, cheap and fabulous gift to give to anyone you know. You could even make it for yourself, although it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if you did.
If you do want one why not ask a friend if they’d like to make one too, then swap on the 1st of December.
Are you going to try this out? Let us know if you do and definitely send us a picture.
Hey! I’m Bronni and I’m a financial journalist and deals hunter in my mid 20s. I’m really into cats, pop music, the internet and barely substantiated celebrity gossip.