When I asked my Christmas Question a few days ago several of you requested an Advent Calendar How-To. I opted for a pocket advent this year as I like the way they take over an entire wall with something Christmassy. This will go well in the dining room while the Stocking Advent I made a couple of years ago can sit nicely on the mantle. This is an easy project but one that may take a few evenings so I wanted to get it up early to make sure you’ll have enough time to finish it if you decide to take the plunge and make it.
To make the white felt backing
I used 2 pieces of white felt sewn together to give it a nice thick background from which to hang.
- Cut out 2 pieces of felt, measuring 102 cm by 67 cm.
- Pin & then sew these two pieces together, sew 1 cm from the edge of the fabric, don’t forget to leave a gap so it can be turned the right way out.
- Once sewn, cut triangles from the corners and then turn it the right way out.
- Hand sew the open gap closed. I also ironed it flat to give it a neater finish.
For the 24 advent pouches
I decided to have 23 smaller pouches and then 1 larger pouch for number 24.
- Starting with the smaller pieces of felt – Cut 23 felt rectangles, at 9 cm by 6 cm. These will be the front rectangles and they will have the numbers sewn on to them. I chose to have my rectangles in a bright blue colour.
- Also cut one larger piece at 23 cm by 15 cm, this will be the front of your large pocket and have the number ’24′ on the front of it.
- Sew the numbers on to these felt rectangles. I decided to use sequins & beads for my numbers for numbers 1 to 23.
- To sew the sequin and beads for the smaller pouches, thread the sequin followed by a bead and then go back through the sequin so the bead is looped on to the thread. The bead will hold the sequin in place. There is no need to tie a knot after each sequin – just move on to the next one and tie the knot at the end of each number. If you are unsure of sewing freeh-hand then draw the numbers on to the front of the pockets first and sew on to the shape of the number.
- For the large number 24 I used thick wool to mark out the numbers and then on the wool I sewed larger beads & sequins.
- For the red pouch backs, cut out 23 rectangles at 10 cm by 9 cm and 1 larger one at 25 cm by 19 cm.
- Position the red felt rectangles where you want them on your white felt base. Pin these in to place and then sew.
- I decided to use the sewing machine to secure them into place as it gives a nice padded effect to the calender but you can sew on by hand.
- Once the red rectangles are all sewn on, you can position all your rectangles with the numbers sewn on to them on the advent.
- Once positioned where you would like them – pin into place.
- To sew the pocket fronts on to the calender I used a simple running stitch using white embroidery thread. I made the stitches quite small & tight on the 23 smaller pouches but used bigger stitches for the large pouch.
Once all of the pouches are sewn on you then need to add tabs to the top of the advent calender so you can hang it on the wall. I decided to hang my advent on a wooden broom handle as this will help keep the shape of the advent and it won’t buckle when loaded with presents! I decided to paint my wooden pole in bright blue to match the colour of my advent calender. If you do choose to paint your pole, make sure it is thoroughly dry – you don’t want to get paint on your advent!
To make the ribbon tabs
- Cut 4 tabs from your choice of ribbon each measuring 17 cm.
- To secure the ribbon tab to the advent, fold the ribbon in half & place the ends 1.5 cm over the top side of the advent. Pin into place.
- Position all 4 ribbon tabs where you would like them to be, mine were placed 10 cm from each corner and above the edges of the large 24 pouch.
- Using the white embroidery thread, I sewed 4 small stitches on to each ribbon tab to secure it in place.
- When all 4 ribbons are sewn in to place you can then thread the advent on to the pole.
Finish by tying a longer piece of ribbon to the pole so you can hang your advent, mine was approx 70 cm
And then fill it all up. I haven’t decided on what will finally go in to the pockets of my advent but it will be along the lines of chocolate, small toys, decorations for the tree…that sort of thing.
This is a very ‘child-friendly’ advent. My kids loved the bright colours, the soft materials and the bold stitching. They were too young to actually do the sewing, of course, but the project appealed to them and they kept wanting to touch it. Good to know!
Ah, Ian’s back!
Hmmmm, yes, I told you they wanted to keep touching it.
That is Ned’s wee hand. He kept trying to pick off the sequins. Not great as they do take time to sew on.
And there’s Nye. She just went right for it with both hands and grabbed.
There is some danger when crafting with kiddos around as they may well decide that they are perfectly within their rights to get wholly involved. And then of course it’s up to you to tell than that this isn’t actually the case and they may have to wait until they are a little bit older. At which time you immediately become the bad guy……..
….and get the ‘look’.
As you can see I got the ‘look’. I hope to be fully recovered at some point in the near future.
Thank you so much for reading today. I hope you like the project and are looking forward to the rest of my Christmas projects for 2011.
I love you. Have a fantastic day.
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