..the secret life of daydreams..

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Monthly Archives: November 2013

advent calendar diy


It’s again been a while between posts, but the Christmas season is approaching and I’m getting inspired to craft and create again. I figured it was time to share this diy project I did a few years ago!

When Justin and I were still dating, I made him an advent calendar that he kept in his room. I filled it with little treats and notes that let him know how much I cared about him. Ultra cheesy right? Well, regardless of that, and the fact that he did marry me in the end, I think it is an adorable calendar and I can’t wait to give it to our kids and let them have the joy of waking up early and sneaking out of bed to get the next days pocket open.

The whole thing is actually made out of scrap fabric that my mom had sitting around from the days when she used to sew all my clothes. So yes, all of these are made out of pieces of old childhood dresses, pajamas, etc., that I had. That alone holds a lot of sentimental value for me. The stick at the top is an old walking stick I had whittled as a kid, and I re-purposed here; it was definitely a fun project, and with some help from my mom (her sewing machine would misbehave regularly so I didn’t want to try wrestling with it), I put this together. Here are the basic steps of how I accomplished it.

  1. I decided how big I wanted the whole thing to be. This one is 2ft. wide by 3ft. tall in total, but the main fabric backdrop is 2′ by 2’8″. The tabs at the top are then by default 4″ long.
  2. The backdrop is actually two layers of fabric (so that you couldn’t see stitching on the backside), so I cut out two pieces the same size. Because you need a half inch seam allowance all the way around, it ended up being 2’1″ by 2’9″.
  3. Once that was done, I took paper and used it to create a template for all my pockets. Basically I cut rectangles and squares out of the paper, numbered them 1 through 25, and laid them onto the backdrop; arranging and cutting until I was happy with how it looked.
  4. The prospects of actually making pockets and sewing them onto the backdrop seemed bulky and ineffective, so I cheated. It’s actually just the front square sewn on top of another patch of fabric that acts as the pocket flap. So basically when you open the pocket, you see the green of the backdrop. This made it far less cumbersome to sew and made it look less thick and bulky.advent pocket
  5. Before putting it all together, the button holes were sown into the flaps, and the numbers hand stitched onto the pocket fronts.
  6. Then it was just a matter of assembly and getting all those pieces put together, and adding all the buttons.
  7. Finally the back panel was sown onto the calendar, and the tabs inserted like you would with curtains.
  8. For good measure I stitched the date onto the back so we would remember when I made it! And that is that.

It was a great little project and we still hang it up every year for advent. I hope this inspires you to make your own advent calendar this year!

advent calendar diy