Wednesday, November 28

Christmas Advent Calendar

A couple of years ago, I set out to make my own advent calendar. I wanted it to be made of Christmas felt with hand-stichted embroidery details that gave it loads of love and charm. After working on it in small pieces as holiday seasons came and went, I finally got it out to finish this year--just in time for our first Christmas together. :)

I started by purchasing some colored felt, and cutting a giant triangle out of the green. I also cut out lots of little squares (25 to be exact) in brown, white and red for the pockets. I chose different colors so it would look a bit like ornaments. :) And I also added a star for on top.

Next, I laid out the squares how I wanted them--trying to alternate the various colors. Then, I set to work embroidering the days onto each square. (You have to do this before you sew them on, otherwise it gets really tricky!) Honestly, I had a hard time deciding whether to start or end with 25--whether to make it a countdown or calendar. In the end, I decided upon a calendar (more on that  in a bit).

After the squares were embroidered, I used a machine to sew the pockets on--making sure to only sew 3 of the sides so they're not all sealed. Of course, you could do this by hand too for extra charm. I just was tired of it, and wanted to make sure they were extra sturdy to hold up for lots of years.

I also decided to fold the bottom of the tree up to make a slim pocket at the base as well. Then I stuffed 2 chopsticks in there (I didn't want to go stick-hunting or buy a dowel rod..) to weigh it down a bit and keep it straight. 

And once the calendar was all made, we got to work on the little pieces for inside each pocket! We wanted to make the days until Christmas extra special by doing something to celebrate the season each day. From making fig newtons to having an evening entirely by candlelight or just taking a walk to the library to find a Christmas book, we wrote down all our ideas on a list.

Then, Jk found these cute little popsicle stick-like things at Michaels (50 for around $2). We painted them to make them extra festive, and wrote all our December activity ideas on them.

Now we've got a whole pile of fun (and almost all free) things to do all the way up until Christmas. We'll pick one to do each day, and then stick it in the pocket of our calendar until we make it to Christmas! :)

It isn't December 1st yet, so you've still got some time to make your own advent calendar! Fill it with fun activities, Bible verses, or wonderful little treats to build excitement for Christmas morning and make the most of this beautiful season!

Happy Christmas-ing!

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