The holidays bring about jam-packed schedules that almost always seems too full, but that doesn’t stop most of us from adding more ways to celebrate the season. Even amid the busyness, I wanted to make sure I took some time to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. (And countdown the days to Christmas!) So, needless to say, I’m excited to share today’s DIY advent calendar tutorial (even though we’re already a week into December)!
I’ve always wanted to make a homemade Advent calendar, but have never taken the time to make one. For the past few years, we’ve used a cute wooden Advent block set from Target. Now that my son is a little older, I wanted to make a handmade Advent calendar that we can use to countdown the days until Christmas! Don’t worry – we will still use the block set, but I’m looking forward to using our new handmade Advent calendar. The pockets will allow us to include small treats, and note(s) to help him learn more about the true meaning of Christmas.
DIY Advent Calendar
When I was brainstorming ideas for this calendar, I wanted to make one that everyone could make – even if you don’t sew or craft often! (And if you have a Cricut machine, I’ve included basic .svg files you can download)
Are you excited to begin? I know I am! Follow the steps below to see how I put the calendar together.
Supplies Needed for the DIY Advent Calendar
- Wooden Dowel
- 1 Yards of Felt by the Yard for the Backing
- 1/2 Yard Green Felt or 2 Large Green Felt Sheets
- 9″x12″ Sheets of Felt in Various Colors (I used 5 different colors and about 1-2 sheets per color)
- Circuit Machine (Optional)
- Rope or Felt Pom Poms (I got mine from World Market, but here are some additional options from Amazon and Target)
- Felt/Fabric Glue
- Embroidery Floss
Cut Files for Your Advent Calendar
Using Felt for your Advent Calendar
One thing I love about felt is the edges won’t fray! So all you have to do is cut out the material and pieces to the size you want. But, if you want a more polished look, you can the turn-over and sew the edges of your felt backdrop. Below are three finishing options:
- Leave the edges as is
- Cut with decorative scissors
- Fold the felt under on the bottom and two sides to make a hem
How to Assemble the Tree and Ornaments
Layout the tree and squares on your large piece of felt. Once you’re happy with the layout, you can start to glue down the ornaments/lights to the tree. (You’ll glue the tree onto the felt later)
How to Attach the Felt Lights/Ornaments
Next, turn over each ornament and add glue around the edges of the circle. (Remember to leave the top of the ornament open since it will be a pocket.) Below are images to show you where to glue your pieces.
This next step is optional but will help your Advent calendar last longer and add extra support.
Optional: Sew around the edges of the circles to help reinforce the pockets.
Don’t have a sewing machine? No problem, you can use embroidery floss to reinforce and add a pop of color to the project! (This is what I did)
Next, glue on the tops of the ornaments/lights and the numbers.
Add Decorative Stitching to Make a String of Lights
(You can skip this step if you want the circles to look like ornaments.)
Next, sew an embroidery backstitch, and connect each circle.
Remember: Lights strings aren’t perfect, so your line doesn’t have to be either! Have fun creating fun loops and squiggly lines.
Attach the Tree to the Felt
Now that your ornaments/lights are attached, it’s now time to glue the tree, tree stump, and start to your felt backdrop! Attach the decorative pieces to the outside of half of the ornament with fabric glue.
How to Add the Wooden Rod
Add glue to the top of the felt and fold over by 1 1/2 – 2″. This will create a pocket for the wooden dowel to slip through. (To reinforce the pocket, sew along the 2″ line.)
Next, push the dowel through the pocket and tie rope, string, or ribbon to the ends. Now you’re ready to hang it on the wall and fill the pockets with fun treats and notes.
Are you planning on making this project? I cannot wait to see what you make! Please remember to tag me on Instagram @seamlinedliving