Ever since I can remember, we have had advent calendars at my house. Some involved gifts, some were handmade, some have been filled with chocolate, and some are connected to activities or Scripture. And a few have remained more special than others. I especially like handmade calendars, but I never manage to make them in time for December 1st. It’s cutting it close this year, but you can still make this felt advent calendar and use it with your family for years to come.
If you make your calendar exactly as shown above, it will take a couple evenings to complete. But if you skip the stitching, the entire calendar will be finished in a few hours!
Here’s what you need:
White felt – 1/3 yard (I recommend wool blend felt)
Green felt in three shades – 3×12 inches (if you’re using all one color, you’ll need a 9×12 sheet)
Embroidery floss – optional
Long wooden skewer or dowel rod
Ribbon or string
Cut out a total of 31 tree shapes. You can use the template, or cut them as 2 x 3 inch triangles.
This step is completely optional, but I think it makes the trees extra cute. Stitch around the edges of the trees with running stitch, using several shades of green embroidery floss. This really is just for decoration, and there are plenty of other ways you could decorate your tree shapes (think pompoms, sequins, or ric-rac!).
Cut the white felt to measure 11×27 inches. This size is flexible though. If you want a calendar that’s more of a square shape or a standard rectangle, buy a larger cut of felt and make it the size you want.
Use fabric glue to attach the bottoms of three tree pieces along the top (narrow) edge of the white felt. Space them evenly across the back. Attach a second set of three trees on the front, again gluing only the bottom edge of the trees.
At the top of the trees, glue the points together with about 1/2 inch of glued area. These will become the hangers, so having the glue even will help the calendar to hang straight.
Lay out the remaining 25 trees. You can place them symmetrically, or scatter them so they look like a snowy mountainside covered in trees. Once they’re arranged in a way you like, it’s time to glue the trees down so they form little pockets.
For each tree, apply a line of fabric glue down one long side, along the bottom, and up the third side about 1/2 inch. Work on these one at a time so that you keep the tree placement as you want it, and so the glue adheres well. Give the glue a few hours to dry before you place anything in the pockets.
Trim the skewer or dowel rod to size, then slide it through the tree hangers at the top. Tie on a ribbon or string as a hanger. Now it’s time to fill the pockets!
You can place anything small inside the pockets: small wrapped candies, tiny trinkets, or even money! If you have several children in your family, and sharing one calendar of goodies would be difficult, adding activities or messages is a great option. The downloadable PDF has strips that you can write on (consider writing the date on the star that shows!), then fold and insert in the pockets.
If you’re looking for ideas to add to the strips, the internet is filled with lists of advent activities.
A modern advent calendar will look great in your home, and the best part is that your kids will be so excited to see what’s inside each day leading up to Christmas!
Do you have any advent traditions at your house? I’d love to hear about them!