Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Christmas advent calendar tutorial

Call it nesting but... I started working on Christmas projects in JULY!!! My baby is due in the beginning of November and I thought it was important to get a head start on all things holiday.  I know how much of a zombie I am those first few months and I didn't want Christmas/Holiday traditions be the thing that was just accidentally forgotten.
So here it is my version of this. You can probably tell by my handy work that I am not an expert seamstress.  I just go for it and most of the time don't even measure.
But I did keep track of what I was doing so if any of you lovely's wanted to recreate it you could.

Start with:
Background fabric~ 18.5 inches by 30 inches
Tree~ 16 inches by 14 inches 
Three strips of fabric~ 18.5 inches by 6.5

Once you cut out your strips fold them in half (hot dog style) with right sides touching and iron the edge.

Using a regular straight stitch sew the open ends closed.

Flip the tube of fabric inside out and iron again.

Pin them to the bottom of your background fabric.

Next I used a zig zag stitch to attach my tree and I added a little tree stump.

I really liked having striped fabric because it made creating the pockets much easier (especially for a girl who doesn't measure).   You will probably want to use a ruler to break up your pockets each of mine are 2 and 1/8th of an inch with more space on the side pockets for a seam allowance.
First I sewed across the bottom of all three strips. Next I sewed down in single lines that went through all three strips.

I chose purple felt for my backing because it was all that I had. I cut it to match my background materiel exactly. Now, with right sides facing, pin edges of both these pieces of fabric together so you can sew around the edges. I added giant rick rack for fun. Make sure to leave a few inches so you can turn your fabric right side in. Lastly, hand stitch the last few inches together. 

Now you can hand sew on your bells. 24 of course!

I bought gold paint and small number stencils and painted on numbers 1-24.

 Putting the dowel in the back was trial and error for me. First I made a loop that the dowel could slide into but then the calendar hung forward so finally I just cut right into the top like this:
 and attached large red grosgrain ribbon to either side.

Finally you will need to purchase 24 small ornaments. I had no trouble finding them at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby also always has coupons for 40% off so I got all of my ornaments for 5 dollars. I painted fabric gold and cut it out for a star and I hot glued on some small red rick rack for my tree. 
I used all scrap fabric so I really only bought the trimmings. 

Small rick rack~ 1.00
Large rick rack~1.50
Total cost: 11.00
(I used all my own fabric scraps so I didn't need to buy any.)

Events for days 1-24:
Thursday December 1st: Put our gift to Jesus under the tree (whenever we are serving or doing something kind we write it down and it goes in our gift to Jesus that stays under the tree all month)
Friday December 2nd: Listen to Christmas music
Saturday December 3rd: Go visit Temple Square
Sunday December 4th: Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes 
Monday December 5th: Make a gift for Grandparents
Tuesday December 6th: Make the house smell like Christmas 
Wednesday December 7th: Read a Christmas Story Book 
Thursday December 8th: Wrap Christmas Gifts for Grandparents
Friday December 9th: Make a new Christmas Decoration 
Saturday December 10th: Color a Christmas picture 
Sunday December 11th: Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn
Monday December 12th: Elf some people in your neighborhood 
Tuesday December 13th: Build a snowman or hang up paper snowflakes 
Wednesday December 14th: Go out for a Christmas treat 
Thursday December 15th: Do something nice for someone 
Friday December 16th: Drive around and look for Christmas lights 
Saturday December 17th: Do service for someone in need 
Sunday December 18th: Make and decorate cookies 
Monday December 19th: Call a loved one
Tuesday December 20th: Go caroling and drop off treats to neighbors/friends 
Wednesday December 21st: Read a story or watch a movie about the birth of Baby Jesus 
Thursday December 22nd: Write letters for Santa Clause 
Friday December 23rd: Read "The Night Before Christmas"
Saturday December 24th: Act out the Nativity

Well, there you go! Is anyone else out there crazy like me and creating holiday decorations before summer is even over?



Miss Mary said...

Soph, this is soooooo cute!! You did such an amazing job too. I love all your Christmas activities and all the traditions you are starting with your family--makes me really excited to have kids one day :) I also LOVE how you make this all seem so simple. I am like you and do not often measure my crafts and quilts (definitely not a perfectionist! ha!), and I like that your crafts are always very accessible. Thanks so much for that! I have been having the urge lately to make some Christmas decorations--maybe I am "nesting" in a way too! Hope you are doing well and enjoying these last few months of pregnancy!

Fox and Sparrows said...

I love this! I am crazy excited about Christmas and I don't have the delightful excuse of having a little one coming. Just a crazy Christmas lady. I am wanting to play Christmas music already but I think the mister would flip out a little.

CraftyBrit said...

So cute! Love all the daily activities too! I can completely relate to wanting to get ahead for Christmas crafts. There's so many I want to do, and if I'm pregnant by then *fingers crossed* I'll be useless. lol Great job :)