Advent Calendars to Sew

Advent Calendars to Sew
An advent calendar is rooted in tradition and Christian religious meaning first seen in the 19th century. There is an underlying message of hope, goodwill and anticipation that counts down, usually the days in December until December 25th. Contemporary advent calendars often appear in a more non-religious or secular manner displayed with whimsical albeit commercial Christmas images. All do though countdown to December 25th.

With little time to sew but a strong sewing and crafting desire to make one, consider the following:

Vertical festive advent calendar - cut out mini mittens, tiny stockings or gingerbread folks cut from festive holiday fabric (cut two of each shape and fuse wrong sides together for sturdiness), hand stamp or use fabric paint to number each then clothespin clip to a length of jute twine or ribbon. Hang vertically from an indoor doorway or wall (use Command-like hook products for no wall damage). Small seasonally decorated wooden clothespins can be used or every day wooden spring clothespins. Sew a small burlap bag to attach to the end of the vertical garland to collect all the items as each day passes.

Felt cookie cutter holiday shapes can do double duty to string as seasonal garland and use as an advent calendar. Seasonal shapes like snowflakes, holly leaves, stars, Santa’s sleigh, pine trees, traditional stocking and mittens, snowman, reindeer, angel, candy cane, can be used as templates. Use stiffened felt to cut out the cookie cutter shapes. Also cut out square present shapes or triangle tree shapes numbering each. Attach to jute string or ribbon and use as garland. Have a holiday container nearby when removing the numbered shapes one by one each day. The festive garland remains as a decoration even after the number shapes have all been collected.

Traditional Christmas pocket hanging panel - use a sturdy fabric for the pockets to be sewn onto. Less than a yard of denim, cotton duck, or any seasonal fabric can be used for the background to support the pockets. If using cotton fabric, cut two rectangles desired size plus additional for top casing, then stitch all around right sides together leaving a opening for turning, trim seam, turn right sides out, press and hand or machine stitch opening closed.

As an alternative style, cut four strips the desired pocket size adding one inch all around for hemming. Hem all sides by turning under one-half inch and press. Top stitch close to all strip edges. Pin onto background fabric adding pins to segment each strip into sections. Stitch the pocket strips to the background, parallel to each other. Stamp or hand letter each pocket segment with numbers. Fold over top one inch or more to sew down for a casing. Use a dowel rod to insert into the casing and add a length of ribbon to each of the dowel rod ends for hanging. Sew one tiny felt mouse to tuck into the first pocket that can then be moved from one pocket to the next as the days advance. Add tiny candy canes to each pocket if desired.

Vintage red pickup truck felt cut out with the pickup bed itself as a pocket. Hand sew or machine applique the vintage pickup truck shape to a sturdy craft felt fabric background. Sew on a few felt pine tree shapes to add to the background if desired. Cut out 24 square present shapes of various sizes. No need to number them. Glue a tiny bow to each. Since felt will adhere to felt, the presents can be randomly scattered over the felt fabric. Choose one to add to the pickup bed each day to countdown the days. Stiffened felt works best. If the craft felt is too soft to hold a shape for long, a fusible web can be used to fuse felt to felt then cut out shapes that can withstand much excited handling. Alternatively, using above info, stitch a burlap pouch resembling Santa's carry sack to the background fabric instead of the pickup.

From Norman Vincent Peale, "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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