A Handmade Holiday: Advent Calendar

So I started this post yesterday but then didn’t get a chance to finish it. Which explains why I say it is Sunday when it is really Monday…

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Happy first Sunday of Advent! You know what this means, right? Christmas is less than a month away! I love getting ready for Christmas and finding special ways to mark the season. One of the ways we do that in my house is with an Advent calendar to count down the days. This year I wanted to do that in a more active way, so I created my own advent calendar. This calendar is easy to make, you can get the kids involved, and lets you build in ways to reflect on the Christmas season.advent calendar

Supplies:

  • green felt
  • needle & embroidery floss or sewing machine
  • twine
  • hole punch
  • cardstock
  • jingle bells and other decorative elements of your choosing
  • scissors
  • small muslin bag
  • fabric stamp pad and Christmas themed rubber stamp (optional)

Start by gathering up your supplies and putting on some Christmas carols! Humming or singing along is optional, although I find I can’t help myself. Take your green felt and cut out a bunch of basic leaf shapes (they can be football shaped like mine or holly shaped, etc). I used half a sheet of 9×12″ felt, but use more or less depending on how long you want the leafy garland. This is the part that hangs and holds each day’s card.

Then sew the leaves together, either by hand or with your sewing machine. I did a zigzag stitch on my Singer.

Advent Calendar

Once your leaves are sewn together, start working on your cards. I have 24 cards, for the calendar to start on December 1st. I used the cards found here, which have one line of the Christmas story for each day and a cute, simple design. One line seemed both manageable for a three and a half year old and also nice because the story builds each day leading up to Christmas Eve. I printed the cards out on cardstock, cut them apart, then punched a small hole in the top left corner of each.

Advent Calendar

What’s that cute bag, you say? I wanted something to hold my cards in while we were waiting for each day to arrive, before they are tied onto the garland. I have a small supply of little muslin drawstring bags, so I took one of those, an Angel Gabriel stamp I have had for years (use whatever you want), and a fabric stamp pad. I just stamped the image on one side of the bag (with a piece of paper between the layers of the bag so the ink doesn’t bleed through) and let it dry (heat set if needed).

For the active part of this Advent calendar, I wanted an activity we could do every day, ranging from things like listening to carols to making handstamped wrapping paper to telling someone why you are thankful for them. This site has a huge list of ideas. I wrote one thing on the back of each of the cards I printed out.

Advent Calendar

When you are done, place the cards in the bag you made.

Then put all of your components together: Hang your garland wherever you want. (Ours was hanging on our door, but the Wee One wanted to be able to reach it so we hung it on the bottom of the staircase). Then attach any decorative elements you want, like jingle bells or a printed ornament. I tied these onto the garland with twine. Get the kiddos involved, too!

Advent CalendarAdvent Calendar

Advent calendar

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Advent calendar

advent calendar collage

handmade holiday

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2 thoughts on “A Handmade Holiday: Advent Calendar

  1. This is such a great idea! I adore counting down to things (it’s really half the fun!) and the homemade activities are so cute. Much better than the cheap chocolate and tons of packaging that comes in store bought calendars!

    • Thank you! I love counting down, too, and just checked out from the library the book “Countdown Calendars,” which is loaded with calendar ideas (like a birthday week countdown calendar! I think I need to make that one).

      And you’re right– so much packaging and waste with the store bought ones!

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