Sewing: Christmas Countdown Calendar

I call it an Advent Calendar, but I suppose it's really a countdown calendar...there is nothing religious about it.  We're celebrating each day as it passes on it's way to Christmas!

Here it is all finished! I got some of the ideas for the pockets HERE..The main piece is wool felt, and most of the pockets are wool felt (except the green). The majority of the applique pieces are wool felt, too. I only used acrylic if I didn't have a specific color because I was trying to not buy much to make this.

This is the big Christmas Day pocket. I may put cards in here, or a letter FROM Santa. Or, I might find a better idea.

I used the Santa ornament from this pattern.

Here is a close up of the top-stitching.

And the back, which is still not ironed. I don't think my kids care, though.

Closer view of how its hung. I sewed a casing between the inside and out when I sewed the front and back together, right sides together. Then I made two small openings at either end, just wide enough for a stick I found in the garage. The felt doesn't fray, so I didn't bother finishing the openings. I stapled grosgrain ribbon to the ends of the stick.

See? After I got it all together, I tacked down the pocket.

Here's my ribbon. My Aunt Hilda gave me a nice big spool of it!

For each day, I've written a note about the activity. Most of the activities aren't HUGE but the boys have been pretty excited about them, nonetheless. The first one was "Light a Christmas Candle". They both LOVE candles and we found one that smelled great.

See how they love candles? I think they look a little crazy here. They aren't *that* mesmerized by candles...I told them to look at the candle while I took the pic, because they kept saying "cheese!!"

The second day was bake gingerbread cookies.

If you look closely, nothing they're doing has anything to do with cookie-making.

Here are the victims! these are the most pathetic gingerbread men I've seen.

While they were baking, we read The Gingerbread Man. William loves this story and is always ready with his part!

Here is the list of our activities. Some of them anyone could do,  but others are specific to us, or our location. I have not figured out what cool thing to put in the big Santa one on Christmas Day. Maybe a letter from Santa? Christmas Cards? A special big cookie? Money? not sure yet!

1. Light a Christmas Candle
2. Bake gingerbread cookies, read The Gingerbread Man. (I didn't write all of that on the card, I just planned it)
3. Hang birds on the tree (decorate the tree...many of our ornaments are birds)
4.Candy Canes and Paper Chains (candy canes to eat, make paper chains)
5. Write letters to Santa
6. Have hot cocoa
7. Go see trains at Northpark
8. Hang up the stockings
9. decorate a gingerbread house
10.  Holidays at the Farmer's market (they have reindeer).
11. Christmas Shopping (at Dollar Tree)
12. See Penguins at the Dallas Zoo
13.  Check out holiday stuff at the Arboretum
14. Read the Mitten. Wear masks of the animals in the story.
15. Make Drums from cans and containers
16. Make Play-doh snowmen (or real ones, if there is snow!)
17. Go see (more) Reindeer at Park Lane
18. Make paper snowflakes (templates!)
19. Read Twas The Night Before Christmas and make mouse finger puppet
20. String jingle bells to hang on the door, sing jingle bells.
21. Go ice skating
22. Go see Christmas lights (maybe walk to Highland Park if the weather is nice)
23. Watch "A Christmas Story"
24. Bake cookies for Santa Claus

and the not-quite-figured out Christmas day pocket. Any ideas?? We're really enjoying the calendar so far!


Michelle said...

Just beautiful! I'm surprised you even bothered putting a back on. I didn't, haha! I love your list of activities too. I'm totally stealing some of your ideas. ;)

Teri said...

What fun! On ours, we only have something special every third day. So, we only have 8 of them. This year, I put the name of a December holiday in each of them (Bodhi Day, St. Nicholas Day, Hanukkah, St. Lucia Day, Las Posadas, Yule, Kwanzaa and Yalda...not in that order). They have to take the name of the holiday and go over to our world map and decide which country the holiday is associated with. There are little cards on 8 countries with a little write up about the holiday and the foods associated with the holiday are mentioned. Then they have to go to the gift bag and match the food to the tag on the gifts to find their present for that day. :D

Amy - while wearing heels said...

I feel honored to have inspired a few of your squares. It turned out adorable. I LOVE how you decided to fill your pockets. Next year, I am definitely going to focus on activities instead of trinkets...so thanks for inspiring me as well :)


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