On the 1st day BEFORE Christmas...
Get ready for the Christmas countdown by making your very own DIY appliqued advent Calendar. The colors and style for this calendar was inspired by the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer film. This wool felt calendar is also a perfect stay at home activity that doesn't come with a hefty price tag.
After your calendar is hung, head on over to the island of misfit toys and join us in creating felt ornaments to go with your new tree.
This craft is recommended for confident sewers as you will be using the straight stitch and button hole stitch on your machine for this piece. You are also welcome to hand-stitch your own version of this calendar to follow along. So grab your materials and a mug of hot chocolate and lets get started!
- Premium Wool Blend Craft Felt
- Emerald Green, 1 yard (Tree)
- Light Blue, 1 yard (Background - 27 inches wide x 36 inches tall)
- White, 1 yard (Snowbank Pocket and Snowbank Background)
- Iron-on interfacing, medium weight, 1 yard
- Hook and Loop/Velcro coins
- 28 pieces - 25 for ornaments and 3 for pocket
- Puff Ball Trim, 3.5 yards
- White string (or cording of your choice)
- Wooden dowel
- Sewing Machine
- Fabric Marker
- Fabric Scissors
- Cotton Fabric for Ironing
- PDF Template
1. Download and print the PDF template. When printing out the template, select Poster under Page Sizing & Handling. This way your pattern prints true to size across multiple pages as needed. Cut out the pattern pieces and tape together where necessary.
2. Using your stencils and a fabric marker, trace out your template onto the corresponding felt colors and cut the shapes out using fabric scissors.
3. Cut out a second Snowbank Pocket piece from the iron-on interfacing and place on the back side of your felt Snowbank Pocket piece, making sure the shiny glue side is facing down towards your felt. This side will bond to the back of your felt Snowbank Pocket piece once ironed.
Interfacing is often used to stiffen cuffs and collars on shirts, and can also be used to keep stretchy fabric from stretching out of shape. We used the interfacing for the felt Snowbank Pocket piece to give it more stability as it will be handled a lot when grabbing your felt ornaments.
4. Lay a thin piece of cotton over the interfacing placed on your felt Snowbank Pocket piece, and iron. The cotton fabric will act as a heat shield protecting the interfacing and felt material. Make sure to iron both sides of your felt Snowbank Pocket piece for the interfacing to properly bond to the felt. Set your Snowbank Pocket piece aside to cool for a few minutes.
5. Arrange your Tree and Snowbank pieces on your light blue background for proper placement. Pin down the Snowbanks and remove the Tree for now.
6. For the interfaced Snowbank Pocket piece, use your white thread and with your sewing machine, straight stitch close to the edges on the left, bottom, and right sides – DO NOT sew the top of the piece to the background. This is where your Snowbank Pocket will open.
7. For the Snowbank Background piece, straight stitch the left and right sides ONLY, keeping close to the edge.
The straight stitch is used to secure your pieces in place quickly, before moving on to the more time-consuming applique stitch.
8. Switch your machine to a buttonhole stitch - test on scrap piece of felt first to find the stitch width and length that suits you best - and sew the top and bottom sides of the Snowbank Background piece. The Snowbank Pocket piece will stay as a straight stitch.
For a cleaner look, try to keep the buttonhole stitches on the layer that you are sewing down. This will create a smooth border for your applique.
9. Lay out the Tree pieces once more for positioning. Pin each piece down with one or two pins. Fold up your Tree 2 piece above the base (Tree 1), and pin it down to keep out of the way. Pin the entire base piece (Tree 1) to the background. The base will be the first to be sewn/appliqued.
10. Switch to your green thread and run a buttonhole stitch all around the base piece (Tree 1) keeping to the edge of the green material for that smooth border applique.
11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until the tree is fully sewn down.
Note: Keep an eye on the bulk of the background material as you sew down the tree pieces – bunched material will cause resistance and make it hard for the machine to sew a consistently spaced line.
12. Pin the puff ball trim to the left, bottom, and right sides of the background making sure the poms are facing outwards. Switch to white thread and straight stitch the trim to the edges of your calendar.
13. Using leftover white felt scraps, cut out four rectangular tabs for the top of your calendar. This is where your wooden dowel will slide through, so make sure you cut your tabs based off the circumference of your dowel.
14. Pin the dowel tabs to the top of your calendar, sandwiching the light blue background in between each tab. Making sure they are equally spaced out across the top. Stitch the tabs down using the straight stitch.
15. Pin the puff ball trim to the top edge of your calendar, making sure the poms are hanging down, not pointing upwards. Straight stitch the trim along the top edge.
16. Almost done!
Take your Hook and Loop/Velcro coins and use three to fasten the Snowbank Pocket closed - one on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle.
Note: To secure the Hook and Loop/Velcro coins to your Snowbank Pocket piece, you can hand or machine-sew a few stitches through the dot attached to the background. By doing this it will make the Hook and Loop/Velcro coins stronger making them less likely to come off with consistent opening and closing of the Snowbank Pocket.
17. Map out where you would like to place your felt ornaments and adhere the scratchy Hook and Loop/Velcro side of the coins to the tree. This way the softer Velcro coins that will be adhered to the ornaments will not stick to one another while inside the Snowbank Pocket and in storage.
We will be creating 24 ornaments and 1 tree topper throughout the next few weeks, so if you are following along, place your Hook and Loop/Velcro coins accordingly.
18. Slide your wooden dowel through the top loops and tie your string or cording around the ends of the dowel for hanging.
And you are done!
Hang your advent calendar anywhere you’d like, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and admire your lovely new holiday decoration.
Keep an eye out for our next blog posts where we will be showing you how to make ornaments that go along with your calendar.
We invite you to share your thoughts on this process, questions, comments or tips and tricks. Don’t forget to show off your creations by tagging us on social media. We love seeing what our customers come up with.