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Advent Calendars

Advent CalendarA few years back, I made this fabric Advent Calendar for our family.  It was based on my husband’s recollections of the hanging advent calendar his family used when he was a boy.

Their advent calendar had been made out of burlap, which I seriously considered, but in the end I made ours out of wools.  I was true to his memories by adding rick rack to the tree and small bells to hang the ornaments on.

Our family loves this advent calendar.  It’s one of our favorite holiday traditions.  The kids can’t wait to take turns finding what miniature wooden ornament is hiding in the pocket each day.

I made a few mistakes, and learned a thing or two making my original calendar, so when my mom called to find out if I could give advice and help to make another advent for my sister-in-law, I was happy to say yes.

advent calendar patternHere’s the fabrics I’ve chosen for her new calendar.  I think the light green felt for the background (a synthetic/wool blend from Material Girls Quilts) is absolutely wonderful.

After talking about a few changes and improvements for the new calendar with my mom the other day, she suggested I write a pattern.

Really?

I have a few hesitations.  It’s a little late in the game for a Christmas craft pattern, but if there are any procrastinators out there (like me) who love this advent calendar pattern, it could be perfect for them. 

My biggest question is about the ornaments.  My ornaments are wooden and range in size from about 1″ to about 1-1/2″ inches.  It would be a challenge to make 24 different wool ornaments on that small scale.  The miniature wooden ornaments are available and my sister in law is planning on ordering them for her calendar.  But that is a problem for a pattern.

I’d love to know what you think.  Would this advent calendar pattern be of any interest?  Would it be of interest even without the ornament patterns?  Has anyone made wool ornaments on a scale that small?

I’m not sure if this project will get chalked up to a great idea for another time, or something to go for.

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45 Responses to “Advent Calendars”

  • Munch:

    I’d love to see a pattern! I’m hoping to make an advent calendar for my husband for our first Advent together but I’m finding it hard to find a pattern I like. And as I’ve left it very late, I’d prefer to use a pattern or some guidelines than try to work it out myself!

  • YES! Make a pattern (and if you need a tester, my email is here :) I don’t think you need to include the ornaments–a few ideas on where to get them would suffice. You could do a separate pattern for those who want to make the ornaments, but not everyone (not me!) would actually want to do that. I would be all for making the tree/calendar, but I’m also all for buying the ornaments :)

  • Sue:

    Yes, I’d also love a pattern! I would probably buy the ornaments too instead of trying to make them, but a pattern for the rest of the calendar would be a huge help.
    (Just “discovered” your site a little while ago, btw. LOVE your ideas! I think I’ve bookmarked a million things already!)

  • I wouldn’t think that you would need to provide a pattern for the ornaments, since they are so readily available.

  • junecleaverscloset:

    Really cute calendar! Small scale wool would be difficult to cut. I used iron-on adhesive to layer wool and fabric for my small fabric ornaments. Small scale fussy cutting fabric for ornaments could work. You can always upgrade when you find the perfect ornaments. Big box fabric/craft stores have gads of cute, tiny ornaments for tiny trees….make the pattern!!! :)

  • I think it’s a wonderful idea for a pattern!

  • Lisa Barkdull:

    YES!!!!! I have wanted a Christmas calendar just like this for a looooooong time. I would just buy the ornaments and if I couldn’t find them this year I would just use stickers (might be a little tricky on wool, but whatever).

  • I think a pattern for just the tree, and then suggestions on what to consider when purchasing the wooden mini ornaments would be fine. I don’t think anyone would want to make bunches of tiny felt ornaments anyway! I absolutely love our advent calendar, and it’s such a lovely tradition to do as a family.

  • Tracy:

    I think your advent calendar is adorable! A pattern for it would be wonderful to have.

  • I think it would be nice to have a pattern for the tree, etc. This one reminds me of the one my grandma had for us when we were little. Her ornaments were little salt dough ornamnets she made and painted and most of them are now broken.

  • Lauren:

    I have never seen an advent calendar like this, but I totally love the idea. Please make the pattern! I am totally fine with buying my own ornaments (and I think leaving people to figure out what they would like to do for the ornaments [buy or make] allows for a personal spin on it).

  • Kristy:

    I would love a pattern. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I could make one for each of my children to have when they are older.

  • Kristen:

    I think the pattern would be great. I am thinking about doing an advent calendar this year, and may have time to pull it off in time for Christmas. I would be fine with buying the ornaments, and would definitely not have time to make that many ornaments anyways.

  • Cindy:

    Thank you for posting this. I have a super similar Advent Calendar. I have always had a hard time figuring out how to hand my ornaments on it. I have loops sewn on the tree, but then the strings from the ornaments have to be looped through each other. IT is a pain and I don’t like the way it looks. HELLO!! I am now going to sew little bells on the tree. IT will be great! (And my ornaments were purchased).

  • Sharon:

    I too made a calendar, about 25 years ago. It was a fun challenge to round up assorted small ornaments for the tree, but it was fun and I would do it again. My kids are grown now, but each one always wanted to be the one that pulled the Santa ornament out on the 24th. I kept a small scrap of paper in the #24 pocket and recorded which of the 3 children pulled out the #1 ornament in a given year. Every 3 years a new child got to hang Santa on the calendar. My list looked something like this:
    1989…Kev, Wendy, Mike
    1990…Wendy, Mike, Kev
    1991…Mike, Kev, Wendy
    1992…Kev, Wendy, Mike
    Enjoy your children while they are small and innocent!

  • Jen:

    How funny – about 7 years ago I made an advent calendar almost EXACTLY like this one – also based on MY husband’s childhood memories. (There must have been a trend of these way back when?) His mom has one similar that still hangs in her house every year (although after 40 years or so, hers is looking a little worn!) ;) Every year his siblings STILL fight over who gets to put the star on top on Christmas Eve. I love that these traditions are finding their way into our family now. :)

  • Holly:

    I made a similar advent calendar this summer (also based on my husband’s recollection of the one he grew up with, coincidentally enough), but I’m only just now starting on the felt ornaments. It’s tricky to make them so small, and it’s actually surprisingly tricky to think up 24 different designs! Until reading other people’s comments I hadn’t thought of buying little wooden ornaments – that certainly would be faster. (I love the idea of using bells to hang the ornaments, by the way!)

  • Stacie:

    I would love a pattern! I bought fabric to make one of these a few years ago but can’t get the tree in the proper proportion, so I’m stuck.

    My parent’s had cute little real ornaments. My Michael’s carries a great variety.

  • Cami:

    I would love to see a pattern as well! This calendar reminds me of the calendar we had when I was little. I’ve been wanting to recreate it now for so many years but don’t dare start from scratch. A pattern would help!

    My mom made felt ornaments but I’m in love with those wooden ones. Where do you get those?

  • Rebecca:

    I would love a tutorial for this! I think it is something my kids would enjoy! I am new to sewing, so I hope it will be easy too! I just hope someone could point me in the direction to find the wooden ornaments!

  • Andrea:

    I would love to see a pattern. It would be nice to have something for my family to share.

  • I’d love to see a pattern. It’s very cute!

  • Teresa:

    I love your Advent Calendar! It reminds me of my childhood, too. I also love the wooden ornaments.

  • Jen:

    FYI – I made my ornaments out of felt and drew some details on them with fabric paint. Then I used velcro dots to attach them (one side on the tree, the other side on the ornament). Easy on, easy off! And easy for storage because nothing is breakable! I think the little wood ornaments would look even cuter, though. :)

  • Kelli:

    An advent calendar pattern that looks like that? Yes, please!

  • So adorable!

    I think a pattern for the wall hanging with suggestions on how to find the ornaments is all you need. Personally, I think it would be fun to look, especially after Christmas, to find little ornaments.

  • Beth:

    Yes, please do a pattern! I had a calendar like that growing up, and would like to have one for my children. Finding small ornaments should not be a problem!

  • Kelly Bowland:

    Yes!! Super cute!

  • That is darling! It looks just like my in-laws calendar that my husband grew up with…and of course, we all love.

  • Bethaney:

    I love this calendar for the same reason your husband does….I use to have one as a child so similar. I would love a pattern and maybe a link to where I can buy the ornaments!

  • Steph:

    Yes, please! I think I can find the ornaments somewhere…this is an adorable project. We are into countdown calendars in my house all of the sudden. We had one for Halloween, I’m making one for Thanksgiving, and this Christmas one would be perfect!

  • Erica:

    Ithis is a fabulous idea! Ive been wanting to make an advent calendar for some time now but don’t know what kind or where to start.I would love a pattern for this!I think the wooden ornaments are so cute.

  • Pattern, please! My son (just turned four) has just figured out why everyone gets so excited for Christmas (since he’s been pouring over a toy catalog that came in the mail) and this advent calendar would be perfect to help him understand that Christmas isn’t tomorrow! :)

  • Kristi:

    I would just love to make this as gifts. Please post the pattern!

  • Kathie:

    Our advent calendar (made by my mother) looks almost exactly like that and we LOVE it! I don’t think it is a problem that the ornaments are not part of the pattern at all – you can always just give information on how to find them.

  • Hayde Alba:

    http://www.target.com/s?keywords=mini_christmas_ornaments&LNM=Mini%20christmas%20ornaments&CPNG=home%20decor&AFID=google&LID=25p423300&adgroup=home%20decor&MT=broad&KID=7864d1c6-7d20-1488-b391-00003d40647a&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000

    I was searching online, and found these…I also remember World Market having a box of a few mini wooden ornaments. I would love to have a pattern, it would be a fun project, and make a great gift.

  • Stephanie T:

    Oh my goodness–we have almost this same calendar and it’s one that my family purchased at a Christmas bazaar in the 1970s in California! As I scrolled down in your post, it really took me by surprise…the felt colors are the same even down to the white numbers (yours are cuter though). I do like the bells idea because we still use straight pins to hang the ornaments which can be a little risky if someone brushes against the calendar. Just FYI, all of our ornaments are also felt like the calendar, but I do like the idea of wooden ones. Thank you for posting–now I can’t wait to get the decorations down from the rafters.

  • Alexa:

    I’d love to see the pattern. We had a similar advent calendar growing up (in the 70′s). The bells to hang the ornaments is a great addition. We just used safety pins, which were a pain in the neck and probably contributed excess wear and tear.

    I bet one could find lots of little ornaments in a doll-house store. And if it doesn’t need to be a special set, you could just get a bag of tiny balls or snowflakes. (Or find someone who tats to make a set of tatted snowflakes.) Or you could make one special ornament for each child every year and fill the tree eventually.

  • Crystal:

    I would be interested in seeing the pattern! Such a cute calendar!

  • Kim:

    I would love love love a pattern. My husband grew up with an advent calendar like this and would love to make one for my little family. Any thoughts on where to buy little ornaments would be awesome. Thanks

  • Timmi:

    I would LOVE to get a pattern!! This is a great idea!!! I like the fact that its putting things up vs taking things down and its NOT candy!! Finding small ornaments wouldn’t be a problem either…I’m thinking of all the small ones they sell at Michael’s…or even getting some of the super cute buttons in the packages with the white labels, can’t think of the brand name.

    Please, please please make a pattern :)

  • Rachel:

    Please make a pattern. Publish links for the wooden ones but people can craft other ornaments if necessary.

  • I loved your blog.. Thanks for sharing! :-*

  • Evette Eastman:

    Where do you order the wooden ornaments?

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