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Advent Calendar

I made this advent calendar for our family clear back in 2008. When I posted about it, I only had really terrible pictures to share. Today I decided to do this calendar justice with better pictures and more detail.

So here she is:

Each day in December, you reach into a numbered pocket and remove a felt ornament to hang on the tree. The ornaments each have ribbon loops that hang over the buttons on the tree.

Here's a close-up of the pockets:
I cut all the numbers from felt by hand. The easiest way to do this is to start by cutting a bunch of rectangles the size you want, then making the rectangles into the right number shape. This helps you judge the size as you cut and they turn out a lot more uniform.

The calendar has three tabs on top that loop over a dowel with decorative knobs on each end. When I want to hang it on the wall, I rest the dowels on nails or use push pins and hide them inside the tabs.

Sew the buttons on before you do the backing, so the stitches don't show through. Make sure to use strong buttons that are large enough to keep hold of the ribbon ornaments.

The pockets are strips of fabric that I sewed right sides together, flipped right side out, then sewed to the white backing fabric. Then I just sewed lines over the top to make the individual pockets.

I machine quilted the front to the back and bound the ends the same as you would do on a quilt. I regret using the white fabric--it was a little bit stretchy and was a nightmare to work with. But I had it in my stash and it's hard to resist using what you already have. I used fusible interfacing to stick the tree to the white background, then satin stitched around the edges. You can see how over time it's gotten a little puckery...I blame it all on that dang white fabric. Of course, the whole thing needs to be ironed. Hmm... should have done that before I took the pictures. Ha!

And now for my favorite part...the ornaments!

They are all made of felt and hand-stitched, except for the snowflake. It's plastic. I bought a bag of them for a project and couldn't resist using it for this too. I was pretty tired of hand-stitching and cutting out tiny felt pieces by the time I was done, so I went with it.

The last ornament to be hung on the tree is the star. If you look at the background, you can see one button higher above the top of the tree. That's so the star will hang right on the top.

Some close-ups:

 I love that the ornaments are very homemade looking. I think they are whimsical and charming and not too perfect.

And here's what the tree looks like after we add the last ornament on Christmas Eve:

Jennifer V.
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