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Nativity Advent Calendar Pattern and Tutorial

Guess what I did last night? My mom brought over the advent calendar she made years ago (here's a link to that post) and I traced all the pieces to make a pattern for all of you who have asked for it! Yay! Are you excited?! Here's what the calendar looks like:

I love it. I love that it tells the story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem to be taxed. I love pulling out the little plastic baby Jesus on Christmas morning. I love the  handmade charm. And now you can make one for your family too!

Materials Needed:
- Pattern pieces (found below)
- One 19"x46" piece of cream-colored felt for the background
- One long piece of camel-colored felt for the numbered path
- Scraps of felt in a variety of colors
- Fabric glue (or hot glue would work will just be stiffer)
- Iron-on, one-sided heavy fusible webbing
- Two pieces of velcro (the scratchy side only)
- One tiny plastic baby wrapped in a small scrap of fabric (I have seen them at Hobby Lobby before)
- One dowel spray painted gold 
- Decorative ribbon for the top and bottom edges (optional)
-Twine or ribbon for hanging

1. Print out the pattern pieces so they fit on a normal piece of paper. Just right click on the images at the bottom of this post to save them to your computer.

2. Cut out all the small felt pieces using the photo above for a color guide. One of the palm trees needs to be flipped over so it leans the opposite direction. Look at the photo and that will make sense.

3. Freehand cut the numbered felt path. If you don't have a long piece of felt, you could cut it from several smaller pieces and just glue them close together so that the seams aren't noticeable.

4. Glue Mary, Joseph and the donkey together and line the back side with the fusible webbing. This is the piece that moves along the path each day, so the webbing helps it be stiffer and sturdier. Add a strip of Velcro to the back. Make sure it's the scratchy side so it can grab the felt.

5. Cut out letters and numbers. Type up the words and numbers on the computer, print them out, then use them as pattern pieces.

6. Place all your pieces on to the background piece and get them the way you want. Then glue 'em all down.

7. Fold the top of the felt over to form a pocket for the dowel. Or use a long strip of extra felt or fabric. Carefully glue just the edge down. Make sure you don't glue in too far or the dowel won't slide through!

8. Glue ribbon to the top and bottom edges. (Or leave them plain. That works too!)

9. When all the glue is dry, slide the dowel through the pocket on the back and tie the twine onto the edges that stick out. 

10. Add a piece of Velcro (the scratchy side) to the little baby. 

And that's it. You are done! This project comes together pretty quickly. Just watch your favorite show while you cut out all the felt and you'll be done in no time!

Here are  the pattern pieces:

OR you can click HERE to download the pattern pieces from Google Drive.

* This post contains affiliate links.
Jennifer V.
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  1. Oh, my kids would LOVE this!! I love the simplicity AND importance! I remember you posting about it before, thank you for sharing!

  2. Bless you!!!!!!!!!!!! I was just sitting down to make one based on your previous post, which I had saved and I just saw you made this pattern!! Thank you, thank you, thank you (and your mom)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Have a blessed Christmas!!

    1. You're welcome. I am glad I posted it in time to help you out!

  3. Oh my gosh! You are amazing! Thank you!

  4. You rock! Thank you so much for making the pattern and instructions. Now I just have to find the supplies and the time, but it will get made!

  5. This is beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to make this and sharing it with us! I am excited to make this for my little ones to enjoy!

  6. Thank you for taking the time to make the patterns and sharing them!! I remember seeing your original post last year on pinterest and pinned it...I think this will be a great project to work on with my kids this week!

  7. Thank you! I am so glad that you posted it. I fell in love with it when I saw it the other day. :)

  8. Thank you for the pattern! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :D

  9. Thank you, Thank you!!! I am so excited to see the pattern. I loved the idea when I saw it last week, but I didn't know if I would have the time or ability to make my own pattern. My mother collects nativities, and now I finally have something that is more original to make for her. Thank you for sharing it!!

  10. This is going to save me so much time trying to figure out all the dimensions etc. THANKS!!!

  11. Thank you so much. I am a grandmother to 30 children and we are going to make one for each family during Thanksgiving.I love the spiritual advent calendar.

  12. I found the original pin last week and fell IN LOVE. I cannot thank you enough for saving me so much time and effort. Bless you!

  13. I love this! Thank you so much for displaying an advent calendar based on what Christmas is really about!

  14. Thank you so much!! How beautiful and awesome is that!! Thank you for sharing your idea and patterns!!! :)

  15. I loev this. Do you have a pattren for the numbers? What size are they? What do you recommend? Yours looks amazing!! Linda -

    1. I don't have a pattern for the numbers or letters. They are about 1 inch tall. I would write up all the words and numbers in WORD in about 99 size font, print them out, and use them as patterns.

      Or if you feel like you can freehand them, cut a bunch of felt rectangles about 1 x 1.5 inches and then make the numbers from there.

  16. I will be making this for my preschool classroom! Thank you for the patterns!

  17. Thanks for sharing this. I like it so much and so do the kids

  18. Love this!! Thank you for posting. Would love to link this up to my blog.

    1. Feel free to link up to this post. You can read my guidelines for doing so here:

  19. I love this! I'm definitely making it and I'm also sharing it on my blog (linking back here of course!) I hope that's ok :)

  20. I have looked, and looked and looked, and you have given me the very thing I imagined! Though I guess if I imagined it I wouldn't have needed to look. But I wanted a Christ centered countdown that was re-usable and pretty that came with a pattern. THANK YOU!!!

    1. Oh good! I'm so glad I could help! I hope your family enjoys this countdown as much as mine has! :)

  21. Jennifer my mom had one of these calendars! I loved it!!! Great pattern, thank you!! Merry Christmas!


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