As a child, I absolutely loved Christmas and as I have grown so has my enthusiasm! Today I’m very excited to show you how to make this fun fabric advent calendar DIY. There is something particularly magical about waking up each morning in December and opening a little door or pouch to find a treat. This homemade advent calendar is sure to fill your home with Christmas cheer. It’s also reusable so you can make it part of your family’s tradition and enjoy it for years to come.
Ready to make your own advent calendar? Let’s get started!
You Will Need:
- Fabric (I used a few of my favourite patterns on Zazzle but you can use whatever you have to hand.)
- A needle and thread or a sewing machine
- 6 metres of ribbon or string
- A safety pin
Step 1: Make a template out of paper or card. To do this just draw a 9 cm x 24 cm rectangle and carefully cut it out.
Step 2: Now, pin the template to the fabric and start cutting! You will need to repeat this 24 times.
Step 3: The next step is to sew the bag. Start by folding over 1 cm on either end of the fabric to create a hem. Use a running stitch with a needle and thread or you can use a sewing machine.
Step 4: Fold the strip of fabric in half, making sure you leave the pattern on the inside. Now sew the sides, leaving a centimetre at either side, making sure to stop just below the hem of the top of the bag.
Step 5: Next, thread the ribbon through the top hem. To make this easier, I use a safety pin, which I attach to the end of the ribbon and use it to pull the ribbon through. Do this on both sides of the bag.
Step 6: Once the ribbon has been threaded, you need to leave about an inch on either side so you can tie a knot.
Step 7: Turn your bag the right way around and ta-da! You have yourself a cute drawstring bag. Repeat for the other 23 to complete your advent calendar DIY!
The Bags Were Hung by the Chimney with Care
I’m not saying that these have to be hung by the chimney, but the next step is deciding how you want to display your handiwork.
You could hang them on a string or even arrange them into a Christmas tree shape and use pegs to keep them in place. I found some cute numbered stickers to label the days, which you can pick up in a craft shop or even make your own. Other ideas include pinning them to a corkboard or popping them in a basket.
The Countdown Begins
Once you have completed your homemade advent calendar, the fun doesn’t stop there! Next, it’s time to fill those little festive bags with advent treats. As well as the traditional chocolate or sweet, I like to add an activity to each day to really make the most of the Christmas season.
Ideas of activities I have used:
- Read a Christmas story
- Tickets to see the pantomime
- Bake and decorate cupcakes
- A trip to the cinema
- Go and listen to Christmas carols
- Visit the hospital or old folks home with treats
- Go and see Santa
- Take family Christmas pictures
- Make Christmas cards
- Donate old toys
- Go ice skating
- Make Christmas decorations for the tree
- Have dinner out
- Bring treats to school
- Bake cookies for the neighbours
- Bring toys to a toy collection
- Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
- Have hot chocolate by the tree
- Drive to see the Christmas lights
- A ‘stay up late’ pass
- Have a pyjama day
- Make a gingerbread house
- A trip to the Christmas markets
- Roast marshmallows
- Donate money and/or time to a charity
These are all just ideas, do what works for your family, of course you can double and triple up on activities such as ‘read a Christmas story’ or ‘watch a Christmas movie’ if you are short on time or on a budget. The main thing is to have fun and spend time together as a family making memories.