Advent calendars are a fun way for children to count the days to Christmas. Making your own out of fleece only takes a couple of hours and can be used year after year. The featured advent calendar has craft stick puppets to mark the day, but you can also fill the pockets with small treats or miniature ornaments. Happy Holidays!
Purchase two colors of fleece at a fabric store. The featured plaid made it easy to make the pockets, but there are many colors and designs to chose from. Fleece is easy to work with as the ends do not unravel when cut. You won’t need much, depending on the size you desire, so check out the remnant bin. The featured advent calendar is 13 inches by 15 inches.
Cut out your pocket strips. Five rows of five will give you 25 days for the advent countdown. There is no need to hem these.
Use the pocket strips as a guide for sizing your backing. The backing will be doubled and folded over to make the hanging pocket.
Fold over and hem all four edges on the backing of the advent calendar project. Fleece has a right and a wrong side, which is especially noticeable with prints. The right side is usually brighter and softer.
Pin on the pocket strips. Sew all the vertical lines from the top strip to the bottom strip.
Next sew the horizontal lines on the bottom of the pockets only.
Sew the side seams of the backing with the fold at the top. Leave about an inch open at the top to insert the hanging dowel.
Sew the bottom seam if desired. The featured advent calendar is left open at the bottom, creating a pocket to store other Christmas ornaments after the holidays.
Cut out block numbers to fit on your pockets. Glue these on with craft glue. The double digit numbers will be easier to read if slightly off-set (first digit a little higher than the second).
Insert a dowel and a hanging ribbon.
Create craft stick puppets, use a candy cane, or a small doll to sit in the pockets each day of December. Your advent calendar is complete!
A photograph of your child can be glued to the craft stick to make a fun puppet.
Sew a small cloth tree, ginger bread man, or elf to fit in the pocket.
Place a small amount of coins in the pockets and then take your child Christmas shopping with the money they collected.
Insert Bible verses, social event notes (baking, caroling, put up the tree), or daily affirmations in the pockets.