How to Make a Festive Felt Advent Calendar with Pockets

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Counting down the days until Christmas is a beloved holiday tradition, and what better way to do it than with a handmade felt advent calendar? This charming and festive project features 24 pockets to hold small treats or surprises, making each day leading up to Christmas extra special. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating your own felt advent calendar, complete with embroidered details and a hanging dowel for easy display.

Materials Needed

  • 1 yard of premium red felt (72″ wide)
  • Green felt (1 yard, but you’ll have leftovers)
  • Small pieces of various colors of felt for decorations
  • White 1″ felt numbers (1-24)
  • Embroidery floss in white, red, brown, and green
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • White trim (optional)
  • Sewing scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Embellishments like crystals, sequins, or ribbon (optional)
  • Wooden dowel
  • Flat black spray paint (for the dowel)
  • Saw, sander or sandpaper, and drill (for the dowel)
  • Red ribbon

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Felt Background

  1. Fold the red felt in half so that it measures 36″ long and 36″ wide, with the folded edge at the top.
  2. Trim the three open sides (not the folded edge) to ensure they are straight and even.
  3. Sew along the left, bottom, and right sides of the banner, leaving a border around the edges.
  4. Sew along the top of the banner, leaving a loop large enough to accommodate the dowel.

Step 2: Create the Pockets

  1. Cut 24 green felt rectangles measuring 4″ x 4.5″ each. You can use pinking shears for a decorative edge or regular sewing scissors for a straight edge.
  2. Arrange the pockets on the red felt background in a grid pattern, evenly spaced.
  3. Sew or glue each pocket in place along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

Step 3: Decorate the Pockets

  1. Cut out simple Christmas shapes from the various colors of felt, such as stars, trees, ornaments, or snowflakes. You can freehand these or use templates.
  2. Glue or sew the felt shapes onto the pockets to create a festive look.
  3. Attach the white felt numbers (1-24) to the pockets using fabric glue or stitching.

Step 4: Prepare the Hanging Dowel

  1. Measure and cut the wooden dowel to the desired length for hanging your advent calendar.
  2. Sand the ends of the dowel to ensure they are smooth.
  3. Drill a hole in each end of the dowel for the hanging ribbon.
  4. Spray paint the dowel with flat black paint, applying multiple coats if needed.

Step 5: Assemble and Hang the Advent Calendar

  1. Slide the painted dowel through the loop at the top of the red felt background.
  2. Thread the red ribbon through the holes in the dowel ends and tie knots to create a hanger.
  3. Hang your completed advent calendar in a prominent location to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Customization Ideas

  • Embroider names or phrases: Consider adding a personalized touch by embroidering your family name or a festive phrase like “Merry Christmas” onto the felt background.
  • Add embellishments: Enhance the visual appeal of your advent calendar by adding crystals, sequins, or other decorative elements to the pockets or background.
  • Vary the pocket sizes: Create pockets of different sizes to accommodate larger treats or small gifts on specific days, such as weekends or special occasions.
  • Use alternative color schemes: While red and green are traditional Christmas colors, you can experiment with other festive color combinations like blue and silver or gold and white.

Conclusion

Creating a felt advent calendar with pockets is a wonderful way to add a handmade, personal touch to your holiday decor. By following these step-by-step instructions and adding your own creative flair, you’ll have a treasured keepsake that your family can enjoy for years to come. Fill the pockets with small treats, notes, or surprises to make each day leading up to Christmas extra special and memorable.

As you craft your advent calendar, remember that the process itself is a valuable part of the holiday experience. Enjoy the time spent selecting materials, cutting felt shapes, and stitching the pieces together. This project is an opportunity to slow down, embrace the festive spirit, and create something meaningful for your loved ones.

Once your advent calendar is complete, display it proudly and make it a part of your annual holiday traditions. Encourage your family members to take turns opening the pockets each day, savoring the anticipation and joy of the season. Your handmade felt advent calendar will become a cherished reminder of the love, warmth, and togetherness that make the holidays so special.

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