Sunday, December 2, 2012

{ felt advent calendar }

The winter before our daughter Mary was born I came across a really cool felt advent calendar in Pottery Barn...yes I am a Pottery Barn idea stealer!  {PBIS for short} My automatic response is always, "I can make that".  It was great project and my kids have loved it the past couple of years.  I wanted to share because my sister in law Coll recently made one for her family and it turned out great!  Here is ours...

If you'd like to make one for your home here is how I did it...

{You will need}
1.  large piece of felt for the backdrop.  {Approximately 25 x 36 }
2.  smaller pieces in various colors for the date squares, wording, and pictures.  I found felt at Micheal's for $.29 per square and also at Hancock Fabrics and Joann's. 
3.  velcro for the squares. You can use white but I chose a red velcro to coordinate with my burgundy backdrop.  Coll had this cute idea - which I copied this year - and that was to hang each square from ribbons on either side of your calendar.  
4.  fabric glue or hot glue
5. embellishments to "dress up" your designs like buttons, sequins and ribbon
6. wooden dowel - medium size about 34" long - available at Lowe's, Home Depot or Micheal's

{To Make the Daily Squares}
1. Cut 25 squares in 3"x5" sizes - one for each day.  You can do the same color or all different colors.
2. Cut out numbers 1 - 25 -- I used a number stencil that I laid on black fabric and cut around (this was the hardest part for me.)  Glue one day to each square so that you have 25 days numbered.
3. Make a list on a sheet of paper numbered 1-25 and decided on your designs for each day.  Some of ours include an angle, the shepherd with a sheep, Christmas gifts, a sleigh, Santa, candy cane, the Three Kings...
4. Then begin cutting out shapes for each of your designs.  Felt is great because their is no sewing needed.  And if you mess up or aren't happy with your design just start again.  Felt is fairly inexpensive and goes a long way - you don't need too  much.
5.  After you have your design cut out glue it to one of the day squares and let dry.  You may also want to add sequins, buttons, ribbon or additional pieces of accent felt.

{To prepare your backdrop for the calendar}
1. Lay out your larger piece of felt.  My finished size is 25" wide by 32" long.  Leave about 2-3" at the top to fold over and either sew or glue to create a pocket to slip your dowel through - this is what you will hang the calendar from so that it stays nice and straight. 
2.  About 6" in from each side of the calendar cut a small slit in the felt and slip a ribbon through making sure to go around the dowel attach the ribbon at the top to create a cute hanger for the calendar.
3.  Add wording to calendar if you want.  I did mine on the side but the top or bottom would also work.  You could even do your family's last name.
4.  Lay all of your square out on the felt in order from 1 to 25.  Space them evenly and glue a small square about 1/2" long to the felt and the other piece of the velcro to your square back.  Line up the row of velcro evenly as you will see all of your velcro's until each square is put up throughout the month.
5.  Add ribbon embellishments to the top and bottom.

Either place all of your squares in a decorative bowl where children can reach each day or do as Coll did and hang them up to enjoy!

Here are some of our squares...
{one of my favorites...a shepherd with his sheep...use your imagination on this one}
{ penguin in a snow globe...PBIS}

{We Three Kings and Christmas bells}

I made one square for Mary's stocking.

And my last one the baby Jesus in the manger.  The reason for the season.

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