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Sunday
Nov032013

Corinne’s Thread: Advent Calendar

Some of my best Christmas memories aren’t from the day itself but rather from the days and weeks leading up to it: the letters to Santa, the evenings spent trimming the tree, the cookie baking (and eating), and, of course, the daily ritual of the advent calendar. 
Every morning in December my sister and I would clamor downstairs to the calendar, eager to mark one day closer to Santa’s arrival. The Christmas countdown was a real tradition in our house, made all the more meaningful by the calendar itself. Ours had been hand made by my grandmother, and it saw us through every December I can remember. Even as a kid I knew how special this was, and I loved admiring all the details of her handiwork. 
Now that I have children of my own, I am excited to bring the same kind of magic to their Christmas season. I wanted our calendar to be fun, modern and long-lasting, but mostly, I knew that nothing short of hand-made would do! 
This Advent Calendar fits the bill perfectly. Made with a colorful selection of 100% wool felt and embellished with a bevy of beautiful sequins and beads, it’s built to withstand the test of time (and small fingers), with just enough vintage whimsy to remind me of where it all began.  My girls are still too young to really appreciate the ritual yet, but I can see the spirit of Christmas Future, and it’s looking very bright! 
To make your own calendar (and to start your very own family tradition) we’ve compiled everything you’ll need in our Advent Calendar Kit. It includes…
  • 100% wool felt in 12 colors
  • 100% cotton thread in 3 colors
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Beading needle
  • Sequins in 5 colors and beads in 3 colors
  • Straight pins
  • Iron-on transfer pencil
  • Fabric marker
  • Stuffing for ornaments
  • Wood dowel for hanging
  • 12-Page, full-color instructional booklet 
  • Cutting and transfer templates
And it all comes beautifully packaged in a sturdy tube, which makes it a great gift… even if it’s just to yourself! --Corinne

 

Reader Comments (65)

I love this idea!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
What a cute,and long lasting calender! I'm tempted to make one like this! :)
have a nice sunday! :)
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVenke Synnøve
Supercute calendar! I love the months before Christmas too :)
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAvMeg
So adorable! What are the dimensions of the final calendar and the approximate size of the ornaments?
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAsh
What a beautiful item! I absolutely love it!

Does is require a sewing maching or is the stitching all done by hand? Thanks!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAllison
Beautiful! Is this hand sewn or did you use a machine? I'd love to give it a go... But my hand sewing ain't up to much!!!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess
This is a beautiful design!

I'm wondering....how do the ornaments attach?
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Beautiful! How do the ornaments stick to the tree?
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie
How beautiful! I really love the vintage/modern look of it and how cute all the little pieces are!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniela
Oh, my goodness. We had a felt advent calendar like this when I was a kid. I loved it so much! I have been looking and looking for a pattern that resembles the calendar we had and that my mom made...I've been looking for about 3 years. This is it! I am so excited! Thank you for this!!!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie in MI
I, too, am wondering how they attach and what the overall dimensions are. It's beautiful!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi! This is adorable. I would like to echo the question of a couple of commenters above: How do the ornaments attach to the felt tree? Thanks!!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
This is adorable! Thank you for sharing and offering a kit for this!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy
Hello Marie, Emily + Elizabeth,

Thank you all for your kind words about the project! The ornaments attach to the tree with a straight pin at the back. The pins are all included in the kit.

Thanks again!
-Corinne
November 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is amazing.
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Hello Ash,

Thanks for writing in! The dimensions of the finished calendar are 15 by 29 inches. The ornaments are each around 2 1/2 inches tall.

I hope this helps!
-Corinne
November 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello Sarah,

These are great questions!
The ornaments attach to the tree with a straight pin. The pins are all included in the kit. And, the finished dimensions of the calendar are 15 by 29 inches.

Thanks so much for writing in!
-Corinne
November 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello Allison + Jess,

Thanks so much for your kind words! Wonderful to hear that you like it!
The project uses a combination of machine and hand sewing. The pockets and hanging channel on the calendar back are machine sewn and everything else is done by hand. The 12 page booklet walks you through each process with full-color photographs and step by step instructions. So, no matter what your skill level is now, you'll be an expert by the time you're finished!

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions!
-Corinne
November 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I still have and use (37 years later) the advent calendar my grandmother and aunts made... Which looks so very similar. My ornaments hang on the tree and days w a hook and eye. A bit more safe for small hands than a straight pin!!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvie
Is the pattern available outside of a kit? I like the idea but would like to use some different colours as well as substitute two other ornaments that have a special significance in our family. Is it possible to order the same wool felt but in other colours in addition to the kit? I don't want twenty ornaments in one kind of felt and the other four in whatever else I can find which may or may not match. I'd also like to have some spare felt for the inevitable mishaps both while I'm making it and afterwards.
I've noticed that Purl Bee has offered several items recently through a kit only. I can understand why you would do that since it stops people from taking your creations but not using your products but it means that we can only make it in the materials you have chosen which may not suit what or who we are making it for.
Could you set up the kits so that we have some choice please? It will be some extra trouble for you and I wouldn't have a problem with a small surcharge for specific colours and/or materials. I'd like some creative choice and this is kind of like paint-by-numbers.
Thanks.
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda L.
We absolutely love this idea! So cute and really just perfect for the holidays! Thank you for sharing this creative post!

www.ananasa.com- Home For Handmade
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnanasa
This is a really neat idea!! I love your ornaments, they are just too cute!!
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteronel
HI,

I've got a stash of felts, embellishments, and beads that I think could work for this project; do you plan to offer the templates and instructions as a separate kit? And, if not, would you consider it? I'm a sucker for an advent calendar, and this one is darling.

Kalle
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKalle
This is breathtakingly gorgeous! Would it be possibly to only purchase the instruction manual? I already have the majority of needed supplies on hand (I have wool felt coming out of my ears!) and would prefer not to have to purchase more.
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Could you sell the pattern separately? I already have most of the supplies needed, but I would love to buy the pattern.

Thanks!
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I have similar fond memories of a similar advent calendar that my family still has. My Mom made it from a Bucilla Felt Applique kit in the early 1970's. Were those kits your inspiration for this design?
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I have an almost identical advent calendar that is 40 years old. Every ornament has an eyehook sewn on the back and is then hung on the calendar on a corresponding hook. The ornaments stay firmly on the calendar and don't fall. Hope this helps.
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjgs
I love this Advent calendar and in fact created something similar myself a few years ago. I sewed colorful buttons on the tree and then just hang the ornaments on those. I had meant to make ornaments, but ended up running out of time and just using small cheap wooden ones. I would love to make these ornaments but don't need the materials for the full calendar. Would it be possible to purchase just the pattern and instructions? Or a kit for just the ornaments?
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Oh, I love this so much! I grew up with an advent calendar like this and my brother and I LOVED it! I have kept my eye out for something like this for a while. So preferable to ones with candy or junky plastic toys every day.
I have a couple questions:
Straight pins to attach the ornaments? That seems hard for kids to do on their own... Ours had velcro on the back, which is not as lovely, but a change I might make for my littles.
Is the pattern available on its own? I have many of these materials, and I'd prefer a different background color for the felt, so I would love to buy the pattern and then purchase only the materials I need. Thank you so much for making this. It really is lovely.
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen
LOVE THIS! I ordered the kit last night!!!
You always have wonderful ideas!!!
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercindy
As many others have said, I'd love to be able to purchase just the pattern and use my stash or source my own supplies. It's absolutely gorgeous!
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
We had a similar advent calendar when I was a kid made of felt by my mother. She just passed it down to my sister so her three girls can use it. We talked about the advent calendar last night and I mentioned that one of the best things about ours was that all the objects were in the same pocket and I got to choose which one i wanted to hang up each day.

Ours also had a hook and eye to attach each item.
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
This is absolutely gorgeous! I too would love to buy the pattern only as I have a stack of felt in my stash that I could use to make this. Would it be possible to buy the pattern by itself?
November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiki
Hi Linda –

Thanks so much for writing in! I’m so glad to hear you like the pattern!
At the moment we do not have the pattern available outside of the kit, but we think it’s a great idea. We hope to have it available next year.

If you would like to use the kit and supplement with additional felt colors you will not have any problems at all. We used the same 100% wool felt that we sell in the store, and any additional colors you added would work great. Please also know that there is enough felt of each color to make at least 4, if not more, ornaments. So, you have plenty of room for the inevitable error, or to pick and choose from the colors given if there are some you’d care not to use.

Here is a link to all of the felt colors we have available:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/6409-Wollfilz-1-mm-precut-Wool-Felt

One of the things we love about this kit is the flexibility that the materials offer. Though we give the example above, none of the felt pieces are pre-printed or pre-cut so you are able to pick and choose the colors for each ornament, and, the most fun, apply the sequins any way that strikes your fancy!

I hope this all helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

-Corinne
November 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi All asking about purchasing the pattern on its own–

Thank you for writing in! We don’t have the pattern available on its own at the moment, but love the idea! Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to make it happen in time for this holiday season, but we hope to have it available next year.

-Corinne
November 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura –

Thank you for writing in! The calendar you describe sounds lovely – wooden ornaments and all!

We don’t have the Pattern booklet available on its own at the moment, but will definitely consider it for next year. I agree that the ornaments would look great hanging on a real tree as well!

Thanks again!
-Corinne
November 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Kathleen –

Thanks so much for writing in! It’s great to hear you have such fond memories of the advent calendar tradition as well!

I know the straight pins sounds like they could be tricky for little hands, but really the pin catches the felt mostly on its own and its much easier (and safer) than it sounds. I also love that it gives flexibility on where to hang each ornament – which I know little ones can be very particular about! Velcro also sounds like a great solution

We don’t have the pattern available on its own at the moment, but love the idea! Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to make it happen in time for this holiday season, but we hope to have it available next year.

Thanks again!
-Corinne
November 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Melissa –

Thank you for writing in! Isn’t it wonderful how these beautiful hand-made items stay in our memories? It’s quite possible my Grandmother’s calendar was made from, or inspired by, the same kit. Though she had definitely taken some creative liberties! I love to hear that you had a similar calendar in your childhood!

-Corinne
November 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Will this kit be available year-round or just for the holiday season? I don't have time to make it this year but would like to make it in the future. So cute!
November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I love this Advent calendar! I actually bought a bunch of felt last year to make something similar, planning to just wing it. Would you consider selling just the pattern/instructions separately? I don't need the supplies, but some direction would be very helpful!
November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer O.
To those of you asking if we will have this Advent Calendar year round - the answer is yes!

Thanks!

Jennifer
customerservice@purlsoho.com
November 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjen
Just wanted to add my request to purchase only the pattern, or a book containing this pattern as well as other Purl Bee patterns. I saw Corinne's response that said "Hopefully next year" so I'll be looking because I would adore making something like this with materials I already have on hand. I'll check back :-) Love the Purl Bee!
November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
I have a similar calendar that my college-age daughter just reminded us she wants to put up when she returns for Thanksgiving break this year! I love the creativity of yours! Some additional items one could make (based on our calendar) include little square presents, use the white felt for bird as dove of peace, gingerbread girl to go with the boy. One could even trace small cookie cutters as additional patterns.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful tradition.
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane
I am interested in using a different background color (instead of ecru or white). How much extra felt should I order?
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCristina
Got the kit! Looking at the directions for decorating the ornaments, it seems it would be easier to do the beads and sequins first and then stuff and whip stitch. Am I missing something ?
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Johnson
2nd question...what about glueing the sequins rather than sewing them?
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Johnson
I love this! It would be a great gift for my sisters and their families.. What size does the final product measure?
November 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCara
Hi Christina –

The background of the calendar is made with one 18 by 36-inch piece of felt, which is enough for the calendar back and pockets. To get the same amount in another color, you could either get ½ yard of the 1 mm Wool Felt Yardage, which would give you an 18 by 72-inch piece, or two pieces of the 1mm Precut Wool Felt, which are 18 by 18 inches each. Since the precut pieces are not as long as the calendar (the finished calendar dimensions are 15 by 29 inches) you would need to add an additional seam to make it the proper length. You could do this discreetly right above the pockets.

You can find the Wool Felt Yardage here:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/7211-Wollfilz-1-mm-Wool-Felt-yardage

And the Precut Wool Felt here:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/6409-Wollfilz-1-mm-precut-Wool-Felt

I hope this all helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

-Corinne
November 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Anne –

Thanks so much for writing in. These are great questions!

I decided to sew the sequins on after the ornaments were stuffed for two reasons: first, once the ornaments are stuffed their shape changes slightly; sewing the sequins on after allows for more precise placement. Second, I found it easier because the stuffing gave me something substantial to hold on to while working. However, if you find it easier to sew the sequins on before stuffing I think that could also work well.

As for gluing them on instead of sewing them, I would be afraid that the bond would not be as secure and that it would be hard to keep the glue from seeping out from under the sequins. It would also be difficult to glue on the small beads, which I think add great dimension. If you are more confident with glue than with a needle and thread, you could definitely give it a try, but I know I would probably make a real mess of it!

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions while you are making your calendar. We hope you’ll share photos when it’s done – we’d love to see!

-Corinne
November 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
LOVE THIS!!! The pattern also reminds me of the felt Christmas tree skirt my Grandma and my mom had when I was a little girl. My mom made one for me when I got married, and is in the process of making my son and his fiance one for a wedding gift for their December 28th wedding! I am frantically working on The Wedding Shawl for her as well! :.) Will be ordering this kit very soon! What a keepsake!
November 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl

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