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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 (66)

Hi Cara-

The finished dimensions of the calendar are 15 by 29 inches.


November 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Almost done with the ornaments.....takes some patience but has an addictive quality to it :). It's fun playing with color combinations. If I did it again, I might look at using ribbon, rick rack or small buttons for trim.
November 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Johnson
This is a wonderfully updated version of a calendar I remember from my childhood! I'd like to put my vote in for being able to purchase the pattern only - I have tons of odds and ends I would be able to use for this! How big are the ornaments themselves? Based on what you've said the calendar measures at, it seems they'd have to be pretty small.... Are they difficult to hand sew?
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristi
Would you consider selling one already completed? I love it, but know that I would never have time or ability to complete right now.
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJana White
Hi Jana-

We don't sell any finished projects but if you wanted to have one custom made you could call our store (212-420-8796) and they might be able to put you in touch with someone who could sew it for you.

Thank you!

November 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Christi -

Thank you so much for writing in! The ornaments measure about 2 1/2 inches tall on average. They all take a little bit of time to sew, but they're not difficult at all. Also, the booklet has step by step instructions and photographs to help you along the way!
We will definitely keep your (and everyone else's!)request in mind for selling the pattern booklet outside of the kit for the next holiday season. It's a great idea!

Thanks again!
November 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What a beautiful calendar! I imagine that with a little extra work, we could use snaps to attach to the tree. Without the ornaments, it could still be like little silver balls; and with the ornaments, so much color and dimension. Thank you for this gorgeous piece!
November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
If you are a little bit crafty, and also have some basic math skills, you can make one of these all by yourself without a kit!

My mom and I made three of these about 20 years ago, all out of felt, it looked exactly like this.
We had a little factory going with the sewing and making the ornaments.
We made 3 trees and made the banner just like this with the dowel.
At the bottom on each row calculate 6 little pockets for the ornaments

With the kids, we used to take turns each morning at breakfast.
We have a lot of fond memories of ours.
This is a good reminder. I want to make some for the grand children now :-)
November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary
I am having the worst time trying to get the pencil to transfer to the felt. I've tried higher heat, and going over the numbers again but nothing is transferring. Any advice? Thank you!
November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLily
Hi! I love the idea of this kit and I had ordered it. Why am I having difficulty with the transfer of the numbers. I believe I am following instructions but nothing appears on the felt! Help! Thank you.. Cathy
December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
Hi Cathy -

I am so sorry you're having trouble with the transfer! To get the numbers to stay, I would first try ironing for longer (it definitely takes time for the transfer pencil markings to "heat up"), and if that doesn't work, go up incrementally on the heat on your iron until it transfers.

I hope this helps! And, please let us know if you have any other questions as you are putting your calendar together. We'd love to hear from you!

December 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Lily -

I am sorry that you are also having trouble with the number transfer, even after working with higher heat. I would also recommend working on a hard surface and holding the iron for a bit longer. If you can get at least a faint transfer, you can darken the lines by going over them with the fabric marker included in the kit.

I hope this helps!
December 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am in the process of making this advent and am having a difficult time with the iron transfer of the numbers. I have tried pressing very hard, using more heat and leaving the iron on for a longer time and nothing has worked. I also bought another transfer pencil and carbon paper and neither transfer to the felt. I have no idea what to try next.

December 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlily
Hi Lily -
I am so sorry that you're having such a hard time transferring the numbers! It sounds like you've tried almost everything! One last thing I would suggest is to use the iron-on transfer pencil to trace the numbers onto a piece of standard white copy paper and then iron them onto the felt from that paper. The paper that the templates are printed on is slightly heavier than standard text weight and this could be what is causing the problem. The lighter weight paper should transfer the numbers faster and with less heat.

I hope this helps!
December 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love it! I would love to order the pattern on its own, though, so I will wait until next year. Thanks!
December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
I was also having difficulty getting the numbers to transfer. The following worked:

----place the numbered strips face down on felt strips

----pin in place

---using a large pin/needle or thin nail pierce numerous holes in the number outlines

----using the fabric marker pen, push tip through holes

You should have visible blue dots to follow for stitching. Blue pen marks can be erased with opposite end of blue fabric marker.

Hope this helps.
June 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJayne

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