Happy New Year, everyone! Since we are already in January, I figured it was time to share one of my recently completed crafty projects - a felt Advent calendar.
This daunting project started roughly 2 years ago when I saw this Pottery Barn Advent calendar and decided "Oh, I can make that". (famous last words!!) I decided to purchase the best quality felt (100% wool) because I wanted it to be *perfect*. Well, by the time I had purchased all the felt and other miscellaneous items - I had spent well over the $65 price tag that Pottery Barn charges. Woops. But uhhh...this will be HANDMADE! Passed down for generations! Something like that, right?
Anyway, I did NOT come up with these ideas on my own. A few of the pockets I sketched out and came up with - but most of them were derived from ones I found all over the Internet. So please, do not give me credit for all these cute little felt creatures! I just copied and cut them out best I could (thank you, Pinterest - I have included a full list of links at the bottom of this post for all the ideas I found out there!)
FYI: I recommend using 100% wool, high quality felt for this project. It was so great to work with and it looks amazing. MUCH better than the cheap felt you can find in stores. I searched on Etsy and found a bunch of sellers that offered wool felt. I'm glad I went this route - it really made a big difference.
Now for the numbers: the problem with this project was that I started it roughly 2 years ago. I started strong but before long life got in the way and I never picked it back up. It sat for well over a year, and then we moved, etc. This year I decided it HAD TO BE DONE. With Brooke being 3.5 years old, I knew she would be totally into it. I buckled down in late October and decided I needed to make a few sacrifices if this puppy was getting finished. First: I couldn't hand stitch everything. I started using my machine for a LOT of the stitching. It still looks totally fine - and I'm SO glad that I allowed myself to do this. Second: I could NOT even try to cut out or even die cut the numbers...OR better yet, hand sew them. No way. I threw in the towel and purchased some cute, pre-cut wool felt numbers on Etsy. All I had to do was glue them on!
This project was a combination of hand & machine stitching, hot glue, and a little bit of fabric glue. I created all 25 pockets, then machine stitched them to the tree. (tree was traced and cut out mostly free hand...I was going for a whimsical look). Once the pockets were all stitched on, I took the time to go back and add little embellishments such as buttons, sequins, etc. Hot glue was my friend!
We used this calendar leading up to Christmas and it was A HUGE HIT! Brooke was totally into it. She loved having something waiting for her each day in those pockets. We don't really do candy in our house, so some days it was a small little trinket - but most days it was a note that was left by "Christmas Magic". The notes had different activities for us to do: things like craft projects, baking cookies, going to see Santa, etc. All in all - this was a PERFECT project to do when you have a toddler in your home!
Below is a list of all the various Advent Calendars that I pulled inspiration from for this project:
Rain Drop Stops