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Adventures in Advent Calendars

“Mommy, Memere bought me a Shrek advent calendar!”

Not the words you want to hear when you’ve spent the last month lovingly recreating the handmade Advent calendar from your own childhood for your (ungrateful) five-year-old son. At first, he informed me that I could give my version to one of his friends, but once he saw it, he redeemed himself by being appropriately impressed. And I’m quite impressed that I managed to finish it with a week to spare.


I was inspired by the embroidered felt Advent calendar at The Purl Bee, though I am not good at embroidery at all, and though all my squares looked nice and crisp when I cut them out, they are all wonky now that they’re sewed on.

Here’s the calendar my mom made for me and my twin sister when were about four. She saw a similar one at a neighbor’s house and made her own, adding the pockets so each day’s ornament would be a surprise. Most of the ornaments were lost or mangled, so I made 24 new ornaments, replaced the yarn stitching around the edges, glued on some new sequins to replace a few that had fallen off, and gave the new-and-improved calendar to my sister for my niece and nephew.


Here’s a close-up of some of the ornaments. I used wool-blend felt for everything, and almost all the shapes are from Microsoft clip art. I used bits of “Fabric Fusion” iron-on Velcro on the back, just the prickly side, which seems to work OK to stick the ornaments to the tree.  I tried to include most of the same shapes from the original, hence the jack o’lantern and elephant, which strike me as a bit unusual Christmas ornaments.




Let the holidays begin!


33 comments to Adventures in Advent Calendars

  • Wow! We had a similar one when we were kids, and I’ve been looking for a photo of one to make for my kids this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • jo

    I love the not so square squares, I made little stockings last year from felt, I am glad I haven’t got to do it all again this year!

  • mom

    I LOVE yours … my old one looks rather pitiful now — but still glad I kept it for you! :^)


  • Love this! We had a similar one as a children, the details are all fuzzy to me. This makes me want to find it at my moms and do some kind of similar copy as you. Great inspiration thank you!

  • pam

    I am just catching up on the comments left on my Advent Calendar post. Imagine how surprised I was when I landed on your darling tree post which I have already bookmarked from OnePrettyThing! I am inpressed with the great work you did on your frlt ornaments. Waaaaaaay more cool than the felt ornaments I made for my daughter’s first calendar nearly 40 years ago!

    Great job! Love it!

  • darling! I am almost finished with mine. Mine is a spin on the Purl Bee model too. I love your idea with the ornaments though! That is really fun! I have been wondering what I will put in my pockets this year. I don’t htink I will have enough time to finish the ornaments for this year though, but maybe next!

  • My mom made one of these for us growing up. Thanks for sharing the photos, I’m going to try to make one for my kids!

  • jessi

    Hi, I love your advent calendar, I was going to try and make one for my little ones. I was just wondering though what the dimensions of yours are? And what size the the square pockets are? I looked at the Purl directions and their squares are 3 inches, but that seems kind of big if you are going 6 across? Thanks.

  • i love your blog…you are so creative. thanks for entering my giveaway. good luck

  • Hi there,

    I just found your blog recently and did your advent chain(great idea). I think your felt advent is beeeeautiful wonky pockets and all. Personally, I like things when they come out a little less than symmetrical. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Christmas preparation!

  • You have created some beautiful treasures! And I also like the wonky pockets, in fact I thought it was on purpose. I am putting your advent chain on my project wish lists for next year. Hopefully that will be enough time to complete it! Thanks for entering the Barefoot Books giveaway and good luck!

  • Anne Riber Jarvad

    I hope your son is mending well. Just adore your Advent Calendar, and would very much like to make one similar for my children. I guess if I start now, it could be finished next december. I was wondering though what the dimensions of yours are? And the colors you haven chosen the tree and squares are also very beautiful, can you remember what those were?

  • […] There are 28 pieces, all different colors, and all cut to 3X5″. These would be great for small applique projects, or the little ornaments I made for my son’s advent calendar. […]

  • Julia

    I like your “wonky” pockets. It adds to the whole cuteness of this advent calendar. And I like yours better than Purl Bee’s because you have the tree. I’m totally going to try to make this for my 3-yr old. Darling! I’m adding you to my blog list now. Love your stuff! ;))

  • Julia

    I’m torn on whether to use the really nice 100% felt like the Purl Bee sells. It’s just SO expensive, though! You mentioned that you used a wool blend. What percentage of wool did you use and did you find it too thin?
    thank you!

  • Holly

    I bought my felt from Depending on the color, it is either 20 percent wool or 35 percent wool. I really like it, and it seems to be good quality even at those small percentages. It isn’t thin at all, and feels and looks MUCH better than the acrylic/craft felt.

  • This is really lovely! I especially like the 2-tone pockets. I might have to do that.

  • […] glisser des éléments d’une scènette, pour décorer un sapin par exemple, à la manière de stitch/craft : il suffit d’accrocher du velcro derrière chaque ornement (motifs ici) pour […]

  • I really love this. My parents-in-law have something like this, and it has buttons sewn on to hook the ornament loops over.

  • amy

    Wow! I really wish I would have seen this before December…I totally love this!!!

  • jenny

    Love your pockets, very cute. Just finished my own felt one. I think it would be cool if the ornaments were a little more random (not in lines) I also used some rick rack zig zagged like garland. Good job!

  • Martha

    Wow, it’s time to get a sewing machine, I can tell! We used to have an awesome one with red ribbon bows and dangly mini ornaments. On the 25th, was a teeny baby Jesus, naked as a jbird! I finally had to toss that. Now I hope to start that tradition again-next year.

    This year, we do an advent wreath ritual that helps us focus on others’ needs. My husband and I love it!

  • Kami

    Any chance you want to make another to sell??!?!! :)

  • […] Countdown @ Cozy Homemaking #7: Candy Box Advent @ That Artist Woman  #8: Felt Advent @ Stitch Craft #9:Cookie Sheet @ What Allie’s Making […]

  • These are so cute and creative – wonderful ideas .

  • […] 8. Paper chain advent @ Make and Takes 9: Origami Paper Advent @Activity Village   10: Cute Envelopes @ Hobby Craft 11: Activity a Day @ My Delicious Ambiguity 12: Bottle cap Countdown @ Embellishing Life 13: Canvas Countdown @ Clean and Scentsible 14: Cone Calendar @ Crafty Crow 15: Burlap Activity Countdown @ Cozy Homemaking 16: Candy Box Advent @ That Artist Woman  17: Felt Advent @ Stitch Craft […]

  • […] This year, I purchased a really cute and fun advent calendar from Upon the Shelf. I don’t know if they are still selling it, but it was only $10 and I had to grab one.  It’s called “the perfect advent calendar”. Original, I know. It caught my attention because it has three parts: do it/make it, trust it, believe it. Each day comes with something to do or make, a scripture, and something to pray for. I love the idea of making Christmas all about how to celebrate the real reason for the season. I can’t wait to share some of the things we do with this calendar! I’m also planning to add a couple more advents to my walls: Found Here […]

  • […] This was in 2008, a pre-Pinterest era, and there just wasn’t a lot out there I loved.  Enter Stitchcraft Creations with her super cute felt calendar.  With her pretty version as my guide, I embarked on […]

  • […] Riga: 06. Design Sponge | 07. Pink Blossom | 08. Stitch Craft| 09. Pickles | 10. […]

  • Kimberly Ridlon

    In the purest sense of the Season…I Love You! What a jolt of nostalgia I got when I came upon your Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar. My two sibs and I made one with my Mom in the late 1960’s. There must have been a pattern for the project/ornaments somewhere, a magazine maybe? We made many of the same ornaments as yours. Ours that look exactly like yours are the train, gingerbread man, candy cane, stocking, drum and candle. I still have the tree and use it every year! You are a special sister to have refurbished your childhood Advent Christmas Tree and given it to your sister and her children :-)

  • Jessica

    can I buy a pattern for this or do I need to wing it??

  • […] I wanted to create something we could use year after year. I stumbled across this sweet calendar by Stitch Craft Creations. I fell madly in love with this idea and got to work, using her calendar as my […]

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