weekends with birdie: a snowy advent calendar

by mari

How To video DIY instructions for a handmade 100% wool felt modern advent calendar

Whoa Nelly. We had a big weekend of snowy arty fun around here. I wanted to share with you the results of my efforts: a handmade advent calendar with a little extra modern Je ne sais quoi. I kept it nice and minimal so that we can change out the colored wrapping paper or numbers every year if we’re feeling extra creative.

So say hello to Birdie and myself in the video below, and get making folks! I’d love to see someone else create their own version of the project – you still have time. I promise. More importantly, this pocket creation could easily move beyond Christmas and hold your tchotskes year-round. Maybe for your kids most favorite collection of goodies?

All of next week we’ll be featuring the Annual Small for Big Gift Guides for the kids in your life –  make sure to stop by! Scroll down below the photos for the project details.

What you’ll need to make this advent calendar:

  • 2 yards 100% wool felt (3 yards if you’d like to add a full back panel as well)
  • Rotary cutter and cutting board
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Cardboard template (see video below!)
  • Cardstock/sharpie for your numbers
  • Lots of goodies for the pockets!

Now for the how-to:

  1. The main panel of this calendar is 26″ wide x 38″ tall, each pocket is a 4″ x 4″ square. Cut the large panel.
  2. Cut out the top 3 sides of each of your 4″ x 4″ pocket squares in a grid with a rotary cutter, use the cardboard template shown in the video if you’d like. I found it was quick and easy that way. There are 4 squares per row, and 6 rows.
  3. Cut 6 long fabric strips to place through the pockets. Each strip is 3 7/8″ tall and 36″ long.
  4. Pin the strips to the edges of the panel, on the backside. Then pull the strips evenly through the pockets. See that video again for an explanation!
  5. Now start sewing the pockets together.
  6. Then glue the strips along the backside of your main panel.
  7. 100% wool felt isn’t cheap, which is partially why this advent calendar is open in the back. But, if you’d like sturdier pockets – and the ability to use this year-round for office supplies, stuffed animals, etc. – then I’d glue a second full panel across the back to add extra support.
  8. Find a strip of wood, molding, or dowel and lash the top of your felt panel to it.
  9. Fill with your treats, goodies, and whatnots!
What do you think? Would this show up on your wall for the holidays? What colors would you use? Share with us in the comments!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vincent | @CuteMonsterDad November 23, 2011 at 8:08 am

I appreciate your ingenuity. Looked like a fun project. Added bonus: Watching your video with all the included snowfall gave me the urge for some hot chocolate.


2 Miz Big November 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Thanks so much Vincent!
I was so excited to capture that snow on video, it’s a mezmerizing thing to watch. (and we had chamomile tea in honor of the snow!)


3 Leah November 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

This is so cute! And the video in and of itself is wonderful! :-) Thanks for sharing! I would love to attempt this one of these days. Btw, still waiting (dying) to see Wren’s new glasses. ;-)


4 Miz Big November 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Thanks so much Leah! Making the video was a wonderful way for me to remember the day as well!
I’m working on getting good photos of her new glasses – two pairs to highlight! Hopefully she’ll cooperate over the weekend …


5 Kristine November 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Too adorable for words. Love it.


6 Miz Big November 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm



7 Inessa November 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

So cute Mari! Great job!!!


8 Miz Big November 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Thanks so much Inessa! Glad you like it!


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