Hi everyone! I'm Jann, from Newton Custom Interiors, where I blog about home decor, sewing and DIY projects. I'm thrilled to be a part of Deby's Seasonal Sewing Series! Today I'm going to share with you a tutorial for sewing a Christmas tree advent calendar.
This advent calendar is based on one that my mom made for us when we were growing up. She also made one for my family when my husband and I were first married, which is pictured below.
I can remember when I was young, being excited to put an ornament on the tree every day from December 1st until Christmas.
Since my daughter has two children of her own now, I decided it was time to continue the tradition and make one for her family too. She is not into the traditional red and green Christmas colors, so I made hers in the colors she decorates with for Christmas. This is her Christmas tree from a couple of years ago. All white with touches of gold and silver. Beautiful.
Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
I do want to say that I made this advent calendar harder than it needed to be by deciding to do an overlay for the background. I couldn't find a gold felt that was the right color, so when I found the glitzy overlay fabric, I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, it needed to be glue basted at each step. So, if you decide to do the calendar with two felts, it will be much easier, and you can skip the steps involving the overlay.
Finished size: 20″ wide x 26″ long
3/4 yards of felt for the background
3/4 yards of felt for the tree
3/4 yards of overlay fabric – optional
You will need a little bit of felt for the two pocket strips, you'll probably have left over from the tree or background.
24 hooks from hook and eye sets
24 small ornaments
1 ornament for the top of tree
24 large sequins
Thread to match fabrics
Clear polyester thread
Fabric glue – optional
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
5/16″ dowel rod
4 yards gold trim for edges of background and for hanger
1 1/2 yards of trim for tree garland
Snowflakes for background – optional.
1. Cut felt background fabric at 20″ wide x 27 1/4″ long.
2. I you are not doing an overlay, skip to step 6 . If you would like to do an overlay, cut overlay fabric at 22″ wide x 29 1/4″ long. Here's a picture of the overlay fabric that I used.
3. Serge edges of overlay fabric. Lay fabric face side down, and lay background fabric on top. Turn edges of overlay fabric 1″ to the back side, and glue baste.
4. Miter the corners of the overlay fabric.
5. Sew all the layers together by top stitching 1/2″ away from all four edges.
6. Cut out two pieces of felt for the ornament pockets at 1 1/2″ x 19″.
7. Lay the bottom strip 1/2″ up from the bottom of background (face side). Center the strip, so that there is 1/2″ from each side edge. The second strip should be place 1/2″ up from the bottom strip. I glue basted the side and bottom edges (top edges need to be left open for pockets).
8. Mark where the individual pockets will be. Each pocket will be 1 5/8″ wide and 1 1/2″ long.
9. If you would like to add the numbers 1-24 on the pockets, this would be a good time to do that. Mine were a last minute addition, so I did them after the calendar was finished. (Not the best time to be painting on the fabric). I marked my numbers first with a marker that fades when water is added to it, then I used a very small brush and painted the numbers on. I then removed the blue marker that still showed.
10. Sew the outer and bottom edges of the pocket strips, and then each individual pocket.
11. Make a 1 1/4″ rod pocket at the top of the background piece.
12. Sew gold trim around four edges of background, 1/2″ away from edges, using a zig-zag stitch. Because of the slinky overlay fabric, I had to glue baste my trim on first.
13. Make a tree pattern, and cut out the tree felt fabric.
14. Glue the garland trim to the tree with a hot glue gun. Stringing it in whatever design you would like.
15. Mark where you would like the ornaments to be on the tree, and then hand sew the hooks onto the tree.
16. Hot glue or hand sew the large sequins over the top of the hooks.
17. Glue baste the back side of the tree to the front side of the background piece.
18. Hand sew the tree to the back ground using the clear polyester thread. You could probably use fabric glue to apply the tree, but I wanted to make sure to stitch all of the layers together, so I did hand sew the tree edges to the background.
19. Hot glue the star for the top of the tree.
20. Optional step – hot glue snowflakes to the background. I used a snowflake garland that I cut up into individual snowflakes.
21. Cut the dowel rod at 21″ long. I painted the two ends gold to finish them.
22. Insert the dowel rod into the rod pocket. Attach the gold trim for the hanger.
23. Place a small ornament into each pocket.
Enjoy your new Christmas tree advent calendar!
I recently made a Snowflake Christmas Stocking for my grandson that coordinates with the advent calendar. I would be thrilled if you hopped over to my site to check it out!
my daughter is the crafty one..this is ALL for her!
small Christmas things for tree
I would add some different colored sequins.
I once made a tiny tree I decorated in snowflakes for my girls great grandmother who was in a nursing home- no two alike (I crocheted with sewing thread, yes, it was a labor of love lol). I think I’d love to do something like that – or maybe just bought snowflakes, my eyes have gotten older and hands more arthritic, but snowflakes with no two alike would be darling to me- perhaps on a hunter green tree. 🙂
I think this would make a great project for our 4H sewing club, we have huge jars of old buttons we could use and I like the idea of using earrings that are missing their mate.
I would use them for a Christmas decorated room for my Doll collection! They makr everything look so realistic!!
I have some hallmark miniature ornaments that would be perfect 🙂
I would do 1 with shiny sequins of reds, gold, silver for the garland and green to shape the tree.
want to make jeweled felt 12 days of Christmas ornaments
i dont have any ideas yet ill have to think some up soon
I would like to make tiny beaded Christmas trees and Snowmen.
I like to use the little notions they have in crafting stores.
I always use little stars for decoration.
I would use different colored paper clips with tiny messages of love attached.
I’d make mine neon colored
Great way to use those single earrings. You know the one that’s not broken or lost for ornaments.
I’m making this for my Granddaugter, so I think for the 1st year I’m going to hang charms for a charm bracelet that she can take off daily and put them on her new bracelet. Then I will change up for something different next year and each year afterwards. Maybe go with just chocolates in the pockets and tiny bells or ornaments on the tree when I run out of ideas.
I like your beads and sequins idea and I would add little charms as ornaments.
I think some cute little charms designed for necklaces would be fun.
I think old, mis-matched earrings would be perfect.
Swarovski crystal balls
I think I’d like to use Swarovski crystal balls.
I don’t have an advent calender now, but I did when my children were little.
I love this calendar. I love the idea of putting an ornament on the tree each day, rather than the traditional (or is it just commercial) getting a chocolate.
Hi, btw, I just popped over from Inspire Me Monday. Cheers.
Wonderful project! thx for sharing
Another nice tutorial. I do like the silver, gold and whiter version. Very pretty. I will keep this project in mind for the future when my daughter starts a family. I think I would pick some lovely handmade beads with crystals for her ornaments.
I was thinking maybe earrings. That should be cute and useful.
What a fun project. I love the colors used on this instead of the traditional red and green. Beautiful!! Thanks for the post.