Sew a Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

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.

Sew this Christmas Tree Advent Calendar - complete with little ornaments to add for each of the days!

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.

advent-calandar-mom

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.

real-tree

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

Materials:

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.

Instructions:

1. Cut felt background fabric at 20″ wide x 27 1/4″ long.

advent-background

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.

advent-overlay-fabric

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.

advent-glue-basting-overlay-2

4. Miter the corners of the overlay fabric.

advent-glue-basting-overlay

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″.

advent-pockets

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.

advent-painting-numbers

 

advent-painted-numbers

10. Sew the outer and bottom edges of the pocket strips, and then each individual pocket.

advent-pockets-sewn

 

advent-pockets-close-up

11. Make a 1 1/4″ rod pocket at the top of the background piece.

advent-rod-pocket

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.

advent-glue-baste-trim

 

advent-trim-corner

13. Make a tree pattern, and cut out the tree felt fabric.

advent-tree-pattern

14. Glue the garland trim to the tree with a hot glue gun. Stringing it in whatever design you would like.

advent-glueing-garland

 

advent-garland

15. Mark where you would like the ornaments to be on the tree, and then hand sew the hooks onto the tree.

advent-sewing-hooks

16. Hot glue or hand sew the large sequins over the top of the hooks.

advent-sequins

17. Glue baste the back side of the tree to the front side of the background piece.

advent-glue-baste-tree

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.

advent-hand-sew-tree

19. Hot glue the star for the top of the tree.

advent-star

20. Optional step – hot glue snowflakes to the background. I used a snowflake garland that I cut up into individual snowflakes.

advent-snowflakes

21. Cut the dowel rod at 21″ long. I painted the two ends gold to finish them.

advent-dowel-rod

22. Insert the dowel rod into the rod pocket. Attach the gold trim for the hanger.

advent-dowel-and-trim

23. Place a small ornament into each pocket.

Enjoy your new Christmas tree advent calendar!

Sew this Christmas Tree Advent Calendar - complete with little ornaments to add for each of the days! 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!

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Introducing Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Hi!  I'm Jann Newton, and I blog about home decor, sewing tutorials and DIY projects at Newton Custom Interiors.

Recently, I was asked to teach a class for Craftsy -  Custom Bedding - Decorative Shams & Bolsters.  So Sew Easy readers enjoy a discount on my class!

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mary helene
mary helene

Gingerbread men would look so cute on this tree

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  mary helene

Definitely Mary!

Jane P
Jane P

I would use charms or small Christmas Balls

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Jane P

Jane, both charms or small Christmas balls would work great!

Quilting Tangent
Quilting Tangent

Old pieces of jewelry would work as ornaments

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Yes, old earrings or necklaces work great! I took apart some of my daughter’s jewelry that she gave me to make the green ornaments.

Natasha

Jann, this is an amazing advent calender!!! pinned it!!!
Natasha xx

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Natasha

Thanks Natasha! Glad you enjoyed it!

onelmonl

The tree looks so good in white and gold! Gorgeous advent calendar!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  onelmonl

Thanks! I’m so glad you like it!

Sew Can Do (@sewcandoblog)

stars in loads of colors and finishes

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Stars would be another great idea for the ornaments.

Tabitha Klucking
Tabitha Klucking

Little origami stars.

Pam @Threading My Way

Jann, your advent calendar looks SO classy in gold and white. I love it!!! I just know I’m going to run out of time this year, but I’m pinning for next year.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Thanks Pam!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Wow! Thanks Pam!

Jessica Hornibrook
Jessica Hornibrook

Oh my goodness, this is absolutely gorgeous! We are a musical family so I would love to find little ornaments of saxophones or drum equipment … 🙂

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Thanks Jessica! I think your idea of tiny musical instruments would be great for your family!

Melanie

I’m thinking something with ribbon? I love advent calendars!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Melanie

Melanie, give it a try! I would love to see how it turns out.

hydeeann

how perfect for your daughter since it combines a tradition from her childhood with her own Christmas traditions and decorating choices now! it turned out very pretty in the white and gold.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  hydeeann

Thanks Hydee Ann! It was tricky getting the right gold for the background, but we’re both happy with how it turned out.

Kimberly
Kimberly

Love this idea! I am trying to find an advent calendar for my family and love how this one works!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Kimberly

Thanks Kimberly! If you try it out let me know, I would love to see how it turns out!

BlossomTree
BlossomTree

I’ve got a bunch of “orphan” earrings that would make nice ornaments.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  BlossomTree

Yes, earrings work really well for ornaments!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Thanks Emma! Give it a try, I would love to see what you come up with!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Thanks Jessica! I also love your idea of making the ornaments yourself.

Sherry S
Sherry S

It’s very pretty in the gold and white. I really like it!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Sherry S

Thanks Sherry!

Kari

This is such a great idea! As a kid we always had the calendars with the little chocolate pieces. But as much as I love chocolate, I love the idea and the tradition of this more.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Kari

Thanks Kari! I love chocolate too, and remember those chocolate advent calendars. I wonder if they still make them?

DJ
DJ

very cute. A few years ago I picked up some mini candy cane ornaments at a craft store for a mini tree. They would work great for this project.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  DJ

Thanks DJ! I was thrilled to see how many ornaments you can find in the stores for mini trees, and they do work great for this project.

Ramona M.
Ramona M.

I have lots of small beads like snowflakes, angels, etc that I would use as the ornaments. Such a sweet idea.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Ramona M.

Thanks Ramona! I love your idea of using your bead snowflakes and angels for the ornaments.

Dawn
Dawn

love this project,thanks

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Dawn

Thanks Dawn! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Sunnybec
Sunnybec

I have some little tiny coloured hearts I could use those for my advent calendar! Thank you for the idea, oh and for the giveaway!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Sunnybec

Thanks Sunnybec! Your tiny colored hearts would be great for this project.

Shannon
Shannon

I absolutely love this idea. On a real tree I love the look of big glass ornaments, so maybe I would check out the bead section and try to find something that looks similar.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Shannon

Thanks Shannon! Love the idea of using beads to make the ornaments.

Julie in WA
Julie in WA

This is a wonderful idea. Our Advent Calender has pockets for candy, but I really like the ornament idea.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Julie in WA

Thanks Julie!

Emma

Hi
Love the calendar! I might just have to make one for some of my little ones friends this Christmas 🙂
Stoping by via ASWC Linky party
Emma

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Emma

Thanks Emma!

Maryall
Maryall

Small buttons? But then I should find a way to hang them… Or small glittery bows…

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Maryall

Maryall, my friend is going to make one using buttons instead of the large sequins. It might be tricky figuring out how to hang the buttons, but I’m sure someone somewhere has figured out how to do it!

Jessica
Jessica

Very lovely calendar. Thanks for sharing!
I think I would try to make the ornaments by myselve. To add a German tradition I would add numbers from 1 to 24 to it. Perhaps I will try to make stars out of pearls and crochet ornaments like my granny did. I always adore the creativity of my granny 🙂

Chelle Chapman
Chelle Chapman

I would love to start collecting some lovely charms w/ Christmas, winter themes & use them. I think this would be GREAT for teaching the Grans about Christ’s birth, how to count, patience, etc! Thank you Jann for this AWESOME tutorial!!!!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Thanks again for the opportunity Deby!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Chelle Chapman

Thanks Chelle! I love your idea of using charms with the Christmas and winter themes.

Alexis @ Persia Lou

We had one like this growing up too and I just loved it. Your white and gold version is lovely!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Thanks Alexis!

Geni
Geni

I would use the tiny buttons with a string, metallic of course, attached.

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Geni

Geni, tiny buttons would be cute!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Great idea Kim!

Becca Carter

I like this idea. We used red velcro dots on a green felt tree and then made felt ornaments of different shapes like an angel, drum, toy soldier, holly bough, mouse, present, etc. and it worked great for all the kids! Plus it was very colorful. I’d be afraid my children would rip the hooks off the tree. It would be perfect for something I could make once my children are older and can be more careful! Thanks for sharing and your ideas!!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Becca Carter

Becca, I like your idea of using velcro and felt ornaments. That would be a great way to make it for younger kids.

Crystal Emsoff
Crystal Emsoff

This is absolutely gorgeous!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Crystal Emsoff

Thanks Crystal!

Diana Z
Diana Z

I really would like to make and advent calendar for the grandkids!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Diana Z

Diana, kids really do like counting down the days until Christmas with the calendar. You should give it a try!

Chelsea
Chelsea

This is gorgeous! I have been wanting to make a advent like this for awhile. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Chelsea

Thanks Chelsea! I would love to see it when you’re done!

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

Sally, thanks! Let me know how it turns out.

Kim Leavens

I would buy some charms and make some beaded charms for the ornaments for the tree!.. Love this idea, thanx for sharing .

Katy
Katy

Love it! Gonna’ copy it 🙂

Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Jann from Newton Custom Interiors
Reply to  Katy

Thanks Katy! Good Luck!

Sally

This is a great idea. I did something similar last year that didn’t