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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165 Responses to Sew a Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

  1. Malin Kinberg says:

    Im thinking about using errings that has lost its partner for ornaments.

  2. Deidra says:

    I would use tiny stars for the calender

  3. Patricia Hersl says:

    Time for some shine! Buttons and beads, maybe even some old jewelry…

  4. VickiT says:

    Great tutorial. I think little tiny gift bags with little pieces of chocolates inside would be cute to use

  5. Kathy Robertson says:

    Love it! I’ve always loved Advent calendars!!

  6. Lauralee Hensley says:

    With wire cutters cut off the backs of fancy thumb tacks and glue on the thumb tack heads to the advent calendar.

  7. Connie Rodriguez says:

    Thanks for sharing the advent calendar. and for the chance to win.

  8. BevM says:

    Thanks for sharing this Pam. I have been working with tiny beaded quilts so I will make tiny ornaments out of beads I think. Thanks for this opportunity.

  9. Joyce Mosby says:

    Would love to win thread to help sew all the projects on my table. thank you.

  10. Teckla Buller says:

    I’ve used Coats & Clarks threads since I first started sewing at about 13 or such. I’ve always been very satisfied with the results! Thanks for a chance to win!

  11. joycecloudf says:

    that is awesome.. maybe I need to make some for all my kids

  12. maggielou says:

    I have some very tiny ornaments that I have collected through the years that would be perfect for this

  13. Laura K says:

    This is a great idea. Think I’d make one with lots of bead embellishments since I’m into beading. Would love to win the thread!

  14. LaVern Drollette says:

    I like the cute shaped buttons you can find in Christmas shapes to make tiny ornaments…

  15. Terry Druga says:

    I really like this advent calendar — no candy! I think some old hoop or hook earrings might work really well. Thanks for the giveaway

  16. Terri C says:

    I have a strand of vintage garland beads that the string broke. I would use pretty gold thread and make individual ornaments. I love this great post!

  17. Theresa Brooks says:

    I would love to make this for my dad and his wife with little charms representing their hobbies and interests!

  18. Lisa Johnson Cowell says:

    I always plan to make an advent calendar, but the time gets away from me. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Terri says:

    I would use charms from a charm bracelet.

  20. Susan Paxton says:

    Thanks for the tutorial…You make it look so easy!! I think my 8 yr old granddaughter would like to help make this. Gonna give it a try.

  21. This is such a sweet idea!!! I’d make ornaments like cookie cutter designs as ginger bread men, bells, candy canes etc

  22. Pam says:

    I love the tree idea! I would put tiny colored crystals on it.

  23. Linda says:

    Great pattern! I would like to use all the cute “sewing and quilting” charms.

  24. Carrie Cunningham says:

    A friend has asked me to make an Advent Calendar, and I had no idea where to start! Now I do! Thanks!

  25. Val Hatton says:

    I have some charms of all things Christmassy like trees, robins, penguins, snowmen, etc. They will be great on this calendar.

  26. Becky Theisen says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! Fingers crossed!

  27. Susan Kick says:

    I think little tiny red green and white buttons would make cute decorations or I could also see little silver and gold beads or snowflakes 🙂

  28. Deb Sullivan says:

    Stunning and you made it look so easy!

  29. Bonnie Pfrimmer says:

    Love this! It reminds me of something my mom made when I was little. (A very long time ago). I would get any tiny ornaments or make some out of beads. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Angela says:

    I like little stars!

  31. April Lopez says:

    Tiny stars

  32. Barbara Bachmann says:

    old watch parts. My husband repairs watches and I think the gears are very cool. Kind of like a steam punk Christmas tree

  33. Heidi Leeck says:

    Really cute, reminds me of the chocolate advent calendars, but lower calorie! Nice family tradition.

  34. Paige Gonzalez says:

    I love to crochet and I would make tiny ornaments out if thin thread and use Swarovski crystals (for bling) and pearls. I may have to make two as a new heirloom for my girls!

  35. Karen Schultz says:

    I would add tiny bells to it also 🙂

  36. Darla Dishman says:

    This is so great, in the middle of getting ready to make one now… love it

  37. sunny5597 says:

    I would use either little charms or very small buttons, there are so many to choose from now a days. 🙂 thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  38. Janet M says:

    Very nicely done!

  39. Linda Bragg says:

    I would use earrings I get at the thrift store and garage sales to make the ornaments.

  40. Anna says:

    I love this – it’s the pretties advent calendar I’ve ever seen!

What do you think?