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Making an Advent Calendar, part 1

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For at least 200 years, Advent Calendars, and later “Countdown Calendars” have been a part of the Christmas preparations.

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Early calendars were as simple as chalk count downs on a door or wall. In the 1900’s, lithograph card stock with parts of the nativity peeking through were popular. More commercial Santa Villages with chocolate bites in behind doors came into vogue and continue to be popular.

Today, a variety of cloth calendars are available for $15 and up. For this article, I have chosen to make a felt board calendar. The pockets hold a variety of items, some characters for the nativity scene; some left over Halloween candy may make its way in to the pockets. Small toys also fit the approximate 2” x 3” pockets.

Cost of this project was under 10$. Colored felt can be purchased at JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby and the Westside or SR26 WalMart.

This is a great family project. In the first calendar I made, older cousins helped make items for a younger cousin’s calendar.

For the calendars, I used felt (or fleece) for the upper section. A finished size of 18” wide by 16” high, a dowel rod run through the top to hang the calendar. The bottom I made out of muslin, but any broad cloth, plain or printed, will do.

The 3rd cloth used was also muslin, but this 3rd cloth could be wide ribbon, or any broadcloth.

Color A is the top; I used black felt (fleece can also be used) for the night scene of the nativity. Color B, or the bottom and color C, 5 strips for the pockets, were both cut from unbleached muslin.

Top is 18” square if made from felt. Fleece requires a hem, which felt does not, so cut fleece 19” wide by 18” high.

For the bottom, cut 19” wide by 20” high. You will also need 5 strips from color C, 3” high x 19” wide.

Sew the bottom to the top with a ½” seam. At the very top, sew a pocket for the dowel rod, 1 to 1.5 “is a good allowance. I used a 3/8” dowel, 20” long and a 1.5” pocket at the top for the rod.

Continued in part 2.

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