Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ideas for Advent Calendars

I love everything about Christmas. The decorations, the gift giving (and receiving!), the food are all treats I look forward to throughout the year, and it's this anticipation that makes it even more exciting. So naturally having an advent calendar to countdown to the big day helps to build that feeling that something special is on its way - and I always have at least one on the go from 1st December!

When I was little it was always one of those cardboard advent calenders with a festive scene on that helped me countdown to Christmas. I loved finding the little door each morning and opening it to see which seasonal image was hiding there (and depending on the quality of the calendar trying to figure out what it was). Nowadays though, as a grown up, I still want to experience that anticipation but in a slightly more sophisticated way so now I have fabric calendar I made myself and an advent candle to burn every evening.

handmade advent calendar
The advent calendar I made for myself

My Advent Calendar

I made the calendar above a few years ago when I seemed to have more time to cross stitch. I sewed some simple little fabric bags in red, green and cream cotton material and used iron on bonding to attach a festive image and number to the front of each. I then fill each bag with a little chocolate, tie them with ribbon and use mini wooden pegs to hang them on a length of string along a shelf. The idea is that each bag has the picture facing the shelf and is turned round on its day, but I can't bear to not see all the Christmassy images so I just turn them round to start with!

Advent Calendar Ideas

There are lots of different ways to mark the run up to Christmas in a visual way. These are some ideas I've thought of that would be great to make yourself for your family:

  • have a small Christmas tree (an artificial one that would fit on a table top) and hang a numbered decoration on it each day;
  • have a pile of small boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts with a number on the tag and a small prize or chocolate in each one and watch the pile go down;
  • create a 'jigsaw' picture with a festive image. Each day a piece is added (maybe pinned to a notice board or stuck on a wall) until the full picture is revealed;
  • use a calendar you already have and in the month of December add a festive sticker to each day's box;
  • create a table centre piece for Christmas dinner by adding an item everyday - for example have a piece of florists oasis and add an artificial flower or pine cone each day.

Or if you don't want to make your own...


1. Linen advent calendar by Free Spirit Designs at Wow Thank You £30
2. Magnetic tin advent calendar by Glitter Ink Cards £41.47
3. Advent calendar by Dots and Spots £4.95
4. Wooden truck advent calendar by Little Ella James £32
5. Bunting advent calendar by The Great Hatsby £65

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