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Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar Tutorial

Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar Tutorial

Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, counting down to Christmas is a fun yearly tradition. But for those of us who fall into the kids at heart category, we may want to make a more grown up version like the one in this Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar Tutorial.

If you’re like me you sometimes buy fabric just because you love it without knowing what you’re going to make with it. But when I saw this Ring In the Holly Days fabric panel at my local quilt shop, there was no question that it was coming home with me because I immediately knew that I wanted to turn it into an Advent Calendar.

Ring in the Holly Days fabric panel

Instead of pockets that need to be filled with some kind of treat, I decided it would be fun, if each day from the 1st of December to the 24th, Dave or I could add an ornament to the tree so that by the time Christmas comes around, the tree would be fully decorated.


Welcome to Day 3 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

Graphic for the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!

GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!


If you haven’t had a chance to check out all the other DIY Christmas Ideas I’ve shared click the links below:

Day 1: How to Make a Christmas Wreath Kit featuring an adorable Hedgehog Wreath

Day 2: Quilted Hourglass Candle Mat Tutorial

Day 3: You are here. 🙂

Day 4: Christmas Button Lace Ornament Tutorial

Day 5: Delicious Mini Puff Pastry Cone Appetizers

Day 6: Dresden Charm Ornament Tutorial

Day 7: How to Make a Christmas Floral Arrangment

Day 8: How to Make a Mason Jar Embroidery Kit

Day 9: Christmas Furoshiki (Japanese Fabric Wrapping)

Day 10: Poke and Push Fabric Christmas Trees Tutorial

Day 11: Mini Spiced Orange Buttercream Bundt Cakes

Day 12: DIY Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas


It’s Day 3 and we are sharing DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas!

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Ring In the Holly Days Advent Calendar Tutorial


Materials needed to make a Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar:


  • 1 –  Ring in the Holly Days fabric panel by Mary Jane Carey for Henry Glass Fabrics (See note below)
  • Approximately 22″X32″ of white backing fabric
  • 2 – 5½”X23″ pieces of white fabric
  • 2 Squares 5½” squares of white fabric
  • 1 – 5½”X23″ piece Pellon 808 fusible interfacing
  • Approximately 22″X32″ of fusible fleece
  • White thread
  • 24 decorative toggle clasps
  • 24 mini ornaments

    Note: The Ring in the Holly Days panels sold out quickly from Fat Quarter Shop and but can still be found for sale from the follow online shops:

    Quilted Christmas

    Red Rooster Quilts,


You could also try searching on Etsy and Ebay.


The fabric panel is a bit too long for our purposes so begin by cutting the bells and wreaths border off the top of the fabric panel.

To do this measure down ½” from the bottom of the ribbon.

Measuring to cut the border off the Ring in the Holly Days fabric panel

Flip the border around and trim it down to 7 inches deep. You’ll end up with a border strip approximately 7″X23″ depending on how accurately the fabric shop cut the panel.

With the border removed, now you’ll measure again to cut a 2¼” strip above the tree as shown in the photo below.Cutting 2 and a quarter inches from the panel

Pin the border to the tree section right sides together.

Border pinned to tree section

Sew using a ¼” seam allowance.

Sewing border to middle of Advent Calendar

Press the seam allowance towards the border.

To cut the bottom border off of the fabric panel, measure up 5/8″ from the top of the bows on the bells and cut.

Ruler placed to cut the bottom border off the Ring in the Holly Days fabric panel

Flip the bottom border around and trim to 5½ inches deep, leaving you with a piece 5½”X23″. Set the bottom border aside.

Cut a 2¼” strip off the bottom of the tree section of the panel.

Cutting 2 and a quarter inches from bottom

Next, cut 2 strips of fabric 5½”X23″ of white fabric.

Sew one of the strips to the bottom of the tree section.

You should now have a piece that looks like this.

Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar pieces sewn together

To make the pocket to hold the ornaments to hang on the tree:

Sew the bottom border to the second 5½”X23″ piece of white fabric using a ¼” seam allowance.

Sewing advent calendar pocket together

Press the seam allowance towards the border.

Place the interfacing glue side down on the border.

Interfacing on the advent calendar pocket

Be sure to tuck the interfacing underneath the seam allowance close to the stitching.Interfacing placed right at the seam line

Fold the pocket lining down and press well.

Lining of the pocket folded down to press

Pin the pocket to the bottom of the advent calendar and baste in place using a long stitch on your sewing machine.

Pocket pinned to bottom of advent calendar

The next step is to square up the advent calendar. Fold it in half as pictured below. You’ll be trimming it down to 22″ wide. You’ll want to be sure to cut an even amount away from those holly wreaths while trying to keep the trunk of the tree as close to the center as possible.

If you’re wondering why the squaring up is being done now rather than at the beginning… in my experience working with fabrics with a printed border, those borders aren’t always printed on the fabric squarely to begin with, so I trim them off first, making sure to have a straight cut and then sew them back on to another straight cut. Does that make sense?

Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar top folded in half

Next, place the advent calendar right side down onto the pressing surface.

Layer on the fusible fleece with the glue side down.

Fusing fleece to wrong side of advent calendar

Fuse according to the directions provided with your fusible fleece.

Quick tip: Be sure to press and lift, press and lift. Moving the iron back and forth while it’s in contact with the fusible fleece will cause wrinkles to be ironed into the fleece.

Pressing from the center out

Trim off any excess fleece.

Trim off excess fleece

To keep the pocket from flopping open when the advent calendar is hung up, you’ll want to add some kind of closure.

I’ve added two decorative snaps 6″ in from either side of the pocket. You may prefer to add a couple of pretty buttons or perhaps apply hook and loop tape to the inside upper edge.

Arrows indicating placement of snaps

Decorative toggle clasps will be used to hang the ornaments on the advent calendar tree.

Five packages of toggle clasps

Arrange them on the tree on the branches.

Tree with toggle clasps on branches

Sew the toggles in place using thread that closely matches the tree branches.

Toggle clasps sewn to tree branches

To make the hanger for the Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar:

Cut two 5½” squares.

Two 5 and a half inch squares

Fold them in half diagonally to form triangles and press.

Folded fabric triangle for hanger

Pin one triangle to the corner of the backing and baste in place.

Repeat with the other triangle, placing it so that the triangles are on the same 22″ side of the backing fabric.

Fabric triangles pinned to corner of backing

Pin the backing to the advent calendar front, right sides together. Sew all the way around leaving a 6″ to 8″ opening for turning.

Trim the corners on a diagonal to reduce bulk. Turn right side out.

Poke out the corners with a point turner.

Poking out the corners on the advent calendar

Sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch, aka invisible stitch.

Sewing opening closed

Press the advent calendar well. And you’re finished!

To hang it up. add the dowel cut to size under the hanging triangles.

Or if you live in a rental like we do, you can tack it up using flat head straight pins. The pins are small enough that the holes they leave are barely noticeable when you take the advent calendar down to store away until next year.

 Holly Days Advent Calendar finished

Once December arrives, you can start adding ornaments.

Which I must confess, I’m still in the process of making. I’ve never worked with these little toggle clasps before and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to add them to the ornaments. But I’ll come back and add a photo tomorrow when they’re done.

Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar

I hope you’ve enjoyed my contribution to the DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas – Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas Series.

If you make a Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar, please do post it somewhere on line and tag me so I can come see. I’m @supermomnocape on Instragram, @1SuperMomNoCape on Twitter and @1SuperMomNoCape on Facebook. Please feel free to follow me on any or all of them. ?



Scroll down for many more DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas for your holiday season!

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  • Leanna
    December 1, 2018 12:40 am

    This is just gorgeous. I think it would be a wonderful gift for anyone who lives in a small apartment, in seniors care, the hospital, a college dorm. What a beautiful advent calendar.

  • Sam – Raggedy Bits
    November 30, 2018 7:00 am

    Oh my! This is just beautiful! I love that gorgeous fabric and what a lovely alternative to a treat advent calendar!

  • Jessa
    November 28, 2018 3:09 pm

    This turned out gorgeous and I love the idea of adding an ornament each day!

  • Rachel
    November 25, 2018 10:20 am

    That’s a really charming idea, and a lot more interesting than chocolate!

  • Rosalyn Schultze
    November 24, 2018 11:22 am

    I have made three advent calendars in the past (tree of my own design), using black hooks (from hook and eyes) which I sewed on the tree (24) with a snap at the top of the tree for a fabric star. I purchased mini wooden ornaments and placed each ornament in a small drawstring bag. All of the bags went into a tin with a Santa motif and the grandchildren got to pick one and were surprised when they opened the bag. They placed the ornament on the hook of their choice. Such fun! After the holidays, the ornaments were put back into the bage and stored in the Santa tin.

    • Super Mom No Cape
      November 24, 2018 9:29 pm

      Oh how fun, Rosalyn! And what wonderful memories you created for your grandchildren!

      I hadn’t even thought to make a star for the top. 🙂

    November 24, 2018 9:39 am

    Now you have solved a dilemma I’ve had for over 30 years! I have the Beary Merry Christmas Advent calendar that I embellished and had been using as our Christmas countdown since my kids were young. (It will be a problem when I no longer an here ’cause each of them want it!) I’ve been using safety pins and ribbon to move Little Bear around as he looks for “Christmas” but I’ve been worried that all the pinning and reining would wear out the fabric. Now I’m on a mission to find those clasps. What a brilliant idea turning a panel into a calendar.

    • Super Mom No Cape
      November 24, 2018 9:53 am

      Thank you Linda!

      And I’m so glad to have help solve your problem so that LIttle Bear can move around and not have to be pinned and unpinned.

      I found those little packages of toggle clasps at Dollar Tree in the crafting section. So maybe try there first.

  • Jenny
    November 23, 2018 1:43 pm

    It’s beautiful! The tree, bells, wreaths are so pretty!

    • Super Mom No Cape
      November 24, 2018 9:53 am

      Thanks so much Jenny!

  • Trish
    November 23, 2018 9:17 am

    So pretty!

    • Super Mom No Cape
      November 24, 2018 9:53 am

      Thank you Trish!

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