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.
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!
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Day 3: You are here. 🙂
It’s Day 3 and we are sharing DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar Ideas!
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
- 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
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.
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.
Pin the border to the tree section right sides together.
Sew using a ¼” seam allowance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Press the seam allowance towards the border.
Place the interfacing glue side down on the border.
Be sure to tuck the interfacing underneath the seam allowance close to the stitching.
Fold the pocket lining down and press well.
Pin the pocket to the bottom of the advent calendar and baste in place using a long stitch on your sewing machine.
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?
Next, place the advent calendar right side down onto the pressing surface.
Layer on the fusible fleece with the glue side down.
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.
Trim off any 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.
Decorative toggle clasps will be used to hang the ornaments on the advent calendar tree.
Arrange them on the tree on the branches.
Sew the toggles in place using thread that closely matches the tree branches.
To make the hanger for the Ring in the Holly Days Advent Calendar:
Cut two 5½” squares.
Fold them in half diagonally to form triangles and press.
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.
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.
Sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch, aka invisible stitch.
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.
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.
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.
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