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Sew a Simple Advent Calendar…for Christmas!

Today’s contributor is Crystal from Stitched By Crystal.  All posts written by Crystal for Make It and Love It can be found HERE.

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Hi Make It & Love It readers! It is Crystal, here from Stitched by Crystal with a tutorial for a fun holiday tradition!

I tend to stick to no Christmas until after Thanksgiving around my house, but this year I pulled out some Christmas crafting a bit early so I could get this advent calendar sewn up before December rolls around! Advent calendars are such a fun way to count down the 24 days before Christmas with your family and this tutorial will show you how to sew a simple advent calendar to hang in your home!

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An advent calendar has been on my “to sew” list for years, but I never seemed to get around to sewing it in time to start the countdown December 1.  We had one when I was a kid and I looked always forward to counting down each day on our advent calendar with my sister, it is a tradition I am excited to start with my little ones this year!


For my advent calendar I went with a pretty simple design and I love the way this linen calendar with stenciled numbers looks hanging in our home.  Plus we can use it year after year and will be easy to roll right up and store with our holiday decorations.  The little pockets measure about 3” x 4”, they are a great size for storing all sorts of little goodies.


This calendar sews up pretty quick (I have a few short cuts I will show you!) I was able to complete this calendar in just one evening, so you still have plenty of time to sew up your own before December gets here!


Want to sew a simple advent calendar? Great! Let me show you how!


You will need…

  • 1 yard of fabric.  Choose something with a bit of weight to it, I chose a linen for my calendar.
  • 3/8” wooden dowel
  • Fabric paint.  I used Martha Stewart craft paint in Tartan Red satin finish.
  • Number Stencils.  My numbers are 1.5”.
  • Coordinating ribbon
  • Basic sewing supplies (here’s a list of common sewing supplies, in case you need a few ideas) 

***As always, if you need a bit of help with the basic sewing skills used in this tutorial, don’t hesitate to check out the Sewing 101 post for more help.


Cut your fabric in a rectangle that is 22.5” wide and 33” long.  Hem the sides and bottom by folding the edge 3/8” towards the wrong side and then another 3/8” towards the wrong side and sewing along the fold.


Cut the remaining fabric into strips that are 4” wide.  Hem the top of the strips by folding the edge over ¼” towards the wrong side and then another ¼” towards the wrong side and sewing along the fold. Fold the bottom of the strips up ¼”.


Cut the strips into pieces for the pockets that are 4.5” wide.  You will need 24 pieces.


Find the center of each pocket piece and stencil your numbers on them.  I just eyeballed it, but if you like things perfect, you can use a tailors pencil to draw some lines on the pockets to get the numbers all in the same spot.  I think the imperfections add to the handmade charm ;)  The trick to getting nice stenciled numbers is to use a round sponge with just a little bit of paint on it and dab the paint on the stencil.


Once the paint dries, fold the sides of each pocket under about ¼” and press.  While you are ironing, iron over the numbers too to heat set them.


Lay out your numbers on your calendar.  Again, if you are the perfectionist type, you can measure for perfect placement; I just eyeballed it…more handmade charm!  Make sure you leave an extra 2” at the top for the dowel casing.


Once you are happy with your pocket placement, secure the pockets in place for sewing.  You can use pins if you like, I find that a regular kids glue stick works perfectly and is way faster than pinning.


Sew the pockets in place along the sides and bottom, make sure you back stitch at the top so the pockets are secure.


Fold the top edge of the calendar 3/8” towards the wrong side, then another ¾” towards the wrong side and sew along the fold to create a casing for the wooden dowel.  Cut your dowel a few inches longer than the width of your calendar and slide it through the casing.  Tie your ribbon to the dowel on either side.


Fill the pockets with small trinkets, candies, or gifts and start counting down the days ‘til Christmas! I think I will be adding some envelopes with fun family activities to do each day this year too!


Have fun sewing!



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Check out Crystal’s blog here.  Her darling shop here.  Follow her on Instagram here.  And her Pinterest page here.

***ALL contributor posts by Crystal, can be found HERE.


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Didn’t that put you in the Holiday mood?

We know you’ll love these other fun Christmas tutorials that will have your home holiday-ready in no time!

Burlap Christmas Stockings:

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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