There are several reasons for making a homemade advent calendar: For one thing, it can be filled with healthier treats, like sugar-free candies or organic and Fair Trade chocolates.
Currently, shops are flooded with cheap cardboard and plastic versions of advent calendars that aren’t in any way personal. The plastic chocolate containers often winds up in a landfill, unable to be processed by most recycling plants. Why not create an heirloom to be cherished for years?
This easy craft needs the following items to make a personalized advent calendar: Even the sewing impaired can make this version, which can also used for Chanukah, only with eight boxes for each day.
No-Sew Advent Calendar
- Any length of patterned cloth, as long as it is at least 16 inches wide. No-sew, adhesive Velcro strips or circles
- Differently coloured felt, for the “gift boxes”.
- A length of ribbon tied at each end to a dowel rod
- Cloth marker
- Hot glue gun or strong glue that works on cloth
For the background cloth, chose a fabric that is not too fuzzy or too shiny. This will make it easier for the Velcro to adhere to its surface. A machine-washable cotton would be ideal.
- Cut 24 equal sized boxes of felt in your choice of size; it should be large enough to hold a small treat or toy, or be larger if made for more than one child. Put a prototype of the average sized toy or treat on the cloth as a way of estimating the needed space before you cut. Trace a box shape around it with a ruler. Leave one inch space on each side of the box for the Velcro, so that the gift will fit easily inside the box.
- Using the cloth marker, put write numbers from 1 to 24 on the felt boxes, and cut them out.
- Place – but don’t glue – the boxes in various areas around the cloth. The box locations can be random, or in neat, orderly boxes like a traditional calendar. Once the boxes are arranged, the Velcro can be pasted in place.
- Paste the Velcro circles in the corners, or the fuzzy strips along two sides of the felt. Remember to always use the fuzzy, “softer” side on the boxes, and the coarser part on the cloth backdrop. This way, the numbered panel is more comfortable to handle when it is “torn” off the calendar.
- Hot glue a long line of glue along the topmost edge of your calendar; wrap it around the horizontal length of the rod, so that it’s ready to hang
Fill Your Advent Calendar With Activities
If unsure of what to put inside the felt boxes, consider the using the calendar as a way to create small activities the whole family can join in.