The Countdown Is On

by HEAB on December 3, 2011

The other day, my friend Emily and her daughter, Ellie, invited us over to make Advent calendars. So, Summer and I happily gathered ourselves together and drove over to Emily’s as I never turn down a good craft project. While the girls entertained themselves with toys (read our cell phones, the remote control, and Emily’s CD collection), Emily and I got busy cutting some felt. Below is my finished product.


I hung mine on the back of our front door so that Summer could have easy access to it. This project was a lot of fun and fairly simple. Emily bought the felt by the yard. We cut out our trees and twenty-five individual pockets along with a star and a tree trunk. By the time everything was cut, it was time for Summer and I to get home for dinner. So, the next day, I hot glued the pockets, star, and trunk onto the tree. I found the little holiday decorations at Michael’s, and hot glued them directly onto the pockets.


Now, let me preface the next step with I DO NOT SEW. I think I could probably sew a button onto a shirt if my life depended on it, but that’s about it. Therefore, trust me, anyone can do this. I went to a yarn store and bought felting yarn and a needle big enough to thread the yarn and sharp enough to pierce the felt. I then spent a little over an hour threading the yarn around the edge of my tree. Easy – I promise. In fact, I don’t think I ever cursed this project once, and that’s saying a lot.

Now, I just need to fill the pockets. We have a miniature nativity scene, and I was thinking about wrapping up each individual piece in tissue paper and putting the whole nativity scene together over the next few weeks, ending with baby Jesus on the 25th. However, there are only six pieces total, and so I’m going to have to fill the rest of the pockets with other little trinkets. Maybe I’ll write out the Christmas story on individual pieces of paper, and we can read part of it everyday…or maybe I’ll just fill the remaining pockets with Hershey’s Kisses…the almond ones of course. Hmm, might have to move the calendar out of reach of a certain little someone this year. πŸ˜‰


Laura @ She Eats Well December 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I absolutely love, love advent calendars. And homemade ones are the way to go, since you can control what you put in them (much more delicious than the chocolate that comes in the other ones). I love the tradition of them. This year, I bought a pop-up one designed by Eric Carle, who wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Brought me right back to my childhood days! Ahhh, to be a kid again.

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Really? We love Eric Carle. In fact, we just did an Eric Carle themed birthday for Summer. Both his stories and art are so beautiful. πŸ™‚

Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City December 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

I’ve never seen this before! So cute πŸ™‚ I highly recommend going the chocolate route when filling the little pockets!

Nolita December 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

Cute! Cute! I tried to go to the no-sew route with our advent calendar but I ending up hand sewing quite a bit. I was thrilled with the results though. We have put activities into each day and it’s been fun so far. We used leftover green felt and lots of other stuff around the house:

I love your nativity idea!

Mollu December 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

SO cute! I am so impressed πŸ™‚ cant wait to see you tomorrow!

Jess@atasteofconfidence December 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm

so cute!

Samantha December 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm

That is so cute! I love the idea of combining the Christmas story with the Nativity pieces.

Tonya December 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

We always put Andes mints in our advent calendar pockets and my sister got the even days and I got the odd days. Such a great memory to start for little Summer. We ARE doing some sort of craft project for one of our dates sometime in 2012 : )

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I love Andes mints. If I put those in the pockets, Summer would never get any…only b/c I’d eat them all. Crafts in 2012. Roger that! πŸ™‚

Jenn December 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Great job! And, I love the nativity idea of building it throughout the season.

Stefanie December 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Such a cute idea. It is great because it will get many uses.

Jen December 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

So cute! Hope Summer is enjoying the whole Christmas experience. And yes – Almond Hershey’s! πŸ™‚

caloricandcrazy December 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Homemade advent calendars sounds fun! My sister and I are sharing a 99 cent on from Trader Joe’s…cept we finished half the chocolates already! πŸ˜›

Marty December 4, 2011 at 5:13 am

Ok, I really can spell! That iPodT has a spellcheck mind of its own…”fond” memories, “put” up a tree…!

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Haha, no worries. I figured as much. Love the idea of an aspen in a bucket full of sand (hope you find some). It will be like having a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! πŸ™‚

Marty December 4, 2011 at 5:11 am

You’ll be seeing yet Heather! This is so cute, you’ve even inspired me to get advent creative…add to my list before Xmas!!! Aggggh! No really, it’s adorable! Summer will cherish it for years and years to come! I have such find memories of my Mother decorating the house for the holidays! With 10 cats I’ve not out up a tree for a few years because the ornaments never last! We’ve decide to get a birch, aspen or willow and out it in sand in a 5-gal bucket (sand where at -20?!) and decorate it with at least lights. Don’t you just love the holidays!

Em (Wine and Butter) December 4, 2011 at 5:05 am


I have an idea for you! Massive disclaimer because she is a dear old friend of mine, but my friend Elisalex is a ridiculously talented home cratster and she recently did a post on a homeamde Advent Calendar which I think is such a beautiful idea… She fills in with ideas of fun things to do for each is a link to her beautiful blog!


HEAB December 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Oh my gosh, I love your friends site as well as her advent calendar. Cutest one I think I’ve ever seen, and I love the idea of filling the pockets with various activities. Totally using that idea for Summer’s calendar. Thanks!
P.S. You were in my dream last night. You and Louis were in Nashville, and Louis kept asking me if I had any friends that could take him trail running. Haha, no idea where that came from, but good to see you guys. πŸ™‚

RenΓ©e December 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I’ve never had an advent calendar but I’ve always wanted one. Yours turned out really cute!

Natalie December 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm

this looks like a TON of work, but it is super cute! what are you filling it with?

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hi Natalie, I’m going to fill each day with a different activity: go see Christmas lights, bake cookies, read the Christmas story, etc. πŸ™‚

Erica December 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

OM gosh! That is so cute! I have like 0 creativity! I’m super impressed ;). Its funny the things kids like to play with

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

This is adorable! And for a woman who doesn’t sew, you sure did an awesome job.

I *just* unpacked the advent calendar I hauled down to Aruba for Skylar about an hour ago!

She’s about to get Dec 1 & 2 in just a minute πŸ™‚

Meagan December 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Lol “I don’t sew” – Well no one would ever know it!!

Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar Free December 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm

It’s adorable! The advent calendar is my favorite part about Christmas. My mom made one for us when I was little, too. It is a cloth tree with little hooks and pockets at the bottom. Each day we get to pick an ornament to hang on the tree. Love it!

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Alex, what a great idea for an Advent Calendar. I bet you looked forward to that every year. πŸ™‚

The Delicate Place December 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

TOTALLY on the same page right now. i just emailed this to nate with other felt ideas for an advent cal. this one is so gorgeous though and relevant since i moved to the city this year πŸ™‚

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Oh my gosh, that is so cool. Some people are so freakin’ creative, and I’m grateful for their talents. Lots of ideas for me to copy! πŸ™‚

Lou December 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Too cute, HEABie, too cute. Would love to get stuck into some crafting with you and Summer… and I could teach you to sew and you could make me oaties and coconut ice cream? Deal?

HEAB December 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Deal! πŸ™‚

The Healthy Hipster December 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I have been DYING to get my hands on some holiday craft supplies all week and a homemade advent calendar is just too perfect an idea! Ideal for filling up with sweet treats, toys, etc. Looks adorable!

kathleen @ the daily crumb December 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

i can’t believe it is already december! i LOVED my advent calendar as a kid… especially when they had candy hidden inside. can’t wait to make them with my own children someday πŸ™‚

Health Bee December 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I love this adorable advent calendar. That’s so creative. You’ve inspired me to try my hands on some craft projects now. πŸ™‚

P.S. love the snowman decoration.

Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Homemade advent calendars–cool!! Never seen that before!

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