Oversized advent calendar DIY

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I have finally made it Christmas countdown calendar! I mean, It’s only been over a year that I’ve been planning on it. I even got half way through making one last year and then decided on redoing it and doing it entirely different… It’s not like it has been difficult to complete, but for some reason I have struggled with time to actually get it totally complete. And with literally no time to spare, here it is! Oops. I definitely intended on having it up earlier and for once not rushing around to finish everything up. But that just didn’t pan out. Most of my time was in the sewing and painting of each pocket which was a bit time-consuming. But I can tell that it will endure lots of family use, kid fingers and love. Plus the big pockets give me a lot of versatility in years to come. Depending on what I want to do each year, this calendar can pretty much accommodate anything. Which is good for me cause I am always changing my mind and switching things up.

I think my favorite part about the calendar is that because of its size the kids can be completely immersed in it. Jax is already looking up at it wondering what in the world it is. He is still a little young to completely understand but next year it will be perfect.

Just like every other year I rush around every November obsessively trying to get everything done so that all of December can be celebrated. The holidays are some of the most beautiful and happy times and I will do pretty much anything to avoid adding stress to the season. Even if it means stressing myself out like crazy in November. Which makes me so excited for this calendar. It helps me celebrate each day in december with something that is fun, family oriented, and seasonal. So each day the kids (and us) can be reminded of what the season means to us.

It’s actually scary how excited I am for December to come tomorrow and to get this thing started. I am even cleaning the house spotless so I don’t have to think about it later, does anyone else do that? haha.

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SUPPLIES – 3 yards of fabric, thread to match, black and white fabric paint, 4ft dowel rod 1/2in in diameter, and a fabric marker

MAKE IT – 

Cut fabric to 44 x 70 inches. Leaving the rest of the fabric aside until your ready to cut out the pockets.

Along both long sides and one of the short sides of your fabric measure one inch along the inside of the edges and mark it. Fold the edge of the fabric to those marks, pin it, and sew it down along all three sides.

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Along your remaining short side measure in 2.5in and mark it. Fold the fabric to the mark and pin it. Sew along the inside of the marks. This side will have a larger inseam because this is where you will insert your dowel rod once finished.

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Set this fabric aside and grab the extra piece cut off earlier. Measure and cut out 25 – 7in x 9in rectangles.

I cut one of the rectangles out of some red fabric that I had to use for the last pocket on the calendar.

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Measure an inch along the inside of each edge of all of the pockets and mark along it. Fold the fabric to that mark and iron it down.

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Sew along one of the short sides of the pockets. Do this to all of the pockets and set them aside.

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Pull back out the large piece of fabric and lay it flat. Grab a fabric marker and measuring tape. Start by measuring 2.5in from the bottom and from both sides of the fabric. Pin your first pocket down in the bottom left corner. Measure 2in from the right side and add your next pocket. Each pocket should be 2in from each other and 2.5in from the edges of the fabric. Work your way up the calendar. There will end up being a large opening at the top for the header around 19 inches.

Make sure when pinning the pockets down that the sewn edge is facing up, this will be the opening.

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Sew each pocket to the fabric on both sides and along the bottom. Repeat this with all of the pockets. Forewarning, it can be tedious. But then the sewing is done!

To put the numbers and header on I used a projector. It is my favorite way to put an image onto anything really. I hung the calendar, projected the image, and traced along it. You could also stencil the images on, iron them on, or even free hand them if your feeling gutsy. This method has been the most successful for me.

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Once all traced, paint inside your lines. Put a little piece a paper inside each pocket before painting so that the paint doesn’t seep through.

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All done! Now just place your envelopes (a #10 envelope fits perfect), paper, or presents inside.

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If you are interested in using the same advent ideas we did then here is the PDF for them. Here are the PDFs for the header and the numbers as well.

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3 thoughts on “Oversized advent calendar DIY

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