When I was little my mom always used to get us those cardboard advent calendars with the elaborate Christmas scene and little hidden numbered doors. And behind each door was a tiny, perfect, and oddly shiny little chocolate shape. And of course she got two so my brother and I wouldn’t argue over whose turn it was to open the door that day. I LOVED those advent calendars. I mean, I am a complete chocoholic so really that’s no surprise. But actually the chocolate in them wasn’t even all that good, it was more the excitement over opening the tiny door and getting closer to Christmas.
But of course, for us, because of O’s peanut/tree nut allergy, tiny chocolates are out. So last year I decided I should make an advent calendar. Something that he could remember having fun with as he grows up. I started out thinking about this amazing advent calendar that one of my best friends had growing up. Her mom is an amazing quilter. Like, she’s not just a hobbyist, she really knows what she’s doing. I should show you the quilt she made for O when he was born sometime–totally amazing! But anyway, at some point when my friend, or one of her siblings, was young, her mom made this felt advent calendar that had a felt christmas tree and 24 little pockets and inside each little pocket was a different tiny felt ornament. It was so cool!
So I started out thinking I would make something similar. But of course I decided this on like November 29th so I didn’t have a lot of time to gather materials and if I wanted this to last I knew I didn’t want to use the cheap felt you buy at the craft store. So I went to my fabric stash and started rethinking things. I was also totally influenced by Scandinavian Christmas decorations. My mom tends to lean that way in her decorating and I’ve always loved the modern simplicity and use of neutral whites, creams and tans with pops of bright red. It’s so pretty!
In the end, my advent calendar is basically a little quilt, it’s two layers of fabric with an appliqued Christmas tree on the front and then it has tabs to hang it from a white dowel.
And instead of 24 different little ornaments, I found these little cardboard snowflakes at the craft store. They’re diecuts, maybe intended for scrapbooking, and they were in the impulse buy bins near the register last year, about 10 for $1. I was hoping for wooden snowflakes but I couldn’t find anything small enough. And I will say, before I started I did a full size paper sketch and boy am I glad that I did because I really underestimated how big the tree would have to be to fit all the snowflakes without them overlapping. Anyway, I painted them white and embellished with a silver paint pen. (And of course they’re all different because everyone knows no two snowflakes are alike, right?) Piece of cake!
The idea is that at the beginning of december it’s snowing and all the little snowflakes are floating in the air and as you get closer and closer to Christmas, more and more snowflakes land on the tree!
The snowflakes have a little loop of baker’s twine glued to the back and they just hook over the button on the advent calendar. White buttons for the sky and pretty red buttons on the tree. O loves putting a snowflake on the tree each night and I think it’s a pretty decoration to look at for a whole month, so it’s a win-win!
Do you have a happy advent calendar memory from growing up?