Happy December everyone! I have another holiday DIY for you, and just in time. This project is a modern, black and white holiday advent calendar that is really easy and cute!
I've been planning this project since last year actually, but I finally got around to finishing it this year, yay! As I mentioned last Christmas, I was inspired by this advent calendar, because the cute pouches gave so much room for toys and goodies, so I just had to find a way to make it a little bit different.
What you will need:
- White cotton fabric (a yard will do)
- String of some kind (I used black and white baker's twine that I bought ages ago,you can order it through The Penny Paper Co.)
- Sewing machine
- Fabric marker (available at Walmart)
- A large bell or ornament for bottom (totally optional)
- Goodies for inside each pouch
So, the first thing I did was take my fabric and cut out 24 strips. Mine were about 12 cm x 30 cm. Before I get to the sewing (full instructions are below), I actually decorated the pouches first. I'm not sure why. I guess I figured I would rather not sew one of these and then ruin it. So I did it a little bit backwards.
(Full disclosure, at first I thought I wanted to dip dye just the top edge of these white bags with black and then write a number on each one below that part...DISASTER. The ink bled right to the bottom instantly, so I cried a bit and then started over.)
Kids are so visual, so I thought having a little drawing on each one would be fun. I started a list of 24 Christmas-y or winter-y things....which was kind of hard! I really was hoping I could draw a good picture of Chevy Chase's face, but I'm not that talented. (Kidding! Sort of...) I decided to go with 6 designs...a different one for each would have been ideal, but some of these I could NOT draw. But, in case you're looking for ideas, here are a few:
Christmas tree, Noel, Candy Cane, Wreath, Snowflake, Snowman, Snow, Reindeer, Star, Ornament, Christmas lights, Present, Holly, Santa, Gingerbread man, Elf, Mitten, Fireplace, Ice skate, Sled, Stocking, Angel, Bell, Snow globe
I worked on some sketches before tackling the pouches. I didn't want to have to do a THIRD batch of these. I folded the strips of fabric in half, and using a fabric marker I drew designs on one side of each, and included a number on the back. I made sure to put some cardboard in the middle to prevent any bleed. Now, you don't need to take yourself too seriously here, these are essentially little doodles, but it's fun that way! Kids aren't going to care about how accurately you can draw a reindeer. And if your kids are old enough, they can do this themselves, even better!
With all of the illustrations complete, now it was time to sew.
These pictures are atrocious, I apologize. Sewing stresses me out, and I didn't want to pause to get good light, I just wanted to get it finished. But basically, this was the process:
- Take each strip, and sew a seam on each short end (folding the edges towards the 'bad' side of the fabric).
- Fold the pouch in half (so that your seams are facing each other, good sides together) and sew along the outer edges just to that seam.
- Use a safety pin to guide your string through both seams around the top (you want your string to be about 4 times the width of the pouch)
- Flip the pouch inside out, give it a quick iron
The last step was just to fill my pouches with goodies and tie them on, that's it! About half of these have little toy cars and things like that, and the other half are activities like 'Watch a Christmas movie' or "Bring a toy to a donation centre". Obviously Ben is way too young to get that kind of thing, but I'm not! And why not start the tradition early :)
I hope you guys like this project! I will have one more holiday DIY in the next little while. It is a handmade stuffed toy that I'm making for Ben based on one of my nursery paintings. If I EVER finish it, that is.
Anyway, if anyone has any questions, please let me know!
(I apologize for the ridiculous length of this post, as well as the plethora of spelling/grammar mistakes that are surely riddled throughout.)
P.S. Don't forget about my special A & B Stories-readers-only sale! 20% off with code AANDBSTORIES1 in my Etsy Shop!