This year the kids are so excited for Christmas, and the anticipation of it started well before Thanksgiving. December also brings both of their birthdays, so there is a lot to look forward to & the opportunity to practice patience. I wanted to have an Advent calendar this year to help the kids with counting down the days & start teaching them about the true anticipation of Christmas.

Often times my first instinct when I get an idea for something is to shop online for it (I wish that wasn’t the case!) rather than working with what I have. After searching the internet for a while and not finding what I was looking for, I decided to make a calendar with the supplies I already had in our house. It only took me 1 day & cost me nothing!

What you will need:

  • Fabric, about .5 yards
  • Ribbon
  • Dowel rod or tree branch (would look organic & interesting)
  • Sewing machine or hot glue gun
  • Black sharpie, fine point & regular point
  • Scisors
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Printed numbers to trace


I wanted an ultra-simple calendar that didn’t scream Christmas & would flow with the rest of our house. So I dug into my fabric bin & pulled out this fabric that actually came from our wedding (6 years ago now).


We used tons of this fabric to make custom tablecloths to fit the large tables where guests were seated (ah, to relive that day!!).


Since our wedding, this fabric has been repurposed as curtains, pillow covers, & other various small projects. It’s the fabric that keeps on giving.

Let’s get started: cut a piece of fabric 26″x18″ and sew or hot glue a 2″ pocket at the top for a dowel rod to hang by. I wanted the calendar to be a little bit longer than wide, so the overall dimension will total 24″x18″. You can finish the cut edges or leave them as a raw hem.


Next, cut 3″ strips of fabric for my pockets and cut them again by 3″ until you have 25 3″x3″ squares.


For the numbers, I went to Pages & printed off numbers that were roughly 1.5″ tall (font size of 118). You can do something simliar or free-hand your own numbers.


Pin each number to a 3″ square, hold it up to a window & trace with a fine-point Sharpie. Then fill it in with a regular tip Sharpie once your outline is done.


Once your numbers are finished, start spacing them out evenly on your calendar. On mine, each row was 1.5″ apart from the next.


Next, sew or hot glue your pockets down sewing on all sides except for the top.


Done! Just slip your dowel rod or branch through the rod pocket & hang with a ribbon. Super easy & classic. This took me an afternoon & the kids were so excited about it.

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We are using a shepherd figurine from a nativity set (that is half lost now) to mark which day it is on the calendar. You could use a small toy, a fabric star, ornament–anything that’s small & representative of Christmas is perfect.

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On the kids’ birthdays (the 14th & 22nd) I’m going to slip something small in there for each of them to pull out on the morning of their birthday.


Until then, we are all counting down until that magical 25!





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