Once again I have to apologise for the massive delay since my last post. Everyone says when you’re pregnant the time can really drag, and you just want D-Day to arrive. Not so. When you’ve got a house that looks like a cross between a building site and a squat, every evening, weekend and spare minute is precious – the time is going by so quickly I can’t believe there’ll be 3 of us in just 13 weeks.
Which doesn’t really explain why, rather than filling the holes in the walls or sanding the woodwork upstairs, I’m sitting at my dining room table Googling ideas for handmade advent calendars. It’s the middle of the Great British Summer for goodness sake. Christmas is six months off. But for the first year ever, it’ll be me buying an advent calendar for my own little person, rather than my mum buying one for me (yes, I know this is ridiculous at 29 years old, but I do like a bit of cheapie advent calendar chocolate).
I’ve always wanted to have a go at making one that can be kept as a bit of a family heirloom, but I’m guessing having a 2-month-old child might hinder me somewhat this December, so I thought I’d get cracking early. Looking around, there are some lovely ideas for handmade advent calendars and free printables that have given me a bit of inspiration. I’ve not decided on the final design of mine yet (let’s face it, the baby’s not going to care what it looks like this year), but here’s the best of what I’ve found so far…
1. Retro advent sacks
Advent Sacks from Oh Happy Day
I love the retro feel of these little advent sacks from Oh Happy Day designed by Amanda Jane Jones (I’ve only just discovered both of these brilliant blogs and will be heading back to explore them sharpish). The little muslin bags are from Amazon, but you could make them yourself quite easily. Then just fill them with treats, hang them along a length of ribbon or dot them around your tree. Just head over to Oh Happy Day to download the free printable.
2. Felt advent calendar
Inchmark felt advent calendar
Felt isn’t something I’ve worked with much before, but the fact it doesn’t fray like cotton makes it a great option if you’re short on time or you’re making this with your kids. This one from inchmark is a really simple design with a lovely homespun look, although I’m not sure I’d have the patience to hand-stitch it (or that my hand-stitching would look anywhere near as neat as this creative lady’s…)
3. Toilet tube advent
Toilet tube advent from Maya*Made
Next time you’re about to recycle that ugly brown tube from inside your roll of toilet paper, remember this inspired design from Maya*Made. All it takes to jazz the tubes up is a bit of paint, some vintage ribbon or lace, and a handful of pretty snowflakes. Loo roll never looked so good.
4. Advent cones
Advent cones from Pickles
This idea from Pickles is particularly nice in that the cones are big enough to fit loads of goodies in, so the whole family can share the booty. It’s based on a triangle pattern that’s not a million miles away from making bunting, and has the same effect when hung. Head over to the site for a full how-to.
5. Grown-up advent calendar
Miss Gioia’s grown-up advent calendar
If the cutesy, kid-friendly options aren’t your cup of tea, take a look at this grown-up option from Miss Gioia. It’s made from heavy silk upholstery fabric and the number of buttons corresponds to the date. That’s 300 buttons sewn on by hand. If that’s not dedication to the Christmas cause, I don’t know what is…