DIY Advent Calendars

This year has been a crafty year in terms of home made holiday gifts.  We get more catalogs than is ever healthy and of course there are inspiring things in each and every one.  

This is one of my home made advent calendars, which seem to be all the rage this year.  
I saw this advent calendar in the Land of Nod Catalog and decided I was going to make my own version.  This is the disease I suffer from – “I can make that!”  Eric cringes at that phrase.  
I headed to the fabric store to find the perfect prints – 2 trips actually.  One trip on my own and one with my mom when she was in town for my birthday weekend.  Nothing like taking a quilter and avid sewer to a fabric store.  I found some beautiful prints, solids, metallics, and heavy cotton duck fabric for the background.  
I started with the red cotton duck as the base for my advent calendar and its pockets.  This was a fun fabric to sew with, let me tell you.  The machine and even heavy duty needle was not a fan. 
I used a rotary cutter and cutting board to create all of my pockets.  The prints, solids and even felted sweater were cut into various sizes and shapes to create pockets. 
My mom’s brilliant idea was to use ric rac for the numbering system.  I was glad for her input as I was still stuck on fabric paint, which would have looked sloppy. 
My mom also pointed out another duh moment – why wash fabric when it is for crafty projects?  The starch makes it easier to measure and cut.  This is a life-changing idea!  I cut out a variety of pockets and then, if using the cotton fabric, I ironed and sewed the top seam before adding the numbers.  The wool needed no top seam.  I think next time, to save time, perhaps I will use only wool for the pockets.
My mom chimed in with yet another idea, why no do the 12 Days of Christmas to change up the idea of an advent calendar?  So I made one traditional advent calendar and 1 non-traditional 12 Days of Christmas calendar. 
This is the practice lay out for the pockets on the 12 Day of Christmas project. 
The finished 12 Days of Christmas advent calendar.  

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