An Advent Calendar

Whew!  December is here.  Can you believe it???  I have big plans for a relaxed holiday season this year.  (Ha!)  No last minute rushing around.  I’m not really making any gifts this year (I might make one or two little things), so that will help.  One thing I’ve always wanted to make is an advent calendar.  TheManoftheHouse thinks it’s heresy to have anything other than those cute little German Advent calendars that have a piece of chocolate behind each door.  That’s what we always had when the boys were little because I didn’t get my act together back then and make a homemade advent calendar.  Since I don’t have much to make this year, I thought it would be a good year to finally make one.

Advent Calendar

Better late than never, and this way, I’ll be ready for Grandkids, right?  I couldn’t decide if I wanted an advent calendar with little doors, or to just wrap up gifts and put numbers on them.  I’m pretty sure I won’t go the gift route, but I do like the idea of having a little chocolate or an activity to do together in each pocket.  So, I compromised on medium sized pockets so that I’ll have a little flexibility in the future.

Advent Calendar

I used Monica’s Pennie Pocket pattern — omitting the hanging tie and opting to fold over the back triangle in order to make a channel that will allow for hanging.  Like the Valentine pockets I did in February, I used felt for the front flap and crocheted around the edges.  I also embroidered the numbers on the flaps using my embroidery machine.  I haven’t quite decided how I’ll want to hang them.  I thought of several options…in rows on a wall,

Advent Calendar

strung along a fireplace or a window,

Advent Calendar

or running up our staircase. For this year, I think the staircase will win out.

Advent Calendar

Do you like the little numbers?

Advent Calendar

For those of you with embroidery machines who might like to make an advent calendar, I’ve packaged those 24 numbers into a downloadable zip file (the numbers would work on all sorts of advent calendars – even just plain little pockets). They’re currently only in .hus format — I don’t have the time or the software to convert all those numbers into all the different embroidery machine formats. Hopefully you have the software to convert to your format. And, as always, if you use them for anything, let me know — I’d love to see what you make!


73 Thoughts on “An Advent Calendar

  1. how incredibly darling!

  2. Really cute idea! I could use something like that for our staircase but will have to come up with an alternative for the numbers because I don’t have an embroidery machine.

  3. sweetiepie on December 1, 2009 at 12:09 am said:


  4. You are so creative! Those little pockets are really cute—but how is making 25 pockets lowering your stress level??

  5. That is soooo adorable Anna. I love it. You’ve obviously got way too much time on your little hands. Love that polka dot fabric and yes I like the numbers too. Now all I need is an embroidery machine. lol

  6. Hi Anna….well, these little pockets are the cutest! They look so sweet everywhere, especially across the windows. I have been thinking of getting a new machine. At first I thought I’d get a very good quilting machine…until I see all your lovely work with the embroidery machine. The only problem is I’ll have to quit my job in order to put the machine to good use :)


  7. WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! Amazing!!! You have definitely achieved the cuteness factor of 10++++ I absolutely love these little cuties and the pictures are a lot of fun, too! I loved them on the staircase the best. Wow!

  8. These are just the bees knees, I love them. You have some fabulous reds in your stash and I can’t resist a red polka dot. They look fabulous on the stairwell.

  9. 1. No, I can’t believe it’s about December. Can NOT believe it. I’m being forced to take it easy this year due to my bum hip – and in some ways I’m almost glad. Things can just get too out of hand some years.

    2. The advent pockets are beyond adorable!! Love that little bell on each one!

  10. The staircase – yes, yes!We have our advent calndars up too; ours are not as pretty as yours bt they are familiar and the girls were very excited to see them out again when we fetched them from the attic yesterday.I’m more organised than sual but still a long way to go …

  11. Ah, that would be “usual” – I don’t know anyone named “sual” to be more organised than.

  12. What a great idea!!!


  13. Breathtakingly beautiful Anna! Love the crocheted edging and the sweet bells – no doubt it will become a treasured Christmas tradition.

  14. They are gorgeous! Definitely going up the staircase… they look wonderful!

  15. SO cute and your numbers make me wish I had an embroidery machine. It looks like there are crocheted edges, too. Our daughter’s Advent calendar usually has chocolates and Burt’s Bees lip balm.

  16. Jewels on December 1, 2009 at 7:11 am said:

    As usually to darn cute Anna. You are way to creative!!!! xoxo

  17. I LOve your idea, and the staircase is my favorite, I think they would be cute hanging with little clothespins too. Oh love the bells!!! Grandkids…….. hummmmmmmm

  18. Those look great on your staircase! I feel so deficient.

  19. Wonderful!!!!!!!!! Just love ’em! You are all ready for grandkids!

  20. So CUTE! I’m glad you decided on the stairway – that was my favorite!

  21. They’re darling! And thanks for the numbers.

  22. It’s beautiful and the stairs is definitely the best place for it. My children also had the choccie-behind-the-door-kind when they were small. My daughter would eat most of hers in advance but my son would carefully eat the correct one each day. I don’t think he’s so into the sweet stuff. He’s 21 now and has chocolate in his bedroom from last Christmas!!

  23. Rae Ann on December 1, 2009 at 11:30 am said:

    What a darling idea! I love the stairway the best. I have got to get one made for my grandkids.

  24. Oh my gosh, sooo sweet. LOVE it xoxox Clarice

  25. Oh, stinkin’ heck, Anna! Those are adorable! Gee whiz, the more I see what an embroidery machine can do, the more I think I need one. Although, the hubs would probably have my head so I wouldn’t be able to use it! lol

  26. Oh, my goodness! Those are the cutest!!!!! And me with an embroidery machine and I don’t know how to use it. Maybe you could come over and show me how!!!

  27. Thud.

    ANNA! Those are too stinkin’ cute. I’m speechless. And grinning. And ooohing. And ahhhing. And twice now I’ve fallen out of my chair – I’m drunk on the cuteness of what you’ve done! xoxosw2

  28. Thud.
    I just fell out of my chair AGAIN.

  29. That might be one of the cutest Advent ideas I have ever seen! I doubt I can get around to making it this year but your idea is definitely going into my “to do” list for next year!

    Jennifer :)

  30. You are so ambitious… and talented!! What an undertaking and so fantastic!! I just plunk our little wooden house with 25 doors on a bookcase. And if you open the door… there’s nothing in it!! Soooooo sad!! Any ideas dear “idea queen”

    Yea, it’s finally December!!!

  31. Oh my, Anna, those are just adorable!!! Such a cute idea!

  32. I love it. Using them as a garland across the window is my fav I think. Amazing. The little bells are so sweet.

  33. Totally cute. Love the numbers and the little scalloped border. Is that embroidered as well? Anyway as usual I’m always awed by your clever use of the embroidery machine. You’re the genius!

  34. What everyone else has said X 2. The placement on the bannister is my favorite place and I thought the activity idea in each pocket was clever…even if the activity was to eat the piece of chocolate included in the pocket. Beautiful work Anna!

  35. Again…you amaze me…how much you get done and how beautiful it all is!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog…you are so sweet! Love always stopping by here and seeing all your pretty projects and love you photo composition!! xo

  36. A wonderfull Advent calendar idea. It looks really lovely at the staircase. Who is doing the testround before any grandkids is due?

  37. may i move into your house?
    i’ll make dinner. every night.
    we’ll do all of this after you move your house to the west coast.
    and then… i’ll bake for you all of the time and we’ll have knit nights where you knit socks for me and i sit there and look cute.

  38. It’s gorgeous Anna! I definitely like it best on the stair bannisters! Lucy x

  39. These are fantastic! I wish I had a real embroidery machine that could support outside file formats like this! I really love how you created those numbers!

    This is a pretty awesome idea!

  40. Oh my good heavens- I. Love. This! So much! Everything about it.

  41. These are gorgeous, Anna. Just beautiful.

    Let the merrymaking begin. XO

  42. So cute! I want to make an advent calendar but never seem to get around to it…

  43. Very cute. I’ve been wanting to make my own, also, after seeing some that were little knitted hats & mittens las year. But I don’t know what to put in them. Hmmmmm….

  44. Just lovely – especially great all strung along the staircase.

  45. HI Anna,
    Busy as usual, I can see – I love your advent calendar- so fun on the stairs- filling them would be fun too.
    Hope you have a fabulous holiday season and enjoy lots of good family time.

    Warmest regards,

  46. Gosh those are cute. I do like the numbers and agree that they look great hanging on the staircase. I also like that you used different types of matching fabric. Adorable! And your pictures, of course, look like they should be in a magazine. I keep trying to do that thing where the item in the front is crisp and the background is blurry, but haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

  47. Cute, cute, cute, Anna!

  48. Oh, I wish I had had the time this year to have made those advent pockets, they are simply gorgeous Anna! Maybe next year for me :o)

  49. NyDadLovesMeBestSister on December 2, 2009 at 9:31 am said:

    I can’t believe you didn’t tell me that you made these! Obviously you had to keep it a secret because you are making me a set for Christmas! I can’t wait to open them! Don’t you think they will look cute swagged across my new windows – and you know that I wanted to infuse some red into that room! I think I will fill them with German candy – those kinder egg things. Won’t that be cute. I just love you so much!!!

  50. Awesome Anna! I love it!

  51. Sooo cute Anne! What a great idea!

  52. All I have to say is if I were “MyDadLovesMeBestSister” I’d be pretty disappointed if I didn’t get a set of these for Christmas ;-)….Love them A LOT!!!! xoxo

  53. It is so cute on the stairs with twinkle lights and garland. I love it. I want it! I really want to make this. Time time time time, eek. You did such a nice job on yours. I was thinking of ways to simplify this for me and I might try it. I just love it.

  54. Oh Anna, your advent calendar is gorgeous! I love the machine embroidered numbers – so much that I’m going to have to save up for a machine that does embroidery like yours!
    Don’t tell Moogsdad I said that though, cos I’m sure there’ll be a blog divorce if I so much as hint at the idea of ANOTHER sewing machine entering this house!


  55. It all looks so pretty!! Love the photography and all the lovely advent calendar pockets…so very cute!!

  56. Too cute… you’ve done it again!

  57. I love this advent calendar! It’s beautiful-and I adore the numbers! You did great work! :))

  58. Oh my goodness Anna those are so cute…Before I would have been in agreement with TheManoftheHouse. But not anymore :0. I always got those Advent calendars for the kids…But how dumb was I…I would only get 1…and that meant that the first one would get one then 10 days later they would get another one…I’m not sure what I was thinking…They’re not THAT expensive.
    Sorry for the book I just wrote.

  59. Totally cute. What a great project. The advent calendar looks adorable too. Beautiful photos of everything!

  60. So fun, cute, and downright perfect! Those will be loved for years to come and perhaps one of those loved things that grandchildren will love about Grandma’s house at Christmas. Not saying you’re a Grandma…just saying it’s wonderful!

  61. Those are so lovely Anna, what a wonderful idea!

  62. oh my these are amazing!

    and I though I was being clever by painting some empty tins… you win!!!

  63. that is so darn cute!!! LOVE it on the stairs, but you are right, it would look great anywhere.

  64. That is gorgeous! I love it hanging on the staircase.

  65. totally awesome..wished I’d thought of something like that this year..not that I have time to make them!

  66. You should publish a magazine of your very own – you are that good!!!

  67. I love this “family with cookie photos”
    It looks as if you had have a lot of fun
    Have a great weekend

  68. What a great idea, your pockets are just gorgeous!

  69. Those little pockets are beyond cute!!! They are (as my 7 year old would say) adoooorable!
    Don’tcha love this time of year?

  70. I love the advent calendar pockets. Wish I had an embroidery machine (or lived closer to you because I know you would share with me.) :)

    I love how they look on the stair case. Stephanie (my daughter) posted about her advent calendar with a list of possible activities. I have a link to her blog on my blog. (Sorry I don’t know how to link it in a comment.)

    I need your address so I can send you your pin cushion. I wish I had a cute thimble to go with it.

    I hope you will show more of your decorations. I’d love to see more of your home. I love the Christmas season.

  71. You are so ambitious…and creative. That is why there will always be 1 Thimbleanna among us. Everything you do is dang cute. :) These are darling, your someday grandchildren will be delighted. :) Here is an idea of something you could put in 1 of them. At my MIL, she has this little toy soldier. But, it could be a little snowman or anything. And the kids love hiding him, and then the next kid that comes over has to find him. Hours of entertainment. :)

  72. I love this idea! It looks so cute decorating your bannister.
    Mele Kalikimaka!

  73. Therese Rankin on January 5, 2011 at 11:24 am said:

    I do not sew. This is beautiful. I love the reds!
    Do you ever make sets to sell?
    Please advise.
    Therese Rankin
    1283 Laura Lane
    Niceville, Florida 32578

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