How To: Advent Calendar Wall Hanging

Sew a cheerful and re-usable Advent Calendar Wall Hanging to usher in the festive season this Christmas. Fill it with treats to enjoy, then just roll it up and pack it away, ready for next Christmas.

Bright purple retro advent calendar neon Christmas modern

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I remember with great fondness the little cardboard Advent Calendar my sister and I had as children. It was a little village scene where the tiny doors and windows opened up to reveal a new picture every day.

It didn’t contain treats, but my sister and I would still fight over who was opening the doors. I’m sure mum still has it somewhere, the glitter has probably all fallen off though.

With Emma getting older, I thought it would be fun to start our own little Advent Christmas traditions.

Because it’s summer here in Australia at Christmas time, I’ve never much related to the traditional red and green regalia associated with this time of year.

A summertime Christmas should be celebrated with loads of colour so naturally I gathered some of my brightest vintage fabrics and got to work making this Advent Calendar Wall Hanging.

It’s fairly simple and can be adapted to any colour scheme depending on the fabrics you choose. Add some pom poms for a little extra zing!

You will need:

  • Mid/Heavy weight cotton fabric for back (denim is ideal) 64cm (25″) x 92cm (36.5″). You can change the size to suit your space.
  • Assorted bright fabrics for pockets
  • Advent Calendar numbers. These Iron-on numbers are similar to the printed canvas ones I used.
  • 2x bamboo garden stakes or thin wooden poles cut to the width of your hanging (about 62cm)
  • Yarn or cord
  • Extra yarn for pom poms (optional)
  • Pom pom maker (optional)
  • Sewing machine and general sewing supplies

Advent Calendar numbers neon thread

How to sew an Advent Calendar:

1. Press and cut your backing fabric to size. I have used the full width of the fabric as the height of the wall hanging. This was a vintage piece of fabric with some stains that were covered up nicely by the pockets.

Purple denim fabric with advent calendar measurements

2. Hem the side seams, first using your iron to neatly press a 1cm (1/2″) double fold, then stitch.
Hem top and bottom, leaving ends open to insert poles. I’ve made the width of the top and bottom hem about 1.5″ wide.

Pressing and hemmimg seams

3. From assorted fabrics cut out 25 square and rectangle shapes for your pockets. They should vary in size, but remember to allow a 1cm (1/2″) seam allowance so cut them a little larger than your intended finished size. I just did a bit of freestyle cutting and moved the pockets around till I was happy with the overall balance.

4. Cut out numbers and place one on each pocket. If you are using iron-on numbers, follow instructions and iron onto plain cotton fabric then cut out and proceed.

Neon patchwork advent calendar

5. Sew the numbers to the center of each pocket front using a wide but closely spaced zig zag stitch.

advent calendar number

6. Iron the edges of the pockets over towards the center and pin on backing fabric in desired position. Sew around dotted line.

sew a pocket calendar

To get a good visual balance, I’ve tried to align the pockets either vertically or horizontally, working from the outside in.

How to place pockets on Advent Calendar

7. Sew on pockets, making sure you double stitch the start of the seam at the top opening of the pocket. Insert rods into top and bottom hems and whip stitch closed.

Sew pockets purple Christmas

8. Braid yarn into a long cord (or use pre-made cord) and make some pom poms if desired. Sew onto the top corners of hanging. See pom pom maker instructions here.

make pom poms braid a cord

All done! Time to fill those pockets with goodies!

Vintage retro advent calendar

Pom Pom christmas vintage pez hello kitty

Emma is already super excited about the potential treats in store, although I’ll keep the sweets to a minimum and will include lots of fun activities as well.

Hello kitty, candy cane, walking teeth

I’m sure she will love the pony stickers (it’s all about ponies these days), and I totally cracked up at the walking teeth.

Her first Pez dispenser and a glow stick. Other activities that may be fun to add will be, making Christmas decorations, making gifts for special friends, writing letters to Santa and Christmas cards…I’m sure I’ll think of many more.

Advent morning child rushing down stairs for advent calendar treats

Vintage fabric advent calendar christmas

What’s your favourite Advent Calendar treat or activity? I’d love a few suggestions.

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  • Laney | Crash Test Mummy says:

    I love the bright colours. We went with non-traditional colours too. Our Advent Calendar is mostly activity based. I’ve listed a few blogs in my post that have great ideas for each day.

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Thanks Laney, I just saw yours, love the beach theme, nice and summery. Lots of great ideas too. Love activity based treats, I hope my stamina holds up till the end of the month.

  • Pippa says:

    That’s a lovely calendar! Well done, now I must get the sewing machine out! 🙂

  • doro von Hand zu Hand says:

    so pretty. i love these unconventinal colors and pattern. and the pompoms of course.

    I linked to your tutorial on my blog – thanks for sharing!

    doro K.

  • Cass Can Sew (@cass_can) says:

    Oh Cinti! What a cool idea… I LOVE it. This project would fit in perfect with my vintage themed christmas this year. Thank you for sharing x

  • patricia escanho says:

    Great advent calendar!! I linked to your tutorial in my blog. Hope you don’t mind…

  • Giselle Zangirolimo Veloso Rodrigues says:

    Achei super lindo!
    Teria algum problema eu copiar a sua idéia aqui em casa pra minha família?
    No Brasil não há tradição de nada….Eu amei as cores e também acho, que em país onde o Natal acontece no alto verão , como aqui no Brasil também, cores bem alegres são mais reais com o clima.
    hoje estamos no inverno com temperaturas de 9 graus, mas no verão chegamos a 45 graus na sombra.UHUUUU! haja água.
    Adoro seu país. Tenho muita vontade de conhecê-lo….Deve ser muito colorido pela alegria e obrigada por compartilhar conosco suas idéias.
    Giselle/Amanda(minha filha)

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      I super beautiful!
      I would have a problem copying your idea here at home for my family?
      In Brazil there is no tradition of anything …. I loved the colors and I also think that in a country where Christmas happens in high summer, and here in Brazil too, colors are more real and lively with the weather.
      Today we are in winter with temperatures of 9 degrees, but in the summer we reached 45 degrees in sombra.UHUUUU! there is water.
      I love your country. I really want to meet you …. It should be very colorful with joy and thank you for sharing your ideas.
      Bye Kisses
      Giselle / Amanda (my daughter)

      Thanks Giselle, yes you can make one for your home. The bright colours are perfect for Brazil!
      I would love to see a photo if you do make one.
      x Cinti

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