The Holiday Spirit

This holiday season I received a lot of compliments on a new Christmas tradition that I introduced to my family as a Christmas countdown.

Ornamental Sacks I made for our Holiday Advent Calendar

Ornamental Sacks I made for our Holiday Advent Calendar

I decided to create an advent calendar. (An advent calendar is an interactive calendar used to countdown special occasions, it’s most often used during the December Holiday Season.) I’m not sure if others feel stressed during the holidays, with all the excitement of wanting to create great holiday memories (decorations, events, hosting parties, wrapping gifts etc.) and still balance all that is happening in our everyday lives. I can honestly say an advent calendar makes it all possible with a lot less stress. It allows for more organization and for all of the extras to fit nicely into everyone’s schedules.

Before actually making the calendar,  decide what things you want to do with your family and for how many days you want your countdown to last. If you are a parent, this is a great brainstorming activity for the whole family.  This year my family’s list consisted of  gift buying, cooking and baking items, holiday events, and at home family time items.  Once you have all your items grab a calendar and figure out, based on your regular schedule, the best day to complete each item. We did a 15 day calendar with 1 event each day. I wrote the items on numbered paper and these papers would be what filled the advent sacks I created.

Because of all the compliments and comments that were left on my Facebook page after posting a photo of the sacks, I decided not only to blog about the calendar but to do a quick “how-to” post. (Since this month was so hectic, I was unable to film my process in a video tutorial)

For this project you will need:

  • 1 -1 1/2 yards of decorative Burlap or home decor fabric
  • 1/2 – 1 yard of accent fabric for the rim/edge of the sacks and the hang ties (optional)
  • Fabric Glue
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Thread color of your choice and needle, or sewing machine

 

I chose to use 2 different color fabrics for the rim of my sacks and the hang tie.

I chose to use 2 different color fabrics for the rim of my sacks and the hang tie.

The first step is to cut as many strips of burlap as you will need for however many days you choose to have for your calendar. The strips should measure 8 inches long and 5 inches wide:

For this sack I chose a golden burlap

For the sack I chose a golden burlap

Once your strips are cut you should then cut however many edge strips you will need for your sacks. In my case I cut burlap for 15 sacks, so I will need 15 edge strips measuring 5 inches long and 1 inch wide:

Your strips don't have to be perfect, so don't worry if the burlap frays

Your strips don’t have to be perfect, so don’t worry if the burlap frays

You will repeat this step again for the hang ties making them 7.5 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.

I like to use multiple colors, feel free to use as many or as little variation in color as you'd like

I like to use multiple colors, feel free to use as many or as little variation in color as you’d like

Once all of your fabric is cut you can begin to glue the edge strips onto the burlap strips using fabric glue:

You don't need much glue for the strip to stick

You don’t need much glue for the strip to stick

 

This is my favorite fabric glue brand for all projects

This is my favorite fabric glue brand for all projects

Glue the other side as well and fold over, this gives a nice finish

Glue the other side as well and fold over, this gives a nice finish

Allow to dry before continuing…

Once all of your edges have been glued in place you then fold the sack strip onto itself, with the wrong sides of the fabric facing out and pin:

Insert your pins at a 1/2 inch for a seam allowance

Insert your pins at  a 1/2 inch measuring point  for a seam allowance

Sew the sack together and then turn it right side out:

When working on craft projects I use excess thread.

When working on craft projects I use excess thread, so the color isn’t important

IMG_1715

Once the sack is done, warm up your glue gun:

image1

Take the hang tie fabric and secure it with hot glue to the inside of the sack:

image3 (3)

 

image2 (2)

Once your hang tie is secure you can either add a decorative element to the front of your sacks , I chose a bow, or you can leave them as they are:

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image1 (1)

Once complete put the calendar items into your sacks and hang them on your tree:

 

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