In November, many parents wonder what the Advent calendar for their children should look like. Not everyone wants the child to eat chocolate every day. The homemade Advent calendars are ideal for this. The parents can appear themselves, which gifts the children receive. It is creative, personal and brings a lot of joy to both children and adults.

We will show you how to build a small tree out of wood as an advent calendar, how to decorate it and how to sew the bags to hang it up. We sew the bags from the jute fabric, which is a very popular material during the Christmas season. The fabric is beautiful, cheap and easy to sew. It is exciting for the children when the bags have different shapes and they can always expect something different. We sew two different variations that have occurred to us.

Material and preparation
Level of difficulty 1/5
suitable for beginners

Cost of materials 3/5
Pine boards from the DIY store, 2 m cost approx. 2.50 €/piece
4×4 cm square pine post costs approx. 5,20 €/piece
0,5 m jute costs approx. 3-4 €
felt as package 30×45 cm costs approx. 8 €

To build
hand circular saw
screw drill
sanding belt
3 x pine boards 2 m
1 x square pine post
To decorate
Classic sewing machine
Jute possibly cotton
felt in different colours
decorative tapes
brackets with numbers or possibly number stickers
hot glue gun
Light chain LED 200
Needle, yarn
Tip: If you cannot find any staples with numbers, you can simply attach twenty-four nails to the finished tree. Then, of course, you have to glue or sew the numbers onto the jute bags.

The material selection & material quantity

In the DIY store you will find a large selection of different boards. We decided for 2 m long pine boards and took 3 of them home with us. Our tree should be 1 m large and therefore we have bought the square post in the size of 2 m.

We would like to sew the bags for the Advent calendar out of jute and felt, because we want to make the bags as owls and gnomes. The jute fabric can be used in many ways and the natural colour matches the pine perfectly. The colored felt also comes to the fore.

Tip: If you like, you can also sew cotton bags. It is worth buying a fabric with a Christmas pattern.

We need different colours of the felt and can also work with fabric remnants. We bought 1,5 m jute.

Note: How much jute you need depends on the size of the gifts. For this reason, it would be a good idea to buy the 24 gifts before you start sewing.

The tree
Our tree, as an advent calendar, becomes a simple triangle. We put the square post on our work surface and measure the length of 1 m. We shorten it with a saw and divide the remaining 1 m into 5 small pieces. We use these pieces to measure the gaps between the individual boards.

Now the boards come next. We divide them with the saw in half. The 6 boards are then placed on the work surface and the 5 small pieces of the square post are placed between the individual boards.

Next, mark the middle of the tree with a pencil. When we are finished, we think about how wide the tree should be. The 24 gifts need a lot of space. For this we need the protractor, because the angle should be the same on both sides.

Now the boards are shortened with the saw and then the edges are cleaned immediately on the sanding belt.

When we are finished, we mark two holes in the middle of each board. The holes are then pre-drilled with the screw drill for the screws.

Now we use again our 5 small pieces of the square post and put them between the boards. We can fix our boards to the 1 m long square posts with the screws.

The advent calendar in tree form is not finished yet! From the remnants we build a frame to hold the tree. We need four identical boards about 50 cm long. We mark the middle and then another 2 cm on each side (because the square post is 4 cm wide) and then another 2 cm (= the width of the board).

This means that we now have 5 points (markers) on each board. Now we draw a 5 cm long right angle on all markings. Only the middle is ignored. Then cut out the small rectangles with a circular saw and clean the edges again.

When we are finished, we place two boards with the cut rectangles upwards. The two remaining boards are placed with the cut rectangles facing down so that a cross is created. Now our frame is ready and we can decorate our tree!

Now we stick the wooden clamps with numbers and the hot glue gun irregularly on the Advent calendar in tree form. That holds super well! We take another light chain with 200 LED`s and try to distribute the light chain regularly. This length is perfectly enough for the whole tree!

On the top comes another star – which is of course only glued and we are almost finished with the Advent calendar!

Sewing bags
First we need to know how big our owl should be. Then we cut the jute. The front is a rectangle and the back has the shape of a house.

Now the open edges are sewn with a simple straight stitch, i.e. the upper edges. Otherwise the jute would fray. Then we lay the front and back side left on left and sew the remaining three edges together. The edges can still be trimmed with scissors.

Now we take the felt and cut the eyes for the owl. Two large rings (brown), two smaller rings (grey) and then the pupils (black). Then the eyes are glued together with the hot glue.

Finally the belly (white) and the beak (black) are cut out. First the belly is glued to the front, then the tip of the back is turned over and the eyes and beak are glued to it.

Note: Once you have attached the nails to the tree, you will need a hanging tape to stick to the back of the tree.

Now our owl for the advent calendar is ready!

Sewing bags with gnomes
First we look how big the gift is and put it on the jute. We cut a rectangle twice. First we sew the top edge with a simple straight stitch, so that the fabric does not fray. Then we sew the back and front side together and clean the edges with scissors.

Cut a triangle out of the felt for the pointed cap and glue it onto our little bag. Then the nose is on it. We take a strip of felt in brown and place it half on top of each other. Then we tie it with a thread and cut the felt under the knot. We stick the small nose just under the pointed cap.

Now we cut a small piece of felt in white into the shape of a beard. The white felt serves only as a so-called underlay for the cotton wool. We stick the felt with the hot glue gun directly under the nose. Finally we take some cotton wool and glue it on the white felt. We shape the cotton wool so that it looks like a beard. Now just tie the bag with a thread and our bag with gnome is ready!

Note: We sew another owl and two bags of gnomes. The rest will be small bags filled with chocolate or stickers.

Quick guide
01. Cut 2 m long boards and the square post in half with the saw.
02. Place six boards on the work surface at regular intervals.
03. draw the tree (note the angle!) and cut it to size.
04. Clean edges.
05. Mark two points in the middle of each board and drill holes.
06. Fasten boards at equal distances.
07. Mark four 50 cm long boards in the middle and mark 2 cm on each side.
08. Mark another 2 cm at each board and draw a right angle (5 cm).
09. cut out and assemble the frame.
10. decorate the tree.
11. Cut the front and back of the bags from the jute.
12. sew the upper edges.
13. Sew the remaining three edges together.
14. Cut the eyes, beak and belly out of felt.
15. glue everything on.
16. Cut a rectangle twice.
17. Sew the upper edges.
18. Sew the remaining three edges together.
19. Cut the pointed cap, stripes and a beard.
20. Cut the strips in half and bind them with thread to form a small nose.
21. glue everything on.
22. Glue cotton wool onto the white felt beard.
23. bind the bags with some thread.

Have fun with the reworking and sewing!


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