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Nativity Advent Calendar

My advent calendar is finally finished just in time for a countdown to Christmas!  I searched and searched for some figures to make for my nativity that I liked.  I finally found some here at barefoot in the kitchen.

For my calendar, each piece was made with rainbow felt and is at least two layers thick.  A round piece of the soft side of Velcro is sewn on the back of each one.  Aren’t they adorable?!
Nativity Advent Calendar
I cut the rough part of the Velcro into little stars and sewed them, along with the stable, onto a 20×30 inch piece of felt.  There are 24 pockets that are each 2 1/2 inches square.  I used a chain stitch to embroider all of the numbers.

Here is the final product.   There are four felt loops sewn into the top and a long wooden dowel with a string attached to both ends for hanging.  The baby Jesus should be put in pocket 24 to signal that the next day is Christmas!

 Nativity Advent Calendar - Christmas Countdown Calendar
Nativity Advent Calendar
And because I want everyone to be able to make one too, I got permission from Stephanie at barefoot in the kitchen to share the templates that I created to make my nativity figures.  Sorry they aren’t the greatest templates in the world, but it’s a start!  Just click the link below to download and print them.  There should be four of them.
**EDIT:  I have also created a list of printable Bible verses that you can read each day.  Those can also be found by clicking the link below.  Read my post about them here.  Also, by downloading these templates, you agree that you will not use them to make anything to sell.**
Materials:
·         ¾ yard of 72” wide felt for background (cut into two 20” x 30” rectangles)
·         felt sheets  in various colors
·         1/2 yard of 2” wide hook and loop fastener (Velcro)
·         embroidery floss in various colors
·         thread (if using sewing machine)
·         ½” wooden dowel (cut to 20 ½” long)
·         2 dowel end caps (optional)
·         string, ribbon, or twine for hanging
·         embroidery needle
·         sewing scissors
·         pins
·         rotary cutter, cutting mat, and long ruler (optional but very helpful)
Basic Instructions:
1.       For each figure, cut two of the overall figure in the main color felt.
2.       Cut out the smaller pieces and hand stitch them onto the top layer using 3 strands of embroidery floss and running stitch.
3.       Embroider details onto top layer of felt. All of the eyes are done using a french knot.
4.       Cut soft side of Velcro into circles and sew onto back of bottom layer of each felt figure.
5.       Sew the bottom layer and the top layer of each figure together.
6.       Cut rough side of Velcro into star shapes (you can just cut circles if you prefer)
7.       Sew numbers 1 – 24 onto 2 ½” x 2 ½” square pockets
8.       Cut main background color of felt into two 20” x 30” rectangles
9.       Arrange stable and pockets onto one of the 20” x 30” background pieces, pin and sew.
10.   Arrange rough side of Velcro onto the same layer of background felt and sew.
11.   Pin top and bottom layer of background felt (wrong sides together), pin and stitch all but the top of the calendar closed.
12.   Cut 4 2” x 6” pieces of felt for hanging loops.
13.   Fold strips in half and slide 1” into top of calendar evenly spaced apart.  Pin and sew top of calendar shut, going over each of the felt hanging loops to secure.
14. Slide loops onto dowel and hang with string.

Now get to work!

Please check out my other countdown calendars here.

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Tiffany

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

When I click on the link to get the templates, it tells me I need permission to access the Google drive.

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Google drive did an update and broke all of my links. I went and fixed a bunch of them. That one should be good. Please email me if you still can't get it.

Monika

Monday 5th of November 2018

Hi Jessica! I know the post is old, and also I did my simply version of that project almost a year ago, but I just wanted you to know, that my paper advent calendar(s) came out great and my kids had a lot of fun with it. I cut out all elements of colorful cardboard and used two-sided adhesive tape instead of velcro. I installed the template into a frame for each. It took me 3 days to make 2 sets, so it's quicker and can be kind of last minute version. This year I plan to make other two sets for my nieces :) Thanks for sharing!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Wednesday 7th of November 2018

It seems like I made this just yesterday! I'm excited to get ours out again. What a great idea to make it out of paper! That's definitely a lot easier and the kids could even make one like that too. Thanks for the idea!

Jenna

Thursday 12th of November 2015

I just finished making mine today! I followed some of the comments and turned Mary around to face the other way and I really like how it turned out. I started working on it around mid October so it's taken me about a month. It would have been faster but I was working on Halloween costumes too.

I used my machine to sew the Velcro stars on by basically sewing in triangles the way you would hand draw a star. It went so much faster that way. I must confess I didn't get the pockets on straight, but I love it all the same!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Friday 13th of November 2015

Doesn't it feel great to finish! Yep, that's how I sewed the Velcro too. The pockets are definitely a pain to get straight. They aren't the important part though. Glad you got it done. :)

Gretchen

Wednesday 21st of October 2015

Love this!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the templates. Now I want to make every countdown calendar available! Just wondering... how long would you say this took to make?? Thanks again!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Wednesday 21st of October 2015

I've never timed myself making one, but it takes a LOT of time. Not super difficult, just lots and lots of cutting and sewing. Like so long that I never want to make another one. Haha! Definitely worth it to have one for my kids though. :)

Mavis

Wednesday 16th of September 2015

I wish I'd have found this calendar last year. I made one, somewhat similar, but used magnets and glued the felt figures on. They didn't last too long :(. So I'm going to use your template ideas this year. Thanks so much.

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Friday 18th of September 2015

You're welcome! Glad you are using them. :)

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