As I discussed in my earlier post, I’m finally making the Advent calendar that I’ve thought about making for years. I was initially inspired by the one that they are selling at Pottery Barn Kids. So, I got all my felt from Prairie Point Junction. They sell mostly 20-80 and 35-65 wool felt (meaning it’s 20% wool and 80% rayon, etc.) It’s significantly less expensive than 100% wool felt ($8-9/yard instead of $20/yard) so I decided to use that in order to save some money. (It arrived super-fast, by the way, great service.) It’s definitely not as nice as 100% wool felt, let me say that right up front. However, it’s an Advent calendar that will be hanging on the wall, and since I had to buy so much felt, it’s fine for its purpose. I did soak the wool in hot water, and then dry it in my dryer until just damp in order to give the wool a more boiled texture, and soften it up a bit. That made the wool nicer to use, and I’d definitely recommend this step.
After cutting out my tree in a shape similar to the PBK one, I decided that I didn’t quite like it. I was concerned with the integrity of the tree structure. Was it going to be nice and straight on the wall, or would the end of the tree boughs be floppy? So, instead, I decided to just cut a straight triangular shape. I might still shore it up a bit with some interfacing, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I still haven’t decided how it’s going to hang, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it! I’m thinking maybe some sort of dowel across the middle, but we’ll see how it looks when it’s done.
So far, I’ve made seven of the 24 pockets. I noticed the PBK calendar has 25 pockets, but personally I don’t see the need for a pocket for December 25th. Maybe that’s just me. But, it’s my Advent calendar and I can make it however I want! I’m really happy with the pockets so far. I’m doing a mix of felt applique and embroidery. My youngest son loves penguins, so the first pocket I made was of a penguin. I used his Magic Tree House Penguins and Antarctica research guide to design a penguin. It turned out great! I also made an embroidered snowflake and a tree.
Then, last night I made a Matryoshka doll, a cardinal, some holly and a mushroom. I still have plans for some more birds, a snowman, a bear, a lobster, an owl, and then maybe some simpler designs of just ribbons or presents or dots. I do have to make 24 after all, and December 1st is on Monday!