Repeat after me: "Tacky glue is my best friend." Seriously, I got this entire project completed with just one bottle of that adhesive awesomeness. I own a sewing machine but (tsk, tsk) I haven't learned to use it, so I rely on glue and iron-on tape to get the job done on most of my crafts.
- 1 - 22x34-inch fabric of your choice (I chose one with polka dots which made for less guesswork and tedious measuring on the rows for the calendar and when folding over the edges to glue to the back! Just follow the row of polka dots. Could work the same way with a striped fabric.)
- 1 - 9x12-inch light blue felt and scrap felt pieces cut for the manger scene (forest green for hills, brown for barn structure)
- 25 - 3x3-inch felt squares for the pockets (5 rows of 5)
- Stencil-cut numbers for Advent pockets (1 through 25)
- 1 - dowel rod trimmed to 22 inches
- Ribbon to tie on each end of dowel rod for hanging
- Tacky glue
- Fabulous Foam Self-Adhesive Nativity Shapes (500-pc from Oriental Trading; $7.99) There are two sizes of nativity shapes that come in this pack. I sorted them and, using the larger ones, I will have enough pieces now for eight years! Sheep, stars and palm trees all made double or triple appearances in the Advent calendar to have enough to fill up 25 pockets.
A foam sticker peeks out of one of the pockets. Tip: Use a stencil flipped over to trace the numbers in reverse on the felt. When you go to cut them out, any pen marks on the back will be hidden.
Tip: Using 9x12 sheets of pre-cut felt, you'll have enough 3x3 pieces cut out from 3 sheets to make 24 pieces. Use some excess felt of another color to make your pocket for Day 25...Christmas!