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How to make a fabric advent calendar

Whip up this DIY fabric advent calendar to add a home-sewn touch to your countdown to Christmas – there's two free advent calendar sewing pattern to choose from!

How to make a fabric advent calendar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for sewing fun and festive Christmas decorations! Our easy-to-sew fabric advent calendar is the perfect way to create a new family heirloom that will last for years and become a firm favourite part of childhood festive rituals!

We’ve got two sewing advent calendar patterns for you to try. Use up your fabric scraps with our fun House-shaped advent calendar sewing pattern designed by Rebecca Reid.

Before we get started with the tutorial, we’ve also got a stylish minimalist wall hanging advent calendar sewing pattern for you to download.

Free Sewing advent calendar pattern download

make your own advent calendar

This stylish sewing advent calendar pattern by Anna Alicia first appeared in Mollie Makes magazine, and is a relatively simple project that you can reuse year after year.

Download the Sewing advent calendar pattern PDF here.

If you’re new to sewing and need any help with while making these advent calendar sewing patterns, you can always check out our sewing for beginners, how to use a sewing machine, best sewing machines for beginners and sewing kits for beginners guides for lots of tips and advice.

Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew

Looking for more fun festive sewing projects? Check out the best free Christmas sewing patterns on Gathered

Christmas sack sewing pattern

Free advent calendar sewing pattern

How to make a fabric advent calendar

Materials list

On top of the main fabric backing, you will also need squares in a variety of fabrics to make the pockets for this sewing advent calendar pattern. This is great for using up any bits of patterned and colourful fabric you might have left over from previous projects, but we’ve also included some links for some fabulous festive fabrics if you feel like splashing out!

You’ll find a full list of materials required for this sewing advent calendar pattern below, but we’ve also created a list of handy shopping links if you need to stock up on supplies.



You Will Need

  • Main fabric (80x75cm (32x30in))
  • Window pocket fabric, see instructions for details
  • Wadding (80x30cm (32x12in))
  • Felt: charcoal (two sheets 20x30cm (8x12in))
  • Felt: white (three sheets 20x30cm (8x12in))
  • Bondaweb (40x90cm (16x35in))
  • Stranded cotton: green
  • Small red beads
  • Small button, for doorknob
  • Wooden dowel (48cm (19in))
  • Eyelet, black
  • Ribbon, to hang
  • Matching sewing thread

Total time:

Cutting out the fabric

Step 1

Cut the main fabric into two pieces, 80x30cm (32x12in) each, for the front and back of the house. Cut two binding strips 4x26cm (158x1014in) each, for the dowel casing.

Step 2

For each window pocket cut two squares 9x9cm (358x358in). You need to cut 23 pockets so use a variety of fabrics to make them. We used the house fabric to line the pockets but you can use the same fabrics for both the front and back of each pocket if you prefer.

Cutting out the felt

Step 1

Trace over all the numbers from the template then draw over the back of them so you have them traced in reverse.

Step 2

Place the bondaweb paper side up over the reversed numbers and trace over them.

Step 3

Iron the traced bondaweb to the felt, using charcoal for numbers 1-23 and white for number 24. Cut out all the felt numbers along the traced lines then remove the paper backing.

Step 4

Trace the roof snow and ground snow from the template. You need to trace two of each of these onto the bondaweb but one should be the mirror image of the other so turn the traced snow over and trace the reverse for the second piece. Press each of the snow pieces to the white felt and cut out then remove the paper backing.

Step 5

Cut a 10x6m (4×238in) rectangle of charcoal felt for the door.

Making the window pockets

Step 1

All the pockets are made in the same way and you can either appliqué the numbers on them so they are placed randomly or all in order. Decide which fabric you want to go where and which numbers to place on them before you start making them.

Step 2

Lay the cut out felt numbers centrally on top of each piece of front pocket fabric and press into place. Stitch your numbers in place carefully either by hand or machine.

How to make a fabric advent calendar step 1


Step 3

Take the front and back of two pocket fabrics and place them right sides (RS) together. Stitch together all the way round the edge leaving a small gap along one side for turning.

Step 4

Clip corners then turn the pocket right sides out and press the turning gap under. Topstitch along the top edge of your pocket.


How to make a fabric advent calendar step 2

Making the door

Step 1

Press then stitch the white felt number 24 to the felt door piece following the positioning guide on the template.

Step 2

Draw a circle for the wreath on your door using white pencil. Stitch around the circle using four strands of green stranded cotton in backstitch. Stitch small lazy daisy stitches around the circle to form the wreath. Stitch small red beads around the wreath to decorate. Sew the small button into position for the doorknob.


How to make a fabric advent calendar step 3

Attaching the pockets

Step 1

Trace the outlines of the house (not including the snow) and cut it out. Place the template centrally on the wrong side (WS) of one of the house fabric pieces, draw round it and cut it out. Cut the other house fabric piece and the wadding to the same size using the template.

Step 2

Place one piece of cut out house fabric RS up and, following the template for positioning, place the windows and door onto the house measuring accurately to pin them into place so they run in straight lines.

Step 3

Stitch the pockets and door into place by topstitching just 2-3mm (116in) from the edge, down the sides and along the bottom.

How to make a fabric advent calendar step 4

Making the dowel casings

Step 1

Take the dowel casing fabric and turn all edges of each strip under by 1.5cm (58n) all the way round. Press.

Step 2

Pin one piece of casing to the back piece of the house 3cm (1¼in) up from the bottom and 1.5cm (58in) from both sides. Machine stitch into place close to the edge almost all the way round, leaving one short end open.

Step 3

Repeat for the other casing strip but position this one 19cm (7½in) down from the top of the house’s roof.

How to make a fabric advent calendar step 5

Assembling the house

Step 1

Lay the house back with casing attached RS down with the wadding on top then the house front with pocket windows and door attached RS up on top, aligning all edges.

Step 2

Take one binding strip and place it RS together down one side of the house front matching raw edges. Stitch in place all the way down the length of the house.

Step 3

Take the other strip and stitch down the other side of the house in the same way.


How to make a fabric advent calendar step 6

Step 4

Turn the binding strip over to the back of the house, turn the long edge to meet up with the line of machine stitching and top stitch into place.

Stitching the snow

Step 1

Take the roof snow pieces and place one over the top of the assembled house, bondaweb side down. Place the other behind the back of the house, bondaweb side up following the template for the positioning and making sure they encase the cut edges of the house. Press into place so they are bonded together.

Step 2

 Topstitch the two snow pieces together all the way round close to the edge of the felt. Bond and stitch the ground snow pieces to the bottom of the house in the same way.


How to make a fabric advent calendar step 7

Finishing off

Step 1

Cut the dowel in half then slip one length through each casing. Slip stitch the short side closed to hold them in place.

Step 2

Punch an eyelet in the top of the house in the centre of the roof and loop the ribbon through this ready to hang.


How to make a fabric advent calendar step 8

Hooray – you now know how to make a fabric advent calendar! Fill the pockets with small sweets or gifts with a special one in the door for Christmas Eve.

Sew your own special pressies

Save the pennies and make your own super-special presents with our list of quick gifts to sew.

Snowman pattern

Shopping List

Materials needed:


How to make a Christmas stocking – fabrics

Stitch your way to a special Christmas

Sewing your own Christmas advent calendar is not only a great crafty project for you to enjoy, but it’s also one that will become a treasured family item. Kids will love seeing what special gifts you’ve put inside, and you’ll get the warm and fuzzy feeling when you see the return of your own handmade calendar every year.

Sew your own stocking

When it comes to Christmas sewing projects, having your own stocking hanging above your fireplace or at the end of the bed is bound to fill you with pride. Give it a go with our how to make a Christmas stocking tutorial on Gathered.