Tuesday, November 27, 2012

X-MAS DIY: gift calendar

I had had the idea of this advent gift calender in my head for a long time. Last year I finally took the time to make it. As I love reusing materials I slaughtered a pair of linnen trousers I got from a friend many years ago.

You can vary the material and take whatever you've got at home! My goal is always to use what I got lying around in our home. Or shop the material at thrift shops. Why buy new things when you can reuse!

I had the mini clothes pegs and wooden numbers in my stash, I finally found use for them! You can cut out numbers in cardboard and use normal size pegs. In that case make sure to use a steady fabric to hold the pegs up.

You will need:
- fabric for the "container"
- sewing machine or needle and thread
- iron
- pins
- ruler
- wooden numbers (or cut out numbers in cardboard)
- clothes pegs
- coloured marker
- coloured thread for decoration (optional)

The graphic does not show the exact measures. Use a ruler to make paper templates or measure directly onto fabric!

1. Cut the pieces of fabric out. Take out your sewing machine, or your needle and thread.

(These are the trouser I cut into.)

2. Start with the strip. Fold it longsides with the right sides facing (if you are using a patterned fabric). Sew the longside. Zig zag the edges for better durability. Turn the "tube" right side out. Lay it flat and iron, you can choose to place the seam on the side or on the middle. Save the strip for later.

3. Take the two rectangular pieces. Sew each piece separately, right sides facing, B-side to B-side. Now you'll get a bigger "tube". Turn one of the tubes right side out. Place that one inside of the other tube. Now sew the A-sides together.

4. Turn the tube wrong side out. Take your fabric circles and start pinning them to the end openings (A-sides) of the tube. Right side down (see picture below). Sew patiently. Leave an opening on one of the circles, about 4-5 cm, then you will be able to turn your container inside out later. When you have attached both circles, turn the container inside out through the opening. Iron the straight seams.

5. Now tuck half of the tube and the end with the opening into the other half of the tube, so that you get a "container". Fold over the edge (see picture below).

6. Take the strip, make a hook and attach it to the container, either with sewing machine or needle and thread. Place it over the seam to get a neat finnish.

7. Take the numbers and paint them if you want. You will need these numbers:
0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. You can also draw the numbers yourself and cut them out of thicker paper. (If you don't want to draw you can use computer and printer!)

6. Glue the numbers onto the pegs, one number on each peg.

7. And there you go! Every day, from the first day of December, you can change the date by changing the numbers. I made gifts from a 24-piece puzzle, simply one piece per day. The kids liked it! They looked forward to seeing the whole picture on Christmas Eve.

I hung our advent gift calendar in our kitchen window, then it was the first thing they saw in the morning.

Happy advent!

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