If you love advent calendars but think they need more realistic serving sizes of chocolate, this could be the DIY project for you!
You'll need to have basic skills with a sewing machine, but you could also do it by hand if you have the patience of a saint (Nicholas).
What you will need:
- Poster frame ($15 from Kmart)
- Christmas fabrics
- Ribbon - approx 3m
- 24 pegs - one for each stocking (or 25 if you want to keep the treats rolling through to Christmas Day!)
- Flathead drawing pins
- Glitter glue pens
- Sewing supplies
- Advent calendar goodies!
Step one: make the stockings
- Start by making a template for your stockings. If you're doing 24, you will probably want to hang six rows of four, but if you're doing 25 you'll want five by five. Figure out the size for your stockings based on how much room you have inside your poster frame.
- Cut your stocking fabric. I found this to be the most annoying and time-consuming part of the process, but at least you can get away with no lining!
- Sew them all together. Start by hemming the top edges of two pieces. Then sew the pieces together, the nice side facing inwards.
- Repeat until you have 24 or 25 stockings!
- Using your glitter glue pens, write numbers on the stockings. If this isn't your style (or if your penmanship is somehow worse than mine) you could instead print number labels to tuck under the pegs you attach the stockings with.
Step two: prepare the frame
- Remove the frame's backing and plastic cover so it is just an empty shell.
- Measure out where your rows will be, and attach your ribbon. I first tried to use hot glue, but it came apart the moment I started filling the stockings. So I recommend using drawing pins with a flat head, not ones that poke out too far or they could damage your wall.
Step three: fill the stockings
- The fun part! Most of my advent calendar ended being chocolate, but I also put in bath bombs, socks, mini liquor bottles, card games, Christmas tree ornaments, nail polish and a flash drive filled with Christmas movies. I also tried to put in some treats for the cat but the bag didn't fit so he ended up getting an early present! You could also use things like face masks, lipstick, baking, candy canes, key chains and mini stationery. And if you have children, small toys are perfect.
- Start with the big items first, finding the biggest stockings to put them in. Also, prioritise any time-sensitive goodies - I put our flash drive in the 1st stocking so we can get through the movies gradually. I also put the Christmas tree ornaments in the early days so we can put them on the tree sooner.
- Peg the stockings onto the frame as you go, and do your best to close the tops of the stocking so over-eager adventers can't take a peek!
Step four: put your frame out and enjoy the countdown!
- By Ash Thomas for The Hits