Monday, December 26, 2011

Nazareth to Bethlehem: A Felt Advent Calendar

While visiting home for Christmas, I finally remembered to take pictures of my mom's advent calendar. She made it at a church craft day years ago and I just love it! The whole thing is made of felt with gold ribbon on the top and bottom edge and a dowel at the top. And the felt is glued on, not sewn! This project would come together really quickly if you want to try to replicate it.
Each day Mary and Joseph move one step closer to Bethlehem.

They stick to the felt with the scratchy side of the Velcro. They are also lined with fusible webbing to make them stiffer.


The other ladies at the craft day wrote their numbers on, but my mom cut hers from felt instead. I like that so much better! I'll be sharing a tutorial on how to cut out nice numbers from felt sometime soon.

On Christmas Day, Mary and Joseph finally make it to the stable...

and Baby Jesus is laid in his manger.

Guess what? I now have a free pattern you can print to make your very own calendar! I even wrote out the instructions! Yippee! What are you waiting for?! CLICK HERE to see the pattern and get started!

23 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I'm always looking for nativity themed Christmas decorations (rather than Santa, snowmen, etc). I'll have to think about making this one of these years...

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  2. I popped over here from pinterest. I love that advent calendar. My mom has one very similar and it's on my list of items to recreate for my family. Thanks for posting! I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas.

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  3. Hi I found your blog through Pinterest You are one crafty moma, I love your blog so much to see and great ideas thanks for sharing oh I love the advent it is amazing have a good day ttfn Nicole from UK

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  4. Hi! Do you have any sort of patterns for this?

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  5. Kristen and James---

    I don't have a pattern. Maybe some day I will make one...

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  6. Approximately what are the dimensions of this? I would love a close up on Baby Jesus to see what he looks like from the front. This is lovely and I think I may make something similar this year!

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  7. Blog-

    I think the dimensions are about 2 feet by 4 feet. Baby Jesus is actually a little plastic baby wrapped in white cloth with a piece of Velcro on the back. All the other pieces are cut from felt, but Baby Jesus is different. You could make Him out of felt if you wanted to, though. I think they sell little babies at Hobby Lobby or other craft stores if you want to go that route. Hope that helps!

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  8. Oops, sorry! I see you answered my comment the other day. I ran after my son as soon as I submitted it and didn't realize comment moderation was on. Sorry and thanks for answering my question!

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  9. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. I'm not very talented - but I think I can handle this. My kids will love it!

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  11. Does anyone want to make me one? I want one to send to my missionary but am too swamped to make time to get it done. monique.avery11@gmail.com

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    1. I am in the same boat as you... swamped! But it IS a great idea to send to a missionary. Maybe you could just make a simplified one digitally or cut out of paper. Cheaper to mail and MUCH easier to make!

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    2. I could make you two some, while I'm off from school for month of Dec? Email me if you would like me to? smileybear00@gmail.com
      -Leanne

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  12. Our mother's must have been at the same meeting back in the day. I am working on one for me as we speak. I love this countdown and the vintage feel.

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    1. I have had several people say their moms made calendars like this too. I love it! I wonder how they shared their ideas before Pinterest. Haha.

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  13. Melanie from Sugardoodle sent me here. I am pinning it now, but I would love a pattern. Anyone creative enough to make one? Too bad they don't make things the same way they used to. :) What a neat advent, focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

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    1. I have been thinking about making a pattern. I will let you know if it gets done. :)

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  14. I would love to have a chat with all the ladies who have a calendar like this to see what the origin is. My mother, Carol Thompson was the wife of a bishop on the Ricks College campus (now BYU-I) in the 60's. She actually invented, created - however you want to put it - the original design for this advent calendar and shared it will hundreds of students in the Relief Societies at Ricks over six or seven years as well as in our home wards clear up through the late 80's or so. We still have the original pattern. I would be willing to bet that almost all of these are spin-offs from gals who learned how to make Mom's original calendar at Homemaking meetings. She has changed it up several times over the years - the current version has a map of Jerusalem in the background. If you want a pattern for the original, please email me at red.beetle.graphics@gmail.com and we'll see what we can do. SO fun to see that this is still circulating - Mom will be thrilled!

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  15. The original pattern for this calendar was created, invented, designed by my mother, Carol Thompson, the wife of a bishop on the Ricks College (now BYU-I) campus in the 60's. She shared this project with many students at Relief Society Homemaking meetings for six or seven years as well as in our home ward meetings on into the late 80's. I would love to visit with the women who have these calendars to find out how it made its way to them. Mom has made several revisions to hers over the years - her current version features a painted map of Jerusalem in the background. We still have the original sweet and simple pattern and I'm sure if anyone would like a copy we could get one to you. Contact me at red.beetle.graphics@gmail.com to chat about it. Mom would be tickled to see that this advent calendar has enjoyed such longevity and has been handed down through families over the years.

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    1. Leni, what an amazing thing technology is! I am so glad you took the time to comment. I love hearing where ideas come from... it makes me realize that it truly is a small world. My mom made this calendar at a Super Saturday in the 90's in Nevada. Looks like your mother's idea has circulated far and wide!

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    2. I would love an original pattern! I was born in 1976 and I don't ever remember not having this on the wall of our home. I just loved it as a very little girl. I would have kept it all year. I had completely forgotten about it till I saw a picture of this calendar. I had no idea that my mother made it. She would have because she loved making things.
      What a wonderful memory for your family. What a precious gift she created for so many families to remember Christ at Christmas.
      Ours was just a little different because our baby Jesus tucked in between Mary and Joseph. It was just a tiny piece of blue felt in the shape of a baby wrapped all up. I use to take him out and kiss him all the time. I always wanted to keep him and would ask my mom if I could have him. Such wonderful memories! Thank you! My email is Jamiebarragan@msn.com

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  16. Thank you for taking to time to make the pattern and share this with us. I love it. It fits along with reading a scripture a day from the bible story of Christ's birth to also count down the days.

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