Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Count down day one

One of my favorite Christmas decorations growing up was our advent calender. Mostly because it was a fun way to count down to the most exciting day of the year, but I'm pretty sure it was also because it involved candy. Although as one of seven kids, my turn to take the candy only came up a few times in the 24 days.

Now that I have kids of my own, I want them to have fun Holiday memories as well. Things that they can look forward to. And can you believe we don't have an advent calender? I know, I'm depriving my kids. But when I saw this little Christmas tree in the dollar section at Target I decided it was time.

I really liked the idea of this cute little tree, but I wanted something a little bigger and maybe not so dollar section looking. So of course I thought "hey, I can make one" And just so you know, I have that thought a lot, but it doesn't always work out for me. This time it did though, so I thought I would give you all a tutorial just in case you are in need of a fun and easy way to count down to Christmas. If you hurry, you can run to the fabric store this morning and have it finished by this afternoon.

Here is what you will need:
  • Half a yard of green felt. (You will have extra)
  • One sheet each of white, red, blue, and yellow craft felt
  • One sheet of stiffened yellow felt (for the star) it's right next to the other felt.
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Either a fabric marker or iron on numbers

OK, so the first step for me was to make a pattern. I taped four pieces of paper together, traced the smaller tree and then made it about an inch bigger all around. I wish I was computer savvy enough to make a pattern that you can download, but technology is just not one of my talents. So, you can either find a Christmas tree online that you can enlarge or draw one of your own. If you want to follow mine these are some dimensions. From top to bottom the tree is 19 inches tall. the trunk is 7 inches. The bottom tier is 15 inches across, the middle tier is 12 1/2 inches across and the top tier is 10 1/2 inches across

Since mine was hand drawn and not exactly the same on both sides, I decided to fold the pattern in half and lay it on the fold of my felt. It's the same concept as folding a piece of paper in half to cut out a heart. Both sides end up the same

You will need two felt trees and one of a medium weight interfacing.

To put the tree together, start by sewing the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the green pieces.

Next, you need to cut out 24, 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch squares. They can be all the same color or a variety of colors like I did. Also, cut out one yellow star from stiffened felt. I traced around a cookie cutter and it was the perfect size.

Next, lay out all your squares on the green piece that is NOT sewn to the interfacing. Arrange, and re-arrange until it looks like you want. Don't stress too much about how perfectly straight the lines are, because having them a little helter skelter adds to the charm of it. Pin the squares in place. DO NOT pin down the star at this point.

Stitch around the sides and bottom of each square as close to the edge as you possibly can. Don't worry about cutting the thread in between each square, just slide it on over and start on the next one. Make sure to back stitch. When your all done, you can go back and trim off the excess thread.

Stitch a square to your star.

Cut a piece of ribbon roughly 10 inches long. In can be longer or shorter, it's just preference. Pin the ribbon to the tree like shown.

Next, sew the two green pieces (right sides together) using a quarter inch stitch, leaving the bottom open and about half and inch on each side. This is so you can turn it right side out and also tuck the unfinished end in.

Trim the seams and clip the rounded edges.

Turn the tree right side out and iron to flatten it down nice and crisp. Then hand stitch the star to the top.

To finish it off, turn in the bottom edges and then hand sew if you are crazy. If you want this to be an easy project like I did, just squeeze some hot glue in there.

At this point all you have left to do is add numbers to all the squares and you are done. You can go one step farther though and decorate it with some ribbon and cute little iron on snowflakes.

As you can see, my tree is still numberless. (sad face) I do have the little candy canes though to put in each pocket! I want the tree to have a nice finished look, so I'm still trying to find iron on numbers. If I can't find any I may have to use a fabric marker and just draw them on myself. I really hope not though, because my hand writing is terrible!

Happy counting down!


Amy said...

Cute cute Sally!

Jenn said...

I love it! If Marilyn hadn't just bought me one I'd make this. In fact, I might just make it anyway. It's so cute!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...