I LOVE crafting for Christmas. It was my favourite thing before I had a business. Now if I want to do any Christmas crafts, I basically have to do them in August or I don't have any time... so you guessed it... I made this pom-pom advent calendar in August. In the sunshine with my kids running around the garden in their swimming costumes!
My advent calendar as a child was a cardboard chimney with a small box for every day. You'd take that day's box from the bottom of the chimney and when it was emptied of its chocolate coin (or in our case Hershey's Kisses), we'd pop it into the top of the chimney and the boxes would rotate like that until the 24th. We always had these re-usable calendars and I wanted something similar for my kids. I can only image how many supermarket advent calendars end up in landfill at the end of each season, so I think it's particularly important to find ways to reduce waste, especially at Christmastime.
Here's how to create your very own re-usable pom-pom advent calendar to fill with chocolate coins, small gifts or even activities to do together. Rico Designs kindly gifted the drawstring bags and the pom-poms for this DIY so that I could make this one.
DIY Pom-Pom Advent Calendar Kits are now available in VERY LIMITED quantities in the shop to make your own, go, go, go!
What you'll need:
- 24 cotton drawstring bags (gifted by Rico Designs)
- Felt die-cut numbers with iron-on adhesive backing
- 24 mini yarn pom-poms (gifted by Rico Designs)
- Needle & thread
- Iron and clean chopping board
Let's get started!
1. Iron each of the bags first if they’re wrinkly coming out of the packaging. Use a low cotton setting (not scorching hot) with a bit of steam as the calico can burn under high heat.
2. Peel off the paper backing from each number. Place the number where you’d like it on each bag, either centred or 2/3 of the way down the bag. Set your iron to a low cotton setting with NO STEAM. Lay a pressing cloth on top of the number and bag (a cotton tea towel or piece of scrap cotton fabric works fine for this) and press firmly with your iron for 20 seconds, moving your iron all the time.
It's better to do this on a hard board, like a clean chopping board, rather than a soft ironing board. Do this for all 24 bags. Let the numbers cool before checking if they’re fully stuck down.
3. Once the bags are cool, check that all the numbers are stuck down firmly. If any corners are lifting up, iron again with a pressing cloth and firm pressure.
4. Time to sew on the poms! Thread your needle and pick up a bit of fabric on the side of the bag, about 1/2cm down from the drawstring channel. Next, sew directly through the centre of the pom-pom and through the bag again.
Stitch through the pom-pom and bag three times to make sure it’s really secure. Push your needle to the inside of the bag and tie off your thread inside.
5. Stick on all the pom-poms and fill each bag with a sweet treat like a chocolate coin, small present, or an activity to do together with your loved ones. Find a list of example activities to include in your calendar at: www.thesewcialcircle.com/blogs/craft-blog/activity-advent-calendar
Display your calendar on a shelf or put them all in a basket, ready to be opened when the First of December arrives! Eeek!