Friday, November 27, 2009

Advent Calendars

Last year, My mom, my sister, and I recreated our own advent calendars for our kids to mimic a design my mom made for us to use as an advent calender for literally as long as I can remember. Our old ones were a snowman, a Santa, and a Christmas tree. Each year my brother, sister and I fought over which ones we got to use.

To prevent this, when we made them last year we decided on ginger-breads that were pretty much identical. These are super easy to make. I made them and I can't sew to save my life!
These work best with candy canes or candy that you can tie a bow around the wrapper. My mom says we used to make it especially hard for her since none of us really liked candy canes or peppermints. Luckily for me, my kids love them! hehe They also make tons of flavored candy canes that they didn't use to.

I'm sure you could find small toys to do it with if you didn't want to use candy. But that will be more expensive.

Here is how we made ours!


  • Long piece of felt in any color you choose. Ours is 30" long and 3.5" wide
  • 25 12" pieces of a thin yarn. It needs to be long so you can tie on the candy and still tie a bow!
  • Light Brown felt
  • White thread
  • a needle
  • Pipe cleaners
  • large jingle bell
  • Hot Glue
We started with our ginger-breads. We cut out the shape of our gingerbread from light brown felt. Each gingerbread you make will need two per advent. We put them together and started doing a blanket stitch around the edge. You could easily do a basic stitch for this, we just thought the blanket stitch looked really nice! When we had him sewn half way we inserted a pipe cleaner stick man into our gingerbread. This made it so our gingerbread can move his arms legs and even bow his head if the kids so choose! Our ginger-breads hold red and white pipe cleaner candy canes. Then we finished sewing up the gingerbread. Adding small knots for the eyes and button (you could add real buttons that would be cute!!) and a small mouth. Since my sister and I have girls we also added bows to the ginger-breads heads with red string to match our felt.

Next we cut a 30" long 3.5" wide piece of red felt. Any color you want would work though! It looks best if the felt is the same width as your gingerbread mans waist, so keep that in mind! Next we hot glued our gingerbread girls to the top of red felt, positioning it just above its armpits, down to its waist so the legs still move freely of the felt. Our felt is tapered at the end. We like how it left the nice point to hang the bell from.

Nearly done! this next part took a while. Not too bad but a tad repeatative for someone who lacks patience like me hehe. Spacing them about 1" apart sew the yarn pieces on one at a time. Tie a knot before the bow so they wont come off when they kids are removing candy (boy I hope that made sense!)

When you have 24 tie on the jingle bell with the remaining piece of yarn.

To hang them we made rings out of pipe cleaners and sewed them on the back of the ginger-bread person. Make sure this is re-enforced well cause they get HEAVY once candy is on them.

Tie on the candy and hang and hang on December 1st and enjoy this yummy way to count down to Christmas!

Final Tip: Help small kids untie the bows if you use wrapped candy. Getting the knot tied around a small piece of plastic is sometimes tedious work!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment and I'll do my very best to answer them!


  1. Super cute! I love the gingerbreads!

  2. Fantastic idea! I always loved advent calendars as a child. I'm trying to figure out how to spice them up a bit -- I thought about making a variety of truffles or macarons or other treats. Definitely like the gingerbread too.

  3. Hi, Thank you so much for your comment. i appreciate it very much.
    Your ideas for the Advent calander is great. maybe I can get the rest of the family interested too.

  4. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love this. Such a great idea. I may have to give it a try. My 6yo loves the countdown to Christmas! Thanks for sharing your idea. And thanks for stopping by my blog as well. Enjoy the rest of your SITS Saturday Sharefest. :)

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