How to make your own DIY Nordic Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

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Christmas is upon us and there’s nothing better than a festive countdown calendar to help getting into the festive spirit. Every year we have a ‘fill your own’ advent calendar for our two daughters, with a daily surprise.

A simple ‘peg on a thread’ Advent calendar had been serving us well over many years but the time had come to update our Advent home. We saw this Nordic tree calendar on the Oh Joy craft blog and thought it would match our Scandinavian home very well. To make it match our interior we decorated the tree to our personal taste; with the geometric designed gift bags in muted colours, only broken up by a few monochrome ones and a dash of sparkly gold

We enjoyed working on it it together and the finished result, a highly decorative wall hung Advent Calendar is both beautiful when decorated as it is when left bare. And it was surprisingly easy to make.

According to our Norwegian traditions the Christmas tree shouldn’t be brought in any earlier than just before the big day itself. But with this advent calendar doubling as a festive backdrop in your home, all your December glögg and gingerbread men parties with friends and family will be a lot more festive. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

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Materials Needed (what we used)
IKEA Vinter 2014 fabric 150 x 200 cm
2 wooden curtain rods 150cm wide
cup hooks and screw eyes x 2
24 gift bags
24 white stickers
Black calligraphy pen
Black silk ribbon
Scissors
Measuring Tape
Straight Pins
Sewing Machine
Sewing needle and thread
Jette Frolich Gold Tree Topper
Fastening pin
Led Fairy Lights x 2

Instructions
We started with a trip to Ikea to buy the VINTER 2014 fabric sold by the metre in the textile department. The fabric is featuring a full size Christmas tree print (undecorated) on a white canvas background. When we were there we also bought two sets of fairly lights (with battery) as well as a pack of white and gold gift bags. On our way home we picked up two wooden sticks, two cup hooks and screw eyes at the hardware store. The beautiful gold tree topper by Danish designer Jette Frolich was bought in the Norwegian Christmas Market in London, but I believe it’s available online as well.

The Ikea fabric itself is in a sturdy canvas material but as we wanted to make sure that after all the effort it is to make one yourself we wanted the Advent calendar to last year after year. So we decided to iron on a canvas fabric with adhesives before sewing it all together. You fold and iron the fabric at the top and bottom before sewing a across, making enough space to hold a wooden stick at each end. Or alternatively you can use a twig from the forest for the ultimate Nordic look.

Lay the fabric flat on the floor. Decorate your tree with a mix of 24 gift bags, numbered from 1 to 24 (with simple white round stickers). When you are happy with the placement of each bag, fasten a red tape to mark the top of each bag before removing it. Then sew 24 small hooks on where the tape is. (Or like in my case make your husband do it, as he is a lot better at these things than what I am…) An option if you don’t have any hooks is to simply sew loops with a needle and thread through the fabric too. With a pin it’s easy to fasten the gold star at the top of tree.

Lift up the calendar from the floor and hang it on the wooden curtain rod before fastening it to the wall. Fasten all your bags (I took a picture of the tree when laying flat as to remember how I wanted it) to the tree and decorate with fairy lights and you’ve got yourself some instant Christmas cheer.

Next and final step: sit back en enjoy seeing your children opening the little gifts, one by one all the way up to Christmas.

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Our beautiful Advent Calendar has also been featured on the HYGGE Magazine, see it here!

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