Advent calendars are one of my most favorite things about the holiday season. When the kids were younger the treats tended to be small toys and candy, but, now that I have teenagers, we enjoy a special activity together that everyone looks forward to. This year we'll use this Wall Pocket Advent Calendar that I designed. It's easy to make (no sewing) and I used an amazing new product, Tulip Shimmer Sheets, that I want to share with you. Just slip in a piece of paper with an activity idea and maybe a few chocolates too!
Tulip sent me a wonderful box full of glittery goodness that is not just your regular glitter - everything is specially formulated to work on fabric and it's washable too! Dimensional glitter paint, spray-on glitter paint...
Iron-on rhinestones and a special tool that acts like a miniature iron just big enough to heat set the rhinestones...
An assortment of glitter in shaker bottles, glitter fabric glue, and iron-on Shimmer Transfer Sheets! If you have ever shyed away from glitter because it is too messy then you will especially like the spray-on glitter and iron-on glitter sheets so be sure to check them out.
Wall Pocket Advent Calendar Tutorial
I really liked working with the iron-on Shimmer Transfer Sheets. They couldn't be easier and the results are amazing. I hope they add some more colors (maybe brown, turquoise, and orange!) because I can see doing other projects with these in the future.
Materials & Tools:
fabric wood embroidery hoops Tulip Shimmer Sheets iron scissors glue gun number templates small piece of thin scrap fabric
There is a lot of flexibility in this project for you to customize the calendar: fabrics, hoop sizes, and glitter colors.
I used three different sized hoops: 4", 6" and 8". They are very inexpensive and you can usually find them at your local thrift shop, dime store, or craft store.
I used 10 different fabrics but you can use as many or as few as you like. Thinner fabric works best since it will be folded three times in the hoop.
And, lastly, I used four different glitter colors: gold, red, green, and silver (from the holographic set).
Step 1 Cut your fabric in rectangles so that the width is approximately 1 - 1½" wider than your hoop and the length is about 2½ times the width. Here are the measurements I used: 4" hoop: fabric 5½" x 10" 6" hoop: fabric 7½" x 15" 8" hoop: fabric 9½" x 20"
Step 2 Fold the fabric into a square so that here is a pocket in the fabric. Make sure there is at least 1" - 1½" inches of fabric all around the sides of the hoop. The fold should be about a third or half way down from the top of the hoop for easy access.
Step 3 Cut the numbers from the Tulip Shimmer Sheets. You can use the templates I made, if you like, or create your own.
The only tricky part here is to make sure you trace the number pattern on the back of the shimmer sheet (the smooth side) and that your number is traced in reverse. You don't need to cut out the numbers to trace them; just lay the iron-on transfer on top of the pattern and trace it with a black permanent marker. Hold it up to a window or use a light box for easier tracing.
Step 4 Position your hoop on the fabric, then lay your glitter number on top of the pocket in the center of the hoop. Remove the hoop. Place a thin piece of fabric on top of the glitter number and press with a hot iron for 40 seconds. Move the iron around to prevent scorching and be sure to press the folds too. Pull away the thin fabric slowly from the glittered number.
Step 5 Put the fabric into the hoop. (Separate the two pieces of the hoop. Lay the fabric, centered, on top of the hoop without the hardware. Loosen the outer hoop and then press it down on top of the fabric covered inner hoop.) Tighten the screw as best you can to keep from slipping.
Step 6 Turn the hoop over and trim the excess fabric all around so there is enough to fold over the edge of the hoop; about a ½" should do.
Step 7 Use your glue gun and glue the fabric to the inner hoop. Along the sides there will be three layers of fabric - start glueing the inner layer and work outwards so they are all glued down.
Now, repeat 23 times! It's easy, but does take some time. The longest part for me was arranging the fabrics and hoop sizes and deciding what glitter colors to use. I think they look like big colorful ornaments! An added benefit of these are that they stack neatly and will be easy to pack away for next year!