Friday, December 2, 2011

Sew Along Part 5: Pottery Barn Advent Knock Off {REVEAL!}

**I'm excited to be guest posting this over on Sugar Bee Crafts.
**Sorry if you were looking for this tutorial yesterday! Pretty please, if anyone has made this using my tutorials, email me a picture! I really want to see it, and feature it!!!!!

Well, its December 2, and my Advent is finally finished!!!
Good thing I still have most of the month to put it to good use!
Here it is...........

I have been doing a Sew Along on my blog with tutorials for this project. They can be found here:
Here is: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
I used this tutorial for inspiration on some of my squares.

Before I get on to Part 5 of my tutorial, let me share with you a few thoughts....
Here is my inspiration. This beautiful calendar was sold at Pottery Barn a few years ago. They don't sell it anymore, which is why I decided to make it. However, I found a few on eBay, but the price was $70. Pottery Barn's price was even more. Originally, I thought this price was outrageous. It cost me roughly $20 to make this. But in all honesty, now I understand the high price. Why? Because it took me nearly 30 hours to make this!!! If I had known it would take me so long, there is no WAY I would have made it! I think I could have been just as satisfied with a store-bought calendar on 50% off, or a much easier homemade idea. (Ok, maybe not. I am pretty proud of it)! I really am so excited to have it, and to use with with my family for years to come. I'm just glad its done!!!

So now that you've been warned, here is the rest of the tutorial!

1. After all the squares are embroidered, iron interfacing to be back to protect your stitching.
Here's my stack!
3. Arrange the squares on your tree. Then pin those puppies so they stay put. This is a big job! I zig zag stitched mine, but if you're feeling ambitious, you could hand sew them all. (Pretend the numbers aren't here yet).
3. Now its time to add the numbers. There are several ways this can be done. I embroidered mine by back-stitching. I didn't do a perfect job (i.e. some look like a 3rd grader could have done them, haha).
4. Time for the back layer. (It's a different color- this felt was cheaper. It won't matter at all).
First, I added a pocket to mine. This way I can store the pieces of paper that have our activities written on them. Next, I cut out my batting, using the back layer as my pattern. I used Christmas tree "snow" as my batting.
Here's how it looks.
5. Now attach the batting to the back of the back layer. I did little pin tucks in a few places, then basted the edges together with my sewing machine.
6. Now, for the nerve-racking job. Place right sides together, and stitch around the tree. I followed the edge of my presser foot. Make sure to leave a large opening at the bottom so you can turn it right side out!
We're sewing 3 layers together- front, back, and batting.
7. Now my sewing is done. Make sure you left a large opening! Clip your corners of the swirly parts of the tree, and turn right side out.
8. Make you star and tree stump. I sewed mine together, turned them right side out, stuffed with cotton, then top stitched.
(Remember top-stitched around this after stuffing it with batting).
9. Now we need to top stitch around the entire tree, while adding the tree stump, and closing up the bottom. Pin the bottom opening together, and layer the stump in there.
10. Final touches: Remove your basting stitches. Figure out a way to hang it... I can't find my D-rings, so for now, I just hand-sewed a temporary hanger. Then, sew some cute snowflake buttons through all 3 layers (this will help keep things in place).

Holy Moly, it's done!!!!!!!!!!!
It's 56 inches tall, bigger than my 5 year old daughter!

So here are a few ideas of what activities we'll be doing this December:
(I don't plan to do any of these in order, we might just pick the activity the morning that we do it).

1. City Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
2. Set up Christmas decorations
3. Write letters to Santa
4. Christmas cards
5. Christmas Shopping
6. Make a holiday craft
7. Visit Santa
8. Attend a Christmas concert, play, recital, etc.
9. Attend a Christmas concert, play, recital, etc.
10. Ugly Sweater Party at our house
11.Church Christmas party
12. Service: Spread Holiday Cheer
13. Read Christmas books
14. Wrap presents
15. Make gifts for teachers
16. Family Movie Night with treats
17. Decorate Gingerbread houses
18. Play in the snow
19. Hot cocoa and look at Christmas lights drive
20. Make Christmas goodies
21. Take gifts to neighbors
22.Christmas Caroling
23. Service: Spread Holiday Cheer
24. Act out nativity scene, special Christmas presentation and dinner
25. Write thank you notes, special breakfast and dinner

Merry Christmas everyone!

Linked up to some of these great parties! See my huge list of link parties HERE!


  1. It is so wonderful to see the final version of this amazing project! You have done a wonderful job with this-well done!

    I am hosting an Advent calendar link up as part of my 12 Days of Christmas series at my Christmas blog. I would be honoured if you could stop by and link up this wonderful idea/post!

    Best Christmas wishes,

  2. Love it love it love it! I really like the idea of putting the pocket on the back-- brilliant!
    I am now just doing the snowflakes on my tree and then it will be complete.I've been using it even though it's not ALL complete-- Sheesh- I am with you-- it took forever-- but it was fun making it-and I'm happy with the end result.- and plus I hope it is something that my kids will always remember-- like I do with the one my mom made :)

  3. Wow, that is so cool. I didn't realize how big it was until that last picture. This would work great for my Advent Calendar idea too!

  4. This is completely amazing! You did a fantastic job. It was certainly worth all that hard work. You will have a treasured heirloom for years to come. :)

  5. Really nice job, I've been watching your progress :) It was a ton of work, but what an heirloom you have created for your family!

  6. I bought all this felt and was going to make one with felt, but I couldn't figure out how to get numbers on there so I gave up and made one out of dixie cups. Maybe next year :)

  7. Oh my goodness, this turned out so awesome! I LOVE it so much Rach! SO worth the wait. :)

  8. This turned out so great Rach! I am super impressed!! LIKE SUPER IMPRESSED! I love it so much! Might have to make one next year! :)
    Can't wait for your party tomorrow... although I have to admit- I have waited until last minute to find an ugly sweater and after a trip to goodwill tonight with no luck, I am starting to get worried! ha ha I will find something tomorrow i am sure- and if not, I am coming anyways:)

  9. Your advent is awesome! I love PB but the price tag kills me! You did a great job! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Turned out so Great! Wow, it's so big. The great thing about doing something like this, is you get to love it year after year.

  11. What a treasure! Yours is the bomb and what a wonderful way to enjoy the holiday season even more.

  12. I love your advent c.
    We had one growing up, that my grandma made, and I loved playing with it. Wish I knew where it was now. I would love for you to share your talents at my weekly linky party fri-monday. I also have an auction going on now and 100% of winning bids are going to a good cause. Hope to see you soon.

  13. I have loved seeing how you made this! Absolutely fantastic! I have featured it on my facebook page:>

  14. This is fabulous! I've been following along as you've been posting! I would love for you to link this up at my Sharing Time Linky if you're interested!


  15. Loved your DIY calendar.
    I added your tutorial to my blog thank you

  16. You did a great job! I'll be adding this to my to do list!

  17. This is so unique and beyond cute!! I love it!! Would love for you to please share it via my Pin'Inspirational Thursday linky party please...LOVE LOVE :)) *Thanks so much :)) Wishing you a happy Thursday..~Marilyn*

  18. Hi! I totally love this! I made the PB Stocking Advent Calendar this year (, so I know what you mean about it taking so long to make! But I guess the more tedious it is, the more it's worth it!! :)

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

    Sew Rugged @ bear rabbit bear

  19. Just a heads up, I am featuring this tomorrow! I sure love this calendar!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial. I finished mine using your instructions. I'd love for you check it out.

  21. I have been looking fro something like this for a long time! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for he tutorial.

  22. Thank you for the tutorial! I plan on making this myself as soon as I get my hands on some fabric. I wanted to know where you got your green felt from at such a reasonable price. Did you go to Walmart for it? Or use a coupon at JoAnn's? Thanks!


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H