Christmas Countdown Tutorial

December 10, 2012 in News, Projects

It’s a few days late, but I finally completed my Christmas Countdown banner (Or Advent Calendar).  It was not very difficult, but a little tedious with different parts and steps. I did it all on my Ellure Plus! We can fill each pocket with a surprise for my kids to count down the days until Santa comes.

Materials Needed:


  • Two colors of fabric-One yard for background fabric, 1/4 yard for pockets
  • Cotton batting for inside
  • Wooden dowel
  • Ribbon
  • Embroidery design
  • Baby Lock Machine






Select fabrics for your background and for the pockets.  I chose a santa patterned fabric (it was on sale) and red fabric for the pockets.  I wanted to use a solid fabric so the numbers could be legible.  The fabric was 45 inches wide, so folding it in half was a good size (width) for the finished wall hanging.  Embroider a title for your wall hanging.  I chose “Countdown to Christmas.”  Other options were: “Countown to Santa” or “Christmas is Coming.”  Fold your fabric in half (So it is 22 inches wide).  Mark the center of the front half and embroider your title.  (The patterned fabric made the title a little hard to read, but I liked the design and I figured it would be looked at close up most of the time anyway.).


Cut solid fabric into five strips to make into the “pockets” for each day.  I decided to make each pocket 2 inches by 2 inches (finished).  So, I cut my fabric strips 5 inches by 11 inches to account for seam allowances.



Measure and mark the pockets on each strip.  Make marks at 1/2 inches from the top and bottom and left and right edges of the strips (seam allowances).  Also, mark every two inches (starting from 1/2 inch mark) to delineate the edges of each pocket.  Iron each fabric strip onto fusible mesh cutaway stabilizer. I decided to use cutaway instead of tearaway because it can also serve as interfacing inside each pocket giving it stability.  This sort of saved me a step since it is already on the fabric.







Embroider five numbers on each strip.  Each letter should be centered between the marks you made on your strips, essentially every two inches. I used one of the preprogrammed fonts on my Ellure Plus and just moved the starting point each time.










Prepare the fabric strips to sew onto the wall hanging.  I ironed the pieces along the lines I drew to make it easier to sew them with hidden seams.  The finished size should be 2 inches tall by 10 inches wide.






Decide where you would like to place your pockets.  I decided to start the first pocket two inches below the title, but then one inch between each row.  Pin the lower seam allowance to the fabric so you sew with a hidden seam allowance.  Sew across the bottom of the strip (not across side allowances).  Next, sew each end by folding fabric under and sewing it as close to the edge as you can.  I reinforced it by going over it twice since it will probably be pulled on and stressed from little hands pulling out candy.










Continue measuring and sewing each strip onto the fabric.  I made my rows 1 inch apart.  So, when flipped upside down, the fold on the seam was 3 inches from the bottom of the pocket above it. Make sure to line up fabric rows on each side and each number vertically (Looks like mine is a bit off. . . ).











Sew vertical seams to create 25 pockets on the rows.  Stich halfway between each number (2 inches) to create a square pocket.  I found it more efficient to sew five vertical lines, then move the machine over and do the next “column.”



Now that the pockets are complete, it’s time to finish the wall hanging.  Turn the fabric inside out and lay a piece of cotton batting on the folded material (same size as fabric).  Sew along the vertical sides of the fabric and batting together (three layers).  Flip the piece right side out, so the batting is “sandwiched” between the fabric layers.











Finish the bottom edge by folding both ends inside.  Sew across the bottom as close to the edge as you can.







Fold the top of the wall hanging over to create a pocket for a dowel and/or ribbon.  You can thread the ribbon through the pocket with the dowel, or tie the ends of the ribbon onto the dowel (if it is long enough to come out on each side of the fabric).











After you insert the dowel and ribbon, you can fill each pocket!  The pockets I made are large enough to hold a small candy cane, chocolate coins, or even little notes.  My children love checking the calendar each morning to see what they will find 🙂






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