1. Gather up supplies for the pouches—get creative for this step. It's a great opportunity to upcycle and reuse crafting items you already own.
Some great suggestions for wrapping are:
- tissue paper (old or new)
- leftover wrapping paper
- newsprint (call your local newspaper, some offer free end-rolls)
- paper lunch bags
- pages from that daytimer you never used
- pages from an old wall calendar
Tip: to get the creases out of used tissue paper, iron it on low heat with no steam.
2. Find items to fill your daily pouches. Think small but fun!
Here are a few items to consider:
- notions for the sewing lover (small and practical)
- gift cards to favourite places
- mini packs of Kleenex
- lottery tickets
- Post-it notes
- tickets to a show or movie
- pocket calendar for the upcoming year
3: Cut out your desired wrapping slightly larger than your gift. Don't forget to leave room for a seam allowance and decorative trim.
4. Secure the 2 layers of wrapping together. We recommend using fabric clips instead of pins so you do not create holes in the paper.
Remember to leave one side open so you can slide your gift inside.Tip: if using lighter tissue paper, line it with a matching or complementary colour. This works especially well to make a design pop and helps prevent seeing through to the surprise gift.
5. Sew around the three secured sides. Don't worry about locking the stitch, it will look messy and tear up the paper—how to secure the stitch will be shown in step 6. Use matching or contrasting thread and play around with decorative stitches. If opting to use tissue paper, we recommend using a microtex needle. Test out your chosen stitch and needle on a scrap piece of tissue or paper first to ensure clean a look. Leave a large enough seam allowance (3/4" to 1") to allow for decorative trim after it is sewn.
Tip: if you own a serger, you can quickly serge around the outside edge—no need to worry about a seam allowance or decorative stitches.
When you get to a corner, make sure to put the needle down into the project. The needle will hold the paper in place while you lift the foot and rotate the project to sew the next side.
Before sewing the last side closed, tuck your gift inside. When removing the project from the machine, be sure to leave long tails on the thread.
6. Secure the threads by tying a small knot. Repeat this step on each side then trim down the threads close to the stitches.
Tip: You can also leave the thread tails long and use them as a way to attach a number tag if you prefer not to stamp or draw numbers on the package itself.
7. Jazz up the edges by using a pair of pinking shears or other decorative scissors. Make sure you are using craft scissors regardless of what type you choose. Remember cutting paper with fabric scissors is a big no-no.
8. Add a number to your package to assign it a date to be opened. You can make sewn number tags, use stamps on separate tags, or draw the number right on the package. The possibilities are endless. Get creative and have fun!
Tip: If opting to write the number on the package consider doing this prior to sewing it, especially if you have oddly shaped gifts. However, writing the numbers on at the end will make it easier to centre them.
9. Display the finished advent calendar in a large bowl or vase on the kitchen table or string together and hang across a mantel or bookcase. This project is completely customizable. Be creative and mix up what you use to 'wrap' the gifts for a more eclectic look.
We'd love to see what you come up with. Use the hashtag #factory5festive so we can see how you personalized your advent calendar.
Cheers and Eggnog and Happy Holidays!