12 Days of Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

Some friends and I have had the idea to make a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar for a few years. When I saw the Gobble Gobble charm pack I knew that it would be perfect for this! Here is a fun project for a countdown calendar for Thanksgiving. Instead of the 12 days of Christmas, why not the 12 days of Thanksgiving?

In each pocket you could put a treat, a quote, or a small activity for your family to do to prepare for the holiday. Hop on over to my blog, the polkadot chair, to visit me, Melissa Mortenson, for a list of activity ideas for your pockets!

2 Gobble Gobble Charm Packs
1 20×30 piece of wool felt
fabric for backing
Fusible fleece or Warm & Natural Batting
Wooden dowel
Heat and Bond Light (or your favorite fusible)

To begin, pick out your favorite 12 prints from your charm pack. Using your favorite applique method and font, cut out and adhere the numbers 1-12 to these charm pieces. If you have questions about doing this, check out my method on a previous tutorial here.

Cut out 12 pieces of fusible fleece to 5×5 (the same size as your charm pieces).
Adhere these pieces of fleece to the backs of the squares.

Sew around the number though all layers of fabric and fleece. I like to use a straight stitch, but use your favorite one for applique.

Pick out 12 more charm pieces. These will become the backs of your pockets. Sew around the 4 sides of the pocket leaving a 2″ hole in the bottom of the pocket to turn the pocket right side out.

Clip the corners of the pocket.
Turn pocket right side out.

Tuck unsewn portion of pocket in and press, if it won’t stay, use a bit of iron on seam tape to keep it closed.

Pick out 12 more charm pieces. I chose to keep them in the green/brown/red/orange family.

Alternating colors and patterns, sew these 12 pieces together, using 1/4″ seams into one long piece. Press seams all to one side.

Cut the strip of charm pieces in half lengthwise so that you have 2 strips, each 2 1/2″ wide.

Attach one strip to each long side of your piece of felt, cut off extra and save.

Attach saved strips to top and bottom (short sides) of felt.

I chose to embroider “give Thanks” to the top of my Advent Calendar. Don’t worry if you don’t have an embroidery machine. If you want “give Thanks” on your calendar, use your extra charm pieces and the same applique technique used on the pockets.

Cut a piece of fusible fleece smaller than the calendar piece. You will want to leave a 1 1/2″ – 2″ border around the fusible fleece piece. Put the “sticky” side of the fusible fleece down towards the calendar front.

Cut a piece of backing the same size.
Turn over and using saftey pins, secure all layers together.

Press to adhere the fusible fleece to the felt piece.

Using your walking foot, stitch around the entire border (in the seam between the felt and the charm border). I used a blanket stitch but you could also just use a straight stitch or any decorative stitch you like.

Next you are going to lay out your pocket pieces.

I found it helpful to first lay out all of my pocket pieces to “eyeball” where I wanted them to go and get a good idea of spacing. After this, I pulled off all but one row.

Working from the left side one row at a time, pin the pocket pieces to the calendar front. Use a ruler to make sure the pieces are lined up properly. My pieces ended up being 1 1/2″ from the side and 1 1/2″ apart from each other. Incase your pockets have “curved” in at the centers, measure from the corners to assure proper placement. Pin WELL.

Making sure to backstitch at the top of each pocket sew, using your walking foot, around each pocket, doing your best to keep your layers flat. Sew around the 3 sides of your pocket, leaving the top open.

When you finish the 1st row, pin on the 2nd row and sew it. When you finish the 2nd row, sew the 3rd row.

Using 6 charm pieces make 3 leaves using the technique outlined here: (it is the same method I used to make the bird). I just traced 3 leaves from my yard, but if you’d like the pattern I used for my leaves you can get it here.

Sew “veins” into your leaves, crinkle the leaves up in your hands to give them some dimension.

Pin the leaves onto your calendar, sewing though all layers, sew the leaves to the calendar.

To make a pocket to hang calendar from:
Sew a 2″wide piece of ribbon to top of calendar. (you are going to sew the ribbon the fabric border piece, it will be as wide as the felt). Put a bit of fray check on the ends of the ribbon.

Press and turn towards back.
Pin in place.
Hand sew ribbon through along the top AND the bottom.

To finish sides and bottom of calendar:

Turn calendar over. Turn border under 1/4″, turn under again and pin in place. Turn your calendar over and double check that the border is even all the way around, if not adjust on the back of the calendar. Hand sew in place.

1 calendar per 2 charm packs.

13 comments on “12 Days of Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

  1. alice232 says:

    Oh my! I sooooooooooo want to make this. I always wish that we did more to celebrate Thanksgiving and this would be an excellent way. If only I can find time in between these Christmas and baby shower projects…

  2. Mary L says:

    My daughter and I just did the happy dance when we saw this. Thanks so much. WooHoo.

  3. Brandi says:

    This is soooo cute! What a fabulous idea! I may be making one of these in the near future! Do you have any Christmas Advent Calendars?

  4. Molly says:

    How cute! I love it! πŸ™‚

  5. SUPER cute melissa.

  6. Blue Is Bleu says:

    Such a cute idea!!! And Gobble Gobble is one of my favourites! πŸ™‚

  7. What a great idea and super cute!

  8. Sarah says:

    I just LOVE this idea! What a great way to make sure my kids are actually “giving thanks”!

  9. cristina says:

    I love the farbrics and the beautiful calendar.
    kisses from spain

  10. Jill says:

    This is really cute. Just a technical thing, though – the 12 days of Christmas actually refers to Christmas Day and the days after Christmas leading up to the Epiphany, not Advent. An Advent calendar usually has 24 squares, and you start counting down from Dec. 1st. In America, where Christmas decorations start appearing after Halloween, we tend to stop celebrating Christmas on Dec. 26th. However, for centuries, this wasn't the case and it still holds true in many other countries where they celebrate Epiphany by exchanging gifts. Just some food for thought! This in no way diminishes your Thanksgiving countdown – it's a great idea and a reminder that we should give thanks more often than one day out of the year!
    Thank you for the great idea!

  11. Kate says:

    This is SUCH a great idea! I started working on this last week and have made some pretty good progress so far. I'm planning to make one for each of my married chilren (4) for a surprise and one for myself…..I've been QUITE busy!! Thanks for the great ideas. I love your creations!! Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

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