Christmas Projects / Inspiration

A Minimalist Advent Calendar

Megan Nielsen's minimalist advent calendar

Continuing on from previous years, with my goal to constantly add to our collection of handmade Christmas decorations, i have been wanting to make an advent calendar.

Unfortunately i’m quite picky about what i put on my walls, and i couldn’t get excited about all of the Christmas tree themed calendars that seem to be the norm. I wanted something more minimalist, that wouldn’t stick out in my house like a kitschy sore thumb.

In the end i went for a simple rectangle made from calico with pockets for each day, and basic black numbers on each pocket. I used my Silhouette Cameo and black flocked transfer material for the numbers.

I’m really happy with how it turned out – it looks stylish and it works. We don’t include candy in our advent calendar, we prefer activities, so each pocket has a little card in it with the activity of the day. Except a few days where i haven’t figured out what to do yet hehe. Today’s activity was setting up our nativity set – it’s a really cute Playmobile set my inlaws bought the kids a few years ago. It’s kind of like lego, so you can take it apart and put it back together endlessly. My kids spend hours by this side table every December playing with it, I love it.

Anyone have any great activity ideas for our Advent calendar? Hit me up in the comments!Megan Nielsen's minimalist advent calendar

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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8 years ago

gah! Why didn’t I think of this?! It’s so stylish and simple! I was hoping to make one this year but got stuck on all of the complicated embroidered (etc) tree-shaped things out there – but this is great!! I don’t think I could get away with not putting candy in it though hehe – so yeah no brilliant activity ideas from me. (We already managed to burn our advent candle down to day 4 by not paying attention properly, oops. Advent FAIL already!)

8 years ago

My sister made a heap of activity cards for a calendar when the kids were smaller. Activities included decorating the tree, wrapping presents, family scooter ride, backyard pool party, chocolate fondue, christmas cooking, making gingerbread men, afternoon tea party, christmas craft. Sometimes I put in a Christmas story or poem to read.

This year I have gone with a new approach (my kids are older than yours). I bought a 1000 piece Christmas jigsaw puzzle and I am putting a handful of pieces in the pocket each day.

Have fun!

8 years ago
Reply to  katherine

I love this idea! I have always wanted to make an advent calendar but every time I start a sewing project it takes me weeks to finish! (I have 1 year old twin boys and a 4 year old boy). I’ll keep this idea in the back of my mind for next year. Thank you. Have a Merry Christmas!


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