Travel Advent Calendar Book Sew-along Day 1

I designed this advent calendar as one we can take away travelling with us easily as we are planning a big family holiday for December next year but don't want to miss out on the excitement of Christmas.  So I thought I'd make a travel advent calendar - and am being so organised that I'm making it a year in advance so we can 'test' it this year too!

As it has to be small and easy to slip into a bag - there will be no chocolates each day, but just a note which could have an activity, a picture, a quote or anything you like written on it. I'll be sharing some ideas for that at the end of the sew-a-long too.

It's basically a small book that has an elastic strap to keep it safely closed when not in use.

Inside the pages have small numbered fabric pockets into which 'notes', pictures or even coins can be slipped!

The elastic strap can also be used to hold the front and back covers together so that the advent calendar can stand up on a table in a 'star' shape!

I think this will be perfect for travelling and I'm going to have fun thinking up ideas of what to put in the pockets!

So - let's get to the sew-along!
This advent calendar tutorial is going to be spread over 5 days with each day's steps requiring about 1 hour.

Gather and cut materials.

You will need 
Fabric scraps - I used Christmas fabrics, but you don't have to - you could use reds and greens to make it traditional Christmas colour or simply choose colours you like. As a guide, a fat quarter size piece (45.5 x 56cm (18 x 22") is enough for your main page pieces, and really small scraps suffice for the pockets.
Cardboard - Any card will do as it will be completely covered by your fabric. I used an old cereal box.
Elastic - a piece 18cm (7") long
Plain white or light fabric A4 size - I used calico
Fusible Webbing A4 size - I used Vliesofix which is a well known brand here in Australia
A computer printer  - and an A4 template of numbers 1-24. Create your own or download mine for free here

What to cut

Cut 6 pieces of card 17 x 11 cm (6.75 x 4.5")

Cut 12 pieces of fabric for covering these cards. 
Each 18 x 15 cm (7 x 6"). I didn't have quite enough of the green so chose to use 2 red pieces of fabric for the front and back cover of my book.
And 1 piece 19 x 7 cm (7.5 x 2.75") for binding the 'spine' of your advent booklet.
A couple of Christmas fabric scraps to decorate the front of your book if you have them.

For the daily pockets, cut 24 squares of different coloured fabrics, 
6 x 6 cm (2.5 x 2.5")

To make the pocket numbers.
Take your fusible webbing and cut a piece the same size as an A4 sheet of paper. Also cut a piece of your white fabric this size.

Iron the fusible webbing to the back of your fabric piece, this will make the fabric a little stiffer so you can then just put it through your computer printer just like a regular piece of paper!

Print the numbers 1-24 on this sheet of fabric. Use my template - free to download here or simply create your own Word document with the numbers spaced so they all fit on one sheet of A4.
(I used Calibri size 72 font)

NOTE: as an alternative to printing your numbers, you could always cut the number shapes from felt, or simply use a fabric pen!

You should now have everything ready to make your advent calendar book. Tomorrow we will start sewing!

I would love it if you shared this sew-along with your friends and on social media!
I'm hoping to see some that you make for an advent calendar that is a little different!!

Do come back tomorrow for the next part of this Travel Advent Calendar Book Sew-along!

Day 2 can be found here.


  1. I never thought of doing an advent calendar book. What a great idea! I think I will make one of these next year for my nephews.

  2. Thanks Claire! I'd love to see if you make one!

  3. You can print on fabric just by fusing web to the back?? WHY has no one ever told me this??? Thanks you!!!
    This advent book is so cute! I love that it can stand alone, too.

  4. That is such a smart idea!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow that features your sew-along: --Anne

  5. This is a great advent calendar. I love that you made it to a book. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. It's great having you and enjoying your Christmas decor.

    1. Thank you!! My girls love seeing pictures of snow just now! It's always nice to see a different climate and place isn't it?

  6. What a fabulous idea Jill. We've already made our advent calendar for this year, but my daughter is going to Belgium on an exchange program for a whole month early next year and your beautiful travel calendar will be going with I think. I'll add little bits and pieces in the pockets to remind her of home and how much we love and miss her. Thank you so very much for the inspiration

  7. Oh Michelle that's such a lovely idea to send one abroad with your daughter! I hadn't thought of using one at other times of the year - but now you've made me think that this could be used for all sorts of occasions and reasons!


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