The holiday season is upon us! Half the fun of Christmas is the excitement leading up to it. Advent calendars are a tradition in many homes used as a way to keep track of just how many days are left until Christmas day. Whether you’re a beginner sewist or have the skills that rival Santa and his elves, this project is perfect for anyone looking for a little holiday cheer. Join Spoonflower designer Sandra Hutter as she shows how to make three versions (two are no-sew!) of her Advent Calendars.

Sandra: My Advent Calendar designs are available in three different languages: an English version with a 25 day Christmas countdown (ending on Christmas Day), and a French and German version with 24 days (ending on Christmas Eve). You can also choose between a wallpaper or fabric version (more on that below!) And the best part? You can reuse it next year and help to save the environment by reducing waste!

Choosing the Right Fabric or Wallpaper for Your Advent Calendar

Before you get crafting, it’s important to note this project can be made with fabric or wallpaper. If you’d like a no-sew fabric calendar, I recommend using Fleece. If a natural fabric that requires a little sewing is what you’re going for, I recommend Linen Cotton Canvas. (Note: As of March 2023, we are phasing out our Fleece fabric and launching Polartec® Fleece, which will also work great for this project!)

Please note: When choosing the fabric advent calendar design, be sure to select a fat quarter that is at least 27″ wide.

Lastly, if you don’t want to work with fabric at all, I recommend Peel-and-Stick Woven Wallpaper. Jump ahead to see how I made a wallpaper version of the Advent Calendar!

How to Make a Fabric Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar Materials

Optional Materials

  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread

*See the section above to determine which fabric is right for your project!

My favorite way to hang the Advent calendar on a wall is to use a magnetic poster frame. You can find tutorials on how to make your own online, or you can go the easy route and order it online. The one I’ve chosen is strong enough to hold the weight of a few small treats. 

1. Trim the Unprinted Selvedge

Trim off the unprinted selvage on all four sides of your fabric. If you have ordered a woven fabric (a fabric with no stretch), hem all four sides of your fabric with a 1/4″ (.6cm) double hem using matching thread.

If you’re working with Fleece you won’t need to hem the fabric because it won’t fray!

Step 2. Attach the Frame

Attach the magnetic poster hanger frame to the top and bottom of the fabric following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Step 3. Add Treats!

Now comes the fun part! With the help of sewing pins or safety pins (recommended for kids) attach the treats of your choice to the fabric. 

And it doesn’t have to be chocolate—you can also surprise your family each day with a love note or a prompt for a fun family activity like, “Choose a Christmas Movie to watch with the family!” or “Today we bake cookies for Santa!”.

Now your DIY Advent Calendar is ready to be hung! How easy was that? Want an even easier option? Keep reading to see how you can turn a swatch of Peel-and-Stick wallpaper into an Advent calendar!

How to Make a Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Advent Calendar 

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Advent Calendar Materials

My favorite way to use this Peel and Stick Advent Calendar on your fridge is to use it with magnetic hook clips so you don’t have to miss the joy of having a special treat every day. I found these online and I’m pretty happy with the way they look, and they are also strong enough to hold the weight of small treats.

Step 1. Order the Advent Calendar on Wallpaper

Order the wallpaper test swatch in the language of your choice here. Be sure to select Peel-and-Stick in the Wallpaper dropdown menu once on the wallpaper product page.

Step 2. Trim the Wallpaper

When your Spoonflower order has arrived, use a utility knife to trim off the unprinted selvage on all four sides of the wallpaper.

Step 3. Adhere the Wallpaper to Your Surface

Peel away the first few inches of the paper backing from the top of the sheet. Align the top of the wallpaper with the top of the fridge and make sure everything is straight. 

Smooth the wallpaper onto the fridge 5-10″ at a time, moving from the center outwards. If necessary, use a smoothing tool to move large air bubbles to the edge of the design, being careful not to scratch your design.

After Christmas, you can remove the paper and it won’t leave any residue behind.

Pro tip: Want to reuse your wallpaper calendar again next year? Adhere the swatch to a 2′ x 1′ magnetic sheet before placing on your fridge.

Step 4. Add Treats!

Now comes the best part—attach the treats and messages of your choice to the fridge and enjoy the holidays!

Inspired to make your own Advent calendar this Christmas? Shop Sandra’s cut-and-sew design and more in the Spoonflower Marketplace.

About the Guest Author

Sandra Hutter is an illustrator and surface pattern designer currently based in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria. Sandra’s Spoonflower journey started when she was purchasing fabric to sew baby clothes for her little one. With time, she found her focus shifting from making to purely designing and it didn’t take long to open her own Spoonflower shop. Sandra says she’ll never forget how excited she was when she held the first piece of custom fabric!