December 10, 2015

How to make a Purl Soho Advent Calendar

My Mum’s favourite time of year – by far – is Christmas. She literally starts talking about it midsummer… and as it happened, this year I was in NYC in the height of the heat, popped into Purl Soho, and what did I see? This lovely Purl Soho advent calender.

So cute!

Purl Soho Advent Calendar

It’s made from felt, embroidery floss and sequins and seed beads. Lots, and lots, and lots of sequins and seed beads. I decided it would be a great gift for my Mum, not to mention a nice little handwork project when I’m watching TV given I’ve still not mustered up the courage to learn to knit.

Purl Soho do a kit for $98 (!) but I was pretty certain I could find some felt and bits for less than that, so instead I picked up just the pattern for $15 and their sequin & bead pack for $12, and I bought all the felt online.

Here’s mine! Not as perfect as Purl Soho’s example… but not bad for someone who’s a touch slapdash with a hand needle. I also learned to seed stitch! Skill building, this one.

Purl Soho Advent Calendar

Here’s what it looks like before the month starts: there are 24 little pockets for the ornaments, and then you attach them using a pin on the back.

Purl Soho Advent Calendar

I love all the little ornaments – now that I know how it works, I might go more creative next time and do more personalised ones. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have one specific to your family?

Purl Soho Advent Calendar

And here’s a wee video of it in action!

Have you done much holiday crafting? Have you ever spent hours upon hours upon hours stitching tiny sequins and seed beads onto something?

10 thoughts on “How to make a Purl Soho Advent Calendar

  1. Jewel says:

    I made the crazy declaration that this would be a handmade christmas year…so I am sewing waldorf dolls for my daughters, knitting like crazy and getting ready to sew my first ever item for my husband- the Paxson sweater by Seamwork. Although I am having fun I am also thinking- what the hell was I thinking? I love this advent calendar and yours turned out beautiful!

  2. This is so lovely! I ended up making little houses for an advent calendar after seeing it on A Beautiful Mess (and then putting celebrations in them), but I now want to try this for next year, I never do any embroidery anymore!

  3. Emily C. says:

    That looks so good! Your mom is going to really love it.
    I made a similar advent calendar last year, but I wimped out on the ornaments and used store-bought ones that attached to the tree with buttons (and actually half of the pockets get filled with chocolates instead of ornaments!).

  4. Bella says:

    What an amazing gift for your mum! I agree, a personalised family version would be very cool. Ours would definitely include historic family pet figurines. I’m going to save this idea for next year 🙂

  5. Very sweet! The last thing I sewed a gazillion tiny beads on was my wife’s wedding dress..months of work, and many blood sacrifices to the gods of where’s-my-thimble.
    I love the personalised idea…hmmm now you’ve got me thnking!

  6. Pat says:

    My mother made these for my children back in the early 60’s. Looks like the same pattern for ornaments, but she had a more realistic tree shape, and didn’t stuff the ornaments

  7. I’m making my daughter the ugliest rag doll with a few outfits made from scraps for Christmas this year. It’s baby pink kona cotton with dark magenta yarn hair with an embroidered face. The head does not stand up. For Hanukkah I made her two nightgowns and a flannel tunic. Don’t be afraid of knitting. It’s seriously easy once you get the hang of it. Just think of all the fabulous accessories and sweaters you could have once you learn!

  8. That is really cute! I haven’t sewn with seed beads in ages. I didn’t know what I was doing then at all, just sewing them on without having read about any technique.

    I have been doing hand stitching lately–sashiko and whimsy kits where felt is stitched on to cloth to make cute designs. It’s a lot less stressful than sewing clothes, and if I just want to stitch a line of sashiko for the day, it’s great.

    I don’t know how to knit either, but I think that may be a good thing–not another stash!!!

  9. Natalie says:

    So nostalgic! My Mum made one of these back in the 80s. Each little felt ornament was different and they attached to the tree with little loops of gold ribbon over big red wooden beads. As children we would take turns putting up the ornaments, trying to sneakily swap the “cool”* ones into our designated days.
    Your Mum is going to love this!

    *yup, Cool felt ornaments. Haha

  10. lovely! here’s an alternative vintage kit – i picked one of these up at a christmas church fair a few years ago and it was so fun to make. my kids love it!

Let me know what you think!