Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fabric (paper type) Advent chain

Welcome Sew, Mama, Sew! Readers! I am terribly excited to find my way onto such a great site. I am amazed at the talent and so glad to have a place for inspiration. Welcome, welcome, welcome!! Poke around a little because I do have more sewing and quilting projects.

finished advent chain 2

I have been thinking about this for a few years now. I love making those paper chain countdowns with pretty papers. Scrapbook papers are getting better and better. Last year I played a lot with making decorations with awesome scrapbook papers with amazing textures in them etc. I have been thinking how fun it would be to make a chain countdown with fabric. Yes, fabric!

But I almost stopped myself because I know lots of you will grumble and say you don't even know how to thread a needle. I try to be mindful of that. But my mind tends to think in fabric. What I came up with was a low-sew idea that can be no sew if you must.
You will need:
-4 or more coordinating fabrics
-fusible webbing

That is it. If you are doing low-sew you need sewable webbing and Velcro . If you are doing totally no-sew you want non-sew webbing and iron on Velcro. We live in AZ and store our decorations in the hot garage or attic. Anything just ironed on will get slimy and not stick. So I always use the sewable webbing and Velcro. But YMMV.

1. I did a rough cut of two fabrics as well as webbing. Then, using the webbing I ironed two of the coordinating fabrics together.

fuse two coordinating fabrics together

This is the stuff I'm using.

use sewable iron on adhesive

2. Repeat step 1 with two different coordinating fabrics.

fuse more coordinating fabric together

3. Cut your now double sided fabric into strips. I made mine about 1" wide and 8" long. You will need 24 total double sided strips. I used my pinking shears to cut the edges. Since this is low and no sew, the pinked edges will not fray too much. (The green striped fabric is what is on the red with white polka-dot strips.)

cut into strips about 1 in wide by 8 in long

4. Sew (or iron on) small pieces of Velcro to each end. You want one piece of Velcro to be on the end of one side of the strip and the other piece of Velcro to be on the opposite side of the strip. This needs to form a circle. (See how the end of the green side has the rough Velcro and the end of the red side has the soft Velcro?)

sew velcro to ends of strip

5. Repeat this until all of your strips have Velcro on each end.

finished advent chain

Hang it up and use it just as you would use a paper chain. But instead of tearing off a link, you undo one. And the best part is you can use this year after year! I made this one for my mom.

Remember, this is part of a whole week of advent calendars. Be sure to check out #1 which is a magnetic tin advent , #2 which is a framed button ornament advent, #3 which is a fabric candy or activity advent, and#5 is an embellished felt ornament and fabric advent!


Heartfelt and Handmade Holidays


Lana said...

What a great idea! It is so nice to think about getting ready for Christmas in July. Every year I say I am not going to let it sneak up on me and I do. I think I am really going to try to make a chain or two. This idea could be used a variety of ways! Thnx for sharing!

Deb said...

What a fun idea! I love that it's reusable. You could link it up for so many different reasons! Loving all this Christmas in July stuff!

Jessica said...

I love this idea and have saved it. I want to make one for my kids. :)

Syndi said...

I like this idea and I'm glad there's lots of time to work on it still. Thanks!

Chris said...

Uhhh..what? You want me to sew what? :) This is a fantastic idea! I love the fabric you chose, but I think I'll have to do the "iron on" version!

Amy said...


I could tell this was your idea as soon as I saw your hands in the photos. It's amazing that I'd remember after such a long time.

This is such a cool idea!

Thanks for giving all of us such cute ideas!

Jenny said...

That is beautiful!

I recognize that chair, my Mom has the same ones in her kitchen :)

Mama King said...

I love this! What a great tutorial. Thanks for making it so simple even I could make this! I just might start humming Christmas songs as I make it!

Going back to an earlier post - There is a rule in my house no Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. Bah humbug! Drives my hubby crazy if I start too early!

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Oh, I love this idea!! I also love your advent calendar! I think my kids are old enough this year that they would really enjoy one! I'll have to get started if I want it for this year, though! hehee!

Love your blog! Found you through SITS! :-)

Amber said...

I love this idea. You could use it for other times of the year as well. Adding this to my list.

twinkle teaches said...

Love this because it is re-usable. It would be cute to make a fabric banner for Christmas to match.
tina :)

Best Craft Blog said...

I love paper chains... I make them all the time with my kids to count down days till fun events! i LOVE this idea...I am definitely going to be doing this for christmas...


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Very clever.
Thank you for a great tutorial.

Julie said...

I love this idea. Thanks for posting it. I like that it's reusable. I know this is more sewing, but another option is to use a button and buttonhole instead of velcro. I hate sewing velcro on :)

the monkeys' mama said...

i just saw that you were featured on Sew Mama Sew! That is sooooo (or "sew") awesome! WEll done!

Lacy @ Catholic Icing said...

I LOVE this and think it's so cute! I just featured it on my new blog here:

Jedda said...

I sew love this!!!

ladyljp said...

I see that this has been here a long time, but its the first I've seen it. How cute, I'm going to add buttons with the button holes and snaps and give them as gifts to my toddler grandchildren and baby gifts. Thanks for the wonderful idea