I’ve been blogging for like 4 years, and every November, I think I’m going to finally get my holiday crafting game together enough to design an advent calendar. And every year, it just hasn’t happened – until this year. When I was brainstorming knitting and crochet-related holiday ideas for Hands Occupied, my lingering advent calendar-related regrets from Christmases past and general obsession with knitting combined to inspire this yarn nerd-tastic advent calendar. Instead of the usual candy or small toy, each bag is filled with a different knitting notion. They’re filled with things like travel scissors, cable needles, stitch markers, scrap yarn bobbins, stitch gauge measuring tools, pom pom makers, etc. Kinda awesome, right?
Cricut Explore with cutting mat
2 sheets green holiday scrapbooking paper (12 inches by 12 inches)
2 sheets red holiday scrapbooking paper
1 sheet light yellow scrapbooking paper
1 sheet white scrapbooking paper
24 treat bags – Mine were 40 cents apiece at Target, but I can’t find ’em online! Check the holiday packaging section if you’d like the exact ones I found.
24 different knitting (or crochet!) notions, see recommendations below
brown embroidery floss
Cut out the following. I used my Cricut Explore. As a knitter around holiday time, my Cricut is a total lifesaver for projects like this. With 80% of my free time dedicated to holiday gift knitting and crocheting, and 20% dedicated to things like cleaning and feeding myself and my family, I don’t have much time for traditional crafting. Plus, my machine can cut images way faster and more accurately than I can by hand.
For this advent calendar, I cut the following with my Explore:
- 24 different tags, in 3 different designs (4 of each design on green holiday paper and 4 on red)
- If you use Cricut Design Space, here’s the layout I put together for my tags if you want to use it.
- 24 1-inch numbers on 3 different circle designs (8 of each design in light yellow)
- My layout if you want it.
- 24 knitting-themed images small enough to fit on each tag
- 6 sweaters
- 6 Christmas stockings
- 6 mittens
- 6 yarn balls
- My layout of the 24 items if you want it.
Use a glue stick to stick one number and one knitting-related design on each tag.
I arranged my designs in alternating sequences so they wouldn’t look overly uniform.
Next, cut your embroidery floss into 24 6-inch pieces, fold in half, and attach to each tag. Then wrap the floss around your bag’s closure if they have interoffice mailer-style closures like my bags.
Then put your notions in your bags, one for each day of December through Christmas Eve, and display your knitterriffic advent calendar on your mantel, hanging from a bannister, or simply hung on a string on a wall.
Here’s a closer look at my favorite of the designs I used – the yarn ball (duh, I mean, look at the Hands Occupied logo, I <3 all things yarn), and the cardi (double duh – I’m a librarian and I knit).
Yes, this project was obviously designed with the knitters and crocheters of the world in mind, but it can be adapted to sewing, general DIY, or even non-craft hobbies like fishing (can you say tackle?). Making a partner or best friend a customized advent calendar featuring supplies for their favorite hobby would be a really cool way to gift someone a heartfelt, month-long Christmas present, just sayin’.