A William Morris Advent Calendar

10th November 2019

We absolutely love the advent calendar trend emerging, luxury brands bringing out mini and full sized products within elaborately decorated calendars. However, not only are they expensive, but it’s not always the case that you’d want every item. So – we couldn’t help but think, why not make our own?

So enter our latest craft project; a Strawberry Thief advent calendar made using our William Morris fabric. Creating them from fabric also means they’re more eco friendly, use them year after year for your advents or reuse them for a multitude of ideas. When you’re packing your suitcase – use them as packing bags to keep everything organised – separating your dirty socks from your clean dress! You could use them as dust bags for your shoes or your handbags. The list goes on!

Using 24 little bags, we bought lots of little gifts for a treat everyday in December. You can go as premium as you want with these, from what we’ve found, it’s hard to think of 24 gifts, so some are chocolate bars, some are more luxury gifts – but we won’t give spoilers incase the one that will be opening the gifts reads this!

You will need:

  • 2.5m of Strawberry Thief Red fabric (or any other of our collection you like!)
  • 2 packs of ribbon – around 9.14m reels
  • Frey check
  • 1 reel of wire edge ribbon
  • Sewing kit
  • Sewing machine
  • Battery operated fairy lights – we used 5 sets but will depend on how many you like and how big your advent area is
  • 24 gifts – all wrapped in tissue/ wrapping paper


How to make the advent calendar:

  • Let’s start with the bags themselves, we did three sizes. Start with a 2.5m length of fabric and from this, we cut 8 large bags. These were 56cm wide by 42cm high. We cut two across the width of the fabric. Save the waste down the side for the smaller bags.
  • Next, for the medium size bags, cut these 8 – 38cm wide x 30cm high – we got 4 across the width of the fabric
  • For the bows, there is excess fabric which measures- 14cm high x 146cm long
  • Next let’s cut the 8 small bags-  35cm wide by 21cm high. These were cut from the remaining fabric.
  • Once all the pieces are cut, we next turn a 1cm hem at the top of all the bags.
  • Cut the ribbon to tie – 24 pieces of 80cm each is what we did. Cut them to a point and then coat the ends with fray check so that they stay perfect and don’t fray, this ensures you can use it in years to come.
  • Place your piece of fabric flat on the table and lay your ribbon on top – pattern upwards. Then fold your fabric pattern to pattern to make a pocket shape and then, making sure to catch in the ribbon so that you can hang the bag. You can refer to the photo below to help you with this step. Double hem along the bottom for structure.

  • Repeat 23 times with all sizes of bags. We kept the same length of ribbon on each so that each could be attached to our stair banister.

  • Each bag should now be hemmed and stitched along the bottom and also inside out, so now you need to go back and turn them all the right way round so the pattern is visible.
  • To finish the bags, we stuck adhesive felt numbers onto the bottom right of the bags so that it’s clear which day of the advent each bag is. You could alternatively safety pin little twine tags onto each bag to make them slightly more twee! Ours were from Hobbycraft.

  • To make the bow – we used wire edged ribbon for inside the fabric (ours was 6.5cm wide.) Put this inside the length of the excess fabric we kept earlier – turn one edge and hem it so it’s hemmed along the edge and covers the ribbon. Make sure it’s pointed at both ends so that when you tie your bow, it looks nice and neat!

  • Wrap each present in tissue paper or wrapping paper and then pop them inside each bag so there’s a present in each.
  • To finish, simply dress the bannister or area you’re putting your advent calendar on – we used an M&S Christmas garland that has berries and lights and pine cones on it which really finishes it all off. We then added a couple of packets of battery operated lights to really finish the entire project off!

There you have it – your very own William Morris advent calendar! Whilst we made it with Strawberry Thief Red, you could make it with any of our Morris collection, or even use a few different designs! We’d say a few that stand out as more Christmas themed for us would be Strawberry Thief blue, Brother Rabbit, Golden Lily and Sweet Briar. 

If you make an advent calendar of your own, we would absolutely love to see it! Please send us photos to our email: laurasbeaufabrics@gmail.com or tag us on social media!