Every festive season we count down to December 25th with a Christmas Book Advent.
Once upon a time, I used to wrap each book in colourful paper and embellish with pom poms and all kinds of decorative paraphenalia.
These days, I ain’t got time for that. Nor do I wish to give myself RSI or a bazillion paper cuts doing so.
So here’s how I intend on rocking the Christmas Book Advent in a more environmentally-friendly fashion this year with 3 kids.
I’ve handsewn some sweet little bags and each day I will simply place a new book in each child’s bag.
I originally saw this idea done by Hana, and I love that it also creates a keepsake that can be used year after year.
(Hana and I are both suckers for creating traditions and love-soaked memories with our littles.)
Oh, and did I mention that sewing is not my strong point?
So if you are not the most confident seamstress, take heart. It’s a project simple enough for even those who flunked Home Economics in high school.
What you will need:
A length of fabric (Ours measured 40cm x 50cm)
Cord for the drawstring
I chose to cut my fabric to 40cm wide by 50cm tall. This was to accommodate the largest Christmas book in our collection.
You might like to make your bag smaller or bigger. So step 1 is simply cut to size, leaving about 2cm seam allowance.
Turn your fabric over and fold over a seam of about 2cm. Iron this down to get a nice sharp fold.
I chose to do a back stitch along this seam. Mainly because I’ve just learnt how to do such a stitch from my friend Trixi and I wanted to practice it. Apparently back stitching is an embroidery technique. I’m obviously not embroidering, but whatevs!
“Do what works for you” is totally one of my creative mantras. You could obviously just do a simple running stitch.
You will be threading your drawstring cord through this section, so don’t stitch too close to the edge.
Once that step is complete, fold your bag in half so the front halves are facing towards each other.
Stitch down the long side and then across the short side to meet the fold.
Again I had a seam allowance of about 2cm.
Let the record show, that at this point my husband declared “It’d be so much quicker if you just used a sewing machine.”
To which I responded with an eye roll and “Yeah but we don’t have a sewing machine.”
What a cheerleader!
You can now turn your bag out- and you have something that resembles a bag!
Before threading the drawstring cord through, I just turned in the edges of the drawstring openings and sewed that seam in to give you a nice, clean edge.
Time to thread the drawstring through and this may be the stage where you mutter a few sweary words.
Attach a safety pin to the end of the drawstring cord so that you can feed it through the seam.
Eventually it will come out the other end. But I warn you, it may take a few frustrating attempts.
Knot the ends of your cord to prevent them slipping back through the seam, and voila! A book bag!
We don’t have enough Christmas-related books to fill 24 days.
So I fill in the gaps with our favourite books from the year that was.
Any opportunity to celebrate reading and books!