Reflect on the meaning of the season with a spirited felt Advent calendar.
1. For wordy rectangles: Cut five 5-1/4 x 2-2/3-inch rectangles from felt. (We used two turquoise, two blue, and one red as backdrops for our white-lettered words.) Use a running stitch and contrasting-hue floss to stitch a line around the perimeter of each rectangle.
2. To create the backing: Cut five slightly larger felt rectangles. Layer each small rectangle atop a larger contrasting-color rectangle and pin pieces together.
3. Determine which buttons you will use on each set of rectangles. Mark the center on each set of rectangles. Use a sewing machine and thread matching the smaller rectangle to create centered buttonholes. (Remember, when layering buttons, holes should accommodate the largest button in the stack.)
4. Remove pins. Secure each set of rectangles together with fabric glue. With smallest rectangles facing up, trim edges of larger contrasting rectangles, leaving a small border that will highlight the stitch-edged rectangles.
5. Cut letters from white felt to spell out words. Glue letters in place on small rectangles.
6. For banner, cut a 7x21-inch turquoise felt panel and a 7-1/2x21-inch dark blue felt panel. Center turquoise panel on dark blue panel and pin together.
7. Machine-stitch panels together along 21-inch sides. Create rod pockets at top and bottom of banner. Fold top and bottom edges over 3/4 inch and pin. Machine-stitch 1/2 inch out from fold. For hanger, pin an 8-inch length of ribbon to top the back corners of banner and stitch in place, following rod-pocket stitch line. Slip bamboo skewers or cut-to-fit dowels into rod pockets to help banner hold its shape.
8. To pull it all together, position and stitch buttons on front of banner. If desired, stack on another button and stitch through first button to attach to banner. Button on the embellished felt rectangles, with flowers facing up and lettered sides facing banner.