At Christmastime, your custom fireplace mantle may be one of your favorite places to decorate. You don't need to limit your fireplace decorations to only pine garlands, ornaments, lights, or other glittery items on the mantle. You can decorate the fireplace's brick or stone front as well, turning it into one large Advent calendar. Here are instructions to turn your fireplace into a countdown calendar to Christmas day.
Advent was first celebrated in the fourth century and began on a Sunday, four weeks before Christmas. The first Advent calendar was used in the late 1800s in Germany to count down to the arrival of Christmas day. Most Advent calendars today are made from cardboard and have doors that you fold back to find a chocolate candy hidden behind.
You will be able to decorate your fireplace with this fireplace Advent calendar without damaging your fireplace's brick or stone. This decorating idea also gives someone in your home a surprise to look forward to every morning in December until Christmas day.
To make this Advent calendar, you will need:
- Stocking template for a stocking approximately 7 inches long
- 24 squares of felt (9 by 12 inches) in your choice of colors
- Fabric scissors
- 3 yards of gold or silver metallic ribbon, 1/2 inch wide
- 24 small gifts or candies
- Fabric paint
- 24 brick hooks or removable adhesive-backed hooks
- Sewing machine
- Sewing thread
Make the Stockings
Use your stocking template and the pencil to trace out two stocking shapes on each felt square. Cut out each stocking outline, then place them together so that the edges match.
Measure and cut off five inches of metallic ribbon, fold it in half and tuck the loose ends inside the a top corner of the stocking. Make sure the ribbon is between both sides of the felt.
With your sewing machine, stitch around the sides and bottom of the felt stocking using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Continue this with all the felt squares, making 24 stockings.
Use fabric paint to draw the numbers 1 through twenty-four on the front of each stocking. Allow the paint to dry according to the paint instructions. Fabric paint that comes in a squirt bottle is a good option because it will allow you to squeeze out the paint instead of using a paint brush to apply it.
Attach the Hooks and Advent Stockings
If you have brick on the front of your fireplace, you can find metal or plastic brick hooks that attach on the front of each brick. This is a way to securely keep your Advent calender stockings attached on the brick without damaging your brick. You can bend and adjust each brick hook to fit the height of your bricks.
If your fireplace is covered with stone, or another material other than brick, you can use removable adhesive-backed hooks for stone and wood. These adhesive hooks attach securely, but can be removed without a trace that they were ever there.
Place the hooks onto the front of the fireplace, evenly spaced to allow each stocking to be visible. Hang the stockings onto the hooks with the metallic ribbon. Make sure the number is facing outward. The numbered stockings can be in order or randomly placed so the seeker has to search for the stocking each day.
Fill the Stockings
Depending on the age of the person who will be opening each Advent stocking, choose the gifts accordingly. For children you can select small toys, candy canes, coins, or anything else they might like. For adults you could fill the stockings with any type of gift, such as money, movie tickets, Christmas ornaments, or jewelry.
This safe decorating idea for your fireplace can begin a fun and new tradition in your family, without harming your fireplace's exterior.