Just for Angel - A cross stitch Christmas advent calendar

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 08, 2011

I remember when I was young, there was a time when I was fascinated by cross stitch. That was when I started embroidering Precious Moments patterns and giving them away to friends and family.

The one thing I found daunting about doing cross stitch is having the perseverance to stick with it from beginning to end and not chucking it aside when you have the sewn a couple of headless bodies, or body-less heads. Well, it's tricky and much easier said than done because one piece of hanky sized cross stitch might take weeks, or even months, to make.

I came to realise that and pretty soon my enthusiasm subsided. So you see, I've not really been an ardent fan of cross stitch.

Nonetheless, when I came across the idea of a cross stitch Christmas advent calendar, I knew that this was a gift I wanted to make for Angel.

My knitting teacher told me that a Christmas advent calendar is a popular fad in Sweden and how it works is that there are numbers on the calendar (usually 1-24) symbolising each day of December. Parents make this for their children and put up little gifts each day to celebrate this festive season as they countdown to Christmas. It was also here in Sweden where the first 24-episode series of televised Christmas calendar was aired.

The little gifts do not have to be elaborate or expensive. It's more about the joy of having a small gift each day, letting your child feel excited when she wakes up every morning and seeing that big smile on her face. For me, my gifts include stickers, a ball, a yo-yo and you could even write slips of paper saying things like "Let's go to the playground today", "We'll make a snowman today" or "You can have ice cream today". Simple things can work well and honestly, you don't need diamonds or cars to make a happy child.

For those who embrace the spiritual meaning behind Christmas, an advent calendar can also be used to recite poems and read stories such as the Nativity to your child. Being a free thinker, it's more secular in my house and I like to keep things simple for us and just immerse in this jolly season and the spirit of giving.

So, this cross stitch pattern measures 40cm by 32cm and is by far the largest one I've done in all my life. I did a Disney pattern since Angel just had her Disney birthday party last month.

How long did it take me? Well, almost two months. I probably would have taken only half the time if I wasn't busy with the Mickey/Minnie ears and if Angel did not come tugging at the needle whenever she saw me doing it.

In the end when I was doing the backstitch, I decided to let her have a go. I would insert the needle in the correct hole and she would pull it out for me. Ok, I did make sure she didn't poke her eyes. Or mine. For some reason, it made her thrilled every time she did it and so even though my progress was slowed down tenfold, I wasn't going to spoil the fun for her because craft, to me, is about bringing happiness to my loved ones and enjoying the process.

Voila! Here's how the finished piece looks like. The good thing is though it took me much effort to make, I'm going to re-use it for the next 10 or 15 years. So I did my math and concluded it was a pretty good deal and worthwhile project to undertake.

Angel gave me a big smile when she saw the finished piece and came shouting "Pooh Bear" and "Eeyore". Even a bigger one when I started hanging the presents. So despite all the sleepless nights, backache, neck pain, sore eyes and bloody fingertips (no, not kidding), yes, it's really all worth it.

For more craft ideas and DIY tutorials, visit my gallery here.


  1. U did it girl! The finished product is really beautiful! Definitely worth all your sweat and blood! lol.

    Fang Ting

  2. @gingerbreadhouseonsesamestreet
    Hee thanks gal. Yes, I FINALLY completed it lor. Haha. =) I like it too, you should do next time for your kids! =p

  3. Congratulations to a very great one! I love it! I wonder, where did you get that pattern, I can provide such a future for my little girl.

  4. Hihi, I got mine from a knitting shop in Sweden, where I'm staying right now. Where do you live? Perhaps you could try some knitting/craft shops or search for advent calendar cross stitch online? Let me know if you need help! =) These are great gifts for the little ones!

  5. Hi,

    Thank you. Online is looking for but could not find. So you are interested in the store and see if they could get.

  6. Hihi,

    I found a Winnie the Pooh design on ebay at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Anchor-WINNIE-POOH-ADVENT-CALENDAR-cross-stitch-kit-/370548839401. It's not exactly the same as mine but it's a cross stitch advent calendar as well. If you really like the one I did, I could perhaps buy one from my knitting shop and help to post it over to you? =)

  7. Hi,
    Thanks, I saw this picture, but it's not like it. In the meantime, I found a third of the sample to fetch everything :)


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