How-To: Anticipation Calendar

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CRAFT: Super Crafty Kidz

By Future Craft Collective
It’s holiday time! Let the countdown begin! If you’ve got kids in your house you know how they love to count down to special occasions. We designed this Anticipation Calendar for just that reason — counting down to the big day. With this calendar you can help your kids count down to Christmas, New Year’s, Festivus, birthdays, whatever the big day might be.


Note:For the fabric in this project, we encourage you to dig through your bin to see what you’ve got and make it work with what’s in there. These pieces can all be made from random-sized scraps.
Burlap, approximately 20″×20″
Piece of printed fabric, approximately same size as burlap any variety
2 random pieces of solid fabric, 2 different colors, about 18″ square total any variety, small scraps will work
Piece of white or light fabric, about 8″ square
Rubber stamps and ink or fine-tipped permanent markers
Wonder Under or other such iron-on fusible adhesive
Piece of canvas or other heavier fabric
scraps work just fine as you will cut these small
Safety pins
Sewing machine


Step 1: On the printed fabric, hem all the way around, approximately 1″.
Step 2: Center the printed fabric on the burlap and attach it by sewing all the way around.
Anticipation Step3
Step 3: Fold over the top of the burlap to create a loop for hanging, or attach another piece to create a long channel at the top of your fabric.
Step 4: Cut 2 circles from one of the solid fabrics, each approximately 6″ in diameter.
Step 5: Cut 7 small squares from one of the solid fabrics, each approximately 3″ square.
Step 6: Cut 7 small rectangular strips of the white cloth, as long as your squares and approximately ¾” wide. On these you will stamp numbers 1 through 7.
Anticipation Step7
Step 7: Cut 2 half circles of the white cloth, about 1″ less in diameter than the circles cut. On these you will stamp “PAST” and “FUTURE” or “GROWN” and “GROWING” or “DID” and “DO,” or some other combination of words that implies the same.
Step 8: Fold down the top of the circle, insert the half circle under the flap, and sew around the flap.
Anticipation Step9
Step 9: Fold down the top of the squares, insert the small white strips under the flap, and sew across.
Anticipation Step10
Step 10: Cut out 7 star shapes (or shape of your choosing) from the other solid fabric and iron onto the Wonder Under.
Anticipation Step11
Step 11: Iron the star shapes onto the canvas and cut out each star shapes.
Anticipation Step12
Step 12: Sew safety pin onto the back of each star.
Step 13: Position your pocket pieces as shown above or make your own arrangement. Pin together.
Step 14: Sew the pieces in place, making sure to keep the top of your pockets open. Don’t forget to backstitch at the top of each pocket.
Anticipation Countdown
Step 15: In each pocket put 2 strips of paper and one of the stars. Now you are finished with the construction and ready for a little countdown instruction.
Here’s how it works:
Anticipation Step15
The countdown begins one week before whatever big day you choose: Christmas, New Year’s, Festivus, birthdays, etc. In the 7 little pockets put 2 slips of paper each and 1 star. On each day, write down on one of the strips one thing you learned in the year, season, or week past. Put it in the pocket marked PAST (or derivative thereof). On the other write down something that you wish for, hope for, dream of, or want in the future year, season, or week to come. Put it in the pocket marked FUTURE. As you do each day, pin the star to the outside of the pocket indicating completion. Do this for 7 days until you reach your declared big day. Read them aloud as part of the celebration. Record them for posterity. It’s a great way to reflect upon the past while simultaneously giving a glance towards the future.
About the Authors:
Future Craft Collective is brought to you by Kathie Sever and Bernadette Noll. Kathie is an accomplished seamstress, creator of Ramonsterwear Custom Western Wear, artist, and mother of two. Bernadette is a writer, co-founder of Slow Family Living, and mother of four. They have found renewed energy in their collaboration and are continuously amazed by the ideas, inspiration, and a-ha moments that have come from this shared effort.

4 thoughts on “How-To: Anticipation Calendar

  1. theperfumer says:

    When I saw this, I thought, “hey, that’s a fun looking bill organizer!” I realize that’s not the intended purpose, but still, it would work with a few adaptations!

  2. bethany says:

    I’m just curious: is there a reason you call this an “anticipation” calendar instead of an “advent” calendar?

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