Category: Advent

Santa Claus is coming to town

Two years of friends. Yup. THAT HAPPENED. Thank you for the support and the loving, please keep sharing, commenting and messaging me; I love hearing from you and seeing what you’ve made.

In keeping with my first post ever, and the one year anniversary post of this little blog, here’s another lovely advent calendar for you to make.

“Oh but advent starts next week, I don’t have time!” Yes, yes you do. I made this in a day. Less than really when you consider I went out for breakfast and dinner. You could even take the easy way out and glue instead of sew.

This particular calendar is a labour of love for my very hardworking and wonderful sister. Poor duck got jealous of mine once, and this year I thought it was about time she had something a little more permanent so she never forgets again. Thanks for your love and support sib.


You will need

A dowel rod (40cm) (or a wire coat hanger)

Festive looking string or ribbon

Felt (I bought two packs of 5 felt squares from John Lewis, you’d probably need 6 or so A4 sheets)

24-48 chocolates (I used mini Lindor truffles (there are 22 in a bag) and some woodland friends from Waitrose)

Something a bit more special for Christmas eve

24 miniature pegs (I got these from Tiger)

Buttons etc to decorate

FIMO or air dry clay

A marker pen or ink and mini number stamps

This template for the stockings


Step one

Depending on the length of your dowel you might need to cut it down. Mark the cut point at 40cm.


Step two

Cut the end of the dowel off. Those of you into wood work (of which I am sure there are plenty) don’t judge me for my saw, I’m relatively confident after using it that it wasn’t the right choice.


Step three

measure a length of twine/string/ribbon about twice the length of the wood and double knot tie it onto either end. You might want to add a little glue to secure it. Make sure to turn it so the knot is at the back.


Step four

Hold the centre point of the twine and allow the rod to hang off the side of the table. Make sure it’s level and tie a knot in the middle so that you have a loop to use for hanging.


Step five

Using the template cut out 23 mini stockings (2 pieces of felt for each). I cut through two layers at a time, and squeezed 8 cut outs from each square of felt. If you bought A4 sheets I imagine you’ll get 10-12.


Step six

Keep cutting.


Step seven

Sew the stockings together using an overlocking or zig zag stitch. I edged the white bits separately before attaching them and left the heel hanging over the edge.

If you are making this for next Christmas, feel free to hand sew. I cover how to blanket stitch here. If you want this ready in time for this advent I recommend borrowing a sewing machine or using glue.


Step eight

Cut the excess off the heel of the stocking and any loose threads.


Step eight and a half

(Totally missed this step on the original post)

Secure the heel with a little dab of glue, but make sure it doesn’t soak through and stick the stocking together.


Step nine

I decided not to sew heels on all of them as I wanted a bit of variation. So I used some of the embellishments from last year’s advent calendar to decorate. Glue is acceptable here I reckon, otherwise you really need to sew them on before sewing them together.

Repeat until you have 23 little stockings and one big one.


Step ten

Fill your little stockings as you go, they look very cute as they stack up.


Step eleven

After a few learning lessons from last week, I made the number markers with air dry clay. I found it easier to work with than FIMO. It also worked really well to ink the stamps before pressing them into the shapes.

This is entirely optional, you could write the numbers on the pegs, stamp them, make circles of card instead etc etc.


Step twelve

Once the shapes have dried out (no cooking required with this clay), stick them to the pegs with enough space at the top to open and shut the peg without squashing them.


Step thirteen

Cut 6 lengths of ribbon. I decided to taper mine at different lengths, as you can see in the final photos. To shape the ends nicely, fold the ribbon in half and cut diagonally on the fold to create a v-shaped cut.


Step fourteen

Tie the ribbons onto the rod and peg the stockings on.




Happy Christmas FiFi xx

Count up count down

There’s lots of things happening right now. The first one to mention is that fabrefaction TURNS 1 TODAY! I know, crazy right? I will leave any sentimental ramblings to my new year post, but it seems mad to me that my first little blog about an advent calendar made from egg boxes was only a year ago.

The other major thing that’s happening is that MEGAN IS GETTING MARRIED. In 12 days no less. Gawsh.

In honour of this we had a hen party last weekend in beautiful Bath. For part of the afternoon we had time to kill and every activity we looked up was crazy expensive or not available etc etc. After some deliberation it was suggested that I conjure up something to do.

So in honour of Meg’s wedding, fabrefaction’s birthday, and being as close as we are to December, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use our make shift craft workshop to make an heirloom for Meg and Olly to obligingly hang at Christmas…at least as long as we’re friends…which will be forever, so…

DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t so much the usual step-by-step, more a little inspiration and a few tips along the way.


You will need

These little drawstring bags (or some like them)

24 little pegs (I got mine from Tiger, they’ve got numbered ones at the moment too)

3m ribbon to hang the pegs off

A whole plethora of Christmas themed haberdashery (The Range and Hobbycraft furnished us nicely)

A team of Santa’s little helpers


Now it depends how crazy you are, I rate as ‘very’ on the scale when it comes to craft. Cool kid I know.

Well, I didn’t quite fancy the thought of the hens free styling the numbers because I think a little bit of consistency helps the overall look of this kind of thing. Yes, I did tell them that as an introduction, and yes, I do have problems.

I printed the numbers in a chubby font to begin with using them as a template on felt.


If you don’t trust yourself to hold and cut at the same time turn the numbers upside down and draw round them very lightly. Then you won’t have pen marks when you turn them over. I was a bit heavy handed with the pen at first, so be warned.


I love a little blanket stitch on Christmassy craft. You basically need to put the needle through the felt at the height you want your stitching, and as you pull the thread through catch the loop so that it is held at the top.


Voila. Not fiddly at all. Nope.


If you are cutting regular fabric use pinking shears (the zig zag ones) so it doesn’t fray. Otherwise you may have to hem it all. The alternative if you don’t own pinking shears and don’t want to sew is to use felt, or just chance it with the fraying (but then we can’t be friends).

How cute are those little gingerbread buttons?! It helped to hold them down where I wanted them and half turn the bag inside out to sew.


I found it best to sew any details onto the individual items and then glue them down using a few dabs of PVA. You can be a lot more precise that way.


One down. Twenty three to go. Time to rope in some helpers…


Everyone got involved with the gluing action so don’t be ashamed. I loved little Rudolph with his number 11 antlers.


A few more.


The whole shebang! I love the way this turned out, and now Meg has a keepsake from some of her favourite people.

Thank you for visiting my little space of internets. It’s kept me going all year, here’s to another.


2014 – The year of the game face

So Christmas has fizzed and New Year has popped. It was back to work for yours truly this morning after a glorious two week break, and boy did the world inside my duvet seem a lot friendlier than the one outside it at 6.30am.

Usually I don’t set much store in New Year, and I’m not the resolution making type – I figure that if you want to do something you just should, whatever the season. However, this year is already panning out to be quite different to the others I have spent on our fair planet, so I hereby christen it ‘the year of the game face’. Not because I expect it to be awful. Quite the opposite actually, but it will be new, and probably quite challenging, so insert game face here, I’m ready for you 2014.

One thing I’m particularly looking forward to is growing this little blog. While I do I would love any comments, ideas or suggestions that you might have. If you like fabrefaction you can add it to your RSS feed, subscribe via email, or follow along with a WordPress account. My next job is to set up Facebook, so keep an eye out for that too.

Oh, and if you make anything from the blog please show me, I just love to see it. Actually…to wrap up the festive season, I have a couple of projects to show you that brought a big smile to my face.

Homemade Advent Calendar

Above is Jane from Newcastle’s version of the Homemade Advent Calendar. Jane sources a different advent calendar for one of her friends every year, such a lovely tradition, I’m very glad I could share a little inspiration!

Below is gorgeous Miss Maija busily beavering away to make her calendar too. Maija lined up all her choccies by type so she didn’t end  up with the same one two days in a row. Great idea Maija, wish I’d thought of that!


Advent Calendar Maija

That’s all for now, Happy New Year!

Homemade advent calendar

When it comes to Christmas I’m still a massive kid. Waking up in the morning and realising there’s a choccie waiting downstairs is just about enough for me to drag myself out of bed on dark winter mornings.

There’s a problem though right? Advent calendars are either ridiculously pricey, or really rubbish quality. So here’s a way round that. It keeps the kids (or you) busy all afternoon and is actually something worth getting out of bed for.


Things you need:

Egg Box (or two)

PVA glue

Tissue Paper

Box of your favourite chocs

Glitter/Wrapping Paper/Bits to decorate with


Step one:

Prepare your egg box. I got mine from a local café where they use a heck of a lot of eggs. These ones are the best because the raised bits are level with the side of the box.

If you aren’t lucky enough to find someone who uses these, you just need to get two 12 packs of eggs (ask your neighbours/colleagues to save them). You will need to chop the raised dividing things so that they are level with the box. Keep the first box in tact, cut the second in two and stick the egg holding section into the lid of the first.

Me? I just had to snip off a line of 6 so I had my 24. It’s definitely worth trying to get hold of one of these.


Step two:

Tip all of your chocolates out, and choose your favourite 24. There’s loads of offers on these at the moment, the ones I used were £2 a box. I’m afraid I didn’t count how many there are, but I got two to be safe and they would have easily done two calendars. There might be a bit of compromise needed if you have two little ones! I got to choose all the best ones just for me.

You could also buy a block of chocolate/box of malteasers and wrap individual portions in tinfoil.



Fill your egg box, trying to make sure the sweets don’t go above the top of the highest points. A bit of extra twisting and poking required.

Step three:

Put a dab of glue on each of the divider thingys. Cover with two sheets of tissue, making sure that there’s enough overlapping the sides for turning under later.



Make sure to press the tissue down on each spot of glue, you don’t want to be ripping two days off accidentally. It’s ok if it seeps through a bit.

Set to one side to dry; no need to worry about the loose tissue around the edge for now.


Step four:

Unfold the chocolate box (or use a cereal box instead if you went along the malteaser route). Find something that’s smaller than the egg gap to draw round. Make sure you have 24 and cut them out. If you are doing this with very small people you may want to do this part in advance.


Step five:


Plonk yourself down in front of a Christmas film with a box of glitter and pens and let your imagination run wild. The best thing about these is that any age or ability can do one and it doesn’t matter what it looks like, Christmas is meant to be a bit kitsch!


Who doesn’t still love a bit of glitter at Christmas?! A cocktail stick will help you keep numbers really neat.


For any little ones (or bigger ones) who don’t like drawing or experimenting, wrapping paper is quick, easy, and effective.

Step six:

Turn over your egg box and secure the overlapping tissue to the bottom – great practice for all that present wrapping in a few weeks.

Step seven:

Use PVA to stick all your circles to the spaces above the chocolates. I also decided to stick some buttons and ribbons to mine.

Step eight:

Hide it away until the 1st December and enjoy!