Continuing the advent theme and using the Lollipop Shadow Numbers die again (I love this die, it saves so much time and gives perfect results), last week I made a quick and easy advent crown. Instead of the traditional wreath with 4 candles this version is simply numbered sleeves fitted onto old jam jars with tea-lights inside.
The jars I used were little 8oz ones that measured 8 1/2in in circumference, for larger jars either the sleeve itself can be increased in size or a longer piece of elastic used for the loop (I tried one on a jar with a 9in circumference and they fit ok but the elastic was pulled fairly tight, a 3 1/2in long piece for the loop would probably be better and the easiest alteration to make).
I cut the numbers 1 to 4 from in the same way as for the advent calendar by cutting a piece of iron-on adhesive to size, pressing it to the reverse of the fabric and then placing it backing paper side up on the die to cut with my Big Shot.
From a couple of festive fabrics (I used Gnome for the Holidays and Many Mini Gnomes by Michael Miller) I cut 4 sleeve fronts measuring 8in x 2 3/4in and then 4 sleeve backs to the same measurements from a co-ordinating red and white chevron fabric.
I folded the sleeve fronts over to find the centre and then peeled off the backing paper from the numbers and pressed them in place (the numbers can be sewn in place at this stage if preferred to quilting them at the end). With an approximately 3in long piece of elastic I made a loop and basted it to the right hand side of a sleeve front.
Then right sides together, the sleeve front was placed on top of a sleeve back and then both were placed on top of a piece of thin batting that was slightly larger than them overall. Once pinned they were sewn together around the outside (1/4in seam allowance) leaving a 2in opening on one side at the bottom. The excess batting was trimmed away and the seam allowance at the corners snipped off.
Then the sleeve was turned the right way out and pressed flat with a warm iron before the opening was hand-sewn closed.
I hand-stitched around the inside edge of the numbers and around the border of the sleeve to quilt them. I opted to quilt them by hand because I'm currently having problems with my sewing machine but I'm glad I did as it was a nice relaxing-on-the-sofa evening job.
The last job was to add a button to the left hand side, fit it around an empty jam jar and pop a tea-light inside.
Being a safety-conscious sort (a worrier) I feel the need to stress that lit candles should never be left unattended and this advent crown should be stood on a heat-proof surface. The sleeves should do no more than warm up slightly on the side of the jar and should not prove a fire risk - I've done quite a bit of testing.
These are now ready to go into the centre of our dining table during Advent to be lit each Sunday (predicting a few heated discussions between my sons over who gets to blow them out afterwards, that was always what happened in our house when I was a child).
It's half term for us this week and I'm away with the boys but some sewing is coming with me for the 'quieter' moments.