string of lights advent calendar pattern
December 12th, 2008
Here it is, the string of lights advent calendar tutorial (and pattern!). I made the pdf pattern file all by myself for the first time, so if you have problems with it just email me and I'll try to fix it. Otherwise, hurry up! because advent is almost over!
green wool felt
multi-color felt scraps
60 feet green yarn
green embroidery thread
lightweight treats (gum balls, dum dums, love notes, tiny ornaments)
Cut the yarn into six equal pieces (10 feet each or 120 inches each or about 3 meters each). Take three pieces and braid them together. This is more difficult then it sounds, but if you roll up the slack and just work with a little yarn at a time it's much easier. Braid the other three together the same way. Then twist the two braids together and knot the ends. It will stay twisted when you sew the lights to it.
Cut out 25 (or 24 or however many lights you want) circles and rectangles. Create the socket by sewing a blanket stitch to the edge of rectangle and the circle attaching them to each other. If the rectangle is slightly longer than the circumference of the circle clip it to fit and continue sewing the ends of the rectangle together. Sew the sockets onto the cord--one every three inches.
Cut out the light bulb pattern piece. To sew the lights up faster you can fold your colored felt over and simply trace the pattern onto it with a marker (permanent or not it doesn't matter) then sew the two pieces together staying inside the lines. To be safe test the first light to see if it fits: sew and turn out, put a treat or two inside, then fit it inside the socket and see if it stays when it's hanging upside down. If it slips out, just make the lights slightly bigger. If you'd rather use the lights for decoration and not for treats you can stuff the light bulbs lightly and sew them onto the socket.
I didn't really finish the ends of the cord (I just tied a knot on both ends). But it would be sweet to make a little plug out of felt to hide the knot. To do this cut out four extra "socket bottom" circles and two extra rectangles. Cut a slit in the middle of one of the circles and insert your knot, then attach the rectangle, just like you did for all the sockets, and attach the other circle to the other side--making a round (European style) plug. You can even make some prongs out of felt to complete the look.