Advent calendars are a fun way for kids to count down the days till Christmas. And this triangle zip pouch Advent calendar is even more fun because each day is a cute little zip pouch. Kids will love unzipping the pouch each night to discover a little treat (or two) inside!
I’ve got a tutorial below showing how you can make one.
How cute are these little zip pouches in this Advent calendar? Using different colors on each side of the zipper adds extra color and whimsy.
Unzip it to find the treats inside!
The pouches all have small loops at the top so you can hang them from a garland or even use them as Christmas tree decorations.
But my favorite way to display the zip pouch Advent calendar is just putting them all in a pretty bowl. Kids can dig through each night to find the right pouch!
Sewing 24 zip pouches might seem like a lot but if you sew them in batches assembly line style, it actually goes faster than you’d think. I was able to make all of mine in a couple of afternoons.
Metal edge key tags (like you find at the office supply store) make the perfect zipper pulls. You can write a number 1-24 on each tag to show which day the pouch should be opened on. And because the tags are easily removable, you can easily re-order the pouches each year.
I made my pouches in three sizes – 2.5”, 3.5”, and 4.5” triangles – to give some variety to my Advent calendar. I made 8 of each size. But you could also make all of the pouches one size.
I think it’s fun to find little presents to fit inside the different size pouches. Here are some ideas to get you started:
What can you put inside the pouches?
Small (2.5” triangle)
- Fun size candies
- Folded money & pocket change
Medium (3.5” triangle)
- Snack size candies
- Chocolate coins
- Lip balm
- Earrings and small jewelry
Large (4.5” triangle)
- Small bath bomb
- Small toys
- Pair of socks
- Stretchy gloves
How to Make the Triangle Zip Pouch Advent Calendar
Main fabric – 2 charm packs
Lining fabric – 1 yard
**You could also use 1 charm pack plus a handful of fat quarters from your stash, and then mix/match the prints for the pouch exteriors and lining.
24 nylon zippers at least 8” long. Zippers can be expensive when bought individually but you save a lot of money when you buy them in bulk from Etsy. These are the ones I bought.
Fusible fleece – 1 yard
1/2” wide ribbon – 1 ½ yards
24 metal rim key tags
The instructions below are for sewing an individual pouch. You’ll need to sew 24 pouches to make the Advent calendar. You could sew them one by one, but it’s easier – and faster – to sew them in batches assembly line style. I made my pouches in sets of 8 to speed things up.
Cut fabric and fusible fleece for your pouches.
For each small pouch (2.5” triangle) you’ll need:
- Exterior – 2 3” squares of quilting cotton
- Lining – 2 3” squares of quilting cotton
- Fusible Fleece – 2 2.5” squares
- 2 pieces ribbon, 2” long
For each medium pouch (3.5” triangle) you’ll need:
- Exterior – 2 4” squares of quilting cotton
- Lining – 2 4” squares of quilting cotton
- Fusible Fleece – 2 3.5” squares
- 2 pieces ribbon, 2” long
For each large pouch (4.5” triangle) you’ll need:
- Exterior – 2 5” squares of quilting cotton
- Lining – 2 5” squares of quilting cotton
- Fusible Fleece – 2 4.5” squares
- 2 pieces ribbon, 2” long
Once you have all your pieces cut, follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the fleece to the backs of the Exterior pieces.
Install the Zipper
Start by making a sandwich with your zipper and bag pieces. Layer one of your Lining pieces face up, then the zipper face up along one edge, and then an Exterior fabric piece face down.
Your zipper will be longer than the fabric pieces. That’s okay because you’ll trim the zipper down to size later. Make sure the zipper pull is on the portion of the zipper tape above the fabric, so you don’t have to mess with stitching around the pull when sewing the zipper in.
Use a zipper foot to sew along the zipper.
Turn right side out and press. Top stitch close to the zipper.
Repeat with the remaining Exterior and Lining fabric pieces on the other side of the zipper. Make the sandwich with the Exterior piece face up, then the zipper face down along one edge, and then a Lining piece face down. Sew along the zipper.
Then turn the fabrics right side out and top stitch close to the zipper.
Assemble the Triangle Zip Pouch
Fold the 2” piece of ribbon in half, then place it along the top of the left Exterior piece, raw edges touching and close to the zipper. Baste in place with 1/8” seam allowance.
Unzip the zipper.
Flip the layers so the Exterior pouch pieces are right sides together, and the Lining pieces are right sides together.
Sew the Exterior pieces together down long side with ¼” seam allowance. Sew the Lining pieces together down long side with ¼” seam allowance.
Turn right side out so the Exterior fabric is out the outside and the Lining is on the inside. Zip the zipper up about 1” above the bottom edge of the fabric.
Now, turn the pouch inside out so the lining is on the outside.
Line up the seam allowances on the Exterior and Lining with each other and the zipper teeth. Then sew across the bottom of the pouch with ¼” seam allowance.
If you’re sewing the Small size triangle pouch, unzip the zipper all the way down to the bottom of the pouch. You’ll need to have it open all the way to create a hole large enough to turn the pouch right side out later.
With the zipper still open (pulled down nearly to the bottom of the pouch), rotate the top edges of the pouch so both sides of the zipper tape are along the side. Sew across this edge with ¼” seam allowance. This creates a boxy pyramid shape.
Trim off the ends of the zipper even with the top/bottom of the pouch.
If you want a cleaner finish on the inside of your pouch, zig zag over the seam allowances along the top/bottom of the pouch. I used a 3 width and a little less than 1 length on my machine to give good coverage over the raw edges.
Turn the pouch right side out.
Write the numbers 1-24 on the front of the key tags.
Attach a key tag to the zipper pull on each zipper pouch.
If you love this darling Christmas sewing tutorial from Anne, be sure to check out these as well: