We made an advent calendar to send to Grandma Kathe.
I had Jane and Zuzu create the artwork.
I think the everyone-facing-forward-and-floating-in-space technique came about because I recently had them draw and paint a whole set of nativity blocks and, being burned out on the art-slave gig, they just redrew on the fabric the figures they drew for the blocks. Despite the unfortunate effect of making everyone present at the manger seem disinterested in Baby Jesus, I love it.
Each pocket contains a folded up scripture about the Savior to read. We intended to put in treats, too -- maybe a mini candy cane sticking out the top of each -- but we had to get it in the mail and we ran out of time. I put a tiny red wooden clothespin on the first pocket that she can move along to mark the day, since it's hard to tell which day you're on without the treat in the pocket.
They did the art with pencil first (you can see some of the rejected pencil lines), outlined in black sharpie, and then filled in with oil pastels. I put a paper towel over the oil pastel and ironed it, to try to keep it from smudging and to help it to soak into the fabric. Craft or fabric paints would have been ideal, but the girls had run out of patience and we'd run out of time for painting.
You could do this from a drawing on paper too, if you scanned it, printed it on inkjet transfer paper, and ironed it on. Or you could make the top with a clear vinyl window and slide in a picture. It would be fun to have your kids draw a new picture each year and save them as keepsakes.