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Here are two different Christmas countdown ideas using a Cricut or other cutting machine. They are reusable and can be used year after year!
There are a bunch of different ways to do the famous countdown until Christmas. If you have kids in the house, then I’m sure you do some kind of countdown.
We have three different countdown calendars in our house! One for each child to do (this keeps the fighting at bay!). I remember putting the homemade stuffed ornament on the felt tree when I was little every year. I love those special memories and I want to carry them on to my children.
Some people go more traditional and use homemade advent calendars or opt for store-bought advent calendars.
Or you can make countdown calendars. These are pretty simple. You or your child just changes the number until you get down to 1 day until Christmas!
If you own a Cricut or other cutting machine here are two fun Christmas countdown ideas for you.
DIY Window Countdown Calendar
This tutorial is originally posted at leapoffaithcrafting.com.
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- Window Clings Cricut Brand– I used red and white for the Christmas countdown cling and frost for the snowflakes.
- Cricut cutting machine – Explore Family or Maker -always check prices between Cricut.com and Amazon (click links to compare!)
- Standard Grip Mat
How To Cut Window Clings
Find a design in Cricut Design Space you would like to cut the window clings out with or you can access my project here. Size everything to fit your window, mirror, or whatever non-porous surface you are putting them on.
If you are cutting words or larger images that you need to apply with transfer paper then turn mirror setting on.
If using an Explore, turn the wheel to custom settings so you get the drop-down menu on the Make It screen.
I just searched “window cling”. Click on it.
Place the window cling material on a standard grip mat with the liner facing down (so the color will be facing up).
Load and cut!
Applying to Window
Weed off the extra cling just like you would vinyl.
If you have stand-alone clings, simply peel them off and place them on a cleaned window or mirror. I did this will all my snowflakes.
For the larger “Days Until Christmas” cling, I straightened it on my window and taped it in place with painter’s tape. Then I used a scraper, to scape all the pieces down.
Then slowly pull off the backing. If some of the images, don’t want to stick, just scrape them down again.
Then I lined up the white pieces in the candy cane and scraped those down.
Once everything was applied, I use my scraper to gently go over the outside of the window clings to ensure they were stuck.
Now my kids can use a dry erase marker to write down the days! I love how vibrant and cute it is.
DIY Wooden Countdown Calendar
This tutorial was originally posted at leapoffaithcrafting.com.
Materials Needed for DIY Christmas Wood Signs
- Piece of Wood – I had a spare piece lying around but you can get one at a hardware store and they will even cut it for you. The piece I used was 13 inch x 24 inch
- Paint – You need chalkboard paint for the black so you can write the number with chalk and erase it. I used this one. Then any kind and color you want for the words and star. I love using Chalk paint for the top color so I can distress it. I used Parisian Grey Folk Art
- Stencil – I cut my stencil out of vinyl on my Cricut Explore Air. (This is an absolutely amazing machine!! Check out my review here and see what it can do!!)
- Twine or decorations – optional
Making Countdown to Christmas Sign
Prepare your wood and vinyl. Cut your stencil out and weed off the extra vinyl from your design. I found the three wise man image on google, but I think Cricut Access has something similar.
If your wood is rough, sand it so it’s smooth.
- Paint: Since I wanted two different colors (black and red) I measured how big the letters section was and drew sections on my board. I just used the chalkboard paint for both black sections but you can use regular black paint for the bottom. I painted 2 layers of each color.
2. Vinyl – After the paint dries, you are going to apply your vinyl stencil. Apply transfer tape to your vinyl and put it on the wood.
Scrape it down to make sure it’s nice and stuck.
3. Paint – Then you are going to paint a light layer of the SAME color paint over the stencils in each section.
So a light black paint layer over the top and bottom sections and a light red coat over the words. This seals the edges so the top layer of paint doesn’t seep under.
4. Paint – After the paint dries, you are going to paint the entire board with your top color. For mine, it is gray chalk paint.
It will look all one color, don’t worry! You’ll see the Christmas countdown sign soon!
Let it dry for just about a half-hour or so and then you are going to take off the vinyl. I use an Exacto knife to gently lift the edges and then my fingers to pull the rest off – do not dig the knife into the board or you’ll cause a whole or scratch the paint.
For the star, I just added the stencil on top since I didn’t want to measure exactly where to put the yellow paint. Place your vinyl with the star weeded OUT wherever you want the star.
Then before you paint, brush on a light layer of Mod Podge or Waverly varnish (this helps seal the edges so the paint doesn’t leak). Let that dry and then paint the yellow paint over it.
Let that dry for a bit and then take off the vinyl. Admire your beautiful work!!
If you would like to make it rustic you can distress the edges by taking some sandpaper and sand around the edges. The chalk paint will sand off and you are left with the wood showing underneath. Sand as little or much as you want!
Then you can seal it will some chalk paint wax. Once it’s dry you can add any embellishments you want. I wound some twine around the top, added some bells from the dollar store, and a little burlap pouch with chalk.
That’s it! What do you think? Now my kids can easily erase and put the new countdown to Christmas number on the sign.
There you have it! What is your favorite way to countdown to Christmas?