Hi everyone!! I’m so glad to be back with you today at The CSI Project. I wanted to share with you a little ‘Days ’til Christmas’ countdown. My son has always loved to countdown to something – whether it’s a holiday, a day off school, a vacation, a trip to see his grandparents – you name it, he wants to know how many days are left! So, we have tried lots of different versions of a countdown. As he gets older, it’s harder to come up with fun, different ways to count down. We’ve done 25 small family gifts and 25 Christmas stories, but those seem to be more for all of us and I really just wanted to make something he could be in control of. This is what I came up with.
Supplies: metal serving tray or cookie sheet, chalkboard paint, Silhouette (or other cutting machine, or letter stickers), vinyl for cutting machine, clothes pin, chalk, hot glue gun, crop-a-dile, masking tape and ribbon.
The first step is to tape off any section you don’t want covered in paint.
I just did a simple border around the tray, layering and folding my tape to get a good, smooth edge. Spray paint according to manufacturers instructions. Set tray aside to dry and after 24 hours, cover with chalk and then erase. Now you’re ready to decorate your tray.
I picked a simple font for the title “Days ’til Christmas” and cut it out. I also picked a simple frame shape to cut out. This is the spot for our ‘days’. I also added a cute present at the bottom. You could skip the ‘Christmas’ and do a simple vinyl line and use this for anything you are counting down to.
You can use transfer paper to move your letters from your cutting mat to your tray, or use clear or white contact paper (you can see through the white contact paper pretty well). I didn’t have either on hand, so I just eye-balled it. I did have a little trouble getting my frame to lay down smoothly, so the transfer paper would have helped a lot with this frame. There are other frames that have straight edges – those are a bit easier to do without the transfer paper.
Now, pick your spot for your clothes pin (this holds your chalk) and glue it in place.
This is where you could decorate a bit more. Covering the clothes pin in patterned paper, or adding some ribbon would be really cute. A fabric rosette would be nice, as well. We already decorate every square inch of our house, so I decided to leave this a little on the plain side. And honestly, the less fussy the clothes pin, the easier it will be for my son to take the chalk out himself and change the number!! I really wanted him to be able to use this each day, instead of it being something only I could keep up with.
I left the tray alone for a while to ensure my hot glue was good and dry. I then took my Crop-a-dile and punched two holes in the top of my tray. I just guessed at proper placement of the holes – I’m an eye-ball it kind of girl!! I strung my ribbon through the holes and tied a knot – now it’s ready to hang up!!
Again, Here’s the final look – sweet and simple.
This is a really inexpensive way to make a countdown. Great for kids – you can make one for each child and they can each change their day (less fussing over whose turn it is). I think this would also be a cute teacher gift – if your child’s teacher celebrates Christmas in the classroom – they could use it to countdown to Christmas break or end of the school year!!
Thanks for visiting The CSI Project and checking out my tutorial. You can also visit me at Well, How Nice!
Happy Thanksgiving!! ~Lisa
~ So creative, Lisa! Thank you for spending your day with us at The CSI Project.
All CSI readers be sure to “like” us on Facebook this week to enter the Exclusive FB ONLY giveaway, sponsored by
Old Barn Rescue.