It’s T-minus EIGHT DAYS until Thanksgiving and only a little over 5 weeks until Christmas, so for our next Creative Christmas tutorial, we are going to help you count it down with these amazingly easy holiday countdown boards, with a printable countdown calendar set for holidays, birthdays, and vacations!
Seriously, guys, this is such an easy and adorable holiday advent or countdown sign. We made 4 of them in about 3 hours, and that was videoing it AND including snack breaks for the kiddos… and for mom, let’s be honest. So making just one would probably take you around an hour, depending on how long your paint/stain/glue takes to dry. And the hands-on time is definitely under an hour, making this an awesome project for a craft night, church group or girls camp, or for you to just take half a day and make a bunch as gifts for teachers, neighbors, and friends.
We’ve partnered with Canon again on this project to provide you with the printable countdown calendar cards that make this sign SO fast and easy. The printable countdown sign file includes the numbers, the “days until” card in 3 variations, cards for the major holidays, plus 4 fillable cards to fill in for birthdays, graduations, weddings and anniversaries, family vacations, and all those other important events that we look forward to!
So let’s get down to business and show you just how easy it is to make your own holiday countdown board with our printable holiday signs. When you make one of your own, be sure to send us pictures here or tag #imaremodelaholic on Instagram!
How to Make a DIY Holiday Countdown Board
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Countdown Calendar Materials
- 1 – 16″2×4 or 1 – 16″ 1×4 and 1 – 16″ 1×2
- Small (1″) square hooks or small eye screws (ours were 9/16 but you could easily use smaller)
- Jute twine and mini clothespins
- Paint or stain
- Wood glue
- Home printer – we used our favorite Canon TS9020
- Holiday countdown calendar signs and number cards — download here in the shop or by clicking the button below
And pssst… as a special bonus, you can get this printable countdown calendar for just $1 with the purchase of our holiday seasonal art print set OR our handlettered calendar printable set. Just add both to your cart and the discount will apply automatically at checkout.
Countdown Calendar Instructions
We made two variations: one using a 2×4, and one using a 1×4 with a 1×2 base. They’re only 16 inches long, so you might even have all the lumber that you need in your scrap pile like we did.
Watch the video above for the full run-down or read on for an abbreviated step-by-step written tutorial if that’s more your style… this is seriously SO easy, you don’t even need photos, so watch the video and let us know if you have questions.
Step 1: Cut
Cut your board(s) to 16 inches long and sand down any rough edges.
Step 2: Paint or stain
Paint or stain your board(s) in whatever finish you’d like. Our variations included stained (Special Walnut), painted with red acrylic craft paint, and color-washed with blue acrylic craft paint. Color washing is one of our favorite easy DIY secrets since the technique allows you to stain wood any color you can dream of, while still letting the wood grain show through. It’s great for an initial staining like we used here on our yellow Swedish clock, or for adjusting an unsealed stain like we did here on our dutch barn door. Learn more about the process here and here, or by watching the video above.
Step 3: Print
Print out the holiday countdown sign set and number cards on thick cardstock; we used Canon’s matte photo paper, since it’s bright white and really makes the colors POP. You’ll have two pages of countdown number cards, one page with the 6 “days until” card variations, five pages of pre-filled holiday cards (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Independence Day) and then two pages with 4 custom fillable cards for any other holiday or event you want to count the days until. Just open the file, type, and print (just like our custom carved birch tree prints).
Step 4: Cut
Cut out each sign — this is a great reason to invest in a straight edge paper cutter AND a new Netflix (or Amazon Prime) show! My signs only took me about one episode to cut, though, so don’t settle in for too long of a marathon 😉 If you want your cuts to be super precise, use a cork ruler and a sharp craft blade like we used to cut our pennant calendars.
If you’ll be using hooks like we did on two of our boards, punch holes using a hole punch at the designated spots on each card. If you’ll be using mini clothespins, leave the cards without holes.
Step 5: Glue
Glue the two boards together, if you’re using the 1×4 and 1×2, once the paint or stain has dried.
Step 6: Mark
Mark the positions of the printed holiday signs, number cards, and “days until” card on the board. Attach the “days until” card, and predrill holes for the square hooks or eye screws. Tie twine tightly between the eye screws for the clothesline version.
Step 7: Finish
Finish it up by adding your holiday signs and countdown number cards — and getting excited!
The holiday countdown cards pair nicely with our set of 10 holiday prints (hint hint) for super easy holiday decorating!
What do you think? Which holiday is your favorite?
We’re so thrilled with how this project turned out, and we love partnering with Canon to bring you awesome print-at-home projects like this each month. Please check out our printable library and pin and share your favorites.