Monday, November 1, 2010

Christmas is Coming. . . . . COUNTDOWN!

Here are some fun Christmas countdown craft ideas:

Countdown Blocks
These blocks are a pretty fun craft for all ages/levels. You can do many different count downs for different holidays or even just fun blocks to show off some great pictures.

What you need: here is a basic list of supplies you will need for the blocks:
~2- 4x4x4 pine blocks (after all is said and done they will really measure 3 1/2" on all sides)
~1- 8" of 2x4 pine
~Misc scrap book paper cut to size to fit on blocks (12 sides)
~Misc paper to fit on the sides of 2x4 (3 sides)
~Lettering--we used card stock just cut out by a cricut, or you can use vinyl.
You will need:
(use the 6 as a 9 too, so be sure you paper for this one can go either way)
and the word "Countdown" for the bottom block
~Distress ink
~Mod podge (we used the glittery mod podge on this project as well)
~Misc embellishments

The plan:
now you need to plan this out. I wanted to make sure I had a good variety of papers so I wouldn't have the same papers showing on any given day. Use a paper cutter and you can also use a rounded corner cutter. Now when doing your layout you need to make sure you have the right numbers on the right blocks.
Here is how to lay out the numbers
Block 1: #s 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Block 2: #s 0, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8

Use some distress ink to give a little wear to the papers.
Gentle rub the edges of the paper on the ink pad and I also use my finger to add some faint touches as well.
See the difference below on what the paper looks like with and without distress ink.
Mod Podge.
Mod podge can be tricky and you need to be careful to not get any bubbles while the mod podge is drying. I use a thin layer on the wood before I apply the paper and then add a generous amount to the top, after I applied the lettering. For this step I chose to use the regular matte modge podge. You will have to do this in steps since you will need to do all 6 sides. I used those little disposable cup lids from a restaurant kids cup to set the block on for drying. Be sure to dry thoroughly!
After the initial mod podge dried I went back over the edges and the actual numbers with the glitter mod podge. I didn't want the whole thing to be glittery, just the red.
When I did the bottom I added some gemstones to it while the mod podge was still tacky. It acts as a great adhesive.
*I would advise against large embellishments on the blocks themselves so they can sit right and not be uneven from sitting on an embellishment on the days that block is facing down.

Chalk Board Countdown
We made these chalk boards years ago, but my kids love it! They often argue over who can write it down. It is great for the little kids who are still learning to write their numbers.
small chalk board (roughly 8x10")
misc paint supplies
(Before I start painting I drilled a hole in the side for the ribbon to attach to the board.) Decorate and paint the board to you liking. I used a painters pen for the lettering and puffy paint on the sides. This is when you can really give this craft personality, so have fun with it!
When it is all dry add your ribbon with the small piece of chalk to the board.

Have fun with these projects!
Merry Christmas!!


The Crider Clan said...

love love love the countdown blocks! I'm gonna do that! Thanks for the idea!

Carolyn Jae said...

GORGEOUS!!! I have been dying to make coundown blocks like these for ages! Please, please, please tell me where I can find 4x4x4 inch wood blocks. I can't find them anywhere!

Erika said...

You know, I have seen them at the scrapbook barn in Gilbert a while ago, but they are pricy. We just bought a 4 X4 post and cut them into blocks. (its fun to go in on it with someone and make a fun project day) If you go to the hardware store when it is not busy you may be able to have them cut for you. My SIL did that once. But if you do cut your own be aware that the 4 X 4 is not really 4" exactly, closer to 3 1/2". So what ever the measurement is for the wood, that is how long you will make your cuts so your block can be perfectly cubed (same measurement on all sides).
Good Luck!
*BTW take advantage of your Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon when buying some of your supplies. It helps with the budget.