It’s the start of December, which means the countdown to Christmas is on. Why not start the countdown by making your own DIY advent calendar sign?!
It isn’t the start of Christmas without a few decorations and a countdown is it? Taking inspiration from Pinterest, today’s post is how to make your own unique countdown sign. A DIY advent calendar sign to be precise.
DIY Advent Calendar
Now, this isn’t your traditional advent calendar where you would get a treat from opening the door. This is a countdown calendar where you move a little wreath to the corresponding date until you get the December 25th. It also doubles up as a really nice decoration piece too.
I saw a few designs on Pinterest and thought it was something that could be easily replicated and look nice on display. The possibilities are endless with what you could put on this, so your creativity can be unleashed. You can change the colours up to match your decor and sayings to suit your taste too. What’s more, you can keep this for several Christmases without having to buy a new advent calendar each year!
What you need:
To make this DIY advent calendar sign, you will need the following:
- Small piece of wood – mine measured at 32.5cm(W) x 36.5cm (L)
- Chalky finish paint
- Acrylic paint
- Fine paintbrushes
- Stencil (optional)
- Computer and printer
- Washi tape / delicate painters tape
- Drawing pins/ thumbtacks
- Thin tree garland
- Hot glue gun
DIY Advent Calendar Sign – How to make
So once you have all the items you need for the project, it is time to get creative. You want to plan how you want your sign to look before making a start. I chose the lyrics from a Christmas song – “Here comes Santa Claus” because it is a song that we always sing when we break up from work for Christmas.
Step 1 – Prep and paint the sign:
First, you want to prepare your wood by sanding any rough edges down. Once that is done, you can move onto painting the background of the sign. I chose to use the chalky furniture paint by Rustoleum in the shade ‘Antique White’. This gives the sign a creamy white background. Allow it to dry fully before moving onto painting on any further designs. My sign only needed one coat of paint, but more can be added if your wood is dark and showing through. You can be as creative as you like here.
Step 2 – Design the sign:
Now, if you are gifted in being able to freehand calligraphy or any font, then you can probably skip this part. If on the other hand, like me, you are not as gifted with freehanding fonts then follow these next steps.
Head over to your computer or laptop and open up ‘Powerpoint’. Custom set the slide to correspond with the size you are going to place the word. So, for my ‘Here comes’, it measured at 8.5 cm x 32.5cm. Then use a text box to write your saying, altering the font type and size to what you desire. Once you are happy with your style, then save this as a PDF. This helps with the printing of the words better than powerpoint.
Repeat this for the rest of the sign, including the numbers 1 – 25 in your desired font and size. For reference, my number grid measured at 20cm X 32.5cm. The grid was made up of 5 rows measuring at 4cm (down) and 5 rows across at 6.5cm. The bottom ‘Santa Claus’ measured at 8cm X 32.5cm.
Step 3 – Transfer design onto the sign:
Once you have printed your saying and grid for the sign; cut them down so that you have a bit of white around the words. Turn them over so that the words are facing down and grab a pencil. Cover over the letters on the backside of the paper, checking that this is covering all of the words and numbers. See the photo above of the painted sign for a look at the paper, or head down below to see it in Video Form.
When you have covered the words and numbers, place these down onto the sign where you want them to be. Then grab a bit of washi tape or low stick tape and secure the paper in place. Using a ballpoint pen, go over the edges /outline of each letter. The pencil on the back on the paper will transfer this onto the painted wooden sign. Make sure you press down hard enough for this to transfer but not too hard that you tear the paper.
Remove the tape when you have transferred all of the designs onto your sign, and then you are ready to move onto the next step.
Step 4 – Paint the design
Using acrylic paint of your choice with a fine paintbrush, paint in your design. It is best not to load your paintbrush too much, that way you can keep the paint lines neat. You may have to go over the wording for a second coat, but this depends on how your sign takes the paint.
I decided to add a bit of something extra to the sign, using a stencil to do so. This included adding in reindeers pulling a sleigh and a few stars dotted around. I also opted to paint the number 25 in a gold colour, which matched the stars on the sign too.
When you are happy with your design, allow it to fully dry before moving onto the next step.
Step 5 – Add in the drawing pins:
Now the paint is dry, it is time to add in your drawing pins or thumbtacks (whatever you want to call them). I opted to spray paint mine a copper colour first, so feel free to colour yours whatever colour you wish. Also if your wood is thick enough, you can always use thin, small nails instead of the pins. I didn’t have a hammer around, so I used the end of a rolling pin.
Step 6 – Make a small wreath:
To make this a Christmas countdown, you need something to countdown with. This is where the mini wreath comes in. This is to be moved from one pin to the other until we get to December 25th. To make the wreath, grab a piece of small thin garland, measuring against the gaps between the pins for the correct size. You don’t want it too big so that it overlaps more than one pin at a time, or too small so that it covers the number. When you have the small wreath, you can add a little embellishment or leave it plain. I bought my small garland from The Works for £1.
To make the bow, cut your ribbon (around 4 cm long) and cross the ends of the ribbon, similar to what the breast cancer ribbon looks like. Then take the loop at the top, pushing it down in the middle, behind the crossed ribbon to make the top two loops of the bow. Using a needle and thread, place this through the middle to secure the bow in place. Then wrap the thread around the middle several times, to make it tight, before securing and knotting it off. Then grab another piece of ribbon, shorter in size, using the hot glue gun to wrap it around the middle. If that sounds complicated, see this video by The Ribbon Retreat.
Again, using the hot glue gun, secure this onto your mini wreath. I also opted to place on a small pearl in the middle of the bow for extra pizazz.
There you have your own DIY Advent calendar sign, ready to countdown to Christmas!
Don’t you think it has turned out great? What design would you put on yours?
DIY Advent Calendar Sign – Video Tutorial:
DIY Advent Calendar Sign – Pin It!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out some more of my creative DIYS!
See you in the next post!