I have wanted to do this particular project for a long time. And although I am sure my husband is groaning as he reads this thinking, “Not more Halloween stuff.”, I finally found the supplies I wanted to make one super cute DIY Halloween Countdown Calendar. I am super excited to share with you what I came up with.
Years ago I got the idea from a Santa Christmas countdown I have had for years. He is pretty simple – Santa holding numbers that you change to match the number of days left. I wanted something similar but definitely more spooky fun for Halloween. Then I spotted a chalkboard tombstone frame at JoAnn Craft Store. Price $4. So up my budget’s alley. Perfect size, perfect medium and perfect price. Of course I snagged it. Between it, a few other Micheal’s cute embellishments along with some basic supplies I already had, I was ready for my sign.
I realize I am biased but I just love it! It was a little on the time consuming side maybe about 4 hours of focused time. But it was well worth it to me as it was more than half the cost of any other countdown calendar I have seen on the market. The assembly was super easy. Some Cricut cutouts, stickers, a little hot glue and viola.
Base – a frame base is preferable (I used a chalkboard tombstone with a frame stand back)
Cricut or cutting machine
Hot glue and glue gun
Decorative close pins
Glue stick and glue pen (I used Martha Stuart’s Felt Tip glue pen)
Circle cutting system
Black Sharpie (optional)
Putting It All Together:
1. I always start with a plan. I may not follow it to the tee but it does help me as I go along. It gives me an idea of the finished product though I improvise based on what I have and what I can find that’s affordable.
2. Once I had a plan, it started by making the numbers. I decided to do double mat for the numbers by using a solid base with a decorative top. For the size of this stand, I elected a 2 1/4″ back square with a 2″ square front. I elected to vary the colors and patterns to provide more interest. I took a little more time but I really liked the idea of the numbers changing daily to a different spooky theme.
3. Next, I cut out the numbers using my Cricut. I set the numbers at 1 1/2″ and used the shadow from the George for the font. As with the squares, I altered solid colors. I cut 0-9 as well as a second set of 0-3.
4. Time to embellish the numbers. I elected to make the second set of 0-3 more decorative as they will be seen for multiple days in a row. There are 10 days for the 1, 2 and zero. Silly but I’m meticulous that way. You can just make them simple and the same. Totally your preference and your time schedule. I used stickers and cutouts for most but on a few I used parts of the decorative pages. (I loved the raven on the one page so much that it was all I used on number 7).
5. Then its a matter of decorating the frame itself. I used the Jolee’s Bones Happy Halloween (not the technical name but my description) sticker set and took the Halloween from it for the bottom. I had this cute pack of fall/winter holiday papers that had a cool looking witch and moon. Using a no longer available circle cutting device, I made the circle you see in the photo and added a mat so it would stand out against the black.
6. I originally planned on using the RIP on the frame but it didn’t make the final cut. I took a Sharpie and blacked out the letters. It allowed me more space to work with the design and given the size of the letters I was using (2″ for both), it really didn’t show through.
7. Next, using the George and Mickey Mouse Cricut cartridge, I cut out the letters. On Days, I added a shadow to give it some depth. I continued adding embellishments such as the clip on spider and web, the cut-out of the skull and bones and the spider and web stickers.
8. The last and final step, add the close pins. I originally was going to use two close pins that were spotted with black and white dots that I got for a $1 from Target. But you know the old adage, The best laid plans….they ended up being too big. Instead, I used two smaller orange glitter close pins. On a sticker hunt at Michael’s, I spotted this row of close pins in all colors embellished with either gems or glitter. Ultimately I feel in love with the glitter orange and honestly, I’m glad the others were too big. I like these better. Here’s where the glue gun comes in. I simply glued them on to keep them in place. I elected the glue gun versus the felt tip glue pen and glue stick I’d used for everything else because it gave a stronger hold to the close pins.
That’s it! I said it was simple. Change the numbers for each day. Again, I’m biased but its so fun and adorable in my mind; I just love it! (okay biased or not, I created it. Of course, I’m going to love it.) Hope you do too! If you create one, I’d love to see it.
Until next post! More spooky fun décor to come.