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Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Countdown Blocks

Hello there, my name is Melissa. I am the owner of Three Dutch Divas. I usually spend my time designing and creating princess and character inspired aprons, dresses and of course beautiful children' s clothing made from CKC patterns!  Sewing new items for my shop is my passion,  however this time of year brings out the crafter in me!
If you have children in the house and they are anything like mine, I'm sure they were asking how far away Christmas was before you finished clearing the Turkey off of the Thanksgiving table! I have spent days answering the question "MOMMY, how many days is it until Christmas?"  I have come up with a fun and decorative answer to that question!!

Christmas Count down Blocks!



This is a fun and easy project. You will love how easy it is for them to keep track of the days they have left to patiently wait on present time and they will LOVE getting to use the the chalk to change the number every day... or at my house, several times a day :)

Materials needed:

*3  Pieces of wood
Paint
Mod Podge
Chalk Board paint
Scrapbook paper, or wrapping paper
Letters cut out of paper or Letter stickers
scissors or X-acto knife
sandpaper
paintbrush
Chalk
The wood I used were scraps I had in the garage. The larger ones were 2.5" tall and 3/4" wide and smaller one was 1.5" tall by 3/4" wide. I cut them into sections, as the diagram below shows. The square block on top was 2.5"x2.5", side block 2.5" x 7" and the base or bottom block was 2.5"x 10" You can cut yours as big or small as you like!
Step 1: Once you have your wooden pieces cut to the desired size you can paint them the base color. I used white. You paint all of the sides EXCEPT the one side you will be covering in paper. We leave the wood exposed on that side so the paper can adhere to the wood grain.



Step 2: Paint the wood surface of your square block with your chalkboard paint. You don't have to go all the way to the edges since you will be gluing paper around the outside edge as a boarder.

  




Step 3: Place your pieces of wood face down  on the paper. (wood grain side down)  You will then use a pencil and trace around the outside of the wood so you can cut it out. I used an X-acto knife and cut the paper out right around the wood.


Step 4: once you cut out the paper for your square block you will need to cut out an additional square in the middle so your paper looks like a frame. Mine was 1/4" all the way around.


Step 5: Once you have all of your paper cut, you need to adhere it to the wood. Use your paintbrush to apply a thin layer of mod podge to the woods surface. Place the paper on top and press it down. You then need to smooth out any bubbles in the paper. The thinner the layer of mod podge the less bubble and puckers you will have.  



Step 6: Take your other scrapbook paper and cut out letters to spell "Days until Christmas". I cut mine on a silhouette. If you don't have a machine that cuts letters you can still make them it just requires more work. You can use stickers, a stencil or print them from your computer and cut them out. Once you have the letters place them on the blocks to determine proper spacing. Then apply a thin layer of mod podge to the block and put the letter on. I glue mine down one by one and use the back of my paintbrush to tap the letter and press it down in place.


Step 7: Once all of the letters are in place apply a generous layer of mod poge over the entire surface of the block. You don't have to worry about the excess. It will dry clear and look like a beautiful textured finish! This will help hold your letters in place and it will seal the paper. It is important to make sure all of your brush strokes are clean and going the same way. Even though it dries clear you can still see the texture. SO if you have messy lines it will look messy!


Step 8: Before using your chalkboard you need to "prime" the surface. You can just scribble on it and them use your finger to wipe the chalk around. It's now ready to be used.

Step 9: Figure out how you want to stack your blocks on top of each other and you can either just stack them and leave them free standing, or you can use hot glue or wood glue to hold them together in place!

 

Now you have a functional decoration for your family to enjoy!

Happy Holidays to you and your family from Three Dutch Divas!

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