The countdown to Christmas is on! Let’s be honest, it feels like it’s been on for a while now. But if you’re like us, you’re still putting the finishing touches on all of your festive decor and projects! We love welcoming the season with a quick and cute holiday craft, especially one that helps us count down to the big day. Follow along with this tutorial to find out how to create your very own unique, customizable DIY Christmas Countdown Chalkboard!
When we designed this board we wanted something that would be fun for the whole family: An easy Christmas countdown for the kids that’s also grown-up enough to hang in our house — and that has space for all of the fun activities we try to squeeze in during the season. We managed to get all of that holiday goodness onto one Chalkboard, and we can’t wait to show you how. This is one DIY you don’t want to miss!
Materials You’ll Need:
- A Magnetic Chalk Board
- White Vinyl for your Cricut Machine
- White Chalk Markers
- Zappy Dots Numeric Countdown Magnet designs (Free Download!)
- A 1″ button-making machine with supplies and ceramic magnets (or 1″ flat-backed glass stones and Mod Podge — see details in Step 4!)
Step 1: Create Your Chalkboard Title
Make sure you have a clean chalkboard that’s ready for vinyl and chalk. I love this chalkboard I found on Amazon. Its generous 24×36 inch sizing gave me a lot of room to work with — and more room means more creativity!
Now it’s time to create the title for the top of your board! Open Cricut design space and start a new project. You can create any sort of title and font you would like for the top of your chalkboard. I used the font BFC Clementine, around font size 315. (Here is the Cricut project link if you’d like to use the exact one that I created.) Then add your vinyl of choice to your Cricut and cut out the lettering.
Once the title is cut from your vinyl, it’s time to stick it to the chalkboard. I used a ruler to find the center of my board. You can also create temporary lines with your chalk markers to make sure it stays centered and aligned! The benefit of a font like Clementine is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Here’s the result:
Step 2: It’s Tree-Cutting Time!
Now it’s time to cut out your tree! There are a variety of Christmas tree patterns available in the Cricut Gallery. Here is the one I drew and uploaded myself. Simply add your tree to your design space and print on vinyl.
Don’t have vinyl or a Cricut Maker? Draw your tree outline with the chalk markers instead!
At this point, I also added some stars to fill some open space at the top and add some extra sparkle:
Step 3: Add Your Holiday Checklist
It’s time to decide what you want on the bottom portion of your Christmas Countdown Chalkboard. I wanted to make a holiday checklist — everything I hope to do with my family this holiday season! Whenever we have spare time and are looking for something to do, this checklist makes deciding our activity for the day easy. If you’d like to add the same holiday checklist vinyl I used, here’s a link to my Cricut design.
If you don’t need a checklist, the options for the bottom of your chalkboard are endless! Here are a few other ideas I considered for the bottom of mine:
- A holiday movie quote.
- A favorite hot cocoa or sugar cookie recipe.
- Leaving it blank notes, lists, pictures, or cards.
The great thing about using the chalk for this portion of your board is you can switch it up each week. No need to make a permanent decision! Here’s a clip of me writing my holiday checklist:https://www.zappydots.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Untitled.mov
Step 4: Making Magnets (PLUS a free design download!)
One thing I love about this DIY Christmas Countdown Chalkboard is the addition of the magnetic Dots. There are multiple ways you can use your magnets to count up or down to Christmas. I lined up my magnets under the tree and will add one to my tree (like an ornament) each day of December. I like to start at 25 and count my way down to 1, so I know how many days are left. You could start with them on your tree as well, removing one each day as we get closer to Christmas.
To make your Dots, you’ll need a 1″ button-making machine and the supplies. If you don’t have this, then you can opt to use 1″ flat-backed clear stones like these with Mod Podge and ceramic magnets. Either way, you’ll need to download our artwork — it’s free, you just have to add it to your cart and go through the checkout process to receive your free PDF! This has the 25 magnet designs I used for my Christmas Countdown Chalkboard, as well as two more adorable themed designs so you can pick the style that suits you best:
Once you have your download select your Dot design, either print your Dots and circle-punch them by hand, or you can use the Print and Cut option on your Cricut. (NOTE: If you’re cutting on your Cricut, you’ll want to convert your PDF to an SVG! Here’s a great free online tool you can use.)
You’ll add these punched circles to your button machine one-by-one (follow the manufacturer instructions), and then adhere a ceramic magnet to the back. (For the stone method, Mod Podge your circles onto the flat back of the stone, with the number against the flat surface — so you can see it through the rounded front. Once dry, adhere a magnet to the back.)
Enjoy Your Christmas Countdown Chalkboard!
And there you have it! A simple, fun, cute, and modern way to count down to Christmas day!