Christmas is coming! What better way to enjoy the anticipation than to countdown the days together as a family. You can follow our holiday tutorial to make a DIY advent calendar that will become a fun and treasured part of this magical season. Plus, its a super cute addition to your Christmas decor collection and you can customized it to match your favorite style.
Bringing DIY to Your Advent Calendar
Over the years our family has sampled a number of ways to countdown to Christmas. We’ve used the paper chains and those chocolate filled punch-out calendars. I have loved other ideas such as an ornament or book for each day, but we’ve never really settled on a repeat way to keep track of how many days until the big day.
So this year I decided to make something that I can pull out each year again and again that can be a simple way to look forward to the birthday of baby Jesus.
And guess what? I already love our new tradition and anyone can create their very own DIY advent calendar sign with the easy steps and tips below.
Scroll down to see exactly what you will need and feel free to add a little personal touch of your own. You can also download the free template if you’d like.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE YOUR DIY ADVENT CALENDAR SIGN
- a blank sign, either DIY or store bought (hobby lobby has a great selection) in a size of your choice
- acrylic paint (I used white, black, and green)
- Cricut machine
- adhesive vinyl
- mini wreath
- 3/4″ nails
STEP #1: PREPARE YOUR FRAME
I happened to have a left over extra frame I had made for another project that I was able to use for my advent calendar sign. My sign measures 24″ h x 16″ w but you can use whatever size is best for your needs.
You can find instructions on how to make your own sign here from A Girl and a Gluegun.
OR an easy way is to buy a blank sign from a craft store such as Hobby Lobby, like this one.
You can paint your frame however you would like. I chose to paint both my frame and the background white to coordinate with my other Christmas decor.
***If your frame comes pre-painted be sure to find an acrylic paint that matches the background color which you will use in step #4.
STEP #2: CREATE OR DOWNLOAD YOUR TEMPLATE
For this step you will need to incorporate your Cricut machine and Cricut Design Studio to create your template. You can choose your fonts. I used two different fonts, one for my words and another for the numbers.
Be sure to space your template in accordance with your frame measurements. You can also add in small images to embellish your sign. / I used a set of small Christmas trees to separate my words and numbers.
To quickly complete this step feel free to download the template below that I created for my own sign. You can upload it to your Design Studio and adjust the measurements to fit your sign.
Once you have your template set you can go ahead and cut it using your Cricut machine. You can use any adhesive vinyl for this, the color does not matter.
STEP #3: SET YOUR TEMPLATE
After you have cut your template out on your Cricut machine you can carefully remove it from the cutting mat.
Since we are using our template as a stencil you will need to remove the letters and numbers from your vinyl using your Cricut tool.
Your stencil will then look like the picture above.
To transfer your stencil onto your frame you must place a piece of transfer paper on top of your stencil. You can also use clear contact paper which can be easier to use when centering on your frame.
Be sure to use your Cricut tool to adhere the tranfer paper or contact paper to your stencil.
Then peel back your transfer or contact paper with your stencil attached.
Now you are ready to carefully center your stencil on your frame and securely flatten it in place.
STEP #4: TIME TO PAINT
In order to get those nice crisp lines on your lettering the first layer of paint should be a matching color to your frame background. Spread on a thin layer of acrylic paint that is the same color as your background, in my case it was white. Allow to dry.
Next, apply a thin layer of your letter color. If you have added images use your choice of color for those as well. I used black for my lettering and a pine green for my Christmas trees.
Allow that layer to dry, then apply a second layer. Again, letting it dry completely before moving on to the next step. I actually let mine dry overnight.
STEP #5: REMOVE THE STENCIL
After your paint has completely dried, carefully peel off your vinyl stencil. You may need to use your Cricut tool to help with the smaller pieces.
Once your stencil is removed it will reveal your nice crisp letter and numbering. You can apply a protective layer such as a polyurethane. However, I did not.
STEP #6: ADD NAILS
Now its time to pound in those nails. I used 3/4″ copper nails for my sign. If you prefer to mark your nails spots ahead of time you can, I just eyeballed the placement as I went and it turned out really good.
STEP #7: HANG YOUR MINI WREATH
Last, all you have to do is hang your mini wreath. You can make one using pine pipe cleaners that can be found at Hobby Lobby or get a premade mini wreath pack from Amazon.
You are now ready to countdown to Christmas!!
Happy holidays and merry crafting!
Find more Christmas craft ideas in these posts from our holiday series:
Hi, I’m Megan, the author behind DIY Detectives and self-proclaimed “do-it-yourselfer”. In between my full-time as a wife and a mother to 5 very busy kids I love to share creative and practical projects, crafts, and advice with my blog readers. I hope you enjoy my content and come back to visit again and again. For extra inspiration, follow me on Pinterest too!