Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Countdown Blocks

Christmas was over a month away when I began making these and here it is, Christmas day, and I am just now posting about them.  I guess the date doesn't really matter, but I did mean to get them up earlier!  Simon made my project possible by making two cubes out of some spare wood he had.  I had initially planned on buying some unpainted wooden blocks but that turned out to be difficult to find at my typically shopped stores so this worked out really perfectly.  Obviously that chance of extra materials and the right tools doesn't fall into place for everyone, so I am confident in saying that a more forceful hunt would result in the right find.  
-Two 2inch wooden cubes
-12 squares of paper cut to JUST smaller than the cubes 
(depending on how much of the under color you want to show)
-Paint that is suitable for wood
-Punched out or cut out numbers 0-9 with the 0-2 needed twice
    The 9 will need to be one that works for both the 6 and the 9 depending on which way it is           shown; Otherwise it is not possible to have a "00 days of christmas."
-Modge Podge (I just made my own with water and liquid elmers glue.  It is cheaper and more practical considering the small amount used for this project)
-Foam Brush (for gluing), paintbrush (for painting)

 Here are the wooden blocks
 Paper Squares
 I chose a mixture of christmasy prints from a scrapbook store for mine, but solid colors would work too.  The busier the color pattern is, the more difficult it will be to read the number.
  It is important to get paper that coordinates in all combinations.  In almost all of the number combos, each paper will be matched with all the other papers so to use two that completely clash won't turn out well. 
 Simon is AWESOME and surprised me with a stand for my blocks so that really made the whole project complete!

 First, I painted a solid coat of "Real Red" Paint on all sides of the blocks.
I also painted the base ("Grass Green")
Modge Podge: About a 1 TBS water to 1/8 cup glue ratio, mix well.  If the paper is not sticking well to the blocks add more glue.   
 Then using my homemade modge-podge concoction i drenched the paper squares (only intentionally on the side going onto the wood but the whole paper ends up getting wet in the end, it works well that way)
Then I placed them where I wanted on the block and smoothed out the bumps.

 I took advantage of the education resource center at our school to get the number punch outs but if that is not an option, your church resource room may have a die cut machine or you can buy pre-cut numbers at a scrap-booking store.  
I used the same paint from the blocks and base to paint the paper numbers so the colors wouldn't clash.  Then after they had dried I used the same drenching method to attach the numbers.  Make sure on the 6/9 square that the background paper looks good both upside down and right side up.  For instance, my christmas tree background wouldn't have worked for it because it would look silly upside down.  
Also, when gluing the numbers you have to plan out which ones for each block:
Block One: 0,1,2,3,4,5
Block Two: 0,1,2,6,7,8
Here is my final product.  I had to cheat a little and photo shop the written letter in because I some how forgot to take a picture once the letters were dry.  But, this is a pretty close resemblance.  Swirly white letter saying "Days Till Christmas"  I also painted white snowflakes around the edges of the base.  I will put a finished picture up eventually. It is in storage already so I can't yet but i wanted to get the post up regardless (we are moving).
So, this is my newest addition to my christmas decorations but the countdown is over!
Merry Christmas Everyone!


  1. I LOVE that. Very, very neat. How did you paint the "Days till Christmas"...?

  2. Thanks! I just used a small paint brush. I practiced a lot on paper before I did it on the block though.