Welcome to day 3 of my 25 Days of Craftmas series! I’ve got another fun countdown project to share with you today.  This countdown sign is made with chalkboard vinyl so you can write in the days with a piece of chalk.  I love that is doubles as a cute decoration! Read on for the full tutorial.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

STEP 1: DOWNLOAD THE FREE SVG FILE

The first thing you’ll need to do is get the free SVG file you’ll use for this project.  I keep all the SVG files I use for the projects I make in my SVG Library.  These SVG files work with Cricut and Silhouette machines, as well as many others.  This library is open to everyone and is free! You can access the library here. Look for the file called Days Until Christmas. It will either be listed under the most recent projects/cut files or under the Christmas Category – 25 Days of Craftmas 2020 – Day 3

STEP 2: PREPARE THE VINYL DESIGN

Open the design in your software program.  My pallet sign is 10″ x 12″ and I sized my design to about 9″ wide and kept the height proportional. Then, I added an rectangle around the design to create a stencil. I made the width of the rectangle 10″ and the height about an inch taller than my design. You’ll also want to cut a small circle out of chalkboard vinyl that is the same size as the inside of the wreath you’re using.

Do you need more help with creating a vinyl stencil?  Check out these posts.

How to Make a Vinyl in Cricut Design Space.
How to Make a Vinyl Stencil in Silhouette Studio

I used Oracal 651 for the stencil, but you can also use Stencil Vinyl.

When everything is sized correctly, you can cut the stencil with your Cricut or Silhouette.  Once it has finished cutting, weed away the excess vinyl.

Cut a piece of transfer tape a little larger than the design.  Place the vinyl on top of the transfer tape and smooth it down.

Trim off the excess transfer tape.

Then, rub over the design with a scraper.

 

STEP 3: APPLY VINYL TO THE WOOD SIGN

Normally, before I apply a vinyl stencil to a wood sign, I sand the wood down so it’s nice and smooth.  But, this wood sign already had a distressed finish that I didn’t want to mess up by sanding.  Instead, I used a damp paper towel to clean off any dust or loose paint, so the vinyl would stick better. Then, I waited until it was completely dry before putting on the vinyl stencil.

Place the vinyl so it’s facing down, and then pull off the vinyl backing. I like to do it this way so the vinyl doesn’t curl.

Place the vinyl on the pallet. Match up the straight edges of the stencil with the bottom of the pallet sign.

Once it’s in place, use a scraper and rub over the entire design.

 

Carefully pull off the transfer tape. It might be a little tricky to get the vinyl to stick to the pallet sign, just go slow and use your fingers to help the vinyl to stay on the sign.

Rub over the design a few more times with a scraper. Push it down really good where the gaps are between the wood pieces

STEP 4: PAINT OVER THE STENCIL WITH MOD PODGE

Paint a generous layer of Mod Podge over the stencil.

Why do we do this? To help prevent bleeds.

Sometimes there are small gaps between the stencil and the wood.  Since Mod Podge dries clear, our hope is that the Mod Podge will fill in these gaps, instead of the paint.

 

STEP 5: FILL IN THE STENCIL

Once the Mod Podge is dry, fill in the stencil with paint.  I used white acrylic paint. Once the first coat is dry to the touch, you can paint on another layer.

STEP 6: REMOVE THE VINYL STENCIL

Once the paint is dry to the touch, carefully pull off the stencil.

You can use a craft knife or weeding tool to pull out the centers of the letters.  If there’s any bleeding, you can carefully scrape it off with a craft knife.

STEP 7: ADD MINI WREATH TO SIGN

Place the wreath on the sign so it looks centered.

Grab your chalkboard vinyl and pull off the vinyl backing.

Remove the wreath and place the chalkboard circle where the center of the wreath will be.

Replace the wreath and move it around until it looks good.

Use a hot glue gun to secure the wreath in place.

Trim off any pieces that are hanging down extra low.

Use chalk to write in the numbers.

Now you’ve got a super cute decoration that will help you keep track of the days until Christmas!

 

Did you enjoy this post? Help spread the word!  Share this post on your favorite Pinterest board.  Thanks!

Want to make your own? Get the free cut file for this project in the Resource Library.

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