Welcome to Day 5 of my 25 days of Craftmas series! Today, I’m sharing this large tin bucket countdown sign. This sign is perfect if you want to give away a small treat or toy each day before Christmas.  Aren’t those little tin buckets cute?  Read on for the full tutorial.

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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 Countdown to Christmas. It will be listed under the category-Craftmas 2020 – Day 5.


Open the design in your software program and size it to 13.5″ wide and leave the height proportional.

When everything is sized correctly, you can cut the design with your Cricut or Silhouette.  Since this is a larger design, you will need to use a 12″ x 24″ cutting mat.  Once it has finished cutting, weed away the excess vinyl.

Use a weeding tool to pull out all the small pieces inside the numbers and letters.

Cut a piece of transfer tape a little bigger than the design. Place the vinyl on the transfer tape and smooth it down. Rub over it with a scraper.

Then, trim off the excess transfer tape.

Rub over the design again with your scraper.

Cut apart all the numbers.

Remove the vinyl backing from one of the numbers.

Center the number on the metal pail and rub over it with your thumb.

Then, pull off the transfer tape.  Rub over the number again and try to push it into the little ridges of the bucket.  Repeat this step with the other 24 buckets.


Now, we’re going to work on the wood sign.  To make this sign, you’ll need 8 wooden slats that measure about  15″ x 3.5″.  You’ll also 2 pieces of wood for the supports that measure about 14″ long.  I used poplar for sign slats and furring strips for the supports.

Start by sanding all of the slats.  Take a look at each slat and place the best looking side down on your work surface.

After you have sanded all of the slats, put some glue on your support pieces and place them across the slats.

Then put something heavy on top of the supports to push them down flat on the slats.

Once the glue has dried, it’s time to paint. Paint on a few light coats of white paint. You’ll probably need to do 2-3 coats to get a nice even look.


Now, we are going to mark the locations where the nails are going to go.  Grab a ruler and make marks at 2″, 4.75″, 7.5″, 10.25″, and 13″ from the edge of the sign.  You’ll want to make your marks at the top of the bottom slat.

Make marks in the same spot on the next 4 slats.

By the time you’re done, you should have 25 marks on your sign.



Rub over the vinyl lettering one more time.

Flip the design over and carefully pull off the vinyl backing.

Center the design on the sign.  Be sure you have placed it above all the nail hole markings.

Once it’s in place, rub over the design with your scraper.

Then, remove the transfer tape.

Now, lets add some embellishments to the top of the sign.  Find a cute Christmas bow and glue it to the top.

You can also glue in some Christmas floral picks under the bow.

Then, fluff your bow around those Christmas picks.

To hang the little metal pails, use these thin wire nails.  They are long and skinny and the nail head will stop the buckets from sliding off.

Tap nails into all 25 marks.  Tap the nails in far enough so they are secure, but leave enough out so the buckets can hang straight on them.

Finally, fill each bucket up with a sweet Christmas treat and start counting down the days to Christmas.



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Want to make your own? Get the free cut file for this project in the resource library



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