chalkboard countdown sign

My family started doing gifts differently a few years ago…instead of getting everyone a gift (which can get crazy when you have 8 kids, 2 parents, 4 spouses, and now 5 grandkids)….we do drawings. A main big gift, and then you can choose whether or not to put your name into the other drawings. Gag gift (one of my faves!), foodie gift, media gift, and my ultimate fave (of course) the handmade gift!

I got my sister Joanna this year and she mentioned something for their house would be nice, so I perused Pinterest and Etsy and found this fun chalkboard countdown idea! I hope her and her hubby enjoy counting down to the fun events in their lives! Such as visiting her awesome sister……??

Anyways! It’s super easy to make and here’s how I made mine! In words, cause I didn’t take pictures…but it’s pretty self explanatory!

You’ll need:

a piece of wood 1″ thick by however long you want. (mine were 17.5″ long, and pilfered from my dad’s wood shop, sooo they cost me “free thirty free”)
chalkboard paint
regular craft paint
vinyl lettering
painter’s tape
sponge brushes

So first, paint the whole piece of wood, front back sides, everything, your chosen paint color (not the chalkboard paint). With 2 or more coats. Let dry well, and then on whichever side you choose to be the front, measure 1/4″ from each edge and make a small pencil mark just inside that measurement, at the middle of the long sides, and near each short end. Also along the short ends, of course. (so that you will paint over the mark) Then place your painter’s tape just outside the pencil marks, and press firmly on all sides. Paint within the tape with the chalkboard paint according to the directions. Let it dry and cure the full amount of time! Don’t forget to prepare the chalkboard it by lightly rubbing it with the side of a piece of chalk, then wipe clean, before you write on it. Then add your vinyl lettering and you’re done! I cut mine out on my Silhouette and it took hardly any time!

It’s such a simple and easy gift but so fun to make, that I whipped up another one for my mom at the same time, since she commented that it was a great gift idea when I told her about it!

The cost is really minimal as well! The wood was free for me, but a piece of wood probably wouldn’t cost much at the hardware store, especially if you made a few at a time for gifts, or for a craft night. The chalkboard paint I also got for free as a swag bag I got awhile back from Michaels stores, and the vinyl and white paint I had on hand. Sweet!

 I grabbed some random wood pieces from my dad’s wood scrap bin, sanded them lightly, and glued some felt around it for a quick little eraser, and added a few pieces of chalk tied with some satin ribbon to the gift box.

Both my sister and mom loved them! Next up: one for me….


  1. Here’s a real comment (unless I just don’t understand the first 4 comments).

    What a great idea! Pallets are usually free so there is some free wood slats…some are even rustic!

    Thanks for the idea and Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  2. Real comment #2! I want to know, what was the brand of Chalkboard paint you used? My sister would like something like this too, and her birthday is just around the corner. 🙂

  3. Very cute idea, awesome how it could be used for anything not just a specific holiday! and I love the idea of doing a drawing for gifts. Our family is gigantic too and the last several years we’ve been doing gifts just for our moms and the kids of the family. I like your idea better 🙂

  4. This is awesome, Jess! I’m on it!! Love these projects that I can do without having to go to any stores for supplies!!

  5. So cute! Love it! Unrelated, but… what color is your wall? I love it!!

  6. Here’s another real comment. Sorry you got so much spam here!

    I love this! I’m a huge fan of chalkboarding all sorts of things and this “days until” is a great idea.
    I hadn’t thought to make an eraser to go with it! So easy!

  7. That is really cute! Love how you also included ribbon-tied chalk and the quick little eraser. Great idea! =)

  8. That’s a great way to do gifts in such a big family! The chalkboard is such a simple and cute, timeless Christmas decoration. Love it!

  9. Hi Jess, such a great and simple idea!!! In my family we still try to get out of the pressure for buying things for Christmas. Ok, for my studying son and just married daughter we have other rules :D, but all the others get DIY-presents. And this chalkboard I’ll copy next Christmas. Thank’s for charing the idea!
    Happy New Year###1

  10. What a fantastic idea!! Right now, mine would say 4 days until Downton Abbey… 🙂

  11. I love it. We also stopped buying all those gifts, but we do ours a little differently. We do two drawings. One is the main gift, and each person also must do a wish list of 3 things (so we’re not buying unnecessarily!) and the second gift MUST be a handmade gift. something you put some thought and love into!! Been doing that for about 25 years now!

  12. Do you know off hand what font you used for the lettering?

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