Monday, April 10, 2017

DIY Chalkboard Countdown Calendar Blocks

Aloha!


Can you believe Easter is in 6 days?! I can't. These things have a tendency to sneak right up on me. I decided I needed to have something to keep these important holidays more "in-my-face" so to speak. But I didn't want to have to make a countdown calendar for every single holiday or occasion... enter the chalkboard countdown calendar! We can use it for birthdays, holidays, end-of-school, etc. I love a versatile project. 


It's another easy peasy build for the beginner builders out there. Or a 5-minute build for a more seasoned builder. ;)  And if you do any kind of woodworking you can probably find all the necessary pieces in your scrap pile! I love projects like that!








YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

BUILDING:

-1x6 scrap cut to 5"
-1x3 scraps (2 cut to 2.5" and 1 cut to 4")
-2x2 scraps (2 cut to 1.5")
-Wood glue
-Screws or brad nails
-Paint
-Chalkboard paint (instructions included for making your own)
-Chalk ;)

STEP 1:

Get all your pieces cut out. I've found that not all stores have their pieces milled to the same thickness, so make sure you cut your 2x2's to be exactly as long as they are wide to make a nice little cube. They're typically 1.5"x1.5", so ideally you'd cut them to 1.5" long. But measure just in case. They may actually be 1  9/16 or something really close. It won't make a huge difference, but you might notice it. See how my one on the bottom is slightly rectangular...? Should have measured before just assuming mine were 1.5". Oh, well.





STEP 2:  Prime.

I like to prime my pieces once before putting them together. I think it makes it just a little easier. You can do this step after putting together if you'd prefer.




STEP 3: Attach.

This step will depend on your supplies. If you don't have a nail gun, don't stress. You can easily use some screws. Just make sure to pre-drill your holes and then sink them and cover them with wood putty.

This cordless brad nailer a Christmas gift from my husband, and it's seriously made my life so much easier. I HATED getting our huge air compressor out every time I wanted to use the brad nailer. I highly recommend getting one if you've been on the fence.






I propped my arms on there next to the base, and then glued and nailed the back to both the arms and the base first.





Then I moved to the sides and also attached the arms to the base.





STEP 4: Paint

Now's where you'll want to fill your nail holes, sand really well, and paint.



STEP 5: Prep your chalkboard paint

I used a simple recipe I shared on my Attempting Aloha blog over 6 years ago! I love it because it uses basic (cheap!) acrylic craft paints that you can buy in any color!

Here's the original post, but I'll repeat the recipe here.




Here's what you'll need (you may want to half this recipe if only using it to make one calendar):

-Non-sanded grout. 1.5 t.
     I bought this at a local small home-improvement store for $2, and it will probably last forever. Ha!
-Acrylic craft paint in ANY color!  1/4 c.
-Old measuring supplies since it might be hard to get the paint off plastic...optional if you like to live on the edge.





Mix your unsanded grout and paint together. You can see here that it made quite a bit. I was going to make more than one, so that worked for me. As I mentioned above, I'd half it if you are only doing one calendar.




It will probably be really clumpy, and that's totally normal. Just mix it until they're combined, and there aren't any HUGE lumps.




Tape a small border around the edges of your calendar and paint away!  I did 3 layers just to be safe.


And I forgot to snap a pic of the last step, but it's important. Once your paint is dry, take a piece of chalk and turn it on its side and rub all over your painted area. After it's completely covered, erase it, and your chalkboard is ready to go!




And back to the actual calendar steps.

Step 6: Paint numbers.

For the two cubes, you'll be able to count down from 32. You will need to add a third cube if you want to go any higher than that. Or if you don't mind only using one number from 9 down (instead of 09, etc.), you can omit the 0 in the second cube and use a second 3. That will get you up to 39...

Cube 1 will need 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Cube 2 will need 0, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9/6 (make sure the font you use makes the 9 and 6 look the same if flipped, so they can be used interchangeably)

I have horrible handwriting, so I had to cheat and use my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the letters and paint them in.



I think they turned out pretty cute. And adding them to my DIY'ed "He is not here" and "for He is risen" signs, I think they're the perfect addition my our Easter decor.











Now I just have to go out and actually buy gifts for the kids! Oops... Procrastinator through and through.


Aloha,

Charlee


Remodelaholic - (Friday)
Chic on a Shoestring - (Friday)
Sweet Pea - Best of the Weekend

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