Hello everyone! I hope you all have a fun Labor Day weekend planned! This week, I had some down time and decided to do some Disney crafting. One thing I’ve seen that I’ve always enjoyed on Pinterest and Etsy are Disney vacation countdowns. Growing up we had countdown chalkboards for Christmas, Halloween – pretty much all the major holidays. So I thought – why not make something similar for Disney??
As you all know I LOVE Cheshire Cat, so naturally this craft was going to HAVE to be Cheshire Cat themed! You can use just about any sort of theme and coloring though, and even use this tutorial for any other occasion countdown.
Enough talk, let’s get to the tutorial!
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- Chalkboard sign – I got mine at Michaels for about $8. You want one that has a border around it so you can add a pop of color to your sign!
- Print out of a Disney character of your choice. Obviously, I picked Cheshire Cat!
- Acrylic craft paint – I am always a huge fan of the Martha Stewart satin paints. I just used one color, but if you want to be fancy and do a design on the wooden border, you may need more!
- Mod Podge sealant – I used this to keep Cheshire Cat glued down to the chalkboard.
- Paintbrushes and foam brushes for painting/Mod Podging
- Flat Back Gemstones – I have this HUGE container of them that I’ve had since my college days, I can guarantee that no matter WHAT project I am working on, I can find the right color and size in here!
- Paint Pens – various colors – This is what you will be using to write text on your board!
- Sparkly Puffy Paint – whatever color matches the theme of your board!
- Optional – Washi tape – I used this to create a barrier on the chalkboard (simply because I have so much of it lying around!) along the edge of the wooden border, so when I was painting I didn’t make a mess with the paint! Although if you skip this step, you’ll be fine. I still messed up in a few places and it cleaned off very nicely!
- Optional – Chalkboard paint – Total disclaimer: at the end of this tutorial, I had a bit of a paint explosion. Chalkboard paint is a great backup to have on hand in case you mess up – just repaint the chalkboard part of your project and start over!
- Chalkboard markers or chalk for writing on the board during your countdown!
- A ruler to assist with text placement.
Set up your crafting area and protect all surfaces. Paint the wooden border of your chalkboard, using the washi tape as a barrier on the chalkboard part to prevent bleeding of the paint on to the chalkboard surface (if you want, or you can just wing it!) If you like the rustic wooden border, you can use a stain or light varnish to make it look more country as well! As you can see, I did have a LITTLE overlap on the chalkboard, but it washed off easily with a little bit of water!
Placing Your Character
Pick a placement for your character and use the Mod Podge to glue it down. Use one layer of Mod Podge on the back of the character and then put an additional layer over the character once you place it to keep it in place. You can be a little messy with it, because you’re going to put a border of puffy paint around it to cover the edges!
Painting On Your Text
While Cheshire Cat is drying, I began to write out the text on my chalkboard. The first thing I did was make a straight line next to Cheshire Cat. This is where I will write the number for the countdown! I added a few layers after this initial line to straighten out the edges and make it a bit thicker.
Use the ruler to help write in a straight line as you continue to write out your text. BE CAREFUL while writing! If you push too much on the pen, you WILL have a paint explosion (I may or may not be speaking from experience). Write whatever you would like! I decided I wanted to make this chalkboard for ALL our Disney trips, so I added an additional line at the end of the chalkboard so I can change our destination each time.
While that is drying, use the puffy paint to outline your character!
Once everything is dry, you can add gemstones to the corners of your frame – or all around if you choose! – using a hot glue gun. Then you can use the chalk markers or chalk to fill in the blanks and VIOLA! Your countdown chalkboard is complete!
If you mess up at all, use the chalkboard paint to paint over the parts you messed up on (as you can see, there were a few explosions that happened while I was making it!) This is ESPECIALLY important if you plan on selling these on Etsy or gifting them. You want to make sure you’ve got the best quality product!
There you go! A fun, quick project you and your family can undertake on a rainy afternoon to bring you excitement each and every time you’re prepping for a trip. You can do it with any number of colors and designs, or even for holidays!
For more of my crafts, be sure to check out my Etsy shop! And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter! You’ll receive updates when I post new posts and you’ll get updates on all things Disney, plus my FREE WDW Prep Checklist!
This is so cute! I have done a similar countdown for my wedding, but I used a frame and insert a beautiful paper countdown. I could write on the glass using a sharpie.