Did you ever count down the days until Christmas or your birthday as a kid? I totally did, and I remember how exciting it was when my brother and I got to mark another day off on our Christmas countdown calendar. I don’t count down days anymore (except to be like “Holy cow, there’s only ten days left to shop and make gifts?! Ack!”), but now there is something in our future that’s totally worthy of a countdown… JM and I are going to Disney World this year!!! And to help keep us excited every day until our trip, I made these awesome countdown blocks!
Countdown blocks are pretty easy to make, and they’re a fun way to get excited about a holiday or event in advance. They’re also perfect for answering the inevitable “How many days until Christmas (or whatever holiday/event)?” question that you just know is going to be asked every day starting the day after Thanksgiving!
So if you want to make your own, just follow this simple tutorial!
Disney Countdown Blocks
Here’s what you need to make the Disney countdown blocks pictured above:
- 2 or more wooden cubes
- wood for your “Days Until” and Event blocks
- paint, paintbrush etc.
- self-adhesive vinyl (or paper and a glue stick)
- something to cut with (scissors, Xacto knife, Cameo, etc.)
The first and most important question before you start your project is “How many blocks do I need?” The answer depends on how many days you want to count down.
To count down from 43 or lower: You only need two cubes to count down from 43, but you have to be careful. You need to use a font for your numbers where the 6 can be turned upside down and serve as a 9, and you have to put specific numbers on each cube. If you put 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on one cube, and 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 0 on the other, you’ll be able to make every number from 43 to 1 without any problems!
To count down from 110 or lower: You need three cubes for this, and again, make sure your 6 can be flipped over to serve as a 9. Use the same configuration as above for the first two cubes, and put 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 0 on the third cube.
To count down from 443 or lower: This is what I did for my countdown blocks, and you need four cubes for this. Make sure your 6 can be flipped over to serve as a 9 again, and just make two sets of the “43 or lower” cubes. I’m sure there are other configurations of numbers on cubes that would allow you to count higher than 443 with 4 cubes, but let’s face it, how many of us are actually going to count down days for more than an entire year?!
Besides wooden cubes for the numbers, you also need wooden blocks for the “Days Until” text and the name of your event or destination. I had a 2×4 lying around, so I just cut off a 7″ piece for the “Days Until” text and a 9″ piece for the “Disney” text. You could also put these all on one block of wood, but I figure if you want to re-use your countdown blocks for other things, it’s easier to just switch out the bottom block.
If your wood is rough, start by sanding it down. Then give it all a few coats of paint. If you are painting a single cube with more than one color, paint one color and wait for it to dry. Then tape it off with painters tape or washi tape and paint the next color, and so on until all sides are painted.
Once the paint is dry, you need to add numbers to your cubes and text to your blocks. There are lots of options for this part (paint letters on freehand, use a stencil, use vinyl, use paper, etc.) and any of them will work. I chose to use my Cameo to cut vinyl for this part, cuz I suck at freehand painting. You can also cut shapes out of paper and glue them onto the blocks if you don’t have adhesive vinyl.
Once the vinyl was cut, I used washi tape to hold it all in place and transfer it from the cutting mat to my blocks. Washi tape is perfect for this because it’s sticky enough to hold the letters in place without tearing the vinyl when you remove it later.
Start by placing a strip of washi tape over the letters or numbers while they are still on your cutting mat.
Peel the letters or numbers up off of the mat, but make sure they’re still attached to the washi tape.
Put the vinyl and washi tape down on your block where you want the letters to be.
Gently pull off the washi tape, leaving the vinyl on the block, and you’re done!
I used the same process to put the vinyl on the cubes as well. How cute are these?!
I used the Disney font for the numbers and I love it!
I designed the blocks like this (primary colors painted onto the wood, white vinyl covering the negative space) because it reminds me of wooden blocks I used to have as a kid. The white space was routed out of the block so that the border and letter/number in the middle was raised. But I don’t have a router (or the skill to use one!), so this was the closest I could get to recreating those blocks.
If you like the Disney design I used for these blocks, you can download the cutting files for the numbers, “Days Until”, and “Disney!!!” here:
If you don’t have a Cameo, I’d love to cut some vinyl for you and stick it in the mail to you! Just let me know what colors, words, and fonts you want on the shop page!
If you download the Silhouette file, you need to have the Disney font installed on your computer in order for it to show up properly in the cutting file. You can download the Disney font here; the Days Until font is called Minya Nouvelle, and you can download it here.
Anyway, once your vinyl is on your blocks, stack them up and you’re done! There are only 77 days until our trip to Disney World, and I’m super excited!
It’s on top of our bookshelf now, so we can see it every day!
What do you use to count down to Christmas, birthdays, or other occasions? Do you have any tips or tricks for us for our Disney World trip? I can’t wait!
I link up at these awesome parties!