The countdown to Christmas has begun! And today I’m sharing a really fun and simple distressed wood and chalkboard advent calendar. If you’re in the DIY mood – here are all the instructions. If not, I’ve got some for sale in my Etsy shop. Now, that’s easy!
I love that this advent calendar is easy to change up. Just erase and write in new numbers on the chalkboard portion!
You’ll need the following materials to make your own:
- A piece of wood. I used a scrap piece of common board that was left over from my wood signs. It’s about 9 x 16″ and 3/4″ thick. You can also check out the remnants section at most home supply stores for scrap pieces of wood. And since we’re going for a distressed look, it doesn’t need to be a perfect piece.
- White & gray paint – I used Benjamin Moore exterior paint I had leftover from other projects. But any latex paint will do.
- sandpaper or an electric sander
- chalkboard paint
- burlap ribbon – or any ribbon of your choice
First, paint the wood with 2 coats of the white paint. Let it dry then add a few random strokes of the gray paint. Don’t forget to paint the sides too.
When the paint is fully dry, use electric sander (or sandpaper) and sand the wood down to remove some of the paint and round the edges. It should look like you have a great rustic piece of wood. If you removed too much of the paint, you can always go back and add more or continue sanding until you get the look you like.
Next, using your computer, you’ll need to type the copy for your advent calendar sign and print it out. I used Arial Narrow Bold and Isabella as the fonts for the type. I just measured the wood piece to figure what size my type should be. Here’s my easy technique for transferring this type onto your newly painted wood piece:
Trace the type onto the back of the printout with a pencil. If you tape the paper (backwards) to a window, it’s easier to see through it and trace it.
Then turn the paper over (right reading) and place it where you want it to go on your sign (be sure to leave room for the chalkboard space). Rub a pencil over the letters to transfer the pencil marks from the back of the paper onto the wood.
The lines will be faint but they’re a perfect guide!
Now it’s time to paint your letters. I used the same gray paint that was used earlier for the random brush strokes. Do your best but don’t stress too much to make them perfect – we’ll sand the letters a bit to add to the distressed look.
As the letter are drying, you’ll need to paint a chalkboard shape above it. This is where you (or your kids) will write in the number of days until Christmas. I just did a google search for different types of shapes and loved this one – but I’m still not sure what it’s called!
Print out and trace the shape onto your board above the type. Be sure to leave room at the top for the ribbon.
Paint the shape with the chalkboard paint. I did 2 generous coats. Allow 24 hours for the paint to fully dry and then you’ll need to prime your chalkboard. To do this: lay a piece of chalk on its side and cover your entire board liberally with chalk. Rub it in with a dry rag and then erase. Chalkboards are porous, so if you don’t prime it you are at risk for your first drawing to be there permanently.
Now add your bow – I just tied a simple bow with my burlap ribbon and glued it on with PVA glue.
Add a saw-tooth hanger on the back and hang it proudly or just lean it on a shelf or table.
This is a fun, and easy-to-update advent calendar. And it’s on trend with the distressed wood and chalkboard panel. If you’re not in the DIY mood, click here to purchase a sign from my Etsy shop. Then grab some chalk and let the countdown begin!