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“Countdown to Break” Blocks- Teachers Gift Tutorial

I have been thinking a lot about what to get my son’s teachers for Christmas.  I usually try to get them a gift certificate for Target or Wal-Mart so they may buy books for their classroom or purchase something personal for themselves (they deserve it after all on what little teachers make these days, yeesh!)  With the gift certificate I like to give them something homemade either from myself or the kids.  After being inspired by the many tutorials I have seen recently for countdown to Christmas advent blocks, I came up with this version for teachers to count down the days until their next break.  I think this will be such a fun gift that they can use in the classroom to not only assist with learning the calendar days but to also build excitement counting down the days until spring break, summer break, etc!

What gift are you giving teachers this year?

Materials:

  • 2- 4 inch wood blocks cut from a 4×4 fence post
  • 1-  2×4 block 7 inches long
  • White paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Coordinating scrapbook paper
  • Paper trimmer or scissors
  • Modge Podge
  • Corner trimmer (optional)
  • Vinyl lettering cut to say “days ‘til break”
  • Vinyl numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (block one) 0, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 (block 2)
  • Distressing ink optional

Directions:

  1.  Sand edges of blocks to remove rough areas.
  2. Paint all sides of each block white as well as the 2×4 base and allow to dry.
  3. Cut scrapbook paper to fit blocks.  You will need six different pieces of paper for each of the block sides and one coordinating piece of paper for one side of the 2×4 (use a corner trimmer to round edges of paper, optional).

4.   Apply scrapbook paper to blocks using a thin layer of modge podge and allow to dry.

5.  Lightly sand the edges of the paper to make it look worn and even with the blocks.  As an option you can use distressing ink on the edges of the paper to give the blocks a worn/aged look.  Note:  I did not do this step because I liked the contrast of the white block with the colorful paper. 

6.  Remove the vinyl scrap from around the letters and numbers.

7.  Apply the vinyl numbers to blocks (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on block one)(0, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 on block 2) and the letters (days ’til break) to the 2×4 base using your vinyl transfer tape (follow the manufactures directions for your specific transfer tape product). 

8.  Seal the blocks with another layer of modge podge and allow to dry.

Teachers will love these!

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How To Make Your Own Advent Calendar {tutorials galore}

Flickr Image by Leo Reynolds

Flickr Image by Leo Reynolds

It’s December 1st!  Time to get those advent calendars started.  If your household is anything like mine then you know how exciting it is for the kids to wake up every morning and race down the stairs to see who gets to change the advent date.  In an attempt to alleviate some of the sibling rivalry we now have several advent calendars and it takes us half of the morning to go through them all!  Never the less we always know exactly how many days are left until Christmas!

This year, like most, I had visions of making one of the really cute home-made advent calendars seen posted all over the Internet.  Once again I have waited until the last-minute… and yes… once again it will get pushed off until next year {sigh}!  So as a tribute to all of the wonderfully talented (and organized) individuals out there, I have decided to post links to some of my favorites.  I hope you are as inspired as I am!

Or if you are looking for a quick and easy advent to make with your kids why not try one from Freckles Crafts!

 

Today is Small Business Saturday!

Until I started my company Freckles Crafts, I never gave much thought to supporting small business.  Like so many of you I would just run to the nearest “big box” retailer to purchase what I need.  At Christmas time I would wait for the big sales and try to get as much off of my list as possible.  I would often leave the store feeling frustrated with poor customer service and products that were questionable in quality.  It wasn’t until recently that I discovered this amazing community of small businesses, many of them mom owned, who offer high quality products and services at very affordable prices.  This year I have committed to purchasing as many gifts as possible from small businesses, and while I know the “big box” retailers will have their place this season (mostly for Star Wars action figures), I have been able to buy my family and friends some wonderful and very unique gifts. The quality of products and customer service that I have received have been unmatched, and it has made for one of the most enjoyable shopping seasons I can remember!

It is exciting to witness the nation taking notice of small business owners as well, and American Express has spearheaded the efforts to support our community by sponsoring the first ever Small Business Saturday.  As part of their commitment to supporting small business, American Express is giving registered card members a $25 statement credit when they shop at small businesses today!  How cool is that!  And if that wasn’t enough, for every person who “likes” American Express on Facebook, they will donate $1.00 to Girls Inc, an amazing charity!

So what are you waiting for?  I have listed several gift guides here to get you started.  Shop small business today, earn a $25.00 credit on your American Express and know that you are making a difference in someone’s life by supporting their small business!

MomVantage Holiday Gift Guide

Coupons are Great

Autumn Craft- 2×4 Thankful Blocks

Recently a friend had her basement redone and had a bunch of 2×4 scrap pieces left over from that project. Of course when I see something that I might be able to use for a craft project I just can’t pass it up.  Much to my husbands dismay, I loaded up the entire back of my truck and brought home as many of those lumber scraps as I could carry! Here is the first project I made.

Wouldn’t this look cute on your fireplace mantle or table at Thanksgiving?  Below are the directions to make your own!

Supplies Needed:
 4- 2×4 boards cut into the following lengths 10.5 in., 5 in., 4 in., 3 in.
Coordinating pieces of Scrapbook paper (DCWV The Green Stack used here)
Distressing ink (optional)
Modge Podge
Paint brush
Paint (Coffee Bean by Plaid used in this project)
Scissors or paper trimmer
Vinyl lettering cut into words “Faith”, “Family”, “Friends” and “We Give Thanks”
Vinyl transfer tape
Sandpaper
Corner trimmer (optional)

Directions:
Sand the block edges to remove rough areas.  Paint the blocks brown and allow to dry.


Cut scrapbook paper to fit the blocks.  Trim the paper slightly smaller than the wood (use corner trimmer to round edges of paper, optional).


Apply scrapbook paper to blocks using a thin layer of Modge Podge and allow to dry.  Lightly sand the ends of the paper to make it look worn and even with the blocks.


Use the distressing ink on the paper to give it an antique look (optional).

Now it is time for the fun part!  Adding the vinyl letters!  Separate the vinyl letters from the backing.


Apply the vinyl lettering to blocks using the vinyl transfer tape (follow manufactures directions for your vinyl transfer tape.)


Seal the blocks with another thin coat of Modge Podge, allow to dry and your project is complete! 

Let’s get one more look at the finished project!  So cute!

Welcome!

Welcome to “Crafting with Freckles”– a Freckles Crafts blog!  This blog has been a long time coming and I am so happy to finally be able to share it with you.  While creating Freckles Crafts craft kits is a great creative outlet for me, I am constantly bursting with other creative inspiration and need to have an outlet for it.  This blog will be all about Getin’ Crafty.  Whether it is kid crafts, crafts for adults, decorating your home or creative cooking, I hope you will enjoy all this blog will have to offer!

Now, whatcha waiting for!  Go get crafty!

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