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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?


  • 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


  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!


2 Responses

  1. The “countdown to break” for teachers is a wonderful idea. It’s so hard to find something out of the ordinary for a teacher gift. And easy to make also.

  2. How sweet that you have a comment from “Mom.” I love that 🙂

    I usually bake cupcakes for the teachers each year – so that all teachers get something (and it remains affordable for me). I also encourage people to give memberships to ABCTeach.com (teachers can always use this, year round, especially at the lower grade levels). I’ve given memberships to Treasures 4 Teachers, also (the warehouse is located in Arizona only, though) – awesome place that allows teachers to shop for classroom supplies to “reuse, reduce and recycle.”

    I’ve bought gifts from my own clients over the years, too, of course: jewelry, food, etc. I like to support small business when I can. Homemade Gourmet, Tastefully Simple and so on (mix packets that are great during the holidays)

    Just last week we dropped off 6 snowflake crafts to my daughter’s Preschool teacher – from FRECKLES Crafts of course 🙂 She will use them with her 6 students, hopefully next week. Yay!!

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