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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!


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!


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