This is a guest post from my sister, Shannon Bolt.
Many people, including myself, saw the cutest Halloween Countdown Calendar last year in the Pottery Barn Catalog. But I’m sure many people, including myself, were not willing to fork over $60.00 plus shipping for this cute decoration- not when you know you can make it yourself for way cheaper and not pay shipping-BONUS!! So, after a few pictures from my cousin’s rendition of it, I made mine. It is a little time consuming, but so worth the effort when it’s done. Here are my instructions. Warning: They may be a little too basic for some, but you can make yours however you want.
Here’s What We’re Going For
This is what the $60 Pottery Barn Calendar looks like. Pretty cute, huh? BUT IT’S $60!! We’re about to DIY on this bad mamajama. Get ready.
Download the instructions for printing.
Gather Your Materials
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Felt glue
- Rotary cutter or scissors (I found that a rotary cutter works best, but scissors will do.)
- 1 ½ yards of orange felt
- 1 ½ yards of black felt
- 2 pkgs large orange ric rak
- Various colors of craft foam with sticky backs (I used purple, lime green, yellow, black, red, white)
- 1 sheet of sticky back orange felt
- 1 sheet of sticky back white felt
- Halloween craft foamies
- Black embroidery floss
- Dowel rod
- Halloween ribbon
- Alphabet/Number stencils 1″-2″
The total cost of supplies is probably at most $20. Much cheaper than the $60 Pottery Barn is charging.
It’s Construction Time!
- The first thing you want to do is cut 35 4″ wide x 3 1/2″squares. A quilters square makes easy work of this, but if you don’t have one you can make a pattern out of a paper grocery bag.
- Then cut your black felt 44″ long x 25″ wide.
- Arrange the 35 squares so that you have 7 down and 5 across. If you want to leave room at the bottom to have your family name monogrammed, leave it. If not, arrange the squares accordingly. The measurement between columns is approximately ¾” and between rows is approximately 1 ¼” to 1 ½”. I say approximately because some of them are not. Just make it look like it’s even. Leave room on the sides, top, and bottom for the ric rac.
- Glue the squares on using the felt glue. Let dry.
- While it is drying, stencil and cut out your numbers. I used a variety of different styles of stencils. This is totally up to you. If you can free hand numbers, go for it! This is the fun part-where you can truly make this your “OWN”. Also stencil the letters for the “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” title on the sticky back orange felt. I used a 1 ¼” tall stencil, stuck the letter on the white sticky back felt and cut around it leaving about a ¼” border.
- When the squares are dry, take your black embroidery floss, and using 3 or 4 strands, sew the squares on. This adds a more homemade look and added security. I completely sewed the orange square to the black felt on the two sides and bottom. For the top I just sewed through the orange leaving the top open for treats.
- After the squares were sewn on, I arranged the title at the top. You should just be able to stick it on, but if you want added security use a little of the felt glue.
- Arrange your foam numbers and Halloween craft foamies on each square. I used a little felt glue on each just to make sure they stay on.
- After it is dry, sew a pocket at the top for your dowel rod to go through, tie some ribbon on the rod and WALLA!! You have your own version of a very pricey advent calendar.
Download the instructions for printing.
The Finished Product
Here’s what the finished product looks like:
And the Pottery Barn version for comparison:
This will make a great weekend project with your kids to help them get into the Halloween mood and you’ll save yourself $60. You can use these same instructions and adapt the theme to a Christmas so you can have your own homemade advent calendar.
How To Use
You can put treats in each pocket and let your kids take one out one each day until Halloween. Just buy some candy in bulk and put some in there. You could also put a special messages to each of your kids each day of the week. Another idea is to make a little skeleton or Frankenstein that can the kids can jump from each day to the next. The possibilities are endless!