Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My New Countdown Collection!

My Thanksgiving Countdown was in MAJOR need of an overhaul - so it was high-time I got my "turkey" on and designed a new one! As I was making this board up, my 8 and 10 year olds were busting with excitement, I think the very thought that we are entering the holiday season gave way to it's own celebration. In fact, it was their excitement that inspired me to add some new elements to the countdown that I think are really awesome and I know the kids will love!

In the past, most of my countdowns have involved candy... but I'm over that - so this round of updates will be magnet based. It comes with both an 8x10 for photo printing or a PDF to print at home... then what I especially love are the 1" Countdown Coordinates (on a 4x6).  These lovely little dots can be made into the magnets that you'll use on your board... make them all up, or only use a few - it's up to you.  There is MUCH more to look forward to than just the main holiday... you may have guests coming, maybe a birthday to celebrate, a family event that would be fun to add to the countdown and what kid doesn't love to track the days until a day off from school?  Plus, with Thanksgiving being a jumping holiday where it's never on the same day, you can just move the magnet each year to the correct date.

My plan with this countdown is to make a series... so each month you'll only need to swap out the Countdown and Magnets. And, don't forget.  This printable is not just meant to be fun for your family... think what a fun gift this would make for ANY family this season! 

Let's get started...

Before I start - I just want to point out that the quickest, easiest and least expensive way to make these countdowns would be to print, laminate and post on your fridge.  There is not an absolute need to make it up in a magnetic frame... it's just the way I made mine. ;)

INSTRUCTIONS: You'll need a basic 8x10 frame, your prints of course, a small piece of sheet metal (found at any hardware store for just a couple of dollars), sheet metal cutters, a 1" punch, magnets, flat bottle caps and 1" epoxy stickers.  You can find flat bottle caps and epoxy (or resin) stickers at craft stores like Michaels; they are ALL OVER in Etsy Shops or on Amazon. I'm on a bottle cap kick at the moment - so I not only think they are super cute, they'll make your magnets super durable for lasting year after year. 

There's more info about bottle caps and the stickers below...

But first... I measured my metal and marked an 8x10 space with a Sharpie.  These sheet metal cutters are the bomb - they slice through the metal like a butter knife, so be careful - they are sharp and so are the edges of the metal after it's cut. This is definitely part of the project you won't want your kids helping with.  I had actually purchased a large sheet and have been able to make several magnet boards out of it. A little tip when you go to the hardware store... take a magnet in your pocket.  Some metal sheets are not magnetic. I learned the hard way on that one... ;)

Once your metal is cut, remove the glass from the frame (I recommend laminating your 8x10 before framing to increase it's durability and shine). Then, put the countdown in first (no glass) and put the sheet metal directly behind it.  Next, layer the glass (if it will fit), then secure the backing.  The reason I like putting the glass in the back is because it keeps the magnet board and countdown snug.  I don't want to mount the countdown to the board because I plan on changing it out with countdowns for other months.

Making the magnets up is super easy.  Of course, you could skip this step and just punch (or cut) and laminate the dots... but they won't be near as durable.  You can purchase sets of bottle caps & stickers online for about $5 per 25 - less if you buy bigger lots.  I typically buy mine on Etsy, but you'll find great prices on Amazon as well.

My favorite place to buy bottle cap supplies... FIZZY POPS!  

Don't feel like you have to make up each magnet... just choose the ones you want to use.  At the very least you'll need to make 2 for this set - the turkey and "Turkey Day". I punched mine with a 1" round punch and adhered to the Epoxy Stickers, face up.  I used E6000 glue to adhere the image to the inside of my bottle cap (which takes several hours to cure/dry).  I then attached my magnet - I didn't have to use glue because mine were self-adhesive, but you could use the E6000 glue for that too.  A hot glue gun isn't going to work - it'll just peal right off the metal and not last long.

If you've never worked with Epoxy Stickers before - they are like little clear domes of awesomeness.  They not only add dimension and shine to your image, it's WAY faster than using liquid resins to get the the dome effect and they are VERY durable. 

I absolutely LOVED how the Thanksgiving one turned out... so I jumped right in and made up two for Christmas.  On the Santa one, use the "present" magnet to advance through the month until it ends up at the tree.  For the Nativity one, the "star" magnet will make it's way to the manger.  I made up both for my kids - I actually think they'll be fun to use together.  My biggest problem now is to decide how many to make up for gifts!

Use COLETTE to save 20% on any purchase, or use CANVAS30 for 30% off $10+

If you are ready to grab your Countdowns... here's the links to my shop!


Be sure to check out my most popular bottle cap post...

Happy Counting Down! 

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Tammy Graf said...

I just found your website today and all of your wonderful creations. I love your Thanksgiving and Nativity Countdowns and was wondering how I could get the printable. It is no longer available on your store. I ordered your menu and recipe kit and am excited to put it together. Thanks, Tammy

Colette said...

Hi, Tammy! So nice to meet you! Thanks for your note - looks like the listings had expired... I've got them reactivated - here's the link to the bundle:

Have a great day!

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