Sunday, October 21, 2012

13 Days of Halloween Countdown

Every Halloween, I try to find ways to make the holiday last.  It seems that if you don't have kids, aren't a kid yourself, or aren't in college {you know what I'm talking about}, Halloween is simply a night to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.  Not anymore!  I designed this 13 Days of Halloween Countdown calendar to stretch out the excitement and fun of the holiday for everyone.

The absolute best aspect of this calendar is all the activities are held on by magnets.  This allows for rearranging the fun every year to adjust to your changing schedule.  A huge bonus, in my book!

All of my materials were purchased at Michaels, unless otherwise noted.

Would you like to make one yourself?  Here's how!

Time: About 4 hours {allowing paint to dry is the longest part}

Picture Frame without Glass {Used: 20"x16"}
Foam Core Board {left over from previous project}
Burlap {left over from previous project}
Hanging Wire
Sharpie Paint Pens - Black, Green, Yellow
Magnets - on a strip
Wood Numbers - 1 & 3
Wood Letters - DAYS
Wood Strip
Wood Rectangle Pieces
Prepainted Wood Accent Pieces
Acrylic Paint - Black, Orange
Glitter and Glitter Glue
Sharpie - Black, Silver
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Ruler or Measuring Tape
Spray Paint - Black, White
Stencil - Alphabet and Numbers
X-Acto Knife

1.  Prime wood items with white spray paint.  Allow to dry according to directions.

2.  Spray paint your frame using black paint.  I wanted an aged, worn look to my frame so I sprayed quickly and unevenly.  Allow paint to dry according to instructions.

3.  Organize list and make activity pieces. Use small pieces of paper to match up your pre-painted activity pieces with their activities.  With black and silver Sharpies, write the activity on the piece.

My List
Boo-ing {For "You've Been Boo-ed"}
Scary Movies
Pumpkin Carving
Costumes {Making or Buying}
Night Out
Pumpkin Patch
Frightening Feast {Cooking a Halloween Themed Dinner}
Game Night
Make Treats
Crafting Day {Gotta have that!}
Ghost Stories

4.  Create backing.  Use pencil and ruler, draw out backing.  I subtracted 1/4" from the measurements of my frame to allow space for burlap {it's a bulky material}.  If you are not using burlap, subtract 1/8" from your measurements.  So, simply put, I cut my foam board to 19 3/4" x 15 3/4".  Use caution when cutting board and test board's fit in the frame before continuing on.

5.  Wrap backing in material.  When cutting add 2 inches to the measurements of your frame.  Therefore, I cut my piece 22" x 18".  This gave me plenty of material to work with when wrapping.

Use hot glue to adhere fabric to the foam board.  Again, please don't burn off your fingers.

6.  Once fully wrapped, hot glue into frame.  Attached hanging wire to back side.  Set aside for later steps.

7.  Your primed pieces should be dry by now.  Paint and decorate your top heading.  

 8.  Create your number bases.  These will be glued directly onto your background.

9.  Glue on magnets.  This part took some forethought as I wanted to create a board that would look nice no matter what order I put the pieces in.  So, I glued the base magnet with hot glue in the same place on every base rectangle {bottom right-hand}.  Then I took my widest number {12} to use as a template for placement of the magnet that goes on the back of the activity piece. 

**Here's the Trick to Applying the Magnet to the Back: Place the magnet you want to glue to the back of your activity piece on the base magnet (as if they were really holding together).  Apply hot glue and stick activity piece right on top of it precisely how you would like the piece to sit.  Allow to dry, pull off, and TA DA!  Perfectly placed magnet on the back of your activity pieces.  

 10.  Once you have all your pieces together, map out your bases on your burlap backing.  Glue into place once satisfied and start placing your pieces.

11.  Your final touch is your header.  You can easily just hot glue the header to the top of the frame but I want storage to be easy.  I want my header to be removable.  So, I hot glued extra strength velcro to the top of my frame and back of header to fully attach it.  Worked beautifully.

Finally, hang your board and get down to Halloween business!!!

What activities would you add to or change in the 
13 Days of Halloween Countdown?


  1. where did you get your activity Pieces? Did you make them or purchase them?

    1. They were purchased at Michaels Stores last year. They came painted - I just added the activity to the front. I do believe they have similar pieces this year as well. :)

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