Are you getting excited for CHRISTMAS!?!? My kids are getting soooo excited, and that makes me even more pumped. Having little kids during the holidays is a blast! Advent calendars are a great way to help your kids focus on how many days are left before the BIG day! We have a few of these around the house, but I wanted one that was BIG! Go BIG or go home, I always say! I wish the pictures of this did it justice, but it really, really doesn’t! I was asked to participate in the Crazy Christmas Crafter Event over at I ? naptime, and this is the project that I did.

I saw an advent calendar at my friend Lacey’s house last year that she made out of barn wood, and ever since then, I have wanted to create one for myself. Lacey got the idea from her friend Shanel who made her own a few years back. So, my inspiration today is dedicated to Shanel and Lacey! Don’t you love seeing something that you LOVE!?!? The saying, “Imitation is the best form of flattery,” is true in my opinion.

I will try and walk you through the process so that you can make one too!

First, I needed to gather some barn wood. This stuff can be hard to find, but we have a super good friend who was on the look out for me. My husband’s friend Shawn was put to the task and in no time, I had a pile of the stuff on the side of my yard. I have to admit that it sat there for MONTHS before I finally got around to this project. (How embarrassing!) But, the great thing about barn wood, is that the more weathered it is, the better it looks, at least in my opinion.

So, thank you SHAWN for hooking me up with this wood for F.R.E.E. (Can’t beat that!) Shawn was remodeling a home, and found a pile of barn wood in the yard. So, instead of taking it to the dump, he called us. Gotta love calls like that!

My cute hubby cut the slats for me into 48 inch pieces.

Next, I took some SOS pads and scrubbed the barn wood. It was covered in RED mud, and the SOS pads got it right off.

Next, I randomly decided to include an old, antique window that had also been sitting in my garage for MONTHS (man, you probably think I’m a hoarder by now!). AND, the funny thing is that this window came from another friend who also gave it to me for F.R.E.E. Seriously…I have the most awesome friends EVER, don’t I!?! Thank you Laura (who just happens to be Shawn’s adorable wifey!)

I laid out the window and the wood, and I could see the vision. Don’t worry, if you can’t see it yet…you will, I promise.

Next, I gathered the supplies for the project.
I needed:
Gold metallic craft paint
A stencil set (got mine from LOWES and I actually ended up using both a 2 inch set and a 4 inch set)
A stencil brush
Some standard black nails
and some Heavy Duty Wire

I also used: A drill with a drill bit, a hammer, some pliers, and wire cutters

Next (with the help of my hubby…since I literally am horrible at this part) we measured where the numbers should be.

I needed 24 numbers, and I wanted them to stagger across the boards. So, I ended up with 8 numbers on each 48 inch board.

The first number would start 3 inches from the left side, and then each number would need 6 inches in between them as they went across. The last number would end 3 inches from the far right side. Below illustrates what the heck I am talking about. :)

I strung a removable string across the middle of each board so that the line would not be permanent. Then, I marked the measurements with a pencil.

Next, I taped on the stencils one by one and went to town painting. I used painter’s tape so that the tape would come off easily.

A few stenciling tips: *For the two-digit numbers, I was careful to only do one side of the stencil, let that dry, and then do the next number. I didn’t want to smear the first number. *And before you use the brush, make sure that you dab off some of the extra wet paint onto something. If  you have too much paint, it will bleed underneath the stencil. You want the brush to be pretty dry. *You will need several coats for the gold to be bright enough.

When I got to the top board, I decided that I wanted the numbers to be larger since they were single digit numbers. As a result, I switched from the 2-inch stencils to the 4-inch stencils.

After I was done with stenciling on the numbers, I carefully drilled a hole through each board and through the window to attach them together. I used heavy duty wire and twisted it tight with pliers. Next, I cut off the wire with my wire cutters.

Isn’t it looking cute!?!?

Next, I hammered in some standard black nails above each number. The plan is to find some super cute vintage-looking ornaments to hang on the nails. My kids are going to LOVE counting down the days to CHRISTMAS!

I love the character of the barn wood!

I think it turned out fantastic! I can’t wait to start the countdown to Christmas on Dec. 1st!

It is the first thing that people will see when they enter my home!

The wreath adds the perfect touch to the window!

I have been gathering ornaments for the calendar for a few weeks, but I am still not done. You’ll have to wait to see the big reveal!

The best part of all!?!?  
Total cost: Less than $10.00 out of pocket!


  1. Isabel says

    I really think you have a gift! I'm just amazed by how you can look at something and be able to see beyond the appearance! You are amazing and I hope one day my place can look like yours (working on it, hehe)!! I was first inspired by the show "Good luck Charlie" and then just looking at your blog, it helps me be less and less afraid of color and see beauty under several layers of ugly! Thank you for sharing your amazing talent, I'm a thrifty girl in training!


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