Create a fun piece of decor and a handy way to count down to the big day with this DIY Halloween countdown calendar project. It’s a fun resource to help the kids contain their excitement until it’s time to dress up.
Do you ever get tired of answering the question, “how many days until Halloween?” I did because my kids asked it A LOT!
We tried lots of different ways to “count down” to Halloween such as reading a different book each night, saying the date each morning before school, and even using a calendar.
After answering that same question for what felt like the 10,749th time, I decided to come up with a way to help them keep track of the days on their own. As I spent some time brainstorming how I wanted to tackle this problem, I thought about Christmas advent calendars and how well they work for my kids.
I decided to make a DIY Halloween Countdown Calendar (it could even be called a Halloween advent calendar) to help my kids keep track of just how many days are left until their favorite holiday (okay second favorite behind Christmas).
How To Make A DIY Halloween Countdown Calendar
This project turned out to be even more fun than I thought it would be, so I knew I had to share it with you! Grab your Mod Podge and let’s get started.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this fun and festive project. I’ve included some handy links to make finding certain items a little easier and faster.
- Frame with glass (mine is about 14 x 20)
- Paint for the frame (if desired)
- Fabric (or additional paper) – this is to cover up the cardboard in the frame
- Scrapbook paper (black and Halloween-themed) – These Halloween-themed paper kits were in the dollar section of my local Walmart craft section. I used a little bit of two different kits for this project.
- Mod Podge – you’ll need both regular and sparkle versions
- Google eyes
- 3M adhesive
- Hot glue
- Paper cutter and scoring board are helpful for this project
- Cricut or craft knife
- Scoring board
Halloween Countdown Calendar Instructions
Just follow these step-by-step instructions and your final product will be ready in (almost) no time.
I removed the cardboard from my frame.
This was actually a frame I had used for a project before, so it was already covered in drop cloth material.
Cover your cardboard in fabric or scrapbook paper.
I then cut out a total of thirty (30) 1.5″ x 2″ rectangles for my calendar. I laid mine out in 5 rows of 6 each.
Note: The size and number of rectangles will depend on the size of your frame. You may have to do some math.
Create a banner. I used my Cricut to cut out a pennant banner.
Note: The top triangles have the letters cut into them. The bottom triangles are just patterned scrapbook paper.
I put Mod Podge on the back of the black triangles.
Then I put the black triangles right on top of the patterned paper triangles. This makes a great little pennant banner.
Next it is time to Mod Podge all of those little rectangles to the scrapbook paper.
Note: Take care to keep them straight both horizontally and vertically so that they look uniform.
Next I cut out 30 numbers with my Cricut and used Mod Podge to adhere the numbers to the rectangles.
Now it is time for some sparkle! I used sparkle Mod Podge over the pennant banner and the calendar.
After everything is dry, use hot glue to adhere your pennant banner and calendar to your fabric-covered cardboard.
I took some baker’s twine and hot glued it into place on the pennant banner to finalize the look.
Then I put my calendar into the frame. This frame was already white, but you can paint your frame if you prefer a different look.
What do you think?
The sparkle Mod Podge made a huge difference in this project. It gave everything a sparkle, plus it really brightened the colors on the paper.
Note: As hard as I tried, I couldn’t REALLY capture how amazing it looks because it’s really hard to take pictures of something under glass!
I am usually not a glitter type of gal but I love how this turned out, I will be reaching for the bottle of sparkle Mod Podge frequently now!
How To Make Eyeball Pinwheels For Your Halloween Countdown Calendar
Now it is time to make lots of paper pinwheels because you need to use something to count down until the big day!
I started by making one with a strip of 1.5-inch wide paper and added a “Halloween” embellishment. It is a little larger than the rest and I will show you in a moment where it goes on the calendar.
Here’s the process I used to make these fun pinwheels.
First, let’s talk about how to make paper pinwheels. You will need 30 to be your markers for the dates on the calendar. So cut 30 strips of paper 1 inch wide. The paper is 12 inches long.
Note: A paper cutter is a lifesaver for this task.
Next, you need to fold your paper every 1/4″. I took my scoring tool and scored each sheet every 1/4″.
The next step is MUCH easier if you use a scoring board!
After you score you strip, make a zig zag fold on each piece.
I highly recommend making these pinwheels after turning on a movie because making all 30 will take you a while!
Then use your hot glue to adhere the ends of your paper together and form a circle.
Then flatten that circle and add plenty of hot glue on the back.
Pro Tip: Be sure to get some hot glue right in the center of your pinwheel. You will have to hold each one until the glue sets for it to keep its shape.
Next, use hot glue to put a google eye in the center of each one. Then add a small square of 3M adhesive on the back of each pinwheel.
That larger pinwheel with the Halloween embellishment goes in the corner of the calendar. That is the day you are counting down to so you want it to be prominent.
Halloween Countdown Calendar FAQs
Here are a couple of questions that I see readers ask about making this project. If you have a question, please check to see if I’ve already answered it below. Don’t see your question? Leave it for me in the comments!
Where do I store all the pinwheels until we use them?
I added a sticker to a galvanized bucket for our marker storage. I loved how it looked on the mantle by our Halloween countdown calendar!
If you don’t have a galvanized bucket, no worries! You can use anything to store your eyeball pinwheels until you get to use them – a basket, plastic container, etc.
What is the best type of glue to use on this project?
I really prefer using hot glue for a project like this because it has a strong hold and sets quickly. However, you can use craft glue or super glue, if that’s what you have.
Just be aware that those will both take more time to set (which means you’re holding those paper pinwheels longer while they dry).
If you don’t have a hot glue gun, I highly recommend investing in one. They are so handy for so many different projects!
How To Use Your DIY Halloween Countdown Calendar
So starting on October 1st every year, my kids get to pick out an eyeball pinwheel each day.
Then we use a 3M adhesive on the back of each one to stick it right on the frame’s glass. After the first three days, our calendar will look a little like the image below.
You see where this is going right? The day before Halloween, our calendar will be full of spooky eyes looking at you. Ha!
Now, for the next month, I do not have to answer the question: “How many days until Halloween?” Yippee!
This is my first countdown calendar and I really hope your kids enjoy it as much as mine are.
More Halloween Inspiration
If you love this DIY Halloween countdown calendar and want more ideas, try these popular projects!
- Remove the cardboard from the frame.
- Cover the cardboard with paper or fabric.
- Cut out (30) rectangles 1.5″ x 2″ in size. You may adjust the size of your rectangles based on the size of your frame.
- Cut out the two layers of paper for the pennant banner. The bottom layer is ust patterned paper while the top layer has letters cut out.
- Put Mod Podge on the back of the letter triangles.
- Place the triangles with letters on top of the patterned paper triangles.
- Use Mod Podge to secure all of those little rectangles on the scrapbook paper.
- Cut out 30 numbers and use Mod Podge to add them to the calendar squares.
- Spread sparkle Mod Podge over the pennant banner and the calendar to add some fun sparkle.
- Once everything is dry, use hot glue to adhere the calendar elements and banner to the covered cardboard.Hot glue a piece of baker's twine along the top of the banner for a complete look.
- Add your DIY calendar to the frame, and let's make some eyeball pinwheels!
Eyeball Paper Pinwheels
- Cut a strip of 1.5-inch wide paper and follow the process below. This pinwheel will be slightly larger and have an added “Halloween” embellishment as the final destination (Halloween Day).
- Cut 30 strips of paper 1 inches wide by 12 inches long.
- Score each strip every 1/4″ with your scoring tool.
- After you score each strip, make a zig zag fold on each piece.
- Use your hot glue to adhere the ends of your paper together and form a circle.
- Next, flatten the circle and add a lot of hot glue on the back. Hold it until the glue sets.
- Next, use hot glue to put a google eye in the center of each one. Then add a small square of 3M adhesive on the back of each pinwheel.
- Attach the larger Halloween pinwheel to the frame by the number 1.
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