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free christmas countdown tags & 25 ways to embellish them


    This has been a project I’ve wanted to do for forever. It has no purpose other than to look festive, but I’m pretty sure it is my new favorite thing I’ve ever made.

    I suppose you could use the countdown tags to actually count down to Christmas {maybe tie a ribbon to the pin and move it over each new day?}. Or you can just display it and call it good.

    I have seen these done with a petite ornament hung from each number {which I love}, but I didn’t have 25 ornaments nor did I want to shop for them, so I scavenged my craft supplies and found everything I needed. Only a few items were purchased specifically for the project – and all from either the craft store or Target.

    It sounded daunting to come up with 25 different ways to embellish the tags, but once I got going, it all came together. Just in case you need a little inspiration, here are my 25 ways to embellish the countdown tags:

    jingle bell + twine . deer ornament . velvet ribbon . paper banner . fabric swatch + plastic pine cones

    curled edge flower . glitter stickers . ruffled fabric + ribbon . brooch . faux holly leaf

    glitter paper star . mini christmas tree . leafy branch . bottle of sequins . muslin flower

    napkin ring . rolled paper flower . tiny paper chain . berry sprig . scrapbook paper flag

    moss . candy cane . fluffy feather . glass ornament filled with faux snow . glittery star

    A few extra tips:

    >> look at your craft store in the floral section. There are usually bins of little branches, berries, pinecones, etc. These make great gift toppers as well as tag-decorations

    >> the scrapbook section is a great place to find stickers, sequins, ribbons, & paper

    >> vase fillers can be great. Potterybarn has a pretty selection {the glass star on No. 25 is from a package of PB vase fillers}

    >> diy all you can – flowers, paper chain, paper star and banner

    >> hot glue your items directly to the tags, or hang from the t-pins

    . . . . . . . . . . . .

    If you would like to make your own countdown board, feel free to use my templates

    Free Christmas Countdown Tags / jones design company

    You can download the tags in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!



    61 thoughts on “free christmas countdown tags & 25 ways to embellish them”

    1. Pingback: 20+ DIY Christmas Advent Calendars - Live Laugh Rowe

    2. Thank you for this great download! I made a garland out of the tags with thick black and white baker’s twine and gold glitter clothes pins. It’ was easy, inexpensive and turned out beautiful!

    3. So, this is pretty funny to me because I just went to Hobby Lobby for the first time this month and I walked away with knobs, polka dot wrapping paper and tissue paper, and a W that came from the same spot as your &. Another funny thing, I consider my style very much like yours except that I have splashes of color everywhere. When I read your blog I long for neutral rooms! Grass is always greener! :-)

    4. I made this over the past weekend. Thank you so much for the lovely idea and the inspiration. I made three matching sets for me and my sisters as Christmas gifts. I was able to find so many scraps in my craft supply, so this project was (almost) free! And since I had different materials than you did – it was a good way to stretch my creativity – although I borrowed lots of your brilliant ideas too :) I have to say, that the reindeer is probably my favorite! Hope your family had a Merry Christmas!

    5. I just love this calendar!! I made one this past Sunday and I am filling in the numbers daily. It is so much fun to think about what I will come up with for the next day. It makes me look for inspiration in every little nook & cranny of the house.

      Thanks for all your cleverness!!

    6. This is such a pretty advent calendar/idea! . At first glance, I assumed it was a Jesse Tree but I don’t think it is after looking more closely at the ornaments. A Jesse tree is similar in that there is an ornament for each day as we countdown, but the ornament symbolizes a bible story and the story of Jesus Christ. There is a Jesse tree book that serves as the guide with an adult and children’s lesson and bible reading for each ornament. My kids are 2 1/2 and 5, and though my 2 yr old quickly looses interest in the longer readings, she loves the ornament and the story summary and my 5 year old loves every second of the whole Jesse Tree experience. We put the ornament of the day into a gift bag each night to be opened after the reading and hung on the Jesse tree.

    7. Absolutely LOVE THIS.
      Can you tell me how big the cork board is and did you pad the cork board with batting?
      Thanks for your inspiration.

    8. LOVE this, Emily!! I’ve already printed my tags onto brown kraft paper, and will be mounting them on cool board I already have (kind of a woven, natural grass type bulletin board) with a cool black frame. Can’t want to find 25 things around the house to add to the tags… THANK YOU!

    9. Thanks so much for the freebie! I was just trying to come up with an idea for an advent calendar, and the tags are perfect! I’ll just write an activity for each day on the back of the tag. So fun!

    10. What size is the board? I love this and all of your helpful suggestions. I want to jump on this one tonight. I already have the linen fabric and the T-pins so I am on my way. I have been wanting to do one of these, just because I think they are so festive looking. I will not be using mine to count, but leaving as is. Thanks!

    11. oh emily, once again you have out done yourself.
      i just started working on mine. i am trying to make each ornament or trinket something i have loved this year. a few examples are a piece of chevron fabric. a striped drinking straw (cut down a bit), baby foot prints ( i had my 3rd little one this year), a few little baby wreaths ( my 4 yr old helped me make out of washi tape), of course a pair of faux antlers made from sticks), and a few of my favorite versus and sayings ( of course using stamps and pretty font writing). i hope to make one each year that reminds me of my amazing life.
      love your blog and look forward to reading it everyday. all the best to you.

    12. J’adore!! I like every tags, especially the one with the paper banner “un petit cadeau”, no.4. I like it when you have french words in your craft. I’m from Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and I speak french, but I read every single post of your blog and enjoy it very much. I love every thing you made!!

      1. I did make the linen board. Just remove the frame from a regular cork board {found at the office supply store} and wrap with linen. Then staple the back for a tight fit. I added upholstery tacks around the edge. Super easy and so useful.

    13. This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you so much! I’m going to try to make this tonight…and will make one for my mom—she will be thrilled!

      Thank you!!!!!

    14. I just finished an advent calendar last night with a similar idea to yours of just hanging it to count down the days…Mine’s not nearly as fancy as yours though! Love the uniqueness of each day’s embellishments.

    15. Have seen similar projects this year and been wanting to do it myself…I might just have to do it now. Thanks for the inspiration!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours:)

    16. I just printed the tags! Can’t wait to get the rest of the things that I need on my lunch break (a board and pins).

      I have mini ornaments from the dollar store. My plan is to pin the numbers to the board and add an ornament each day.

      Thank you!!

    17. This is FANTASTIC! I love all the little items, but I literally swooned out loud over that tiny paper chain! It is so adorable! Thank you for the wonderful download. You are too, too generous!

      1. the linen came from curtains – it is a nice thick oatmeal colored linen. The pins are called t-pins that I bought at office depot {you could probably find them at any craft store}.

    18. Those are so pretty…so do you add a new number everyday, or do you put one away? Not sure how it works because it is so gorgeous as is, that I would want to keep the display up the whole season :)

    19. This is so cool Emily and a great use for all those trinkets and scraps that add up in the craft bin. I suppose you could put a little sticky note behind each card with either an activity written on it or pointing to a small gift or piece of sweet to unwrap as an advent calendar or just leave as is and enjoy the decoration. This is sweet. Thank you for being so generous.

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