Today is the first day of my 25 Days of Disney Christmas Crafts! I wanted to start things off with this Disney countdown calendar for counting the days left until Christmas. This idea could be adapted to create a Disney countdown calendar for your next Disney vacation also!
Since I created this entire Disney countdown calendar with mostly images, shapes and fonts found in Cricut Design Space you can actually recreate the entire project pretty easily. Or you can click HERE to open the project in Design Space and then just use the Save As option to save it to your personal projects. This is not a download. This is a link to access the images in Cricut Design Space.
UPDATE: The font I used when I created this project is no longer available in Cricut Design Space, and that was causing issues with people being able to access the file. I have since updated the font in the Design Space file. Sorry for any issues or confusion that this may have caused.
I am also going to show you the steps I took to create this Disney countdown calendar so you can learn to use Cricut Design Space to create your own amazing projects! I believe that when you really learn all of the ins and outs of Cricut Design Space and understand what each button and function can do, you can unlock the power to create so many things. If you need help getting started make sure to check out my Classes section for resources.
By the way, this post contains Affiliate Links to companies I have partnered with, such as Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for shopping with my links!
Disney Countdown Calendar Number Blocks
First, let’s start off by creating the number blocks that you will need for your Disney countdown calendar. I purchased some 3″ square blocks and painted them red. Then I used the Cricut Font called Mickey Tag to create the numbers. This font comes with letters and numbers already cut from the center of Mickey icons for you.
Think about the numbers you will need to count down the days from 25 to 1 before you cut. You will need two number 1’s and two number 2’s, one for each block. I cut the numbers from the Mickey Tag font out of black removable vinyl with my Cricut. I decided to go with removable vinyl just in case I did not center things perfectly at first, then it would be easier to move the numbers.
Christmas Minnie and Mickey Images
For the two images of Minnie and Mickey that I wanted on either side of this Disney countdown calendar I knew I wanted them to stand up, so they needed to be cut out of something stronger than cardstock. I used some old cereal boxes to cut my designs. I was able to cut these with my Cricut Explore on the Custom Cardboard setting.
Both of these images can be found in Cricut Design Space. I cut mine about 6 inches in height. The very bottom or base layer for this image is a solid gray shape. This is the layer I am going to cut out of the cereal box. Since I knew I wanted to make this nice and thick so that the images would stand up, so I clicked on the gray base layer right from the Layers panel on the right, like I have indicated with a blue arrow in the image below.
I like selecting my layers from the Layers panel so that I know I am choosing the exact layer that I want to work with. Then I clicked on the Duplicate button in the upper right corner of Design Space, which I have circled in the image above. This allowed me to make a duplicate of just that one gray base layer.
Now that I have a second copy of this base layer, I want to flip it so it faces the opposite direction. This will allow me to glue the pieces together, and have the printed part of the cereal box to the inside and hidden from view. To do this I will select the layer I just duplicated and then go to the top of the screen in Design Space and use the Flip button and select Flip Horizontal, as I have indicated with the blue arrow in the image below.
I repeat this same process for the Mickey Mouse image. When I placed the cereal box pieces on the Cricut cutting mat I did tape them down around the edges with some painter’s tape just to make sure that they did not move at all. I cut them on the cardboard setting. In the image below you can see the pieces, and how one of each image is mirrored or flipped over.
Then I placed glue on the patterned side of the cereal box pieces and glued them together so that each image was nice and thick. I also placed the images under a stack of books I had so that they would really seal together nice, and let that sit overnight.
After the glue had dried on the cereal box pieces, I decided to paint them black. I will still cut the black layer of cardstock for these image, but the black paint helped to hide where you might see the cereal box color around the edges of the images.
Next I cut out all of the colored layers for the images. One great thing about using images found in Cricut Design Space is that they are already set up for you with the colors broken down into separate layers. When you click Make It the Cricut will sort things so that everything that is the same color will cut from the same mat. Then all you have to do is watch the mat preview screen to know which color cardstock to place on the mat and load into the Cricut.
When you are placing your different colors of cardstock on to your shape, I strongly suggest that you place things down and look at the spacing before you glue them in place. You want to make sure that you have a consistent black outline around all of the different areas of the image.
For attaching them to the base layer I like to use a tape runner that is filled with a double sticky tape, and a Zig glue pen. The glue pen is really great for those small pieces and areas. The fine point glue pen allows you to place small dots of glue exactly where you want them.
After I had all of the colored layer pieces glued in place, I cut two long strips of cardstock and folded them to create a sort of easel piece. This will allow the Minnie and Mickey images to stand up on either side of the Disney countdown calendar. I used my tape runner to adhere these to the back of the Minnie and Mickey images.
Creating a Box in Cricut Design Space
My original plan was to have a block of wood for the Disney countdown calendar number blocks to sit on, but I needed this to be a very specific height to work right for this Disney countdown calendar due to the size that I wanted things, so I decided to create a 3D box in Design Space that I would cut out of cardstock. I started by figuring out the size I wanted the box and the spacing I needed all of the score lines for the folds to be placed at. Since this process took some time I put together a video for you to watch instead of trying to type up the directions.
Once the box is scored and cut, you will fold it on each one of the score lines. Then you can start to shape it into a box, like I have in the image below. I used my tape runner again to glue all of those flaps closed. In the image below you can see the box all put together. All that is left now is to create the front face plate that says days until Christmas that you can see is already attached to box in the image below.
Disney Countdown Calendar Face Piece
Last but not least, let’s talk about the front face piece for this Disney countdown calendar. I started off just trying to find a pretty font in Design Space to use for this, but I could not find one that was just right so instead I started to look at the images. I typed in the word Christmas and found this image. If you would like to use this exact same image you can type the number #M8FC2F83 into the image search bar.
Since I did not want to use the word MERRY from this image, I used Contour to hide those letters and just leave the word Christmas for my Disney countdown calendar. Contour allows you to hide, or turn off sections of an image. You can also use Contour to create additional layers. If you have never used Contour you can check out my full tutorial on that HERE.
For this Merry Christmas image I will select the image and then click on the Contour button in the lower right corner of Design Space. I have this indicated with a blue arrow in the image below. This will open up a new window that will show you each and every section or cut of this design.
Below is the Hide Contour window that will pop open after you click on the Contour button. See how it shows you each and every piece or cut in the full image? Since we want to turn off, or hide, the word MERRY we need to find the pieces for those letters and turn them off.
In this image below I show you the difference between a letter or section that is turned off and one that is turned on. See how the whole area behind the E is darker than the background on the second R on the right side panel. That is because the E is turned off, so it will not cut. I like to think of the dark background sections as turning the lights off in a room. When it is dark (the lights are off) then the Cricut cannot see it so it will not cut it.
Once you have turned all of the letters for MERRY off you can click the X in the upper right corner of this Hide Contour window to close out of it. If you see any pieces that you missed and are still turned on, just open up Contour again and turn those off.
Next I changed the color of the word Christmas to black by clicking on the color button in the Operations section of the top panel of Design Space. I have it circled in the image below to help you find it.
Next I went to the Text button on the left hand side of Design Space and typed up the words days until, and placed those just above the mas in Christmas. I used the font Beautiful People from DaFont. If you have never downloaded and installed a font from DaFont you can read my article HERE to learn how to do this. Resources like DaFont are a great way to add additional fonts to Cricut Design Space.
Adding an Offest in Design Space
Because I knew I wanted to attach all of these words to the front of the box for my Disney countdown calendar I knew that if the words were on one larger piece it would make this process easier. Basically what I wanted was another layer that I would attach the words to. To do this I added an Offset to the words. If you have never used Offset before you can read my article on that function HERE.
Since I wanted this offset to encompass all of the words, I made sure that I had all of the text for days until Christmas selected, then I clicked on the Offset button at the top of Cricut Design Space, which I have circled in blue for you in the image above. In the Offset function there is a slider button, that I point to with the top blue arrow. As you slide this button left and right the size or distance of your offset from the text will change.
I really like this feature since it allows me to visually see how big the finished offset will be. If you look at the words days until Christmas you can see a blue line, that I point to with a blue arrow. This is the preview of how big your offset will be. Once you are happy with the size of your offset hit the green Apply button. I then changed the color of the offset to red so that it matched the box and blocks on the Disney countdown calendar.
On the front face of the box I attached the Days Until Christmas that I cut out of cardstock with the double sided tape from my tape runner. You can see that it hides most of the box, which is what I want since the box is only there to support the number blocks for my Disney countdown calendar.
If you wanted to make this for a Disney countdown calendar for your next Disney vacation you could do that also! Just change out the Minnie and Mickey images to non-Christmas images, and change the words on the front of the countdown calendar to say days until Disney!
I hope that you enjoyed this post, and that you stop back every day from now until Christmas to see what other Disney Christmas crafts I have planned for you! I am doing 25 Days of Disney Christmas Crafts to inspire you to add more Disney to your life while using your Cricut for crafting. If you want to see the whole line up of crafts you can go HERE.