This post is sponsored by Cricut
One of the biggest joys of teaching 8th grade is preparing my students for high school. I’ve always told them I treat them like the high schoolers they’re about to become but now that we’re in our final weeks of school, their next milestone is just around the corner. To help them celebrate the end of middle school, I made a last day of school countdown calendar to remind my students of what lies ahead.
A last day of school countdown calendar serves as a visual reminder for my students to enjoy the final couple weeks in their current grade level, celebrate the year’s accomplishments, and also builds excitement about summer. Even though the end of the year is busy for teachers and parents alike, Cricut machines and smart materials make it easy to create a last day of school countdown calendar for your classroom or home.
How to Make a Last Day of School Countdown Calendar
As a new Cricut user, I wanted to create a last day of school countdown calendar to help my students celebrate the end of their time in middle school. I needed a project that would look great in my classroom but not be overly complicated as I got to know my new machine. Here’s how I made my own countdown calendar with my new Cricut!
Last Day of School Countdown Calendar Supplies
Browsing the aisles of my local craft store, I found the following items to use with my Cricut Explore Air 2 to make my vision come to life:
Getting Started with Cricut Design Space
I had a rough idea of what I wanted my countdown calendar to look like but had no idea how easy it would be to create it using Cricut Design Space. Cricut Design Space provides step by step guidance for setting up new Cricut products, allows you to browse existing project, and provides access to a library of fonts and images to design your own projects.
It’s easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of endless projects available in Cricut Design Space. Since I knew I wanted a couple of words and a fancy border around them, I started by clicking New Project. The icons on the left side of the screen make it easy to start adding text and images to a project.
Clicking on Text opened up a text box where I typed a couple words. I played with numerous the font choices available through the drop-down menu on the top menu screen until I found one I liked.
The menus on the left side of Design Space helped me add graphics that would serve as a border. Clicking on Images allows you to search over 100,000 images in the Cricut library. While you can browse free images and ones available through a Cricut Access subscription, I found it faster to put in keyword to search all images.
Once I was happy with my design, I saved my project and was ready to cut the vinyl for my last day of school countdown sign.
DIY Last Day of School Countdown Sign with Cricut Explore Air 2
I had already set up my Explore Air 2 in Cricut Design Space upon receiving my machine so was ready to make it.
I started by assembling the vinyl I’d need for my project.
I measured the sign and cut the dry erase vinyl using the Portable Trimmer that came with my Essential Tool Set. The 14”x18” frame was wider than my roll of vinyl but I planned to use vinyl in my school’s colors to create a border. It was tricky to get the dry erase vinyl on the frame without it bubbling. I used a large ruler to push out the air bubbles as I patiently affixed the vinyl to the frame but plan get a brayer to make my next project even easier.
My next step was to cut gold vinyl to line the inside of the frame. The shorter sides were cut with the paper trimmer but the 18” sides were cut by hand. Thank goodness for the grid lines on the back of the vinyl to assist with straight lines!
Once the dry erase and gold vinyl were on my frame, it was time to print the borders and words.
I opened up Cricut Design Space, cut my blue vinyl, and affixed it to the Light Grip Mat.
Cricut Design Space walked me through every step of the cutting process. As a new user, I found it helpful that Cricut checked the base material and reminded me to adjust the dial accordingly. It confirmed that the right cutting blade was in place and prompted me to feed the mat with the vinyl into the machine. It also told me when to press Go to begin the cutting process.
The words and the graphics printed separately I put them on the same Light Grip Map to assemble my project.
Assembling my Sign
I found the Weeder that came with my Essential Tool Set to be, well, essential when extracting pieces from the mat.
The fine tip is designed to remove tiny cuts which was helpful in lifting cuts from the mat and placing them on my last day of school countdown sign.
I’m really happy with how my first Cricut project turned out!
I also love that by using “days until” my countdown sign can be used to countdown the number of days until holidays, winter break, spring break, along with the end of the school year.
Cricut helps you make whatever you can dream up whether it’s creative decor for your classroom or personalized gifts to give teachers at the end of the school year.
Last Day of School Countdown Sign Supply List
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut vinyl in school colors
- Dry erase Cricut vinyl
- Portable Trimmer, Weeder, and Spatula from the Essential Tool Set
- Light Grip Mat from the Machine Mat Pack
- Wooden craftable sign
Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. Cricut provided me with materials to facilitate this post. Affiliate links are included in this post. This post first appeared on TechSavvyMama.com. If you are reading this post on a site other than TechSavvyMama.com this means the website you are on is violating copyright laws.