Countdown to Christmas

By  Karen Strubel 

  • Countdown to Christmas
  • Christmas Calendar
  • Italian Pignoli Cookies
  • Polish Jam Kolaches


  • DecoArt Americana Acrylics: Antique Teal, Blue Mist, Buttermilk, Burnt Umber, Cool White, Country Blue, Evergreen, Festive Green, Hauser Light Green, Lamp (Ebony) Black, Midnite Blue, Orange Twist, Rookwood Red, Spa Blue, Williamsburg Blue
  • Plaid FolkArt Metallic Acrylics: Blue Topaz, Champagne, Peridot
  • Brushes: Papillon: Liner, #10/0; Angular Shader, 1/2”; Highlighter, 1/2”; Glaze Wash, 3/4”, 1”; Filbert, #6; Script Liner, #4; Shader, #12
  • Brushies: Loew-Cornell La Corneille Golden Taklon: Debbie Mitchell Stippler, Series DM, 1/4”, 1/2”
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Sealer/Finisher, Gloss
  • Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray Paint, Black
  • Hook screws, two
  • Chalk
  • Large Wooden Plaque (#P183), 12”x16” from Coyote Woodworks


  • Checkerboard stencil, 3/8” squares
  • Optional: Letter and star stencils

Pattern - Countdown to Christmas

  • Preparation
  • 1. Use 1" glaze wash to base plaque within grooved edges Williamsburg Blue; base outer grooved edging Midnite Blue. Base sides and back Lamp Black. Use extra fine-grit sandpaper to sand entire plaque. Wipe dust and base again if needed. Use very washy Cool White to slip-slap background of Williamsburg Blue area.
  • 2. Print out pattern; transfer center rectangle outline. Tape off edges and cover surrounding area; spray with chalkboard paint. Remove tape and let dry. Transfer basic details.
  • Snow
  • 1. Use 3/4" glaze wash to float Cool White snow; gradually build color for desired look.
  • Snowman
  • 1. Use shader to base Cool White; use angular shader to shade Burnt Umber. Use 1/4" stippler to dry brush cheeks Rookwood Red. Use liner and Lamp Black to paint eyebrows, eye, eyelashes, eye lines, and mouth; paint heart Midnight Blue. Paint nose Orange Twist.
  • 2. Use shader to base scarf and gloves Blue Mist; add Antique Teal and mix of Blue Mist + Cool White (1:1) line work.
  • Christmas Trees
  • 1. Use filbert to base trunk Burnt Umber; use stippler to dry brush Cool White. Use filbert to stroke boughs Festive Green: begin at fullest point and pull inward. In same manner, use same brush to highlight tips Cools White. Highlight tips here and there with Metallic Champagne.
  • White Trees
  • 1. Use script liner to paint Cool White.
  • Gifts and Ornaments
  • 1. For gift box #1, use shader to base Spa Blue; use Metallic Blue Topaz to outline and add bow. For gift box #2, base Hauser Lt. Green; use Metallic Peridot to outline, and to add bow and ribbon lines. Add Cool White dots.
  • 2. For ornaments, use filbert to base in following colors: Country Blue, Hauser Lt. Green, and Rookwood Red. Use angular shader to shade green ornament Evergreen, red ornament Lamp Black, and blue ornament Midnite Blue. Use Cool White to add fine line work and dots. Paint tops Metallic Champagne.
  • Chalkboard Vines
  • 1. Use script liner and thinned Burnt Umber to paint vine around edges of chalkboard. Use shader to add Hauser Lt. Green and Evergreen leaves. Stipple corners Cool White; use stylus to add berry dots and snowflake dip-dot sparkles.
  • Snowballs
  • 1. Use stippler to pounce Cool White snowballs.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Use liner and thinned Cool White to add squiggly outline around inside groove. Paint lettering and stars Cool White. (Optional: Stencil lettering and stars.) Use Cool White and stippler to pounce random Cool White snowflakes; use handle end of brush to add random snowflake dots making sure to dot over stippled snowflakes. Use 3/4" glaze wash and Cool White to add checkerboard within groove, spacing evenly apart. Use stippler to stencil Buttermilk checkerboard to outer grooved edges. Use 3/4" glaze wash to paint Country Blue checks along outside edges of plaque.
  • 2. Apply three to four sealer coats avoiding chalkboard area. Attach hook screws to bottom to hold chalk.