Christmas Countdown Chain Links Tutorial | Madam Sew

Christmas Countdown Chain Links Tutorial

Do you have a special event or holiday coming up? A big birthday party? A much-needed vacation? Do you have young ones in your life looking forward to a break from school? The perfect way to count down to your special day is with these chain links!

If you aren’t familiar with these, here’s how it works: first of all, make as many links as you want for the number of days you’re counting down (for example, 30 for a whole month, 14 for a two-week count down, and so on). Secondly, display them somewhere fun and pretty. Then lastly, you remove one link each day until you get to the big day.

Because it’s December, I have chosen a variety of Christmas themed and colored fabrics. If you’re counting down to a vacation, birthday, summer break, a wedding, a baby being born, or any other holiday, have fun with the fabrics to match the upcoming event!

These are really simple to make, which means sewists of any level can whip these up in no time at all. I can’t wait to show you how these come together. Let’s get started!


If using a Jelly Roll:

Cut each strip in half at the fold. Each strip will give you two 2.5” x 21” pieces, yielding 2 chain links per strip.

If using a Fat Quarter (FQ)”

Cut 5” x 10” rectangles, one FQ will yield 6 rectangles, thus 6 chain links.

If using 10” Squares:

Cut each square in half, making two 5” x 10” rectangles. Each square will yield 2 chain links.

Fusible Fleece:

Each chain link will require one 2” x 9.5” strip of fusible fleece.

Hook & Loop Fastener:

Each chain link will require one 1.5” strip of ¾” sew-on hook & loop fastener.

RST = Right Sides Together


If using a 2.5” strip: Find the center of your strip by folding it on the short side with RST and pressing the center line.

Chain link

If using 5” x 10” rectangles: Find the center of the rectangle by placing unit RST on the long side and pressing the center line.

5” x 10” rectangles

For all cuts of fabric:
Place the 2” x 9.5” strip of fusible fleece on one half of the strip, with the bonding side (the rough/bumpy side) toward the wrong side of the fabric.

Use a pressing cloth (or with the fleece facing down, and the right side of the fabric facing up), press 10-15 seconds on the whole strip to bond the fleece to the fabric.

NOTE: However you choose to bond the fleece to the fabric, please do not iron directly on the fleece!

If you’d like to pin the strip in place before stitching, do so now.

With RST sew 1/8” around the edges of the fusible fleece, leaving an opening of about 2” on the long side of the unit. Use a backstitch at the beginning and at the end.

NOTE: If using the 5” x 10” rectangles, be sure to start on the side with the fabric opening, not the side where it was folded.

For the 2.5” strips, trim the excess fabric, cutting down to about ¼” from the seam.

For any size unit: trim the corners, cutting about 1/8” from the seam.

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Very carefully, turn the unit right side out, pulling the fabric through the opening. Push the corners out as much as you can with your fingers, then use a corner pushing tool to make them nice and square.

Tuck in the edges of the opening then press the entire unit.

Using a backstitch at the beginning and the end, top stitch 1/8” around all four sides.

If you want to attach the hook and loop fasteners at this point, proceed to the next step. For a more finished look, quilt the unit with straight lines, about ¼” apart.

Attach each piece of the hook and loop fastener about ¼” from the end of the unit. Make sure to sew them onto opposite ends AND opposite sides of the chain link.

Make as many chain links as you need for your desired number of days to count down. Display the chain links wherever you’d like and remove one link each day, counting down to your special event or holiday!

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Thank you for all the awesome ideas you provide. I need to make a tree skirt for my daughter this year. And my grands live with me. I’m sure they would love the count down chain. Thank you and Blessings


A great idea but I am retired and 84 yo but WHO HAS TIME??

Joan Cansdale

Love this, I am going too try this project.

Donna Tisi

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