How to Make a Deployment Wall

how to make a deployment wall

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**Update 2022: You can see how we made our most recent deployment wall here.**

Although “make a deployment wall” was #86 on my Deployment Bucket List, it was the very first item that I completed! The girls and I were excited about making it and couldn’t wait to get started.

Before getting started, I googled ‘deployment wall’ images and looked on Pinterest for inspiration. And though I found all kinds of ideas, I couldn’t find a step-by-step tutorial. So, I thought I would share my method for creating a Deployment Wall here with you.

What is a Deployment Wall?

A deployment wall is an area of wall space in your home devoted to your service member’s deployment. Many people create a deployment wall to help children count down the days until their service member is home again. 

Most often, the walls include a calendar, photos of the service member, information about the area the loved one is deployed to, and patriotic decorations. Each deployment wall is unique and can be as big or small as you like.

How to Make a Deployment Wall

1. Find (or Make) Some Empty Wall Space

First, you’ll need to find a space for your deployment wall. Thankfully, when we moved into this house, I already knew that I wanted to make one and left some empty wall space specifically for this purpose.

Our deployment wall was in the kitchen. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I knew that this would be a good place to see and interact with it daily.

how to make a deployment wall
(Our finished deployment wall.)

2. Add a Countdown….or Three!

I knew that countdowns would be the biggest part of our deployment wall.

I wanted something visible that would help the kids really grasp the concept of time. In my excitement to count down the days until our soldier was home, I ended up making three different countdowns: daily, weekly, and monthly. (Admittedly, this was a bit of overkill, but it helped us figure out what worked best.)

Daily Countdown

First, I made a daily countdown by printing off a calendar from

When you click on the ‘yearly’ option, you can choose the month you want your calendar to start in. Thus, you aren’t limited to calendars that only begin on January 1. (This option is perfect for deployment countdowns, considering deployments begin at all times throughout the year.)

We used a pen to put an ‘X’ over each day that passed.

daily countdown for deployment wall
(The daily countdown.)

Monthly Countdown

Next, I made a monthly countdown, which we kept in a big felt envelope. 

I filled the envelope with a handmade card for every month that he was gone. Each card had a fun activity for us to do together written on it. Around the 10th of each month (the day my husband left), we would get a card out of the envelope and do the activity together. The girls loved it!

monthly countdown for deployment wall
(Our monthly countdown.)

Weekly Countdown

Then, we made a weekly countdown – which was our favorite! We made a paper chain with 1 link for each week that he was gone. To make the links, I cut 12×12 scrapbook paper into 2-inch strips and taped them together to make a chain.

When people came over, they would always comment on how short the chain was getting and how they couldn’t wait for him to be home again. Each week, I let the kids take turns breaking a chain and throwing it away. They loved it! If you choose to do only one countdown, I recommend this one.

Our weekly countdown down to one week left!
(Our weekly countdown down to ONE week left!)

3. Add a Map of Where Daddy Is

My husband was technically not ‘deployed’. He was on a hardship tour to Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras.

After finding a printable map of Honduras, I decided to spruce it up a little by putting it on some printed scrapbook paper. I spelled out Honduras with stickers at the top of the map, colored the country green, and placed a red heart over the air base.

Finally, it was ready to hang on the wall.

map of Honduras for deployment wall
(The map of Honduras that we added to our deployment wall.)

4. Add Your Deployment Bucket List

The girls and I made a BIG list of things to do during this deployment. (You can see how I made that list here.)

I printed our Deployment Bucket List and glued it to a piece of scrapbook paper. Each time we completed an item, we marked it with a red pen. Hanging the bucket list on the wall motivated us to finish it.

5. Add Pictures of Your Service Member

I used a cheap collage frame from Walmart to display pictures of my husband. This was probably my favorite part of the whole wall. I loved seeing his smiling face every day, even if it was just in pictures.

Add pictures of your soldier to your deployment wall.

6. Add Decor

For Christmas, my mom gave me a wall canvas about a hero’s family and I couldn’t wait to add it to the Deployment Wall. 

When Heff’s tour extended I took down the daily calendar countdown. It was useless without the extra months anyway. I added the canvas to the Deployment Wall and I loved how it turned out!

how to make a deployment wall
(Our deployment wall after we added the new wall decor.)

There are so many ways to make your deployment wall unique to your family and situation. Here are some more ideas to personalize your deployment wall:

  • world map
  • American flag and flag of the deployment country
  • a mailbox
  • a clock set to your soldier’s time zone
  • a brag board (a cork board to accumulate accomplishments to show daddy
  • dog tags
  • inspirational/motivational quotes or scripture
  • incoming and outgoing mail folders

Making the deployment wall was one of my favorite bucket list items.

I hope these ideas inspire you to make one of your own and that your soldier is home soon!

How to make a deployment wall