Last-minute DIY gift idea

Hello friends! I hope you are enjoying this wonderful Christmas season. We are, for sure, although I wish (as usual) I was a little more prepared.

Today I wanted to share with you a quick, easy and inexpensive holiday gift you still have time to whip up for the folks on your list. šŸ˜‰

You can knock about 10 of these out in less than 3 hours.

Step 1: Order 1-hour prints from Walmart.com.

You can pick up a copy of the free printable I used here. I also like to browse Pinterest for “Free holiday printables.” I chose 4×5.3″ prints at about 6 cents apiece. I rounded the edges of each print with scissors.

Step 2: Find a scrap board to use for the backs of the signs.

I chose these 2×6″ scrap boards from my garden shed.

Step 3: Cut 2×6″ boards to length on a miter saw.

This size is perfect because you don’t have to rip off any of the width. You only need to cut the pieces length-wise.

I cut my pieces about 6.5 inches long. (My prints were 4×5.3″ – or true digital size.) After cutting, I cleaned off the boards really well to prepare them for stain.

Step 4: Stain the pieces.

I chose VarathaneĀ® Wood Stain in Briarsmoke.* I like to brush stain on and allow it to soak in for a good two minutes before wiping any excess off. It creates a more uniform, rich color.

Step 5: Sand the edges of each piece.

This will give the blocks a weathered appearance and smooth any rough edges. I used an orbital sander for this step to help speed things along.

Step 6: Adhere the prints to the wood blocks using Mod PodgeĀ® matte water-based sealer.Ā 

This part always makes me nervous, but the sealer dries clear. I promise. šŸ˜‰

Done! The wood plaques stand up nicely on their own, making them cute decorations for window sills and tabletops at Christmastime.

Have you DIYed any gifts this holiday season? I’d love for you to share your project(s) in a comment.

* Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.Ā If you click on a link provided and make a purchase through Amazon using my affiliation, I may receive compensation from Amazon. It does not cost you any more to purchase products using affiliate links. This blog is independently owned by me, and the opinions expressed here are my own. Thanks for supporting the quality content provided here through your readership and the use of affiliate links.Ā Ā 

Total room redo with furniture & decor for under $450

Hello friends!

I am currently neck-deep in purchasing our next flip house, so I’ve been preoccupied with that deal. I’ll be sure to share more details about that as soon as the deal closes. I’ve been this.close to buying several different properties this year, so I’ll believe it when the deed is in my hands. Until then, I’m cautiously optimistic. šŸ˜‰

Today, I wanted to share with you a recent room makeover I did for a wonderful local non-profit organization, Crossroads Pregnancy Center. A dear friend of mine from church who serves with me on ourĀ praise and worship team is the director there.

CrossroadsĀ purchased a house in town, with the intent of moving to that location and having a bit more space for all the services they provide. This house needed some updating and, although I didn’t have the bandwidth to help out with the entire project, I really felt led to get one room completely updated, furnished and ready for them, at no expense to them.

I volunteered to tackle the renovation and furnishing of a counseling room, and they graciously agreed to let me have free reign in making over the space. This project was so much fun! Below is what the space looked like before:

A great space, but it felt a little dated. I didn’t want to mess with the knotty pine walls, the brick or the floor, so I focused my attention primarily on the ceiling and furnishings. I also gave the space a really good scrubbing. It’s amazing what a little elbow grease and squeaky clean windows can do for a room!

I painted the ceiling a bright white (I love ZinsserĀ® Ceiling Paint) and added an inexpensive light fixture that, I felt, matched the period of the home.

From there, it was time to do some thrifty shopping to furnish and decorate the space with what was left of my budget (I spent about $60 on the light fixture. I had the paint on hand).

I picked up these two wicker wall hangings from the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $4 total.

I spray-painted them Tranquil Blue.

I deglossed this chair in my basement and spray-painted it a satin black. (I had all the paint on hand for this project, so no money was spent.)

The chair on the left below was rescued from the side of the road a few years ago. I paid $50 for the rocker on the right at a local consignment furniture store. The pillows in the room were scrounged from my basement.

The 5’x8′ rug was a steal at Gabe’sĀ® for $29.

The clock on the wall is from my basement. I bought the couch at a local furniture store for $250 on clearance.Ā Oh yea … I did pay for one pillow. The pillow on the left is from T.J. MaxxĀ®. I couldn’t resist that gorgeous pattern. It was $20, I think.

The mirror art on the left I bought on clearance at T.J. Maxx for $7, I think. The painting in the center of the room and the faux palm plant was scrounged from my basement.

The curtain rods were $1 at the thrift store and the four curtain panels cost me under $25 total at Gabe’s.

Overall, I think the space now looks like a wonderfully inviting and updated room, perfect for counseling clients. What do you think?

Total cost of all updates, furniture and decor for this project? Under $450!

Spring decor: DIY candle holder, cheese tray and more

Hello, friends. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring!

Today I thought I’d share a few thrifty spring decor projects anyone can tackle in one afternoon. (This is part of the Creator’s Studio Blogger Challenge. You also have a chance to win! By ā€˜likingā€™ your favorite submission – ooh, I hope it’s mine šŸ˜‰ you’ll be entered to win a package of the same 8 Rust-OleumĀ® products bloggers received. Voting is open now until February 22, at 5 pm CST.)

Upcycled-Rust-Oleum-decor

These projects are derived mostly from this junk pile inĀ my backyard:

Wood-pile-

Yes, when shopping for elegant dining room decor, what better place to start than the garbage heap? šŸ˜‰

DIY candle holder

The first piece I snatched from the pile was a block of wood, a leftover hunk from one of our porch posts, I believe.

Forstner-bit-and-block

I used my 1.5″ forstner drill bit to cut three holes in the top. Then I sanded the whole piece really well. (Note: As a safety precaution, use a respirator mask and work outdoors when cutting or sanding pressure-treated lumber. More info. here.)

I gave the piece two coats of VarathaneĀ® stain, first with Bleached Blue, then Briarsmoke.

Varathane-wood-stain-briarwood

After the stain dried, I applied the Royal Design Studio Springtime in Paris Stencil, using the Pearl Oyster Stencil Creme, to the front and back of the wood block.

DIY-candleholder-Royal-Design-Studio

Finally, IĀ filled the holes with votive holders and tealights. Done!

DIY-wood-stenciled-candleholder

DIY cheese tray

For my next project, I began with a piece of plywood, which I cut into about a 12″x10″ cutting board. I sanded it really well, including rounding the corners.

Plywood-cutting-boardI sprayed the board with a coat of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray paint.

Rustoleum chalkboard spray

Courtesy photo

After that dried, I coated the piece with a few layers of food-safe mineral oil. Finally, I added chalk labels and cheese. Voila! A trendy cheese tray.

Chalkboard-cheese-tray

Rust-Oleum-Chalkboard-Paint-decor

Stenciled-candleholder

Spring centerpiece

For my final spring decor project for the dining room, I began with a few dusty rattan balls I found in the basement.

Rustoleum-mirror-effect

I gave them a coat of either Rust-OleumĀ Mirror Effect (Gold) or Specialty Metallic (Copper) spray paint.

I also created my own moss balls by using spray adhesive to stick faux Spanish Moss onto craft foam balls. All materials again were found in my treasure trove of a basement. šŸ˜‰

DIY-moss-ballsI added a coat of Gloss Spring Green, followed by a light coat of Metallic Dark Copper spray paint.

DIY-Rustoleum-moss-balls

I displayed the pieces in a wire basket, creating the perfect spring centerpiece for my dining room table.

Tabletop-moss-balls

What do you think of my upcycled spring decor?

Dining-room-spring-decor

Have you DIYed anything spring yet? I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me about your project.

Disclosure:Ā Iā€™m thrilled to help spread the word about Rust-Oleum products. I was provided the products featured in this post at no charge. As always, all thoughts, opinionsĀ andĀ projects are 100 percent my own. Ā