Free and easy holiday chalkboard art

I came across a post recently from the Thrifty Decor Chick showing a simple way to DIY chalkboard art. It looked so easy, in fact, I figured it must be too good to be true. But it was true. I made the most adorable holiday art for my refrigerator using her method and I just had to share it with you today.

Easy-holiday-chalk-art

I started by printing out on regular 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper letters that I typed in a Word document. I chose three different fonts: Academy Engraved LET for “JOY”; Blackadder ITC for “to the”; and Gill Sans MT Ext Condensed Bold for “World.”

Then I trimmed out the letters and positioned them on the black chalkboard vinyl on my refrigerator until the design looked right. (The vinyl came from Kohl’s a few years back. It usually has my weekly menu on it.)

Paper-letter-printouts

I marked where each piece of paper was positioned, then removed the letters.

Marking-where-letters-go

I turned the letters over on the counter. Taking a regular piece of chalk, I scribbled all over the backside, completely covering the backs of the pieces of paper with chalk.

Chalking-the-back-of-paper

Then came the really cool part. I retaped the letters onto the vinyl, positioning them where the tick marks were located. I used this pencil with a blunt end …

Fat-pencil

… and traced the outline of each letter.

Tracing-letters

The pressure of the pencil point transferred the chalk dust to the vinyl, creating a perfect image of my letters! After pulling up the paper, this is what the first letter transfer looked like:

Traced-chalk-letter

Here are all the letters after I was done tracing:

Traced-holiday-chalk-letters

After that, I simply cleaned off the excess chalk dust and tick marks with a damp paper towel and some Q-tips. Then I colored in the outline with a set of chalk markers to make the design look more intense and “finished.”

Chalk-markers

I also decided to free-hand draw a sprig of holly berries to give the sign a pop of color. Here’s the finished result:

Joy-to-the-World-holiday-chalkboard-art

What do you think of my DIY holiday chalkboard art?

Easy-holiday-chalk-art

Now all I have to do is hope nobody leans against it. 😉

Holiday home tour

Today I thought I’d share some of the Christmas decorations we’ve got going on around here. Believe it or not, this is the first year we’ve added a live tree to the decor, which makes a total of three trees in our house right now. Whew! However, one is in our daughter’s bedroom and that space is not fit for pictures, so you won’t see it featured in this holiday home tour. 😉

I’ll start with our dining room. I decided to go with primarily red, green and gold accents.

Dining-Room-Christmas-decorations

I really wanted to incorporate some plaid napkins this year. I got the ones you see in the pictures online from World Market (with a 10 percent off coupon). Plaid seems to be having a moment right now.

Dining-room-Christmas-decorations-1

I went with a traditional look in the dining room, which means I also tried to incorporate some traditional treats for dinner guests, including this bowl of mixed nuts.

Holiday-bowl-of-nuts

Every year, I have a vision of what I want the main rooms in our house to look like for the holidays, based on inspiration I see in magazines and online. Of course, the vision in my head is often not how things turn out. But at least the basic idea is achieved, hopefully. I’m calling this year’s dining room “Chevy Chase Traditional” because it reminds me of decorations you might see in his home in that movie. Would you agree?

Moving on to our living room, I went for more of a natural, rustic look.

Living-Room-Christmas-Decorations-1

This is the room with the live tree. Gosh, a real tree is a lot of work!

Fur-stockings

The mantel includes my DIY wooden tag ornaments as well as my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles and eBay snowshoes.

Flocked-mini-Christmas-tree Birch-candles-on-mantel Snowshoes-on-mantel Wooden-reindeer Santa-and-sign

If you’re interested in where I got any of the other mantel decorations, I have a detailed post here.

We displayed our Christmas village on the TV stand in the living room.

Log-home

My favorite decoration by far is the tiny nativity set I got while on a mission trip to Guatemala.

Living-Room-Christmas-decorations

In the kitchen, I try to keep the counters pretty clear so there’s plenty of room for holiday baking. 🙂 I focus mainly on decorating the area above the cabinets.

Kitchen-Christmas-decorations-2

Kitchen-Christmas-decorations-1

Kitchen-Christmas-decorations

I try to dress the staircase because it’s the first thing people see when they walk into our home. I’m still in awe of what a difference my poor-man’s wainscoting makes in our entryway.

Holiday-staircase

Speaking of thrifty transformations, it still makes me smile every time I look at our front door. It is amazing what some paint and hardware can do!

front-door-redo

For details and jaw-dropping before and after photos of our front door redo, click here.

Before I go, I want to remind you that Duluth Trading Co. is giving away $200 worth of gift cards on the blog right now! To get your paws on one of them, hurry over and enter to win here.

Happy holiday decorating!

Organized hot beverage station

Fall is definitely in the air around here, which has me thinking about cozy stuff like blankets, fireplaces, yummy comfort food and hot beverages.

I came across a video yesterday from organizing genius, Alejandra. In it, she showcased the perfectly-put together hot beverage station in her kitchen. I was so mesmerized and inspired, I immediately got to work on my own organized hot beverage station. I love quick-reward DIY projects like this that I can tackle in less than a few hours.

I started by emptying the contents of a drawer I wanted to use and giving the drawer a good scrub.

Before-hot-beverage-station

I covered the bottom of the drawer with chevron-patterned Con-Tact® paper that I picked up at Walmart.

Chevron-contact-paper

I think there should be a support group for craft-challenged people like me who have to wrestle for an hour to get this paper smooth. Any tips or tricks you might have on how to do this without crying correctly would be much appreciated. 🙂

After recovering from applying the Con-Tact paper, I placed a drawer organizer in the drawer to corral all our various hot beverage items. This organizer was previously used to keep the baking items together. I guess I’ll have to come up with another solution for that drawer. 😉

Then I simply filled the drawer up with our favorites.

Hot-beverage-station

Hot-beverage-station-closeup

This drawer is located right next to our coffee/hot water maker and in close proximity to our sink and the cabinet that holds our mugs.

Hot-beverage-station-organized

Do you have a hot beverage station in your home?