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. 😉

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 Varathane® 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 Podge® matte water-based sealer. 

This part always makes me nervous, but the sealer dries clear. I promise. 😉

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. 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.  

No-cost DIY holiday sign

Hello friends! Today I wanted to share with you a quick and easy, no-cost DIY solution for your outdoor holiday decor.

When our family decorates for Christmas, it takes days … DAYS, people … for me to get just the inside of our home decorated. I’m typically pooped out after that with no motivation to do much in the way of outdoor decor.

My dear husband put out some strands of light and two light show thingies this year, which makes the place look pretty festive. But I also wanted to add something special to the front porch.

Are you familiar with those large (5 feet+) holiday signs you can just lean against the side of your house? Well last week I decided to make one for myself … at no cost.

Step 1: Choose a scrap board and cut it to size.

I found this scrap piece of plywood inside our garden shed. It was already the perfect size for my project. I think it measures about 5 feet by 14 inches or so.

I cleaned it with bleach spray to kill a patch of mold/mildew at the bottom (these stains will bleed through paint).

Then it was ready for a quick coat of Rust-Oleum® Chalked Paint.*

Step 2: Apply one to two coats of paint.

I chose Rust-Oleum® Chalked Paint in Linen White.

This stuff covers really well, with no need for primer to be applied. I applied two coats to the entire front side of the wood. I added the second coat about an hour after the first coat. This paint dries very quickly to a matte, chalk-like finish.

Step 3: Sand the piece after the paint dries.

I used an inexpensive orbital sander to “rough up” the paint finish and edges a bit. This gave the sign a rustic, aged appearance.

Step 4: Pencil on letters.

I simply hand drew my letters for the sign on with a pencil, using a paint stir stick to keep the lines straight and working off an inspiration image from Pinterest. I chose the word “Noel,” but “Joy” would work just as well for a similar project.

Step 5: Fill in the letters with paint, leaving the “O” space blank.

I like the metallic stencil creme line from Royal Design Studio for small craft projects like this. I used a beautiful red metallic paint, which gives a nice shimmer to the piece.

Step 6: Staple garland to the wood in an “O” shape.

I added a few sprigs of faux berries to my evergreen garland strand to complete the missing “O” in my sign. Done! 

I created this piece in one afternoon using leftover wood, paint and holiday garland I had on hand at the house. I love finding ways to decorate using what I already have, don’t you?

What do you think of the final result? Have you DIYed any holiday decor this year? I’d love for you to share the details of your project in a comment.

 

* Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 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.  

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 ‘liking’ your favorite submission – ooh, I hope it’s mine 😉 you’ll be entered to win a package of the same 8 Rust-Oleum® 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 in my backyard:

Wood-pile-

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

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 Varathane® 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, I 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-Oleum 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. 😉

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: I’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, opinions and projects are 100 percent my own.