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.  

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. 😉

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 our praise and worship team is the director there.

Crossroads 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 Zinsser® 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’s® for $29.

The clock on the wall is from my basement. I bought the couch at a local furniture store for $250 on clearance. Oh yea … I did pay for one pillow. The pillow on the left is from T.J. Maxx®. 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!