Holiday Wood Sign

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So many cute holiday signs out there this year. I saw so many different versions, I couldn’t decide which one to buy. Finally, I saw one that I liked, it was on the Instagram account of a local boutique that I follow. The problem, the actual boutique is not very close to where I live and the thought of making the trip, in recent weeks, just didn’t seem that fun. Why is it that I’m so willing to drive anywhere and everywhere in the summer but not in the winter? It’s gotta be the weather. I am NOT a cold weather fan. Thus why I always suggest going to the beach for our family vacations. I was vetoed on that this year, by the way. Spending a week in the snow…not sure how I feel about that…can’t win ’em all I guess. Anyway, I was putting off the trip to the boutique until finally I decided to just make a sign myself since I had most of the things I needed. I already had the wood and paint in the garage, so one quick trip to Michaels for the metal and wood letters, and I was in business.

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I started with a 1×10 piece of scrap wood that I had in the garage and I cut it to 37″ long with a jigsaw. The trim I cut out of wood lath, I had a bundle of it from a previous project so I decided to put it to use, but you could use a 1x2x8 board and that should be enough for your whole sign if it is 37″ long. I liked the lath because it has a really rough texture so it gave the frame more of a rustic look. I painted the 1×10 board with white chalk paint and stained the frame pieces with Minwax Dark Walnut. Once both were dry, I attached the frame pieces with wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

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For the letters, I picked up these 2.5″ wood letters by ArtMinds at Michaels for “FRESH CUT” (spray painted with a red matte paint) and these 3.5″ galvanized letters by ArtMinds for “CHRISTMAS TREES”. Full disclosure, the metal letters actually had little magnets glued to the backside. I didn’t feel like spending time looking for letters without magnets, so I just used needle nose pliers to pull the magnets off. Most came off pretty easily, a few took a little extra strength. Also, the galvanized letters come in silver, gold and rust but the letters I needed were almost all rusted, which is not the look I was going for, so I just sprayed them each with a light coat of this Rust-Oleum hammered silver spray paint for a full galvanized look.

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To create the trees, I used acrylic craft paint in a dark green and dark brown. This part might be intimidating, but honestly, it is easier than you think. Start with the large tree. Use brown, with a small (1/4″) paint brush and paint a straight line for the trunk, making it a little wider at the bottom. Once the trunk is dry, use the same brush (cleaned and dried) and begin to paint on the branches. I painted 1 long stroke to the side for each branch, then light little strokes jetting out along the top and the bottom of each branch. Start with sparse branches (I started with 7 on each side of the large tree), fill in the shoots on each branch and then go back and add more little branches to make the tree look full. On each branch, allow your brush to get a little dry without reloading it with paint in order to get a whispy look here and there.

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That’s it! What do you think? Worth it to not make the drive? Haha!

If you want to hang your new sign, just add one of these saw tooth picture hangers to the back side, centered, about an inch from the top. Just make sure your nails are not too long and won’t go through your wood board, no more than 3/4″.

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DIY Holiday Wreath

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So, this was not a project or post I had planned on, it pretty much happened on accident while I was decorating the mantle today. I had a different plan as to what I was hanging above the mantle and hated how it turned out so I started over and this is what I came up with. I actually LOVE how this wreath turned out and wanted to share with you how simple it was.

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The wreath I started with is this 24″ faux flocked wreath from Walmart. I just happened upon Walmart’s flocked Christmas dΓ©cor this year after seeing it in some other bloggers homes and it was all so inexpensive that I had to try it out. You guys, for the price, the quality is GREAT! I got my tree there as well and will absolutely be back for more next year (sadly, they’ve been sold out of their best selling items for a while already). Here are some other great flocked wreath options…

Target Wondershop 18″ Flocked Wreath
Vickerman 30″ Snow Ridge Flocked Wreath
Telluride 24″ Frosted Faux Pine Wreath

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I wanted to add a little more color to the wreath so I decided to use some of the stems I had purchased to use throughout the house. I think this is why I love this wreath so much, next year, I can easily remove the stems and add something totally different to change the look. Here is what I added to the wreath…

Ikea Smycka Eucalyptus Stem
Michael’s Red Mini Berry Stem by Ashland
Michael’s Scented Large Pinecones by Ashland
22 gauge floral wire

Because I wasn’t planning on this being a blog post, I didn’t take pictures in the process of putting it together. However, it was honestly so simple. I used 2 of each stem, one on each side. The wreath is 2 rows of branches attached to 2 metal rings which are visible on the back side of the wreath with about a 2″ gap between the 2 rings.
1. With the wreath facing up, take 1 stem of Eucalyptus and insert the end of the stem through the 2 rows of branches about 2-3″ from the bottom center of the wreath. Leave the end of the stem sticking out the back side of the wreath pointing toward bottom center (you will secure it later) and manipulate each branch of leaves to intertwine it with the wreath branches. These branches are wired so you should be able to get the branches where you want them to go by bending slightly. Don’t spend too much time on this because you may make more adjustments when you add the berries.
2. Add 1 stem of berries the same way, layered over the Eucalyptus stem and intertwine them together to the placement you prefer.
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 on the opposite side to get a balanced look.
4. Use 3 pinecones and 3 pieces of wire, each approximately 1 foot long. Take 1 piece of wire and 1 pinecone, about 1″ from the bottom of the pinecone, wrap a piece of wire around the pinecone, maneuvering the wire between the pinecone scales (scales? is that what they’re called??) You want the center of the wire wrapped around the pinecone 2 times, and be left with a few inches of wire on each end sticking out the back of the pinecone. Take those wires ends and stick it through the wreath at bottom center. Turn the wreath over, find the wire ends and wrap them around one of the metal wreath rings to secure. This is when I secured the stems as well. I held the stem against one of the rings while I wrapped the wire around. Repeat with the other 2 pinecones.
5. Now that all of you stems and pinecones are attached, your stems should be secure at the center and you’ll just have the ends of the stems loose. I just kind of bent the end of the stems and tucked them under and between the 2 wreath rings to keep them from showing. Very technical, I know πŸ™‚

That’s it guys! So simple!! AND, the whole wreath cost me $20!!!! Obsessed!

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Now for a few other mantle details…

I had this vintage frame that I picked up at an antique store forever ago and had never used. It was gold so I put a coat of white chalk paint on it to 1) match my dΓ©cor and 2) disguise all the chips in the frame. I then used a 4″ wide burlap ribbon, about 2 feet long, to attach the wreath to the frame. Just a simple knot hidden behind the wreath.

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The candlesticks I’ve had for years, a wedding gift from my parents from a little boutique in their hometown (here is a similar style from Ethan Allen)

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If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, https://www.instagram.com/justlikeplayinghouse/ you’ll know that the mantle dΓ©cor decisions started with my love/hate relationship with this garland πŸ™‚ I LOVE the long flocked needles but HATED that the pinecones were covered in glitter. I bought a couple of strands anyway, thinking I would remove the glitter pinecones and replace them with plain pinecones. End of the day, I was too lazy to remove the glitter, left them and just added a few plain. I didn’t even secure them, just sort of wedged them in between the needles. I also added a few stems of the eucalyptus to tie it all together.

I also came across these galvanized metal stocking hangers at Walmart when I picked up my tree. Pretty excited when I spotted those little cuties. I’m still working on the stockings themselves so I’ll update you when I decide which style I’m going with this year πŸ™‚

Happy holidays friends! And happy decorating!!

DIY Holiday Gift Wrap

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I don’t know what’s happening this year. I have been in retail for 10 years and have always had a strong immune system, getting maybe 1 cold per year that was not severe and pretty easy to get over. This year, it’s not even Christmas and I’m already on my second cold of the season! This must say a lot about my stress level this year, I suppose.

I’m still having so much fun decorating the house. Every week I pick up more dΓ©cor, I just can’t stop! The lights outside our garage have been burned out since we moved in and I finally fixed this problem because I found some gorgeous red berry wreaths at the grocery store that I just had to showcase on the front of the house! I don’t think I’m supposed to cover up our house number but…I’m willing to sacrifice that for something pretty. And let’s be realistic, the only people who need to see our house numberΒ are the UPS and FedEx delivery guys, who are here often enough, thanks to my husband’s Amazon Prime addiction, that they have our address memorized.

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Every year I try to do something different with my holiday gift wrap. I can never find a printed gift wrap I like that doesn’t cost $20 a roll and I want something unique and rustic. Enter brown shipping paper. I got 2 rolls of Scotch Postal Wrapping Paper at Michael’s for $4 each. This brown craft paper gives you a nice neutral, rustic base to start with and you can customize the rest of the package with ribbon and a gift topper.

The ribbon I used is also from Michael’s, it is wired on the edges so that it is easy to work with and Michael’s has a huge selection of colors and patterns to choose from as well.

I had an old faux evergreen wreath in my garage and decided to cut some pieces off to use as gift toppers. You can find wreaths and garlands at craft stores or places like Homegoods or Marshalls that are inexpensive and you can cut them apart to use for toppers.

I’m obsessed with the stationary collection from Sugar Paper at Target. Truth be told, I LOVE their gift wrap and it isn’t too expensive, but the store I went to was sold out and I’m too impatient to buy something online. These little white and gold gift tags are from the Sugar Paper collection.

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I’m so excited to celebrate the holidays with friends & family this year! I hope you all are enjoying the fun of the season as much as I am!