Christmas Decor

DIY Christmas Carol Sign

Today, I've got a super simple DIY for you! If you saw our apartment Christmas tour (check it out here) than you saw this sign I created for our entry.

I created it using mostly stuff we had on hand. We had the plywood leftover from some we'd purchased to add some extra support to a sinking couch cushion, and the stain we had leftover from some Kendall's dad had given us to stain the arm rests/slash cup holders on our couch. To get this look here's what you'll need:

  • piece of ply wood
  • sponge brush ( there's a bristle brush in the picture, but I didn't end up using it)
  • wood stain (or paint if you prefer or if that's what you have on hand)
  • paper towels 
  • letter stencils
  • tape

I ended up combining two different stains we had to make sure we had enough and to lighten the darker one. I wanted a darker stain for this project but not so dark the grain disappeared underneath. 

I arranged the number of stencils I needed for the Christmas carol I wanted to use, which in this case was "O come, let us adore Him!" At this point, I didn't worry about what letters I had where. I just wanted to see how to best fit the words on the board I had and how to space them.

Once I had the arrangement like I liked it, I punched out the inside of the stencil and taped down the first line "O come." I shook the stain to mix it, with the lid on, of course. ;) I made sure to press most of the excess stain out of the foam brush by just pressing it against the ledge of the can and than wiped it across the stencil following the grain of the wood. I wiped the excess stain off of each letter with the paper towels before moving onto the next letter because I didn't want the stain to seep in and be too dark. It's a messy job, so be sure you have somewhere to throw the paper towels besides your table which you didn't bother to put a cover on. I would let the stencils sit until I needed them for another word and than I would just pull them up and tape them down in their new spot. 

If you use a wood stain like I did, just know the edges of your letters will not be crisp and smooth as the stain will seep out into the wood around the letters. At first I didn't like it, but decided to call it rustic and just went with it. Over all I was pleased with how it came out for such a quick and last minute project. Here it is in all of it's glory in our entry. I decided not to use the snowflake stencils. I kind of got them as a filler in case my letters were too small and after seeing how the stain spread, didn't think they would work so great. I'd love to hear what Christmas carol you'd choose for your diy sign! You can leave it in the comments below! 

I'm joining the Pretty Preppy Link Up Party over at 11 Magnolia Lane if you'd like to join up for the day or see what some other bloggers are up to with their Christmas decor!

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

Our Christmas Home Tour

At the beginning of this Christmas season, I was all excited about decorating our apartment. I had all of these ideas of how I was going to share with you guys how you could decorate your home in a simple way to keep cost and stress down while still having a beautiful, festive home. Well, after looking over the budget, we decided that buying Christmas decor wasn't the wisest choice for us this season. 

At first I was mad and frustrated, because there went all my ideas out the window. But if you remember last week, I talked about having evergreen hope this season, and how I've seen God provide new ideas and solutions when I didn't see a way. (You can read that blog post here). Well, He again proved to me that He is not limited by finances and gave me new ideas. This season of our lives, though sometimes frustrating, has been a huge blessing in stretching my creativity in ways that it wouldn't be stretched otherwise, and I'm really excited and grateful for that!

So without further adieu, here is our Christmas home tour. I love the simplicity of it all and it was a lot of fun to pull together. I hope it encourages you that you don't have to go spend a lot to have a beautiful home for Christmas.

For our entry way, I made this piece of "art" from some leftover plywood and wood stain that we had. I did end up purchasing some letter stencils. No way I was going to try to free hand that! It's a little rough around the edges, but it was fun to make and adds a lot to this little space. I cut the pine branches off some trees in the ditch across the street and used a vase we had from our wedding decorations to put them in.  

I added some more branches and fruit to our bar top. My parents always put oranges and apples in our stockings at Christmas, so I set out some oranges and apples as a nod to that tradition from my kidhood. 

In the kitchen area, we have this chalkboard frame hanging that I just put a little Christmas message on. No fancy chalkboard lettering here. Ain't nobody got time or know how for that. And this branch from the ditch was made to be hung on a corner, so that's what I did.

On our dining room table, I added some branches from the ditch to Mason jars we had from canned goods from my mother in law. Folks, you do not have to go spend a lot of money to add little pretty touches to your home. 

In the living room, we of course have our beautiful tree and I also made a swag to go over the art piece above our sofa. Again, branches from our local ditch saved the day. I bought some floral wire to help put these together and also used rubber bands and twine that we already had, and I hug it with command hooks. The swag isn't what I had pictured in my head, but I love how it turned out. The tree skirt is a blanket that usually sits on the back of our couch. I chose to use it, because it complements the ornaments we have the best.

In the bedroom, I added another swag above the canvas above our bed. For this one, I used some old pearl wire that we had leftover from our wedding to cover the green floral wire. 

And lastly, we wrapped some lights around our balcony railing, and I unashamedly pulled the Mason jars from the dining room table for these pictures.We ended up using a box of lights we already had and purchasing a box to finish off the balcony. I just love Christmas lights!

Oh, and here's a few more images of the tree lights on at night, and some random dude I also found in the ditch. I tell you, that ditch has everything you need to make your home a festive place for the Christmas season. (p.s. don't mind the towel in the doorway or the unfinished glimpse of our gallery wall. The towel keeps out the draft and I have no excuse for the unfinished gallery wall except for.....oh, look, squirrel!!!)

I think all in all, we spent around $15-$20 this year if that to complete our Christmas look since I purchased some things to make the swags and our "O come, let us adore Him sign," and we also picked up that extra box of lights. Not too shabby for a couple who's on their second Christmas and hasn't accumulated all the Christmas decor yet. 

I'm joining the Pretty Preppy Link Up Party over at Life on Virginia Street if you'd like to join up for the day or see what some other bloggers are up to with their Christmas decor!

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

Blogger Stylin' Home Tour Favorites

Lindsay from the White Buffalo Styling Co. hosts what's called the Blogger Stylin' Home Tours. She and about 30 other bloggers have pulled together to share their Christmas home tours. I love seeing all of their ideas and some of the creative color schemes they choose to use. I've gathered some of my favorites to share with you and linked to Lindsay's site at the bottom of this post so that you can go check out the bloggers and see their full home tours for yourself! 

If you'd like to see the full home tours of these bloggers and all of the other bloggers who participated, head on over to Lindsay's blog (here) where she has them all compiled into a neat least for you to follow along!