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In Christmas/ DIY

how to make snow covered pinecones

When I walk Oscar to school in the morning I always find myself picking up one of two pine-cones in the schoolyard that have fallen from the pine trees. I knew I’d try a craft with them, initially thinking I’d paint them, but I decided to try something different using white puffy paint. 

I wanted to make the pinecones look like they had snow on them, so I added a dab of white puff paint to each leaf of the pinecone, as if the pinecone had been sitting out in the garden, after a snowfall – I consider where would the snow have fallen on it – so that’s where I squeeze some paint. 

Let the puff paint try, and then arrange on the mantle or as a part of another scene and you have a pretty ridiculouly cute decor. 

Ps., You can find pinecones in most garden centres this time of year too for not that much $

I picked up my puffy paint at Michael’s, but it’s a common stock item at all craft stores!
Example: Walmart,  Amazon (You can use fabric puff paint – it totally doesn’t matter!)


Making A Marquee Letter

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As part of my #ProjectPinkRoom, I really, really wanted to have a Marquee letter for my little client. But the funds didn’t allow for me to invest in one from Etsy after I factored in shipping, and that we wanted to get a lot of pieces to fill up the room (we were on a budget). Determined to have one, I googled and searched Pinterest for “DIY’s” on how to make my own, and came across some great tutorials.

My post is going to be less of a tutorial a-la-Young-House-Love-Style (they got serious with their how to’s!) But more of a “we did it!!!” and “here are some tips” and “here are some links to people who spent a lot of time documenting how THEY did it”.

In order to make something substantial I’m going to start by saying that you should make your letter out of wood, and for that, you need a jigsaw. Which I didn’t have. The folks at RONA came to my rescue and shot me over a Bosch jigsaw for us to use to complete the project. You can see it in action in this short little video

I’m going to confess. The easiest part was the cutting of the wood and the drilling of the holes. I made it extra difficult because of the three dimensional aspect to this particular one. I wasn’t sure if I was going to hang it in her room, or place it on a table – so having it to be able to stand on it’s own, was of the greatest importance for me. But should you decide that the three dimensional aspect isn’t of importance to you then you’ll likely find this project way easier.

I’m going to show you stages of this project, and anticipate that this won’t be a guide for every single letter of the alphabet. But as anything I do, I hope it’s inspiration for someone else, and perhaps you could improve upon what we did.

1. Design your letter
First off, I needed to design my letter. I chose a font I liked, strecthed it and tweaked it, so it was exactly as I liked. I printed it off on a regular piece of paper and then Aubrey calculated the size, to be blown up.

At the same time we took into consideration the placement of the bulbs – as you can see from Aubrey’s X marks on the Z.

You seriously need this Jigsaw. It was glorious to use. Seriously, it was like cutting through butter. Although we were doing straight lines, Aubrey did some text pieces (not shown) that were curvy and beautiful (I’m doing a heart next) and it was so smooth and beautiful.

Minor interruption in the project. Someone wanted to watch TV. Had to ask his Father.

This is where I will stop and say that up until this point, I wouldn’t do anything differently. But the following steps were terribly time consuming. Again, go see How Joyful’s post on her Marquee Letter because she really goes into great detail on how she did her sides.

As you can see, a lot of measuring, a lot of small cuts and fitting it together like a gingerbread house. Aubrey is a patient man. I didn’t take a photo of how he glued it together because I was sleeping when he did it. But below is a shot of the back of the piece ….

He added metal brackets to hold the side together, in addition to using wood glue. He drilled holes through the back, large enough for the socket of the light bulb to fit through.

My little client came over and helped me prime the Z.

Next steps:

  • Once the whole thing is put togther, and primed, fill the holes with wood filler so that you can fill those gaps. Then, add some DAP. I didn’t want light to shine through those holes.
  • I sprayed it using my paint sprayer (that I LOVE!) I gave it about 6 coats, to ensure that it really had great coverage.
  • Aubrey spaced out the holes and installed the lighting – which was just some globe lights we had from Target.
  • We used an extension cord like this, which means our little client (the seven year old) wasn’t plugging things in. (Kids + electricity make me nervous!) All she does is press the white button and the light goes on and off….
And there you go! I appreciate that the tutorial isn’t as seamless or as details as one would like, but it wasn’t terribly easy and so, not something I’d really recommend. But if you want to take on a project like I did, then you likely have some DIY know-how and the above is inspirational enough to follow. I will, as mentioned, try this project again to make it a little simpler, as I would like a Marquee Letter in my own house. But for now, here is it in the room…

Disclaimer: Bosch 7 Variable Speed Jigsaw was provided to us by RONA. And I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s amazing.

Links of interest:
Marquee Light via How Joyful (likely the closest to what we did) 
HGTV Making a Marquee Light 
Pinterest Searches: Marquee Light DIY,


DIY Wood Candle Holders

diy wood candle holders

When my Brother and Sister-in-Law were planning their wedding, the theme, much like their living room inspiration was to be rustic and comfortable, outdoorsy and have elements of nature and wood. It was then that I came across imagery of candles on wood as centerpieces, and fell in love with the look.  I had seen similar looks on Etsy, like this one, and this one. House and Home did a wood candle holder look that I loved – using grey stain, which stuck out to me as far surperior than the darker stains others had been using. So, combining all of that inspiration, I vowed to one day make my own.

Aubrey made a wood shed at the cottage during our vacation and one day I walked by the scrap wood and realized the 4’x4’s that were left over, would be PERFECT for this project. Aubrey’s tools were already out, so he just chopped some down to different heights for me.

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Once your wood is cut, sand the edges and sides. (I used my mouse sander)

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I wanted to use these primarily for votive candles (even though you see taper candles in the very first photo) so Aubrey took his drill and added a drill bit to it, wide enough to hold a tea light.

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Next, I debated leaving the pillars as is in their “natual” look (leaving them “as is”). But with House & Home’s look in my mind, I decided to go with some stain I already had at home, some of Varathane’s Sun Bleached stain. 

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I liked the look of two coats of stain – no more. The more coats I did, the darker the grey got and covered too much of the wood grain, which is part of the beauty of the whole project. The result I think is stunning, and also a little reminiscent of concrete – which I’m obsessed with. I know we’re still in Summer, but the above look I think would be ridiculously gorgeous on a holiday table setting.

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But the look I think is really cool, is using this project to hold taper candles, like these gold ones. In retrospect you could drill a smaller hole, which would allow the tapers to fit in beautifully. If you couldn’t decide what style of candles you wanted to go with, you could flip the wood over, so you had a multi-use candle holder (one side for tapers, one side for votives). For this project though, I used putty which held the tapers in place but had to only use the holders that were deep enough to really keep the tapers in place.

Wood ………. 4 x 4’s
Stain …………. Sun Bleached by Varathane 
Tapers …………. The Penny Paper Co. 

Inspiration Posts:
(Just came across this one!! —>Design for Mankind) And of course, Pinterest, Etsy, and House & Home Magazine,

Disclaimer: Obviously when it comes to mixing fire and wood, please use caution and be sure you are always around them when lit.