DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

It feels like Halloween was yesterday and here we are in the middle of November already! I am one of the hold outs who waits until after Thanksgiving to decorate my entire home for Christmas but I have been doing some crafting! These adorable mason jars will be headed to my vendor booth as our Holiday Open House is this weekend. Aren’t they adorable? I’m sharing with you today how to make your own.

If you are a farmhouse decor lover like myself you probably have a collection of mason jars. As much as I love them plain, they are perfect to use for holiday decor.

First gather your supplies:

-Mason Jar (I used a Half Gallon size vintage Ball Jar since my bottle brush tree was large)

-Bottle Brush tree (I used a vintage one from a thrift store but you could purchase new ones from a craft store or online)

-Faux Snow Fluff

-Extra Fine Glitter (Mine is iridescent)

-Bells

-Ribbon

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

Next tear off a piece of the faux snow and stuff it into the bottom of your mason jar. Since my hand was too large to reach the bottom I used the end of a wooden spoon to stuff it down. Make sure it’s as flat and even as you can get it so your tree stands upright.

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

Then I sprinkled some glitter all over the snow. Next time I would use a piece of paper under the jar to catch my overage. Cleaning up tiny pieces of glitter is not a good time!

Then I sprinkled some glitter all over the snow.

After that insert your bottle brush tree into the mason jar and sprinkle a little extra glitter on the tree itself. You can never have too much sparkle!

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

After that tie your bow and add your bells. I had difficultly getting my burlap ribbon through the opening on top of the bell so I used twine. The ribbon is covering it up. Your project is complete!

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration Jersey girl in the south

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DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decoration

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DIY Vintage Inspired Wood Crate

DIY Vintage Inspired Wood Crate

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I have received free product from Amy Howard at Home in exchange for an honest review. You may view my disclosure here.

Hello friends! Long time no post! Summer has been jam packed! Between getting inventory ready for my new vendor booth, vacation and spending time with the kids before school starts back up I have not had the extra time to do anything for myself! I have missed blogging!

Today I am sharing how I turned two plain unfinished wood crates into vintage looking crates with character and charm.  I have had these wooden crates from Michael’s for a few years now. Originally I had planned to build a DIY nightstand for my oldest son’s bedroom. Instead we purchased him a new bedroom suite from IKEA so the crates sat in the closet holding assorted craft items. My vendor booth needs some display pieces and I thought these crates would be the perfect solution. These crates are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.

I tried out a new to me product Better with Age by Amy Howard at Home. The results blew me away! What an amazing difference! Better with Age is thinner than a stain. It works by reacting with the tannins in the wood to turn raw wood into an aged finish. In only 10 minutes I had a vintage style crate! Unbelievable! Now I want to use it on everything!!!

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First I sanded the crates lightly so the Better with Age would soak into the wood more effectively. This is recommended on the back on the can. Using a bristle brush I quickly painted on the solution. You can see on the third strip of wood where I have not applied it yet. The change is instant! Be sure to go back over any drips immediately or they will remain on your project. Unlike stain there is no wiping afterwards. Although this product is water based and contains no VOC’s, it can still be an irritant so wear gloves. Better with Age has no odor! That is a huge plus for me as I am very sensitive to chemical smells.

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After just a few minutes I could not believe how different my crate looked! As it sat and dried for a little while the color darkened slightly.

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It went from an ordinary and plain to something that I would find at a barn sale.

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Due to the grain of the wood each crate turned out differently! I love that. Vintage pieces never look the same.

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I couldn’t help myself and also applied it to an apple bushel basket and a piece of wood for a future craft project. A little goes a long way and I still have so much left in my can. My barn door to the laundry room may be receiving some too!

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After the crates dried I wanted them to look more like the vintage crates that I already own. Both of them have lettering stamped on the ends. I recreated the look with stencils and a little craft paint.

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I blotted the excess paint off of my brush before adding it to the stencil. Bleeding around the edges of the stencil was done intentionally. True vintage farm items are never perfect. Once the painted on lettering was dry I quickly used my sanding block to smooth it over. It took the sheen off of the paint and make it appear more authentic.

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I can not wait to use these in my vendor booth to display pillows and other goodies! PVA was chosen for the lettering as the shop is located in Powhatan, VA. If you are in the area visit my booth at the Vintage Antique Shack!

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Thrift Games: DIY Chicken Coop Sign

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I am so excited to be participating in Thrift Games hosted by Charleston Crafted. We were challenged to do a thrift store makeover on an item meant to be used outdoors with a $15 total budget. It wasn’t easy with such a small budget but I was able to meet their challenge. I only had to purchase one item as the painting supplies were leftovers from previous DIY projects. My total amount spent was a whopping $3!!!!

We have been wanting to decorate our chicken coop since we built it two years ago. It’s functional but I want it to be pretty too. My mother bought me a garden flag but that is as far as we have gotten. I really wanted a cute sign for them and was looking for a way to re-purpose an item to make one. My kids and I stopped at Goodwill earlier in the week and found this hideous wheat motif melamine tray. The price tag was $4.25 but when we got to the register the cashier let us know that green tags were 50% off. After donating to round up I ended up paying $3!

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When I got home I went through my crafting supplies and found black chalk paint that I had leftover from the boy’s bathroom vanity makeover. You can see that post here if you are interested. I also found a gold paint pen that I had laying around.  Since chalk paint requires no prep work I just started painting. It took two coats and I used a fan to help speed up the drying process (I am impatient!)

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While the paint was curing I went to the computer to print out a graphic for a stencil. I decided to go with The Chick Inn (yes super cheesy but I think it’s cute). PicMonkey allowed me to create the sign using the Design feature. For the font I went with Bilbo Swash Caps and then reverse imaged it with the rotate tool. Once I printed it used regular white chalk and rubbed it on the back on my paper. The paper was then laid chalk side down onto the tray and I used a pen cap to trace the words.

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You can see how the chalk transfers the wording onto the tray. I then used my paint pen and traced over the chalk lines. When I was finished I wiped away the excess chalk.

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For the bottom section I wanted an outline of a chicken but knew there was no way I could freehand one. I used a free clip art chicken silhouette and printed it. Since it was too large I trimmed it to fit with my scissors and then traced it with the paint pen.

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Here is the finished product! I think my girls approve. Since it will be hung out of the elements I did not use a sealant. If it were going to be exposed I would recommend using one.

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Check out the projects my fellow bloggers have completed!

 

 

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DIY project: Upcycled wall art

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Normally I am the donater/thrower outer type but something told me to hold on to this piece. I love a good DIY project. I knew I could transform it into something new even though it took me 6 months to figure out what it would become… This framed W came with two other picture frames that were used in my gallery wall upstairs. The grand total for all 3 pieces was $4! They were on clearance from Kirklands during one of their green tag sales. If you have never been to their green tag sale they mark things down to 75% off the original cost. I always check the clearance section when I stop in. I have found several great pieces over the years for a fraction of the original cost. (For my NJ friends Kirlands is not related to Costco. It’s a separate company. Check out their website!)

Anyway, since our last name starts with an S  the W wasn’t going to work for us. I was going to find a W last named family to give it to but since I’m a fan of burlap and liked the wood look frame I changed my mind. I am glad that I did! In addition to being cute and easy to do this was a quick project to complete. This entire DIY project took me a grand total of 5 minutes which is important for those of us with little ones. It took me longer to write this post!

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The W was easily removed using a flat head screwdriver. Luckily it did not tear the burlap underneath. It did pull it out in a few spots so I tucked it back under using the tip of the screwdriver. No big deal. I could have recovered it using holiday themed scrapbook paper if I was not able to salvage the burlap.

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This cute rustic Christmas tree ornament was on sale at JoAnn’s for $5. Here is the link if you want to purchase one. http://www.joann.com/makers-holiday-wood-tree-ornament/15039118.html#pmax=10&prefn1=collection&prefn2=type&pmin=5&prefv1=Natural&prefv2=Ornaments&start=1

Using scissors I just snipped off the hanger part. A little hot glue secured it to the frame and it’s done! Normally I dread using my glue gun. This is the first hot glue project in a long time that I completed without missing any fingerprints!

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I think it turned out great and I’m very pleased. This year I changed over to a more rustic Christmas decor in the family room. The ornament goes perfectly with that style. You could use any kind or style of ornament in this project as long as you have a flat spot to attach it to the frame. Anything round or heavy would be extremely difficult to attach with hot glue. Stronger adhesives like E-6000 would probably work.

The next time you are out shopping look for inexpensive or ugly wall art to upcycle. Places like Goodwill and yard sales have plenty that need to be rescued and given a makeover!

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I will be posting a tour of our house decorated for Christmas soon! Be on the lookout!

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DIY Chalkboard Tray from an old frame

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I love re-purposing old items into something new and functional. I used to have this wall art from Hobby Lobby hanging in my old house. It had a plaster fleur di lis cemented to the middle of the wooden frame. Unfortunately it did not survive the move and came unglued. I decided to throw away the fleur di lis as it was not really my style anymore and kept the wooden frame knowing I would eventually figure out what to do with it.

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Inspiration finally struck the other day. I love trays. I own several already but they are all very large and bulky. This one is the perfect size and weight for the kids to carry. I also made it into a chalkboard so I can write a little message if I choose to.

Here is how you can make your own:

One large frame or lightweight piece of wood

Chalkboard paint and foam brush

Painter’s tape

Handles and screws

Sandpaper

I only needed to purchase the handles and screws. Everything else I already had on hand. The total out of pocket cost for me was $8 and I still have a bunch of screws left for other projects.

 

First I took my sanding block and smoothed down the board. I also sanded off the old glue until it was flat with the rest of the wood. It left a stain on the wood where the glue used to be but that’s ok. The chalkboard paint covered it.

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Next I taped off the bottom part of the frame with painter’s tape. If you are a neat painter (which I am not…) you can skip this part. If you are using a piece of wood instead of a frame you can tape off a square or rectangle to paint. The rest of the instructions will be the same.

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Then I painted the bottom using my chalkboard paint. It took two coats for this project. This picture was taken after the first coat. For this project I had a sample size pot of chalkboard paint. It was just enough paint in the little jar. I bought it at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago and had in my craft stash. I always use a disposable foam brush and disposable bowl for small painting projects. The foam brushes are inexpensive and do not leave brush marks when dry. It’s also a plus for lazy people like myself as there is no cleanup involved.

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After that I put the handles on. I decided where I wanted to place the first one and used my ruler to make sure I had the same exact placement on the other side. I normally try to eyeball things but there was no margin for error on this project. If I messed up it would not be an easy fix.  I found these handles at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. Bargain tip: Never buy knobs and pulls for full price unless you need them right away. Every few weeks they go on sale for half price. Hobby Lobby has a huge selection and I always find what I am looking for there. If they do not have the quantity that you need in stock an employee can order more for you. They will honor the sale price and call you when your order arrives at the store. I had to do that for my son’s dresser that I chalk painted. Unfortunately these handles did not come with hardware so I had to buy screws at Lowe’s to use with them.

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Repeat the same thing on the other side and you are done! Wait for the paint to dry and it’s ready to be used.

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This tray is the perfect size to sit on the bench in my family room. It will be a great coaster for when we have parties or to bring snacks into the family room for the grownups. I’m a mean mom and only my husband and I are allowed to eat in this room unless we have company. White couches + kids with food=giant mess.

My kids told me that they will be delivering me breakfast in bed using my tray on Mother’s Day.  They are very excited to use it.

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Fall Home Tour 2016

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Fall is my favorite season! The temperature starts to cool down but it’s still warm enough not to need coats, hats and all that mess. As much as I love flip flops I am eager to wear my new fall boots! There is something fun going on every weekend and it’s perfect fire pit weather.  I can do without the ragweed pollen and the rainy few weeks we have had though!

I am not a pumpkin spice fan (I know! The horror! You can revoke my basic girl card now) and I don’t like pumpkin pie but I can’t get enough of pumpkins in my decor. Per the usual Target did not let me down. I went to every store in the area an embarrassing amount of times to collect all of their awesome fall stuff from the bargain spot. Half of my decorations were purchased there this year. If you haven’t been lately it’s worth the trip!

The cozy throws I have on the rocking chairs are really blanket scarves. I had bought one to wear but it was entirely too hot. I was having trouble finding a second one in the same pattern so I cut mine in half. Shh…don’t tell. Aren’t these pillows cute? Also from Target!

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In the foyer I styled my chalk painted pumpkins with another blanket scarf in a metal crate. I love it alongside my brass quail from Goodwill and my faux sunflowers from Hobby Lobby. You can see how to make your own pumpkins and also how I painted the dresser here. http://www.jerseygirlinthesouth.com/diy-projects-and-crafts/

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In the dining room I tried to stay with simple, rustic decorations. The Thankful banner is another Target find from last year. I styled the tray on the table with things I had around the house (grapevine balls, burlap ribbon, tray and candle holder) and a bag of gourds and mini pumpkins from the grocery store.

 

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Do you see my new grain scoop on the buffet?

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I did not decorate the kitchen for fall except for the coffee station. Rae Dunn mugs are my favorite! They have such cute sayings and I buy them whenever I find them at Homegoods. My rack is full now so I will have to move onto bowls and trays. 😉

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My family room colors are the perfect backdrop for fall decorations with a quick change of the couch pillows. I also swapped out the greenery and changed up the mantel a little bit. I decided to stay simple and neutral. It will change over to Halloween next month but I like this look for September and November. I’ve been on the hunt for birch branches to fill the olive bucket.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing my fall decor! If you are not already following me on Instagram please do @jerseygirlinthesouthblog I have been posting my decor changes over there. I also love seeing everyone’s homes.

 

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How to: DIY Chalk Paint Pumpkin with Twine Stem

How to Chalk Paint Pumpkins

As you may have already figured out I am in love with chalk paint. I think it’s the easiest way to transform a boring and outdated object into something spectacular.

My husband got down the fall decor bins out of the attic for me the other day after I nicely asked several times aka bugged him until he did it. I started going through them to see what goodies I could find. Last year I did not decorate for fall as our house had some construction projects going on and I could not remember what I had saved.  We did A LOT of purging before we moved but I still kept a few things that I was not totally in love with. Example: these too bright and obviously fake plastic pumpkins.  The decor in my new house has made a change to a more neutral pallette.

I have been loving white pumpkins, burlap and natural textures. The only problem was I didn’t own any, well until now! Instead of dropping them off at Goodwill I tried to see what they would look like with a fresh coat of paint. I figured why not? The worst I could do was ruin them. My youngest decided to “help” and drew on the tall ceramic pumpkin with green marker so I needed to do something to fix it anyway. I have owned these pumpkins for about 15 years so I got my money’s worth out of them already. A roll of twine was found in my gift wrapping stash and the white chalk paint was leftover from painting my dining room furniture. This was a zero budget project! My favorite kind!

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I started out with 5 pumpkins and ended up only keeping 4 of them. I just was not feeling the short fat one once I started painting it. Sometimes I am not happy with my DIY results and that’s ok. No harm, no foul and into the trash it went.

How to:

Step 1-Gather fake pumpkins that need a makeover. They can be ones you already own or you can buy new. Dollar Tree, Walmart, Michaels and other craft stores are filled with them. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.

Step 2-Get chalk paint of your choosing and a foam brush. I used Americana Decor chalk paint in Everlasting. https://decoart.com/americana-decor/chalky-finish/paint It’s a pure white. There are many brands of chalk paint to choose from. Americana Decor and Annie Sloan are my two favorites. I have built up a nice paint stash the past few years. I buy big packs of foam brushes since I find they give me the best results. They are cheap and I throw them away when I am done. Easy peasy cleanup. It is not worth it to me to save them.

If you want to cover the pumpkin stems with twine find a roll or you can paint them for a more realistic look. My twine is from The Bargain Spot at Target from last year but you can purchase it at most big box stores and hardware stores.

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Step 3-Paint two coats of chalk paint allowing them to dry in between coats. I use a pencil as a paint stirrer since the jars are so small and dip my foam brush right into the paint. I found it easier to paint in the grooves first and then go back and do the whole pumpkin.

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Step 4-Unroll the twine. Tuck an end under the cheesy plastic stem. You can secure it with glue if you choose to but I was able to get my twine to stay without it. Wrap the twine around the stem to cover it fully. I wound it around twice and tucked the cut end back under the stem by pushing it in with the tip of a pair of scissors. Again you can use glue to hold it but I was able to make mine stay all by itself. I chose to do a simple bow instead of wrapping the stem on the ceramic pumpkin. There was no way to hide the ends of the twine. I could have glued it to the back side but I wanted to be able to have all sides of my pumpkin visible.

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Step 5-Admire your work and style your fabulous new to you pumpkins! My pumpkins found a home for now in the foyer. I put them in a metal basket (found on clearance at Hobby Lobby) with this awesome $7 blanket scarf from Target’s bargain spot. If you have not been there lately you must go! So many fall goodies and they are selling out fast! The brass quail were a Goodwill find a few weeks ago. Aren’t they cute? I was going to paint them too but I decided I like the brass for now. I swapped out my summer flowers to these faux sunflowers, also from Hobby Lobby. The dresser is another chalk paint project and can be found under the DIY and crafts tab of my blog.

The possibilities are endless with this project. You do not have to go with white. The pumpkins would be cute in black or deep purple for Halloween or a fun color that matches your other seasonal decor. You could also add patterns, polka dots or whatever look you are going for! It’s really that simple!

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If you decide to replicate my project I would love to see your results! You can tag me on Instagram or on Facebook @jerseygirlinthesouthblog .

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