Learn how I turned a thrifted candle holder into a festive Christmas lamp post.
One of my absolute favorite things to do this time of year is to scour thrift stores in hopes I’ll see something that I can breathe new life into. The second I saw this wrought iron candle holder I knew it was coming home with me and that it would be my next project.
I first began by giving it a very thorough cleaning then off I went to search my scrap wood pile to find a piece that I could use as a base for what I had planned. After drilling a small hole in the center I placed it on the candle holder to ensure it was a snug fit and wouldn’t get blown off in the wind since I was going to put the finished project on my porch.
I couldn’t help but think the wooden piece just sitting on top of the candle holder looked unfinished so I made yet another trip to my scrap wood pile and found some leftover pieces of common board that I cut at a 45 degree angle and used to create a border that I’d eventually place my lamp in to.
To adhere the common board I used my trusty Elmer’s wood glue and some clamps that I had in my garage. I also used some wood filler on the corners to blend in the seams where the wood met and then gave it a gentle sanding once everything was dried.
The next day I brought the candle holder outside and gave it a few coats of black spray paint. Once it was dried I placed my lantern on the stand and tied on a festive bow that I ordered from JoAnn Fabrics on sale for around $2 to complete the look.
As you can probably tell by the maple pillow in the background I started this project early fall and am excited that I can finally use it to decorate my front porch with.
DIY Birch Logs made out of recycled materials that can be found around the house
I recently thrifted a gorgeous bronze log holder and with Christmas right around the corner had the grand notion of displaying some decorative birch logs in it. To my surprise, they’re not cheap. After scouring the internet for options I came to the conclusion that the best way to get what I wanted for cheap would be to make it myself.
Materials I used:
Toilet Paper Rolls
White, Black, Taupe, Brown and Grey Acrylic Paint
I started out by taping the toilet paper rolls together to get the perfect length. Don’t worry about the openings fitting snugly or keeping everything in a straight line. The more organic the look the better, it’ll help the logs have a realistic birch like appearance when everything is finished. To cover the ends of the toilet paper rolls I simply grabbed a piece of scrap paper, traced around the openings, cut them out and taped those bad boys on.
Once I was finished taping everything together I gave each “log” a generous coating of Mod Podge and began wrapping them with tissue paper. The trick to this is placing the tissue paper corner in the center of the log then gently rolling it up. The wrinklier in appearance the better!
After the Mod Podge was completely dried I began painting each log white. Usually I would prefer to use acrylic paint for this step but for the life of me I could not find it anywhere so I settled on the next best thing – chalk paint. Before it could fully dry I mixed my taupe (Ceramcoat – Sand Dune), grey (Ceramcoat – Hippo Grey), and brown (FolkArt – Brushed Bronze) paints together then randomly began to brush them on the log. I also painted the ends of each log with the taupe paint to give them a realistic look.
To tone down some of the color and the harsh lines I took some of my white paint and gently dabbed it over each log with a paper towel. While the paint was still wet I took some black paint on a stippling brush and painted some lines on the log to give it a more birch-like appearance. To blend everything out I used the remaining paint from my paper towel and dabbed it in the places that needed a little more dimension.
After arranging my new birch logs in my log holder I couldn’t help but think that something was missing so off I ran to my craft supply closet to find some festive ribbon and holiday berries.
I can’t help but sit back and stare at everything in awe. Who would have thought that I could accomplish making faux birch logs for free with just random items that I had laying around my house?
With Halloween right around the corner I decided now would be the perfect time to start decorating my porch for all the trick or treaters that are bound to stop by this year. The first thing on my agenda – making a custom sign using only scrap materials that I had in my garage.
To start I grabbed a piece of scrap MDF and cut two pieces to measure 7″ by 17″.
Next I used my miter saw to cut a scrap piece of pole wrap at a 45° angle to create a frame for my sign. I then used my trusty hot glue gun to secure each piece to the frame.
This part was the easiest – all I had to do was apply black acrylic paint to both of the signs and wait for them to fully dry. The next part would have been 10x easier if I had cricut machine but unfortunately I do not have one so I had to go the old-school route and print my design out on sticker paper and hand cut each item out individually.
I would like to reiterate just how painstakingly long this part of of DIY took. I started cutting out my design at approximately 6pm and did not finish until close to 11pm. There was a point during it when I began to rethink all of my decisions and curse myself for being cheap and deciding to make a sign myself instead of hopping in my car and just driving down the road to buy one from a local store.
After many breaks and hand massages later it was now time for the final step of the sign making extravaganza – attaching both of the signs with jute rope and hot glue because we’re fancy around here! 2 quick minutes later all I had to do was hang my finished sign and bask in its beauty!