Welcome! Today is my last craft post for a while since I'll be posting for the MFT Stamps December release starting Saturday, but I had one more project that Rick and I spent a few days on between us, and I couldn't wait to share it! When I was in Oregon earlier in November, I saw some delightful barn wood Christmas trees in a farm store. I bought a few small things there that I knew I couldn't make, but I mostly gathered ideas for my "honey do" list! The trees that I saw were plain grayish barn wood with no added ornamentation, but I wanted to have a lighter colored tree so that I could display a few little jewels of ornaments and have them show up well.
So. . . I won't bore you with the whole process, but let's say that this was version two of the tree. I had handed Rick a not-very-detailed picture and said, "Can you make me something like this?" Rick can do pretty much anything--he's a keeper for sure! But when I saw version one, it looked more like an arrow pointing up than it did a tree. The layers were almost even from top to bottom, and the angles on the branches weren't severe enough. It was really my fault because the picture I gave him had distorted perspective, so I looked at that tree for a day and a half before I decided to say, "Do you think we could change this up a bit?" He had me mark where I wanted the "limbs" cut and we proceeded to turn that arrow into a tree. :-) (Lesson learned: Don't assume that someone else knows exactly what you have in mind!)
First I base-coated it with a Tommy green chalk paint mixture (Avocado lightened a bit with Lime, and with a smidgen of English blue tossed in for good measure). Honestly, the green color doesn't matter that much since it is covered with white anyway. All that shows is whatever you choose to sand down. After the green coat, I used the Tommy Neutral Wax to brush lightly over the high spots and the ends of the "branches" so that I could easily remove paint from those areas after my top coat. I let the wax sit for a couple of hours, knowing that the green paint underneath still needed some curing time anyway (12-24 hours is recommended).
Next I painted the whole tree with Tommy White Chalk Paint and let it dry overnight. I used a sanding block to brush over the rough wood grain and the ends of each board so that some of that awesome wood grain and saw-blade texture would show through. I used a damp cloth to remove all of the sanding dust (though I probably should have asked Rick for one of those tack cloths that they make to remove sawdust without wetting the wood). The picture above is what we ended up with.
While in Oregon, I had picked up a bag of 36 antique-looking mercury glass ornaments in blues and blue-greens that would be perfect to hang on my tree! I had asked Rick to leave room in between the branch layers for my little ornaments to hang free. I found only gold screw-in hooks at Home Depot, so those had to be spray-painted white. And then I proceeded to screw in 40 hooks, two of them through knot holes. (I'd prefer to forget that afternoon!) I have ordered a few more ornaments from Amazon; I found some that were a similar style, but were reds and greens. I'll have plenty to fill in those last four hooks and to do some color mixing and matching when they get here.
The tree still needed something--maybe a star? So I asked Rick to cut a quilt star for me--using 1-1/2" wide boards, cut 2-1/2" long at 45 degree angles on both ends. (Notice that I had learned after the "arrow tree" incident to be more specific in my request!) The pieces fit together perfectly, and I base coated them in red chalk paint, waxed the places that I wanted to be able to remove paint, and them coated them in white paint. (That sounds fast, but it's at least a 24-hour process when you give the paint 12-24 hours curing time between coats. If you don't let the paint cure, the colors will start muddling together when you paint the top coat. (Don't ask me how I know that.)
Here's is my wood-glued, almost-finished star. I love it! I tried one more product that I haven't tried before: it's hard to get a picture that shows sparkle, but I used some Tommy Timbrillo (diluted with water) to paint my star and give it sparkle. It's a subtle but very pretty silver glittered pearl base. (You can also mix Timbrillo in with any of the Tommy Chalk Paint colors to make them sparkle too.) I'm still looking for an antique drawer pull to put in the center of my star. I am also considering getting some of that LED light tape (that people put on the back of TV's) to stick on the bottom of my board-branches to light up the ornaments. But I'm not sure how I would make it run from layer to layer without looking tacky. . . Thinking on that one still!
I hope you've enjoyed this week of "crafty" posts. On Saturday, I will have the first of my MFT Stamps December Release posts going up if you're looking for cards again. Thanks for stopping by,
Scrap oak boards
White Spray paint (to paint hooks if you can't find white ones)
Paint Brushes (I keep one brush dedicated to wax and a couple of others that I paint with. I do not like foam brushes for rough wood. They tear up quickly and shed black foam bits on the wood.)