Simple DIY Christmas Door Hanger {with old brooches}

While waiting for Mr. Frugalista to return home from his business trip I was having a heck of a time staying awake. So I did what any DIYer would do...went down to the workshop to play!

These are the little trinkets I had on hand to play with...

Materials used to make a Christmas door hanger with old brooches

I bought some inexpensive frames at the Dollar Store and removed the glass.  Then with my hot glue gun I attached a piece of burlap ribbon to the back side of the mat that came with the frame.

Glue burlap ribbon to the back of a picture frame mat

I have a few Christmas brooches that have been with me since I was around 18 years old. I'm no spring chicken so they are old...vintage...antiques...okay, maybe not that old!  They are nothing fancy but have such sentimental value to me. They've been sitting in the bottom of my jewelry box for decades and when I saw a project that +Nici Higby at Posted Perfection made, I was so excited and inspired. 

Attached an old Santa Sleigh Brooch to burlap and framed it

I attached my brooches to the burlap and slipped them inside the frames. Can't get easier than that!

Attached an old Mistletoe Brooch to burlap and placed in a frame

Attached an old Gingerbread Man Brooch to burlap and put inside a frame

Then using my hot glue gun I attached each frame to a strand of pretty red ribbon.

Attached framed Christmas brooches to a red ribbon

I just love our pretty and very sentimental door hanger for the interior side of our front door!

Christmas Door Hanger with frames and old brooches

I hope you are inspired to pull out your old Christmas brooches!


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Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Shhhh, I know it's early but while the cat's Mr. Frugalista's away, the mouse must play...
Decorating projects for the holidays
We usually wait until the first week of December to decorate but after finishing the Pallet Board Centerpiece, it looked lonely sitting there all by itself in the dining room. I've had a few DIY Holiday Projects on the go over the last couple of weeks and once they were finished I couldn't stand leaving them in the shop until December. Besides, with all the snow we've been having it feels a lot like Christmas.  Sorry Mr. Frugalista, I'll save the tree decorating for when you get back!

I saw an unfinished wood birdhouse church at Michael's and just had to have it.  Excited to dig into this project I forgot to take before pictures but I'm sure you're familiar with these little guys.
Wrapping a birdhouse with sheet music and faux snow
I paid a visit to +The Graphics Fairy LLC and found Vintage Christmas Sheet Music.  I choose I Heard The Bells Ring and Silent Night and printed them onto tan colored paper.  I measured the walls of the church and drew out my pattern pieces onto the sheet music and cut them out. With a foam brush I applied Modge Podge onto the back of each one and wrapped the walls of the church. The rest of the church was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Old White.  I used Burnt Umber acrylic craft paint on the doors.

Once the paint was dry I brushed Modge Podge onto the base, roof and steeple and sprinkled white glitter, removing the excess into a tray.  Once dry I brushed thick globs of Decor Art Snow Tex everywhere that snow would naturally build up.  To give the sheet music a frosty appearance I dry brushed some watered down Old White chalk paint and wiped away the excess.  Using a hot glue gun I attached the caroler figurines.  I think it's so adorable on the mantle!

To add to my nature inspired mantle I made inexpensive snowscapes using a glass apothecary jar and candle holder.  I filled the bottom with faux snow, placed a mini bottle brush tree mounted on a tree branch slice and wrapped in red chaffon.   Then I laid a few Christmas lights painted with gold glitter onto the snow.  So simple yet so pretty!
Apothecary jars decorated in mini snowscapes for the holidays

I remembered I had three feather trees that I normally place on the family room mantle.  They worked perfectly for my snowscape!  I filled the bird cage (you probably remember it from my Spring and Fall mantlescapes) with gold Christmas balls.  When the light hits them they sparkle.
Bird cage filled with Christmas balls for the holidays.

To complete the mantle I wrapped a faux berry garland around a faux pine and spruce garland that came embellished with pine cones. I remembered I had a strand of glass beads in my sewing basket that replicate mini ice cubes and strung those through as well for a little glam. Can you see the Stiletto Stockings hung by the chimney with care?
Fireplace mantle decorated for the holidays.

Onto decorating the bookcases.  I found these wood blocks at the Dollar Store for $1.50. Initially I bought two but I had so much fun painting them in different color combinations that I sent Mr. Frugalista back to buy the rest of their stock. These were the keepers that made it onto our bookcase shelf!
Painted wood blocks spelling out the word Christmas in red, white and gold.

I painted them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Old White and Emperor's Silk.  The other letters were painted with metallic gold craft paint.  Then I applied a coat of clear wax and dark wax, removing the excess to give them an aged appearance.  I wish you could see them in person because this picture does not do them justice!

Moving to the dining room I made a cute holiday bunting flag banner for the mirror using scrapbook paper, silver metallic letters I found at Wal-Mart, and paracord from the Dollar Store.  
Mini Christmas bunting flag banner

Mini Christmas bunting flag banner with scrapbooking paper

You'll notice throughout this post that I have a fetish for mercury glass!  I bought some red wired ribbon at the Dollar Store and hung various mercury glass ornaments from the chandelier as well as the dining room window. I was going to add some pine garland and/or berry garland around the chandelier but decided I like the simple elegance of the ornaments.
Mercury glass balls hanging by ribbon on the chandelier

Merecury glass finials hanging by ribbon in the window

Last but not least I turned a clear glass candle holder that I purchased at a local thrift store for $2.00 and with Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint turned it into faux silver mercury glass.  So easy and quick to make!
DIY mercury glass candle holder

All you do is spray light layers of Looking Glass Spray Paint inside any clear glass vessel. Let it dry about 1-2 minutes between coats. Keep adding layers until it has a solid metallic finish. In a spray bottle mix one part white vinegar to one part water. Lightly spray over the looking glass paint and let it sit for about 20 seconds. With a paper towel carefully wipe away parts of the paint (I dabbed). Once dry apply another light coat or two of Looking Glass Spray Paint over the areas where you removed the paint. Ta Da!
DIY mercury glass candle holder
I love how it looks on our sofa table grouped with a couple of gold mercury glass finials.  

I had to throw in a couple shots of the banister.  The only DIY object on there is the Hockey Skate Stocking
Banister decorated for the holidays

The pretty gold grapevine stars were a gift from a friend in the Netherlands.
Gold grapevine stars hanging from the banister for the holidays

I thought I would close this post with this cherished sign that a friend gave me a few years ago.  Like Friends, Its The Old Ornaments That Mean The Most!
Friendship sign hanging from the banister for the holidays




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Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece with Fresh Greens

Do you put up an artificial Christmas tree each year but miss the scent of fresh pine from the real thing? I sure do and figured out a way to get the scent without the messy pine needles.

Pallet wood can be transformed into a beautiful holiday centerpiece and when filled with fresh greens, you'll forget the tree is fake. Bonus, the pallets are free and so are the greens if you're lucky enough to have them right in your own backyard.

DIY Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece

Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece With Fresh Greens

The biggest job with this project is taking apart the pallet. This was the first pallet I'd ever taken apart and let me tell you I have a new respect for the female DIY bloggers who do this regularly - it nearly did me in. But if you're still willing to take on the task after all my complaining, a reciprocating or circular saw make the task easier.

An easier option (and one I'm going to consider going forward) is to use old or new fence boards.

Pallet Wood For Festive Centerpiece with fresh greens

Once you've dismantled the boards it's time to clean them. I used a bucket of warm soapy water and a scouring pad. The Natura Safe Sand you see in the photo below wasn't necessary.

Cleaning pallet wood for DIY Festive Centerpiece Box

It may have been a lot of work but I kept reminding myself the wood was free and look what you get in the end...

DIY Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece Box

These are the supplies I used to embellish the pallet board centerpiece box. I've included a materials list towards the bottom of this post for your convenience.

Embellishments for Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece

Pallet box assembly

  • Cut two boards 20-inches long and two more 8-inches long.
  • With a miter saw cut the ends of each board at a 15° angle.
  • Assemble the box with carpenters glue and brad nails.
  • For the feet cut blocks of wood 1" x 1 1/2".
  • Glue the feet onto the bottom with carpenters glue, clamp in place and let dry overnight.

Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece Box Assembly

Paint the pallet box

Paint the pallet box both inside and out. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Old White because that's what I had on hand.

DIY Pallet Board Centerpiece Box Chalk Painted White

Add a graphic

  • At the Graphics Fairy website, I found a lovely Decorative Ornament Image, enlarged the image and printed it with my laser printer.
  • In Microsoft Word, I typed some of the lyrics to the song "Sing We Now of Christmas" using the font Lovers Quarrel and sized it to fit along with the graphic on the side of the box.
  • Trace the image and lyrics onto the wood with carbon paper.
  • I used a script liner art brush and black acrylic & gold metallic craft paint and hand painted over the transfer. Another option is to go over the graphic with a fine tip black and gold metallic marker.

Painted Graphic on Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece Box

Protective finish

  • Once the paint or ink is completely dry, give the graphic a timeworn look by lightly distressing it with 220-grit sandpaper.
  • Protect the painted surface and graphic with clear wax.
  • To give the pallet box an aged patina (as pictured below), brush dark wax over the clear wax. Make sure to get the wax deep into the crevices and grain of the wood and wipe away the excess with a lint-free rag.
  • Buff the wax lightly with a lint-free rag until the wax doesn't feel tacky, for a matte finish.
Dark Waxed Painted Pallet Board Centerpiece Box

Fill the centerpiece with fresh greens

At the dollar store, I bought four small glass vases and filled them with water and fresh spruce branches clipped from a tree in my backyard. The room was filled with the scent in no time.

If you have access to pine, cedar or junipers, cut some of those too for added fullness and variety.

Vase Filled With Fresh Greens for Pallet Board Centerpiece Box

Place a vase on each end of the box and two in the center.

Fresh Greens Inside Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece Box

Add embellishments

I found most of what I needed at the dollar store or my Christmas decoration bin to embellish the inside of the centerpiece box. Including cans of food to add height - it's all about working with what you've got!

Food Cans Used For Height In Festive Centerpiece Box

I found the cutest little teacup decorations at Canadian Tire to use as candle holders. To hold them in place I lit two tealight candles until the wax was melted and inserted two tapered candles, holding them in place until the tealight wax solidified (mere minutes). Next, I added a dab of hot glue to the bottom of the tealight holder to secure them to the teacups.

Teacup Candle Holders for Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece

This is where the cans of refried beans came in handy - they were perfect to raise the height of the teacup candle holders.

Tapered Candles Inside Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece Box

I added a few faux greens to fill the empty cavities. I would have loved to use more of the real thing but didn't have any available nor did I want to spend money buying some.

Next up was adding festive embellishments like snow dipped pine cones, glittery silver deer heads, and gold musical instrument ornaments. A pop of red from faux berry picks would have looked lovely too.

Embellishments Inside Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece

For added fullness, I made bows with gold wired ribbon found at the dollar store and added them to each end of the centerpiece.

Wired Ribbon Bows On Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece

I love the rustic charm of this pallet board centerpiece box and the scent is wonderful.

I may go for a walk in the green belt behind our house with a pair of garden clippers in my pocket in search of more greens. Maybe I'll snip a few branches from our Mountain Ash tree for a pop of red from the berries.

Festive DIY Pallet Board Centerpiece with fresh greens

I love that I was able to create a beautiful scented centerpiece for our dining table for less than $10.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

Materials List

Pallet Wood (or Fence Boards)
Compound Miter Saw
Pneumatic Nail Gun
Reciprocating Saw or Circular Saw
Warm White Chalk Paint
Clear Wax
Dark Wax
Carbon Paper
Fine Metallic Gold Marker
Fine Black Sharpie Marker
Small Glass Vases
Fresh or Faux Greens
Tea Cup Ornaments
Tea Light and Tapered Candles
Snow Dipped Pine Cones
Glitter Deer Heads
Glitter Musical Ornaments
Wide Wired Christmas Ribbon

If you'd like to get the look with a ready-made option, I gathered a collection you may find of interest.

If you were inspired to make your own version of this Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece filled with fresh greens, please save it on Pinterest and/or share it with a friend.

Festive Pallet Board Centerpiece With Fresh Greens

You'll find this project shared at these fabulous Link Parties.

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How To Fill Outdoor Planters for the Holidays

My goal in this post is to debunk the myth that filling Outdoor Planters with fresh greens for the holidays is difficult and expensive. You probably have most of what you need right in your own backyard.

By following the steps in this post, you can make your own festive outdoor planters to welcome guests during the holidays.
How To Fill Outdoor Flower Pots With Fresh Greens For The Holidays
Hopefully, you already have large pots or urns on hand that you use during the summer months. If not you can purchase relatively inexpensive plastic ones at your local home improvement store or garden center. The pedestal styles look beautiful for this purpose and are often on clearance during the Fall.

How To Fill Outdoor Holiday Planters

How to fill an outdoor Christmas urn with fresh greens

Tip For Large Outdoor Flower Planters 

As you can see from the picture above, my pots are quite large so a trick I use year round is to fill them two-thirds with pea gravel and slip an inexpensive plastic insert on top of the gravel so it rests just under the top of the planters.

In the Spring, it's convenient to take the plastic inserts over to my potting bench and fill them with flowers. In the Fall, I remove the wilted flowers and bring the dirt filled inserts indoors, stored in plastic bags, to prevent the soil from freezing.

During the holidays, I can fill the inserts with fresh greens from the comfort of indoors while listening to Christmas music and enjoying a hot cup of apple cider.
Plastic insert inside large outdoor planters for Christmas urns
You want to make sure the drainage holes are covered so you can freeze in the greens. I use plastic saucers that fit snuggly over the gravel/dirt inside the urn.

Now let the fun begin... 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

Materials List (per pot):

  • 1 bundle each per pot (approximately 6 branches) of three different types of greens. The most common are; pine, spruce, fir, cedar, and juniper branches. These are readily available at a cost of anywhere between $5.00 - $8.00 per bundle
  • A handful of tall natural or painted willow branches.  

    If you're lucky enough to have any of these growing in your yard or a natural green space nearby then grab your gardening shears and head outdoors.
    Materials used to make an outdoor Christmas urn

    Step 1 - Lighted Branches

    Position your lighted branch stakes in the center of the insert. If your arrangement is against a wall then place them at the back of the insert.  

    Step 2 - Tall Branches

    Cut your tall natural or painted willow branches so they stand slightly taller than the lighted branches. Intersperse them with the lighted branches so the willow branches are illuminated. 

    Tip: Press your branches deep and firmly into the soil. 

    Step 3 - Spruce or Pine Branches

    Working in a triangle, insert the more firm Spruce or Pine branches in the center around the tall branches. If the arrangement is against a wall then avoid placing branches at the very back of the pot.

    Tip:  To avoid rot, clip greens back so only the branch is inserted into the soil.

    Step 4 - Juniper or Fir Branches

    Put the Juniper or Fir branches at a slight angle so they are pointing sideways.

    Step 5 - Cedar Branches

    Put the cedar branches on the most outward part of the insert so they hang downwards around the pot.

    Step 6 - Bow

    Make a simple bow with tails using Mesh Ribbon. Secure the center of the bow with florist wire, leaving enough on the ends to attach the bow to the lighted branches.

    Step 7 - Embellishment

    Attach a large shatterproof Christmas ornament, willow ball, or large pine cone onto a stick with florist wire or a hot glue and insert it into your pot. Repeat this process with any other embellishments.

    Step 8 - The most important step

    Mist the greens with water and then thoroughly water the pots to freeze in the fresh greens. If the temperature goes above freezing, spray & water the greens daily.
    DIY Outdoor Christmas Urn With Fresh Greens
    I went with a minimal amount of fresh greens to keep costs down but you could add twice as many bundles and/or varieties for a fuller look. Berry branches or picks are a nice added touch for a pop of red.

    If you found this How To Fill Outdoor Planters For The Holidays tutorial helpful, please save it on Pinterest and/or share it with a friend.
    8 easy steps to decorating outdoor pots for the holidays

    There is something about the curb appeal of a house with tall lighted Christmas Urns flanking a door that sets it apart from the others down the street. It's such a welcoming touch to greeting guests during the holidays.

    Happy Holidays

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