You are probably wondering what I am doing posting about a Christmas project in February, huh? For Christmas this year, I made a few family members Michigan-themed handmade gifts. I wasn’t able to give my cousin, who now lives in Florida, her gift until last weekend so I had to hold off on posting. Yes, she is probably the only person who would leave Florida in February to come up to Michigan. What’s the opposite of a Snow Bird?
For her present, I made a stenciled wood sign with the title lyrics from “I Want a Michigan Christmas” by Brian d'Arcy James (a Broadway star originally from Michigan). I know there are times she wishes she lived back by family again, at Christmas especially, so the words seemed to fit.
I started by cutting a piece of reclaimed crate wood to size with my jigsaw. This is the same batch of wood I used to make our sunroom X-leg coffee tables. Then I sanded the wood down to remove any loose shards of wood, and eliminate splintery edges.
Next I brushed on one uneven coat of blue paint, left from my herringbone storage bench project. I intentionally didn’t get the paint in all the grooves and crevices to create a more weathered look.
Once the paint had dried, I went over the paint with sandpaper to weather it even more.
I actually repurposed the vinyl for this project from another of the Christmas gifts I made this year. I had originally cut these words out of vinyl and adhered them to the glass of a picture frame (in which I had framed some nice fabric. I used the vinyl remnants (seen above) to create a stencil for this piece. This is great technique that enables you to get two projects out of one vinyl cut.
Once the vinyl was positioned on the wood, I smoothed it down as much as possible to prevent bleeds. I used a foam pouncer and some silver craft paint and stenciled over the vinyl.
I peeled the vinyl away to reveal the lettering on the sign. There was some bleeding under the vinyl because the rough wood was so uneven. The lettering is easily readable though, so I think it still looks great.
I like to give handmade gifts for Christmas because you can personalize them specifically for the person to whom you are giving the gift. If it is really the thought that counts, then a personalized, handmade present must be worth a lot!
Be honest, which would you rather receive a store-bought or homemade gift?
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