Nov 27, 2013

Noel Sign and Barnwood Christmas Trees Tutorial

My very crafty friend, Breanne, recently posted her darling Noel sign and wood Christmas trees on Facebook and offered to host a craft day to make them. I was so impressed with my finished products that I asked her if I could write up a tutorial for these cute porch decorations!

Sadly, I don't have any *in the making photos* to share (it was freezy-cold that day!) but I think with the directions and a few illustrations you can figure it out.

Noel Sign
Materials needed-
• 3- 4 foot x 1x4” boards (I got the good grade at Home Depot and didn’t have to do any sanding)
• 3- 9-10” x 1x2” boards
• Letters N O E L cut from Contact paper using a Cricut machine. Mine are about 8" wide (I suppose you could print letters on a computer, trace them on the Contact paper and hand cut)
• White acrylic paint (Keep in mind that you can buy the 4oz size of *trial* paint and have them custom mix your colors. I used the Behr paint and primer in one for this since I already had it)
• Red acrylic paint (I ended up using some old craft acrylic paint I had on hand. It needed two coats and I used the better part of 3- 4oz bottles)
• Staples and air compressor stapler OR other fasteners- screws etc
• Wood glue
• Paint stirrers (to be used as spacers)

Clamp all three 1”x4” boards together and trim the ends flush, only taking off a small amount so your boards are all even.

Place boards; face down, on a table or other flat surface. Make sure that the ends are all even. Use paint stirrers as spacers between the boards. Place one of the 1” x 2” x 9-10” boards horizontally. Adjust to fit the width of your sign. (My finished sign, with spaces, measured 10.5”). Spread a small line of wood glue under the cross-wise 1x2”, then staple support to back of sign with several staples. Repeat for remaining supports.

Paint the front, top and sides of the sign white. Allow paint to dry for several hours. (I have to go do something else or I get too impatient!)

Before peeling the back off of your contact paper do some preliminary spacing of the letters. When you are satisfied, remove the back and stick them to the sign.

Now here is the *Auntie P Trick*... with only a small amount of white paint on your brush, paint around the edges of the contact paper. The white paint will seep under the edges of the contact paper where it hasn’t adhered to the sign and prevent the RED paint from bleeding under. Ha! She is a genius! (You can use this trick anywhere with painter’s tape too!). Let the paint dry. (Step away from the sign!)

Now paint the front, sides and top with red paint. It may take two coats depending on your type of paint.

When dry carefully peel off the contact paper and viola! White letters on a red sign!

Barnwood Christmas Trees

Materials needed-
• Old weathered wood or pallets- any width (mine are 1x4”)
• Staples and air compressor staple gun OR other fasteners, screw, etc
• Wood glue
• The ability to cut 45° angle with a compound miter saw, or a miter box and hand saw, or cut them free-hand using a saw (that might add to the charm)

Choose a board for the upright (trunk**) part of your Christmas tree that will be as tall as you would like (as you can see, I did two different sizes)

Cut the top piece (branch) of the tree by making two 45° angle cuts to form a triangle. Flip the board vertically to make the second cut.

Measure the bottom of the triangle. Subtract 2” from that number. That will be the length of the top of second branch.

The length of the top of the NEXT branch will always be 2” shorter than the bottom of the PREVIOUS branch.

Continue cutting, remembering to flip the board vertically until you have as many branches as desired.

Starting with the top piece run a bead of wood glue on the *trunk* under that branch, then staple in place. I used a paint stirrer to get the spacing even between branches. When you’ve finished attaching of all your branches leave your tree flat until the glue has dried or it will run.

** With my first tree I didn’t cut the top of the trunk to form a triangle and since my wood is old and brittle the top piece split :(. On the smaller tree I cut the top of the trunk to give the whole piece support)

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