Slow as molasses is about the best description I can come up with in regards to my Christmas decorating.
I got started on my mantel, however with a major monsoon going on outside (that’s my shopping centre for all things green), the branches would have to wait.
The delay proved to be good I suppose. The extra time made me muse over the ‘mantel story’ first. As in, what am I even collecting all those loose branches for?
A story helps theme the mantel so it makes sense.
Otherwise a toilet and a sock along with a kitchen sink could land up there too! And that’s not a story I’d be anxious to tell…
One of my fav Christmas adventures is striking out in the mud in search of the perfect live Christmas tree.
Before you even get to the trees though, there’s a wealth of goodness along the entire stretch you’re likely walking on. Broken branches are generally all over the place, begging to be put to good use.
Some smaller local tree places will allow you to haul the aftermath home. However, since I am not getting a real tree this year, I will need to wait for a windstorm to hit our area. That’s the perfect time to dash out there with an empty truck and a hopeful heart that something good landed on the ground, like I did in THIS post. Do you do this too?
And with that… I decided my gathered-up greens this year will be part of the story of my beloved tree farm visits. Which was actually the inspiration for this stencil design to begin with.
This little reclaimed wood You Cut Tree Farm sign is a very quick and simple project to make, and gives you a nice dose of rustic festive charm if you need a little something more hung up.
My plans are to use it on my mantel, however it could also be used in an entry for keys, hanging mugs for a hot beverage station, stocking hanger… how would you use it?
So, here’s the nitty gritty details, and then the photo show below!
This post contains some Amazon Affiliate links so you can find cool products I used and like.
Any Fusion Mineral Paint product can also be found through local merchants HERE
1. Cut 4 pallet wood planks to graduating desired lengths. I used straight cuts, however angled cuts would look cute too!
2. Lightly sand each plank. I like to use a palm sander.
3. Before cutting your planks, ensure your desired words will fit on the intended surfaces.
4. Centre each word onto each pallet wood board, and stencil in black.
Learn more about how to stencil HERE
5. After all the planks are stenciled, centre them along a smaller mounting board or as in my case, a branch. I like to challenge myself with a theme by pushing it juuuuust a little further…
Looking good! However for old signs, they look a little too new… so let’s fix that.
6. Slightly sand over the painted letters with a sanding sponge to distress them down to the wood in random areas.
The black paint will slightly fade, however we’ll take care of that part in a minute.
8. Apply an antiquing wax onto any hits and along edges where you’d like to see more depth in the wood.
I used Homestead House’s Espresso Furniture Wax. Lovely stuff!
Clear wax also works like an eraser if you wish to remove dark wax! Good to have on hand.
I used it to remove a little intensity, then lightly go over the lettering to bring their depth back.
I used Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Wax HERE. It’s REALLY great stuff and offers a nice, natural finish.
Read my post on my fav products to use for Protecting and refinishing wood surfaces HERE
9. Using a cordless drill, predrill holes into the centre of each plank.
10. Screw each plank onto the branch.
I chose to leave a gap in between the planks so I could twist them helter-skelterish.
11. Using a wood star ornament I had on hand, it was painted black, then stenciled in tan with a grid pattern.
Grid pattern – is from an antique soil sifter found in THIS post. Cool, huh?
And you have yourself a pretty cute little tree farm sign that’s ready to _____!
In a perfect world, I think a collection of all kinds of mini Christmas trees would look DARLING arranged with this sign!
12. Mount the sign onto a wall, or as I did, place it inside a metal bucket, and pretty it up!
Snow spray was used to bring out a little winter fun.
Now let’s all pretend this is sitting on my mantel alongside MANY MORE branches I KNOW I will find next time the wind blows.
I can hope.
If more storms gave gifts like that, I just may quit fighting them…