Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with tree sign using a messy technique

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

 

A few years back, I worked for a themed environment artist. The job description that day was to paint various boxes that were set on a parade float platform, to resemble a lit up village.

The technique we were to use was super loose and dare I say… messy.

While my partner in crime danced her way through her village, I appeared to be making a mess of mine. How was it that I saw candle lit cottage windows on her side and mudpie madness on mine?!

I obviously did not have the sloppy technique down!

I remember going home super frustrated that night. I felt like a massive failure. Hours on that float, only to return and try again the next day. Ugh. I didn’t even want to go back!

But I did return the next day, and failed a few more times.

Suddenly, I stopped. I took a better look… “Oh my gosh, did I actually just DO IT?”

I did. There sat one lonely piccaso-like house among the other sloppy joes. I still don’t know to this day how I was able to do one and not the others, however when Dan oversaw the work, he said it was just fine!

“Don’t worry about it! No one will see the details from the road! That’s not what this kind of painting is.”

I wasn’t sure if it was still good or not, but of course, he was right. On parade day, no one really knew my mudpie houses from the Picasso ones.

To this day, I struggle with less than perfection. This is probably why it can take me millions of years of overthinking to the hilt on some decisions or moves… I have this thing about allowing mistakes.

Funny how mistakes are the first stepping stones to a success though, huh?

Wooden child's sleigh with red rails about to get Buffalo Checked with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

Morphing back to this week, I had this child’s wooden sleigh in my stash. In fact, I just used it for THIS pillow shoot.

However, I’m adding a dash of Buffalo Check  to my Christmas decor this year, so I decided this sleigh needed a new look to reflect that.

How to stencil Buffalo Check on a wooden sleigh with Fusion and Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

I used:

A wooden sleigh

Fusion’s Coal Black and Fort York Red paint
Find a local Fusion merchant HERE

Buffalo Check stencil from HERE

You Cut Tree stencil from HERE

Paint brush

Stencil brushes

Beeswax distressing block

Palm sander


How-to:

1. Sand pre-painted surfaces to provide grip for the new paint.

2. Tape Buffalo Check in place, then stencil where desired.

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Buffalo Check stencil is from HERE

Learn how to use Buffalo Check from Instagram Stories HERE

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The sleigh was a pretty nice red already! But I did sand it down a little with a palm sander to rough up some edges and dull down the shiny finish a little.

Then I carefully held the Buffalo Check stencil in place here and there, and ‘attempted’ to stencil the red rails with Coal Black.

Only… I messed up. I had too much paint on the brush and the lines bled.

I tried some more, and the stencil went crooked.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t all that excited to take pictures of a mess!

So I had a choice… I could repaint the entire thing and start over like brand new, or turn it into a sloppy joe mudpie Picasso.

What did I have to lose?

An intentionally messy Buffalo Check stenciled look on a wooden sleigh

Sloppy on purpose is NOT for the faint of heart, but it is fun!

I just chose to visualize it like the parade float story… fully decked out with evergreen branches and standing from a distance, I’m certain it would turn out perfectly charming!

Kinda like, someone back in the day attempted to paint this pattern by hand…

Such an incredibly BRAVE brave soul they were indeed.

About as equally brave as I for taking pictures of this!

But hang on… I promise it only gets better from here.

How to use Fusion's Beeswax Distressing Block on a Buffalo Check Christmas sleigh with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

3. Rub the Beeswax block against any surfaces you’d like to distress.

4. Paint over the Beeswax.

5. Once paint is dry to the touch, sand to distress as desired.

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After the sleigh was painted, I decided to darken up the rails from red to black for a little more definition.

However, because I desired to have a chippy layered look, I rubbed Beeswax along all the rail edges first so I had the ability to sand away the black.

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How the Beeswax block works

Fusion has a super bonding strength once cured, so the Beeswax gives you the ability to easily distress after the fact.

The wax block creates a resist between paint coats so if you sand wherever you waxed, it’ll lift the paint right up.

It’s fun creating layered techniques with it! See how the rails turned out below.

Find the Beeswax blocks HERE

How to stencil Buffalo Check on a wooden star with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint in Fort York Red and Coal Black

Next up, this little wooden star you’ve seen on THIS You Cut Tree sign from last winter also needed an update.

How to stencil Buffalo Check on a wooden star with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint in Fort York Red and Coal Black

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating

6. Coat out the star with Fort York Red.

7. Once dry, place Buffalo Check on top of the star, then stencil with Coal Black.

How cute did this little star turn out?!

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Buffalo Check stencil is from HERE

Learn how to use Buffalo Check from Instagram Stories HERE

Pallet wood rustic You Cut Tree sign for ChristmasBuffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating

The star was attached to the You Cut Tree shaped sign I made last Christmas with one screw. Perfect!

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

Then the sign was positioned inside the sleigh, which was then filled with some firewood, a small saw, faux cranberry garland and evergreen branches fresh off the curb.

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

Check out those chippy rails! The Beeswax did a fabulous job.

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating

And then it was time to take some shots…

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

… by the front door.

And it actually turned out quite cute beside some other evergreen trees and such!

But I didn’t go too far with the staging, because ultimately the sleigh is going to end up in my living room. (which is almost done!)

Right about now I had wish I had two sleighs…

And if you want two, you know you must have done ok!

 

Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

I will admit, once the sleigh was all prettied up with this and that, I found myself saying…Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with You Cut Tree Farm sign for Christmas decorating with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

… what mess?

Gotta love rustic decorating…

After a little more thought (overnight), I’m editing this post to add this next part…

When you live in a world that ‘dictates’ showing only your good side, it’s tricky. While I can style like the rest of them, I find myself just desiring to live life then blog about it vs. showing ‘what I could be if I pushed really hard all the time’.

I’m that neat and tidy person until I throw myself on the sofa and allow the pillows to tumble on the floor and the cats to shed. To me, that is not only living my best life, that is living, period.

So, coming from a perfectionist here… it’s hard to let go and not show our very best online. However maybe someone needs to see or hear about ‘your happier mess’… and quite possibly, it may turn out more like your own Picasso candle-lit painted house anyway.

What do you think of the messy look? Are you generally a perfectionist type too?


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Categories: All Cool Projects, Christmas, DIY, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Reclaimed wood projects, Seasonal, Signs
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    • Haha, oh I’d bet!

      I think I’d push myself over the edge if I took woodworking to a true pro level. I bow down to you Julie. If two chunks of wood can stay together for the duration of my photo shoot, I’m in! ๐Ÿ˜€ I guess I am learning to let go here and there after all…

      Life is so interesting with each of our stories reflecting on our own passions. I love watching over your work. Thank-you for the beautiful eye candy you always pump out! It’s very inspiring.

      • You are too kind, Donna! I have driven myself โ€œover the edge,โ€ and fight to accept imperfection. I think making distressed and rustic items helps a bit.
        Still waiting for you to travel east … all the way to PEI. You would love it here (in the summer).
        Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„

  1. I love it, Donna! If I saw this in a store I would have purchased it immediately. It has a charming, cottage-esque, feel to it.

    I definitely have perfectionist qualities but in the past few years I’ve discovered the creative side of rustic. I love the freedom of just going in and letting it,organically, become something that surprises me.

    This would be fun just about anywhere but I could see it on a front porch or in front of a barn. How pretty!

    • Thank-you Kim, and for that beautiful visual of a front porch or barn. In my dream of dreams, that’s what I keep seeing too…

      I agree with your phrase, ‘creative side of rustic’. It’s a very loose interpretation to anything else that’s out there, so forgiving, so imperfectly perfect, with a well-used, well-loved feel. There cannot be enough of it in my own home! Every new finish I want to break down to weather-worn. You truly get it.

      • Donna, “imperfectly perfect”, exactly!

        It gives also me a sense of history, like there are stories attached to the item and I don’t want to *erase* them but maybe add to them.

        The porch and barn? Yeah,in my dream of dream as well. I get starry-eyed just thinking of my art barn. If I ever attain that dream, this is exactly what I will be putting outside my barn the very first winter!

        I’ve even saved it to my Pinterest board. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thank-you Sandy! I’ve edited my post after some mulling over things… just where my heart sits today.

      My snowshoes are being moved around the living room upmteen times over. I smile when I hear your words, “Feel free to sell the extras if you want.” Are you kidding me? I need 5 more sets now! haha ADORE THEM ALL.

  2. I just love your talent, gifts and perseverance. You have amazing strength and vision ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜