This DIY decoupage wood Christmas block is loaded with soft, sweet, vintage and very shabby chic charm. A precious accent piece which would look good in most decors, this cute block comes with a tinkly surprise! Let me explain…
It's time to start your holiday crafting
It’s Christmas in July everywhere else, and Glitter and Bonbons is no exception. Because in the crafting world, NOW is the time to get busy on all the gifts and home decor items you want to make, yes? Yes? YES??
I know, I know today is the last day of July, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s time to get busy on holiday crafting, including everything from Halloween to New Year’s.
Being a crafter is especially fun during the holidays because the craft stores are always coming out with new goodies. Or at least goodies that I haven’t played with before. Which makes them new to me. And this year I’m enchanted with jingle bells. More on that in a moment.
I’m also enchanted with blocks, and I do love playing with my snazzy new Dremel rotary tool. I wore the last one out playing with blocks “grownup style,” but I was always very frustrated when trying to use the accessories because the instructions were poorly written. I never did figure out how to attach the other sanding belts. So I finally broke down and bought a whole new tool with, I’m sure, clearer instructions. I can hope.
And while I was at it, I bought a 4″x4″ cedar post at the big box hardware store and asked the lumber guy to cut it down into 4″ sections. Alas, I was so excited to start my project I forgot to take a picture of the naked block. Nothing exciting to see there, folks.
Time to create some shabby chic charm
This is not a tutorial per se, because I have no pictures to go with the prep steps, but I’ll list them here so you can get the gist of how this block looks under the cracquelure (that’s the fancy schmancy way of saying “crackle” paint):
- Sand all sides of the block until silky smooth, rounding the edges and corners for that well-loved vintage look;
- Paint it barn red;
- Apply a layer of crackle glaze;
- Paint with two coats of white that’s been antiqued with just a touch of burnt umber mixed in;
- Sand again until parts of the red and cracquelure show through;
- Wipe on a thin coat of thinned-down burnt umber then immediately wipe it off. Some will remain in the cracks – this is good.
Now the block is ready for decoupaging and adding some glittery bling bling!
Try to keep to a theme when making these blocks. You don’t have to be a slave to it, but if you’re going for a certain look, try to keep the decorations in tune with that look. In this case, I wanted “vintage” to be the look, and I threw in a little “retro” for good measure, because those cute little cherubic faces fit the bill so perfectly.
Most of the images came from my friend Heather Hudson’s Etsy shop My Artistic Adventures. If you decide to visit her, I can almost promise you won’t leave with just one or two of her collage sheets. But don’t blame me if you walk out with an armload. I always did.
If you’re wondering what paper these are printed on, it’s tissue paper, the gift wrap kind. Regular card stock, and even copy paper, are too thick for decoupage, but tissue paper seems to almost meld into the wood surface. I tear the images from the sheets instead of cutting them for a more rustic appeal. Sometimes I ink the edges, though I forgot on this project.
So… this side did not sand to a “silky smooth” finish. I can see quite a few rough spots. Some of them must be from whatever the store used to cut the board. I left the ridges because I quite liked the look.
Look at that delicious cracquelure. Yummy crackle effect.
I created the letters and cut them from card stock with my Silhouette Cameo – tissue paper was too fragile, and the Cameo kept tearing it. Next time I might try stenciling the letters instead.
Versatility is key
Here’s another lovely image from Heather’s Hudson’s shop. I’ve kept the top simple for a reason – because someday I might want to put a fat candle on it. These blocks would make GREAT candleholders. They’re wide, low and sturdy enough to also hold a small plate of cookies, or candies. Or even a tiny Christmas tree.
By the way, if you’re wondering about that “snow” effect, it’s glitter. But not the good stuff such as the kind I posted about on this card. No, this is the rock bottom cheapo stuff from the craft store. It comes in a big bottle and is so big, you can actually see the shape of the individual pieces – they’re circular. (You can see them on the tablecloth in some of the pictures.) But oddly, the effect is perfect for a project like this!
This holiday craft has a wee surprise
These large blocks deserve respect, so I always put them on feet to elevate them a bit. Well, at Christmas, what’s better than jingle bell feet? They make the cutest tiny jingly noises, and they add a just-right sparkle of gold to the project. Especially since that glitter kind of… doesn’t.
Mine have never scratched my furniture, but my furniture is mostly antique anyway, so I don’t worry about scratches. If you worry about scratches, you could attach small felt dots to the feet – they’d still jingle for you (just a little softer).
Now it's your turn (but you already knew that)
What cool, different Christmas decorations have you made? Or are you going to make? Or are you making right now? Share with us on Facebook – we have inquiring minds! Post your creations (or even just your ideas) on our Facebook page so we may all get in the spirit early. Because, as far as crafting is concerned…
♫♪ It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! ♪♫