DIY Modern Christmas Tree

After seeing these plans for a modern wooden Christmas tree on The Design Confidential, I couldn’t help myself…

I don’t even care if it’s before Thanksgiving…

I’m usually the one that gets angry at this time of year that people aren’t following the rules about waiting to decorate, listen to holiday music, and all that other general holiday joyfulness…sounds like a silly thing to be angry about in retrospect.

This year I choose Christmas JOY…even before Thanksgiving **gasp**

And having two little boys who’s eyes light up with every mention of lights, Christmas trees, Santa, cookies, etc is pretty great!

Okay, okay, back to the tree :)

We cut some random scrap pieces to different lengths (ranging from 3″ to 18″) to make our mini version of this tree (it’s about 2 ft tall).

I lined them all up to make sure we had enough to cover the entire dowel:

Then drill holes in the center of each piece: (We used a 1/2″ dowel so had to make sure the hole was at least that size):

Start threading them on the dowel. You’ll see that I decided to make the second piece up a little bigger so I could add little feet to it and still allow it to fold flat for easy storage).

Glued little fee onto the second piece…any excuse to use my favorite little clamps :)

Keep stacking them up:

After some white spray paint, lights and ornaments:

Complete! :)

And here’s that link again to the full plans over at The Design Confidential.

You like?! How many trees do you put up at your house?

How To Make Wood Mosaic Wall Art

You can make a BIG impact with a piece like this:


Here’s how it’s done:


We cut 1/4″ backer board to the size you want.

This one was 6ft wide x 2ft high.

Then we framed it with 1×2’s and stained them.

After sketching out a plan on how we should layout the slats, 2×2 blocks and tiny 3/4″ blocks…

We started CUTTING

And cutting

And cutting…

Until we had this:

The slat pieces were made from 1/4″ plywood that was ripped down into 1″ strips.
The large blocks were 2×2’s sliced into different lengths.
The tiny blocks were made by ripping down 1×6 boards into 3/4″ x 3/4″ square strips then slicing them…YES you might go crazy if you do too many of those ;)

Then, we used a sanding block on any of the rough edges.


Set each block on cardboard and start spray staining

—NOTE: Yes! Spray stain DOES exist…go get familiar with your stain aisle at the Home Improvement store–

We used four varying shades and gave the blocks two coats each


Start placing all of your blocks and slats in place. You’ll likely need to trim some slats or make adjustments in your layout to achieve a perfect fit.

We got the layout looking good but weren’t happy with the coloring. The frame and slats would look better in a darker espresso color.

So we tested a new black color on a sample slat and LOVED IT.

Looks good,right!? Isn’t the fun strip of color great too..


And get some heavy items ready to hold the slats in place

What do you think?? Would you take on the challenge of making one for yourself?

Psst…If you love it but not up for the work you can always BUY one at our ETSY shop instead of DIYing it :)

DIY Concrete Wall Art

Concrete Art. 

Sounds crazy (like almost every project we do LOL), but I promise these are super cool!  YES, you do have to be brave enough to mix up concrete or mortar mix or concrete resurfacer. But it really is as easy as mixing powder with water. And when making art you can’t even mess it up! You could even just use your hands and no trowel at all.

We typically do these with extra concrete mix left over from other projects.

In fact, most of my art projects are ‘UPCYCLED’ from left over scraps of wood or concrete. You’re welcome, Landfill :)

We just trowel the left overs onto a 1/4″ sheet of plywood/backer board or whatever scraps we have lying around in the garage.

Trowel concrete onto a board

It adheres really well to the board so we didn’t even bother with any kind of bonding agent.

Then just spray on a little concrete stain (this one below was made with two different shades of brown Rustoleum concrete stain). It’ goes on just like spray paint would. Then is soaks in nicely. Obviously I added some stick on letters from the craft store so it would spell “ART.”

DIY Concrete Art:

Concrete Wall Art: Raw Edge

I’m the crazy artist type so I liked it with the raw edge, but Dave wanted it to be more civilized so he added a frame. Just mitered 1x2s and routed out a groove (by running them through the table saw to take out 1/4″ or so)…and obviously we spray painted those.

Framed Concrete Art

Here are a few others I’ve made:

Abstract Concrete Art

Family Name Plaque:

Family Name Plaque

Pictures Coming soon of these versions as well:

A spray painted series in bright colors rather than stain.

And a Key Holder…

YOUR THOUGHTS?! Do you LIKE or DISLIKE the idea of textured concrete in the home as art?

I know this was DIY for the brave so you could always just BUY at our ETSY shop:

Ugly additions

Do you have an addition on your house that a previous owner built (and NOT the way you would have done it)?!

We certainly do.

Starting with the exterior…This thick white siding in NO way belongs next to our stone home. It stands out and not in a good way:

Sorry, bad pic and bad sample paint color…but you can see how the white siding really breaks up the house.

An addition should be an extension and improvement to a home. We could re-side the addition with thin, tan siding to match the home’s original time, or even fiber cement board siding painted to match. But for a quick fix (we are on the market to sell, you know!) we opted for a nice coat of paint.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Why didn’t we do this when we moved in over 2 years ago?

Oh, well I guess we were a little busy updating the interior of this addition.

After a little help from Rory (who’s 3 now):

Rory painting

And Daddy (we admit that he did the entire project on his own):

Painting exterior…in a better color

While Ian and I watched:


Here’s how it looks now:

Painted Exterior (on a super sunny day)

Then Dave decided to speed up the process (any excuse for a new toy!):

Spray painting the other side of the house

And he’s done:

An hour later…complete!

Looks better right?! Have you ever put on an addition? Or had to improve an old existing addition?

Did you make sure it matched the style of the home or go with whatever you like best? Hard not to do that sometimes.

Wood slices | From Around the Web

Maybe it’s the sound of chainsaws after the storm or the random branches in the yard that have re-ignited my passion for simple wood slice projects.

You could slice up those branches to fill an entire accent wall:

Accent wall of Wood slices from

Create a unique patio or walkway:

Stump slices making a beautiful patio/walkway design as seen at

Or even vases with smaller branches:

Branch slice vases from

A doormat:

Wood slices doormat as seen at (you know, my new favorite site!)

Or just google images of “wood slices and weddings” for a crazy number of cool rustic table numbers, coasters, napkin rings, signs etc….

If you don’t have access to branches you could even just use a piece of lumber like I did on our bathroom wall art last year:

Wood Slices make great wall art

I simply cut pieces to different thicknesses and glued them onto a thin sheet of plywood then spray painted it. Best wishes on your WOOD projects!

What do you think? Would you ever attempt any of these? 

I’m STRONGLY considering that patio pathway.

“Spray Paint It”

Lately people have been asking me what to do with their worn out: table, patio set, swing, vases, baskets, picture frames, flower pots, mirror frame…the list goes on…and on….

My answer is almost always…“Spray paint it!”

It is the most simple (and affordable) DIY transformation for nearly anything.

What would YOU do with this basket?

$3 thrift store basket

“Spray paint it” would be the correct answer :) 

After a quick trip to the home improvement store I was the proud owner of the following: white spray on primer, key lime, and aqua colors (because I couldn’t decide which I liked better).

Spray paint

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Spray Paint

Obsessed. That would describe my new feeling about spraypaint. After spray painting our master bathroom mirror frame, bed, and headboard all in mocha brown I’ve moved on to Gloss White (and now metallic colors). I painted a set of picture frames (filled w/ colorful pictures of our garden’s flowers) which will be going up on the wall very soon and today I went shopping in my own garage and discovered outdoor hanging planters that were all different colors…and red vases that didn’t quite match our new color scheme…lightbulb moment!…spray them. Here are the BEFORE pics:


AFTER: with colorful mums

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