I have a little Christmas story for you about the most recent project I finished. I hope you enjoy it!
Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house. Several cat-like creatures were stirring, hoping for a mouse.
The lumber was laying on the ground with care, in hopes that Heather soon would be there. The drill bits were nestled all snug in their packages, while visions of blue sugar colored paint danced across their heads.
And the Lows associate, Marla, in her blue vest had no problem with the paint bucket caps. By the 3rd visit to Lows Heather was wishing for a long winter's nap.
When out in the garage there arose such a clatter, it was sound of the power drill sawing through matter. Away to the paint bushes Heather went in a flash, tore open the box of lights she kept as her secret stash. The moon on the breast of the sun kissed cactus gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to Heather's Roommates' wondering eyes should appear, But a gigantic piece of framed wood, it looks like it's time for a beer.
With a 100's of little lights, so lively and quick, she knew in a moment this wasn't a trick. More rapid than eagles these lights they twinkled, And so you could hear Sara, Heather's roommate, shout and whistle with glee. Now Heather... look at these beautiful lights twinkle on this tree. All the way to the top of the wall! Now she wants to throw a party and invite them all!
This was one fun, and yet time consuming, project that turned out pretty awesome and I thought I would share with the world! I'll even include some simple directions so you can make your own!
1. Come up with a cool design that you think you could actually draw at a large scale. If you don't think you can do it, ask one of your artsy-fartsy friend to help. I suggest paying them with holiday cookies, you know they want it. :)
2. Measure the area you want to hang your tree. You want to be sure you get the correct size of wood when you're at the wood store.
3. Yippee!! Now it's time to hit up your local wood store. You're going to need a few things.
- 1 large piece of plywood (my final size was 8ft x 3.5ft)
- 3 pieces of two-by-fours so you can frame the plywood since you'll be putting lights into the back of the plywood.
- Paint Brushes
- Christmas Lights
- Drill Bits to make the holes in the plywood so the lights can shine through and twinkle
- Power Drill (They are pretty cheap these days... I got one for $25 at Lows)
- A box of screws (The wood store guys will help you decide which ones will work best with the wood you get)
- A staple gun for the end might not be a bad decision either.
- Wall Spackle (I found a small tube for $3)
4. Once you get all of your awesome new wood store purchases into your car and make it home... you're set! Good luck... be safe!!!
5. It's time to make magic happen!! The first things first... You're going to put the frame together! It's time to break open the box of screws and plug the power drill in. Just use the two-by-fours to frame out the back of the plywood so it's almost a box. Leave the one at the bottom open so you can use that for your wires.
6. Now you'll want to cover up your screw heads with the wall spackle. Just follow the directions on the spackle. Make sure to do it nice and pretty so nobody can see your handy work.
7. First layer of background paint... then keep letting it dry to see if you need to add another layer of paint. It took me 3 layers of sky blue paint to get the look I wanted. It's all up to you!! :)
8. Now... here is when you might need your creative friend to come over. I found that using chalk to draw your design worked really good. You could erase it quickly and in the end I just went over the dry paint design with a dry brush and all of the chalk came off easy.
9. Pull out those tiny brushes and slowly and patiently paint on the design using the chalk outline as your guide. If anytime to be patient... this would be the time to be. The cleaner the lines the better it will be in the end. You can go over it a couple of times too if you need it to be brighter. Have fun with it!!
10. It's time to make the holes or the lights to shine through! Pull out your power drill and drill bit! I used a couple different sizes of drill bits to give it a random look for the snowy feel. Just keep drilling holes in the wood until you have as many holes as you like. I did a couple bigger holes on the tree branches so I was able to stick colored lights all the way through.
11. Use your staple gun to carefully hang the lights in the back of your project. I ended up using white twinkle lights to give the falling snow look and I used some blue lights on the tree branches. Then I used my staple gun to keep all of the wires organized.
12. You're done!!!! :) Plug in the lights and hope they lights still work. If not, you have to run back to the store to buy some more. But you might already be out of wine, so it's all good.
I hope those directions rocked your world. Note: If you haven't ever used power tools... paint... or anything else like that you might wanna stick to a normal tree. I'm a little bit bitter towards this tree because it took soooo much of my time. Then when I was finished and plugged it in... 1/2 of the lights didn't work anymore. I blame the staple gun and my feet. I'm pretty sure I stepped on some of those stupid lights in my rushing to finish fury. Hahaha!! In the end... I'm proud and very pleased. It turned out so pretty and I made my roommate, Sara, cry. My work here is done!!!
Kat - Thank you for providing the blue lights since I broke the other ones.
Sara - Thank you for letting me make crazy things for our living room.
Brad - Thank you for waiting till the wee hours of the night to call you and pushing me to do it. I was this close to buying a normal tree. I'm glad I didn't... you were right.
Lows Staff - Special thanks to everyone who helped me with my crazy crafty questions. They were all so nice and helpful. Every worker there walked me right to everything I needed and made sure it was what I needed. I'm also thankful to the free wood cuts.
My Co-Workers - For getting me all pumped up to share this project with the world.