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Homemade Holiday

January 1st, 2013

While wondering how I was going to scrape together enough money to buy Christmas gifts this year a light bulb went off in my head “Why not make all of my gifts! Duh!” My sister has been telling me she would be happy with anything I made her for years but I always felt like I had to go the store bought route. This year I decided no matter what I was going to carve out the time to make my family their Christmas gifts. I completed about half of that goal. I made gifts for my two sisters, my Mom and my two nieces. The men proved a little more difficult, I could think of something to make for my Dad but that was about it. In the end I ran out of time and ended up buying a gift for my Dad and all the other guys.

The first project started out as an idea for my niece Morgan who was recently married and living in her first home, I decided to help her decorate it. An image on Pinterest had caught my eye and I decided to do something similar. First I had to call her new husband in Kansas and beg for some barn wood, which he basically just went out to one of his barns and pried from a wall. Morgan then brought it to me on one of her trips home not knowing it would just be returning to her house after Christmas.

Raw letters

Next, I learned a new skill. I needed wooden letters but can never find ones in the fonts I like at craft stores so I decided to make them myself. My Dad is a woodworker and has an awesome little shop so I asked him for some help and learned how to use a few new tools in the process. I simply printed out the letters in the fonts and sizes that I wanted on my computer and then using transfer paper traced them onto some scraps of wood Dad had left over from some of his projects. He started cutting them out for me and I think was surprised when I asked if I could do some. The first saw I tried freaked me out a bit when I tried to cut any type of curve. I told him I was scared of cutting off a finger. “You won’t cut off a finger.” he said, to which I replied, “This coming from the man who has cut off portions of two fingers.” “Oh,” he said, “I haven’t cut off a finger in years.” To which I had to laugh. He said it so matter-of-factly, like it’s a common occurrence. He set me up on the jigsaw and that was so much easier than the first saw and I ended up cutting out four letters all on my own. He then sanded down all the edges on his orbital sander because I obviously get my perfectionism from him.

Painted letters 1

Next I painted all of the letters.

Painted letters 2

Meanwhile I had my Dad screw three pieces of the barnwood together to make a sign. I then painted the wood with some watered down white acrylic paint and positioned my letters where I wanted them. I then hand painted the rest of the saying onto the barnwood. This was a little more difficult than I had planned as there were some really deep grooves and ridges in the wood. I set the letters up where I wanted them after painting on the signs, and like a little Christmas Elf, my Dad came to my house while I was at work and glued them down with some super adhesive we had used in some earlier projects.

And voila… Morgan’s “Home Sweet Home” sign, displayed by the lovely Morgan herself on Christmas Eve.

Home Sweet Home

I decided to make similar signs for my two sisters. They ended up being holiday themed as opposed to something that can hang up year round. Here is Kelli’s …

O Come

And Kris being the Halloween Freak that she is got this one…

Jack

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