Every year I try and come up with ideas for alternative Christmas trees. Alternative trees have become quite popular in recent years.
This berry sieve tree is one of my favorites. See more alternative trees including a funnel tree HERE.
When I found an old wooden tennis racket press at the thrift shop, I added a piece of chalkboard purchased at Menards. It is made by Georgia Pacific and sold in 2' x 4' sheets. The hardest part of this project was cutting the fairy thick screws shorter to hold the blackboard tight. I added a sawtooth hanger to the back.
When I decorate a holiday mantel, I love to find one larger anchor piece to build my mantel vignette around. This year it was this old weathered window frame with attached sill.
I plunked it right smack dab in the center of the mantel. I purchased the "Winter Wonderland" sign a couple weeks ago from my Junkin' Friend Jodi.
I proceeded to transform my white mantel into a rustic winter wonderland with an old rusty lantern, miniature galvanized pails with flameless candles, country Santa, winter tree and greenery, antique children's skis, and old thermoses.
I added a larger candle ring as a wreath on my "window" with a snippet of buffalo checked ribbon tied on. I use flameless candles on my mantel with timers. Safer and no hassle.
More greenery, an old scale, cutting board, plaid lunch box, and an enamelware pot with another candle sit on the right side of the window.
This is my great grandfather, Thron. A Norwegian immigrant that settled in Minnesota in the late 1800's and farmed. I love this winter photo!
This mantel has nothing fancy on it at all. Just artfully arranged, organized clutter.
What's crazy is that the older I get, the less I enjoy this Minnesota "Winter Wonderland".
But, it's perfect for a Christmas mantel!
A couple of wool knit stockings are hung by the fireplace with care.
Christmas Mantel 2015.
Here are my 2014 Christmas mantel anchor pieces. See the mantel, HERE.
My 2013 vintage toy mantel was anchored by an old metal Kenmore child's stove. See it HERE.
My anchor piece for my 2012 Christmas mantel was a red bike wheel. See the whole mantel HERE.
Do you build your mantel around an anchor piece? It sure helps give me direction when I style a holiday mantel.
One of the items I purchased with my birthday money last summer was this screen door. I had it propped up against the house last summer in a shady spot in my garden.
Since the door was green, I got the inspiration to work it into my front door/covered patio Christmas display this year.
One item that is seldom in short supply at the thrift shops in my town are frames, so it's no wonder that I use frames in my projects very frequently. Here I purchased a $2 frame and painted the frame with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen. Then I painted the stiff cardboard back with Ash from Fushion Mineral Paint. I then glued my Scrabble tiles on in a Christmas tree shape with ProBond glue. The glue dries clear but does shine a bit so I touched up with a small paint brush and more Ash paint where glue had oozed out from under the tiles. The star is a wood applique from Hobby Lobby.
I picked up these three wooden reindeer at the thrift shop this week. Would you have given them a second look at $3?
I painted the thee deer with two coats of DecoArt Americana Chalky Paint in Lace. Then I sanded them a bit to distress the paint.
I cut up a rustic bell garland from Kruenpepper Gifts and tied the strips of jute and bells around the deer's necks.
That's a grubby prim snowball perched in the large reindeer's antlers. Be on the lookout for wooden thrift shop deer!
I was lucky enough to find two wooden shutters that had never ever been painted or stained but were a bit weathered. I paid $11 for the pair.
Here is one of the shutters that I deepened the gray weathered look with some vinegar steel wool stain that I found the recipe for on the internet.
The other shutter was cut in half and painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Cream. It displays vintage black and white photos in my laundry room.
When I found this wooden shelf at a garage sale for $1 that had neither been stained or painted, I gave it a weathered gray look as well.
It was attached to the front of my shutter with screws.
Sawtooth hangers were added to the back.
I also added a Tim Holtz enamel tag number "57". I love these little tags. You can get them at a craft shop or at Amazon.
It's funny how some things were just meant to be together!
When I first started purchasing vintage items about 20+ years ago, I always purchased vintage items that still looked pretty new. I was really wrapped up in the item's resale value, and Kovels and other antique price guides were always based on condition. Now I am not as concerned about the resale value as much as the charm that a well used item possesses. Like this little tea kettle with it's dings and chippy black handle. This little rummage sale tea kettle will work perfectly in my less than perfect farmhouse kitchen. $2.
I also purchased this Lane (cedar chest company) trinket box.
These boxes were still made until very recently, but most likely not in the USA. This box has the Lane Altavista, Virginia imprint. $2.
Then there was a clear baggie with three items for $4. This solid brass burgundy velvet lined trinket box was one of the items.
This is the engraved top.
The bottom is signed by the artist Lowell Sigmund. I found other brass items by Sigmund on Ebay. Similar boxes went for $25.00. This box may hold my paperclips on my desk in place of the water meter cover I found a couple months ago at a rummage sale.
This was baggie item number two. A brass roll of stamps holder. I will probably sell this item in my shop.
And here is baggie item number three. A ________________. What is it? I'm not sure.
Here is the bottom.
It comes apart. My husband thought it was some kind of sander. It is similar to a sander design but it sure seems pretty fancy to do messy wood sanding. What is this?