Ugly Thrift Shop Christmas Tree Upcycle

December 11, 2017

I found this skinny wooden Christmas tree at the thrift shop last week.  

I think it was originally a primitive style, craft sale tree.

But at some point the wooden tree was decorated with paper stickers and fake gifts were glued on the base.

It took some elbow grease, and Goo Gone to get the stickers off.

I pulled the little gifts off the base, but hot glue gobs remained.  I used a hair dryer on the glue to loosen it up so I could scrape it off.

Then I just gave it a scrubbing with soap and water.

I brushed two coats of Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint in Celery.  

I painted the tree's base first in a cream chalky paint, but then decided to go brown with  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Honfleur. 

I then pulled out my favorite stencil, buffalo check from *Old Sign Stencils.

I stenciled on the checks with Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint in Buttercream with a Dreamweaver stencil brush.

I thought my tree was just a little too blah so I decided to try the Plaid Shirt stencil in red over the buffalo checks.

I have seen this technique on Funky Junk Interiors' blog.

I distressed the stencils just a bit and then faux distressed the edges with the FolkArt Layering Wood Block.  I use the layering block all the time!  More about the layering block technique is here.

After distressing the base with sandpaper, I sealed the whole project with Varathane Water-Based Polyurethane in Satin Finish. 

I added an iron star to the top of the tree with a screw and washer.  The star is from the thrift shop too!

Ugly Wooden Thrift Shop Christmas Tree Upcycle #stencils #oldsignstencils #buffalocheck #plaid #rusticChristmas
Here is the skinny tree after the transformation!

Ugly Wooden Thrift Shop Christmas Tree Upcycle #stencils #oldsignstencils #buffalocheck #plaid #rusticChristmas
I think it's pretty cute. 

Ugly Wooden Thrift Shop Christmas Tree Upcycle #stencils #oldsignstencils #buffalocheck #plaid #rusticChristmas
So be on the look out for dated Christmas decor to upcycle!

Ugly Wooden Thrift Shop Christmas Tree Upcycle #stencils #oldsignstencils #buffalocheck #plaid #rusticChristmas
*Old Sign Stencils provided me with complimentary samples.
All opinions about these fabulous products are my own.

Other 2017 buffalo check Christmas projects:

Vintage Metal Minnow Bucket Repurposed As Christmas Decor #oldsignstencils #buffalocheck #stencil #rusticChristmas #CabinChristmas

Thrift Shop Wooden Salad Plate Christmas Upcycle #oldsignstencils #stencils #buffalocheck #rusticChristmas

Wooden Corner Shelf Repurposed As a Christmas Tree #repurposed #repurpose #buffalocheck #statepride #minnesota #rusticChristmas

Thrift Shop Cutting Board Repurposed as Christmas Decor #buffalocheck #stencil #oldsignstencils #cuttingboard

Vintage Thrifted Folding Chair Christmas Upcycle #buffalocheck #stencil #oldsignstencils #rusticChristmas
Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. Amazing makeover! You sure are talented!!! Well done!

  2. Love your projects with the buffalo check! I think I have a knack for seeing a new life for an ugly item, but I would have passed that tree up! Great eye!

  3. Positively brilliant!!!
    ~ Christina in SW FL

  4. Such an improvement! Great project & great find Carlene!

  5. I love all your projects! You are such a talented lady!

  6. More cuteness.......thanks for sharing!
    Merry Christmas!


  7. You are so talented! Love all of it. The tree is amazing!

  8. Amazing ... all you need is a stencil and an old piece of wood. Love it.
    Hugs and Merry Christmas
    Audrey Z.

  9. I have 3 trees just like your originals. Love the buffalo check but expect 3 trees done the same would be less effective. I was thinking that perhaps one buffalo check and the other 2 with their own design..1. .alternate sized stripes in 3 different widths of stripes, same muted colour but different depths of that colour 2. stars, same idea as stripes..??? .....any other ideas? What do you think of mine...honestly!

    1. I think they could all be the same. I just love buffalo checks with Christmas decor more than stripes.


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