How I Snow-Flocked My Artificial Christmas Tree

After seeing how pretty snow-flocked trees were last Christmas, I decided early in the year that I wanted a white flocked tree this year.

I looked on-line for flocked trees and they ranged from about $200-800.  Christmas trees can get real expensive!   I have limited space in my living room where I put the Christmas tree in my front window so I needed a skinny, but tall tree.  I was having a little bit of trouble finding a pretty flocked tree so I came up with another idea.   I’ll flock mine!  It’s the perfect size already and I’ll save a lot of money.  As you know, I am very practical and always looking to save money.

I went on Amazon and found this and ordered it!

I went on Youtube and found a few videos that showed how to flock a Christmas tree at home.  It sounded pretty easy.  All you need is a spray bottle with water and a metal strainer.  I got my strainer at the dollar store.  I read that it can be a bit messy so I set up on a tarp inside the garage.  You do not want to do it where it is windy.  The stuff would blow all over!  I set up the bottom third of the tree and began spraying the limbs saturating each one randomly, not being exact at ALL.  Just spritz!

This is all you need.

Fill the strainer with the “snow” and shake it over the limbs.  It will stick to the wet limbs.  Then lightly spray the snow again to “set it.”

I found that it was going on nicely but I actually wanted it to be even more covered.  To get it to glob on heavier, I just took handfuls of the snow flocking and threw it at the limbs.  It was quite fun!  Don’t forget to spritz it after applying it.

I added each tree layer (I have three) of the tree working my way up to the top section.  Please ignore all the random stuff in my garage!  It’s quite the storage place.

It’s getting there!

I set it up in the living room trying to be as careful as possible not to brush up against too many things.  You can see how “skinny” my tree is and how it actually brushes the ceiling.  I love the size of the tree.

After putting all the lights on, the floor looked like this.  It really wasn’t too bad.  I got the vacuum out and swept it all up.  I needed a new tree skirt so this prompted me to get a plain white one knowing the snow would show on any other color and probably look messy all the time.

Here’s a sneak peak of my Swedish Christmas tree theme this year!  Many years ago my dad made the wooden hearts and Dala horses using a jigsaw.  They are very special to me since he made them for me.

Are you ready to try this simple project?

 

 

 

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How to Make a Wooden Coffee Bar Sign

Like many others, I love coffee!  I grew up dunking cookies in coffee and I guess I acquired a taste for it early.

I recently decided to create a coffee bar for the holiday season.  As I was putting it together, I wanted to have a coffee sign but didn’t want to spend a lot of money or time getting one.  Plus, I didn’t want a store-bought sign with no personal touch.

One night when I was having trouble sleeping, I started brainstorming on whether or not I had something in my garage that I could use to create the sign.  I remembered that I had picked up a couple of wooden wine boxes at a yard sale a while back and immediately sprung out to the garage to take a look.  (I pick up unique items at yard sales just for times like these!)

  

Yes!  I can work with this!  I grabbed a plyers and pulled the hinges and latch off and decided that the top of the box would be perfect for my sign.

I dug out some antiquing wax that I had in the garage and started painting it on and rubbing it off like a stain to darken the wood.

   

  

I left the project to dry and decided I needed to come up with a plan of what I wanted it to say.  These were some of my ideas below.  For those who don’t know what “Fika” is, it’s a Swedish term for a break in the day for coffee, something sweet and friends!  I LOVE Fika Time!  I also liked personalizing it with our last name.  I did that one in Powerpoint.

I also decided that I wanted to lighten my sign and also it would be easier to rub a transfer on if it were a lighter color.  I grabbed some sample paint that I had in the garage and just painted the inside part, leaving the wooden frame.

I found this “but first, coffee” transfer on-line and tried that as a test by following a Pinterest instruction on-line.

This method was done by wetting the paint brush and then rubbing off the ink with the blunt edge of a sharpie.
 

The “wet paintbrush” idea was a Pinterest FAIL.  The letters were simply just not dark enough with this method.  I repainted the inside again and let it dry.

Since this first method failed, I thought I’d try again with another look I had created on Powerpoint.  In order to “flip” the words so that they can be applied ink down, you have to select the horizontal flip in the print menu.  I printed it on some photo paper I already had in a drawer and figured I would just try that before running out for transfer paper.  What’s the worst that would happen?!!  I would have to repaint it again and try again?

  

I placed the paper face down on the wood and was careful to hold it still with my left hand while I rubbed the back of it applying pressure with the sharpie edge.  I rubbed back and forth as long as I could and then removed the paper and it worked!  I could have rubbed even more on the outside letters to darken the ink a little, but I’ll try again with another project.  I like the slightly distressed, faded look.  I may eventually seal it to protect it but since it won’t get touched very much, I am just going to leave it alone for now.

I want to “hang” or attach is to the mirror but here it is at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quick and Easy Way to Update Anything – Chalk Paint!

This week’s blog is so simple that anyone can do it!  It only takes minutes to make simple changes on just about anything small.  Several years ago I found these decor topiaries at our local Goodwill store for about $8 a piece.  Pretty thrifty find, don’t you think?  Since they are fairly tall and I know what these things cost at retail stores, I grabbed them and put them on my fireplace mantel.  However, if you know me at all I have to paint almost everything that comes into my house!

I used them for several years with the gray, rustic hue on the pots.  I loved them!

However, since I have lightened everything else in my living room this year, I decided one day to chalk paint the bases with white chalk paint that I bought from Michaels.

Chalk paint is the best stuff ever!  I just painted it on and it immediately gave it the lightness that I was looking for and you don’t have to exact on something like this at all.  Actually, I just wanted it to look messy and half-painted.

Here they are mid-project.

After painting them, I love the bright result and I feel like I have new pieces!   I may not even have a place to put them now but I’m keeping them for future decor in case I need them.  It was such a simple way to update and brighten up the topiaries.

 

Time to go shelling at the beach!

 

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Why I Love White Dishes!

White dishes have been one of my obsessions for many years.  The reason I love them is they go with every season, event and holiday and you only have to have one set to store.  I have to admit that a great friend (you, Jennifer M.) shared this great tip with me over a decade ago and it just stuck with me.  You can simply add the colors of whatever season it happens to be to the table.  It is such a nice blank slate to start with and any color you pick works with them.  Forget storing many different sets for all the different holidays.  White is just more “practical”!

Pinterest Photo
Pinterest Photo

 

If you are a thrifty person like I am, you also probably keep an eye out for interesting dishes like the ones in the Pinterest photos here.

 

 

 

 

When I am at a thrift store or a garage sale, I am always looking for pretty white dishes.  In fact, my main every day plates were found (as a set with coffee cups, smaller plates, etc.) at a yard sale for $15 for the entire set (stack in front in photo).  I didn’t take the entire set out of the cabinets for the photo  – – sorry!  I’m not a fan of heavy plates so these cute lighter china plates are just perfect.

Recently, while shopping at Goodwill I found a second set of some cute IKEA white plates for about .69 each so I just couldn’t resist.  They are the ones in the back right in the photo.  I have to admit that after I got them home, I discovered they don’t fit in my dishwasher so they will have to be handwashed when I use them.  I guess the Swedes either don’t use dishwashers like Americans or maybe it’s just my dishwasher rack.  Anyway, I still love them and they could easily be mixed and matched with my other dishes when I need extras.

This little white tea set was my husband’s mother’s set.  Isn’t it just adorable?  I know it means a lot to my husband that I saved it all these years even though I never knew his mother before she passed away.  It rarely gets used but it is fun to have just as white decor.

I have actually sold of some of my white dishes recently because I just didn’t need that many pieces!  I’m fortunate that I live in an area that it is fairly easy to find a buyer for items that I really don’t need using Facebook Swip Swap sites.

I also sold this creamer/sugar set (didn’t need two sugar/creamer sets) and this Pottery Barn plate set (below) that I deemed too heavy after a few years of using it.  SOLD!

 

I’m almost embarrassed to say that even after purging my kitchen cabinets this year, I still have more white plates than I need.  Truthfully, I am sort of crazy about organizing my kitchen cabinets and keep all the white items in one space just for a nice consistent, organized look (see photo below).

I will try to remember to snap some photos of various holiday settings in the future and share them on a blog someday.

I think I am really needing a beach day soon…see ya!

 

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Repurposing Decorative Frames

Practically Palm Beach was specifically created to show you how to save money decorating your home and to share money-saving tips in general.  This post will focus on how to repurpose a beautiful frame you may already have.  If you are like me, you have a couple saved in the garage that you just could not part with.

Below is a framed oil painting that I bought at a yard sale in our neighborhood several years ago for only $25.  It is a very large frame measuring 48″ x 36″ on the inside.  The frame was originally painted gold and it didn’t quite fit into my style at the time so I painted it black and rubbed a little silver rub on the edges.

Large Framed Artwork Piece

I always loved the large ornate frame, but after several years I just didn’t want the painting any more.  I sold the painting at my yard sale, but kept the super large frame.  If you have ever gone to a store to get a picture framed you already know that a frame this size would be hundreds of dollars!  So I stored it in my garage until I could come up with a plan for it later.

One day while shopping on our local Swip Swap Facebook page, I noticed someone was giving away a mirror that they had removed from their bathroom wall.  It just happened to be the exact size that I needed 36″ x 48″.  Wow!  I immediately contacted the person and said I was on my way.  I decided to paint the frame white as I am trying to brighten up everything in my house.  My husband then helped secure the mirror with some mirror tabs on the back.  I will tell you that we had to do just a little whittling of wood on the back of the frame to get the mirror to fit in just right.  I love mirrors which became my next problem.  Where do I  hang it?  I searched around my house and the only place I could find was to remove a picture I had in my bedroom and replace it with the large mirror.  Here it is in my bedroom (with the reflection blotted out).  I can only imagine how much you would have to spend on a mirror this size at a retail store.

Framed a Large Mirror

The other idea for a frame you just can’t let go of is to create a chalkboard to hang inside your door, in your kitchen or even at your place of business.  For this project, I bought a piece of thin board from the local hardware box store and had my husband cut it to size.  Then using chalkboard paint, I simply painted a few coats on it with a small sponge roller.  Each season gets new text.  My handwriting needs a lot of help, but I don’t worry about it too much.  Pinterest is great for getting chalkboard ideas for every season.

 

 

Below are three other frames that I made into chalkboards and and sold.  It’s fun to have a chalkboard to write notes on or just to be creative on.  A customer hung the last one in her salon and shared this picture with me.  Have you tried making one yet?

Customer Photo – Hair and Makeup Studio – Wellington, FL

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Creating a Restoration Hardware Look with Thrift Store Furniture

Creating a Restoration Hardware Look with Thrift Store Furniture

Who doesn’t love walking into a Restoration Hardware store?  Do you dream of purchasing some of their fantastic furniture?  Today I want to share with you how to create a Restoration Hardware look on thrift store furniture.  For many years, I have browsed around RH and drooled over that pricey, weathered look.  Since I can’t pay those prices and I love being creative, I decided to go in a different route – to the thrift store!

Finding old, quality, wood furniture with good bones is actually pretty simple.  Plus, they just built furniture better back in the olden days so it will be much sturdier than a piece from Ikea or Target.  I was able to pick up real wood pieces to duplicate this look with just some paint and new hardware.

Remember to look beyond ugly colors or dated looks.  Here are some examples of the RH furniture.

Restoration Hardware Photo
Restoration Hardware Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanting an expensive look with a tight budget can be challenging, but if you keep an eye out for furniture with “good bones” you just might find a Practically Palm Beach piece.  Making frequent stops at local thrift stores became a weekly routine for me, and I love the hunt!  Don’t give up if you don’t find something right away. Consistent searching pays off eventually. One particular store became very useful in finding some major pieces. I hate to give away my secret, but it’s called Faith Farm.

I found two matching nightstands for around $50 each.  They didn’t look like this when I bought them but unfortunately, I never took a before photo.  But they were similar to the headboard that I got at Faith Farm too (see photos below).

To replicate the woodgrain look, first remove all the drawers and hardware.  Using a Purdy 1.5″ paintbrush, I painted on a light butter-colored latex basecoat to cover the entire piece.  I painted it on working in the long direction of each drawer, top and sides.  You don’t have to be too fussy at this point.  Just avoid any drips.  I then took another 1.5″ brush and “dry-brushed” over it with a dark brown latex paint to create the rustic wood look.  I’ve found the trick to this is just dip the tip (about 1/4 inch) of the brush in the dark brown paint and when wipe off most of it with a wet rag, swiping the brush on the wet rag before touching the furniture and a angle.  It will be best if you practice on an old board first to get the hang of the “faux wood” stroke.  The lighter touch you have, the better.  I sealed it with a polycrylic sealer to protect the paint finish using a brush.  I think I put on two thin coats, but three would be even better.  Let each coat dry completely before putting on another one.  I’ve had a couple places of wear because my cat loves to jump up on my furniture and dig in his claws when he makes contact.

Put on Thin Coats of Sealer to Protect the Finish

To give it a better rustic feel, I ditched the shabby chic handles that came with the nightstands (to be used on other furniture later) and replaced them with bronze cup handles that I purchased at Lowes.  

On a separate occasion shopping at the same thrift store, I found this huge wood headboard and could just envision it fitting into the RH look as well. It was massive, but I purchased it for only $50! I did the same “faux” paint job on it.

Before painting it

 

After Faux-Painting

Two dressers were given the same look.   Remember, it takes time to find several pieces that can work together so just be patient.  One dresser was found on the side of the road in our neighborhood on bulk pick-up day (in perfect condition!) and the other dresser I’m sure was found at the same thrift store for little or nothing.  My best “trick” is remove all the handles and spraypaint them with Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint.

Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Found this dresser on the side of the road for FREE!

Basically, all five pieces that I have in our bedroom were purchased for a fraction of the cost of ONE piece of RH hardware. With a little paint and a bit of creativity, you can have the RH look.

 

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