But sometimes I'm not as ahead of the game as I would like to be.
So, I present to you, A Handmade Holiday.
After seeing this pin when Pinterest first began, I decided I would give these a whirl someday.
So when November rolled around, and I hadn't started working yet, I challenged myself to make as many Christmas gifts these year as I could, by hand.
Then I started working full-time, and handmade Christmas gifts got more stressful than I intended them to be. But the fun was still there.
I find a lot of joy in making things myself. I know that for some, it is scarier to attempt to make something than it is to pay someone else to make it for you. But, it is scarier for me to pay for something with money I should use to pay for school, than it is to just make it myself.
It's my stage of life. I'm sure I won't always be this way.
So I threw a couple of these together for two friends so far, and there is one more in the works.
I LOVE the look of the one above, and think the spacing is so awesome, but I decided to go for a longer look rather than taller.
Many late nights were spent in this freezing garage after work, which I called Santa's Studio.
This one was for one friend, and piled behind it you can see the pieces of another piece for another friend, and on the floor is the third one. Still not yet finished.
I set off to Home Depot and bought 6 foot long 1" by 4" pieces of pine, and had my buddy at the cutting station slice them into 2 foot pieces, yielding me around 32 pieces of pine.
My dad raised me right, I'm a lumber sort of girl.
After consulting various stains with my other buddy in the paint department, I settled on two pretty darn dark stains, staining half the pieces one shade and half the pieces the other. Then, in putting them together, I sort of just alternated and lined up the grain as I saw fit. As you can see, the pine soaked it up well.
Then I free-handed on the letters, using the Pin as a general guide, and making up whatever letters were not represented on that original Pin. I was happy to let my creative juices flow with some acrylic paint.
Acrylic paint is crucial when painting over a stain. Oil-based, people, oil-based.
After 3 to 4 coats on the letters, I sealed it all with a clear coat of oil-based sealant, and we were good to go.
Throw on some mounting material for the back, and deliver the joy to your unsuspecting friends.
Here are the two up on the walls of the recipients.
Want one? Want to make one together? You let me know.
Also made this, but didn't photograph it, and it's just paint on some canvas.
Linking up with Jessica!