Wednesday, December 10, 2014

JOY MARQUEE SIGN–the perfect rustic Christmas or Holiday sign to add to your home


This JOY Marquee Sign was the perfect addition to the handmade rustic Christmas décor theme I’ve created in our home this year. I went to the #doitherself workshop Home Depot was hosting in November after seeing them tweet about the workshop one day earlier in the week.  The workshop I went to was completely free, and the Home Depot store I was at in Clovis, CA, gave everyone supplies to make their own sign that night. It was a fun class, and I thought it was very generous of my local Home Depot to let everyone make a sign. There were a lot of unexpected people that showed up though and not enough time for everyone to use the tools during the given workshop time. I had to get home to feed Lennox (oh the joys of having a 5 month old, right?), but my store allowed me to take home the two pieces of cut mdf and the 4 pieces of mdf trim they had given me so I could complete my sign at home. I ended up changing up my sign a bit to fit our home and our style of décor. I really love the finished look and my daughter already asked if she could keep the sign up in her room after Christmas is over. 

The sign that the Clovis Home Depot had made and was using as an example can be seen below


When I left that night I had only gotten to get my two rectangular pieces of MDF and the MDF trim. I still had to cut out my letters and put the sign together and buy lights and all that. I had used the plans given to us that night to measure my letters before leaving the workshop too. You can find the plans and measurements for the letters by clicking on the link to their template.


When the weekend came I decided to work on the sign and put it together. The first thing I did was use a jigsaw I borrowed from my dad to cut out my letters.


The next thing I decided to do was cut the rectangular piece of MDF I had for the backing down to a smaller size. The plans and measurements for the sign Home Depot uses were great, but the sign was just too big for where I wanted to use it in our home. I felt like a smaller sign over all would look better in our space.

After cutting out the letters I used my drill and a 1/2 inch drill bit to drill holes down the center of all three letters. Once I had my holes in my letters I placed them on top of the backing for the sign where I wanted them to be, and made a mark in the center of each hole. I was then able to drill a hole where each mark was. Once all of the holes were drilled both the backing of the sign got painted and the letters.

drill holes into painted plywood backing for joy marquee


I attached each of the letters with a few 5/8 of an inch nails using an 18 gauge nail gun I borrowed from my dad. I made sure the hole in the letters aligned with holes in the backing of the sign before nailing them in place. Then I went over the few nail holes with a little filler and paint.
The last step was attaching my trim to go around my sign. I decided to use 1x2’s I cut and stained instead of the MDF trim Home Depot provided. I think it gives the sign a more custom look and fits better with the handmade rustic décor I am using in our home right now. I attached the trim using 1 inch nails and an 18 gauge nail gun.

Once the trim was attached I added a strand of Christmas lights to the sign. I pulled the bulbs off of the lights, stuck the green part of the light through the back of the hole and pushed it to the front of the sign where I then reattached the bulb. I could have bought a battery back of lights and used those, but we already had a strand of round Christmas lights from last year that worked perfectly.

joy marquee sign with Christmas lights


MDF/Plywood backing for the marquee sign 26 inches wide by 19.5 inches tall
1x2 wood trim 2 pieces cut to 26 inches in length, and 2 pieces cut to 21 inches in length


You can also check out Ana White’s site to see more pictures of the #doitherself JOY Marquee Sign workshops and her plans here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Home Is Wherever I’m With You–painted wood sign

handpainted and built home is wherever I'm with you wood sign from

This is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve put together. I love song lyrics, quotes, inspiring words or phrases, and I enjoy filling our home with some of my favorite ones. “Home is Wherever I’m With You” is a line in the song Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It’s catchy tune, and I love the chorus.

I made this sign using a piece of plywood, 1x2’s that I cut to fit around the outer edge and frame the sign, paint, stain, and a nail gun.

home is wherever I'm with you sign and wooden houses from

1. First I cut my 1x2’s to fit around my plywood I would use for my sign. Then I mixed two colors of stain together to get the color I wanted (Minwax’s Golden Oak and Dark Walnut), and stained my 1x2’s after having lightly sanded them.
2. I painted the plywood for my sign white (2 coats), and used a pencil to write the song lyrics in cursive. Then I hand painted over the words written in pencil with a graphite black paint.I lightly sanded my sign to give it a worn look.
3. I attached the stained 1x2’s using an 18 gauge nail gun and 1 inch nails. I made sure that I aligned the 1x2’s so that they were flush against the back of the plywood. This created a deeper frame that would have a ledge all the way around the sign.

home is wherever I'm with you wood sign

I added little wooden houses I made to the sign by just sitting them on the ledge of the frame. (Wood Houses Tutorial post)

little cut wooden houses from

If you need a step by step tutorial with pictures I would check out the wood sign tutorial on SAVED BY LOVE CREATIONS. Johnnie has a great tutorial for putting a sign together that’s easy to follow.

Wood Triangle Trees–DIY rustic and minimalist Christmas decor

stained and natural wood triangle trees for Christmas

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I saw this tweet by Crate & Barrel.

I immediately thought I could DIY something similar to those trees but use 1x2’s instead. I made a few triangles that very same weekend, but decided I liked the look of them without the eyelet hooks and strung ornaments and base. I liked that they were rustic and fit with our décor perfectly.  I stained some, did a black wash paint on one and left one with its natural wood state.


Below I gave you guys the cuts and measurements I used to make a large wood triangle tree. You can easily make the triangles different sizes by shortening all of the lengths of the pieces of wood.

measurements for a large wooden triangle tree from

Once you have your wood pieces cut you will need to dab a little wood glue where two pieces will meet together and use a smaller gauge nail gun to secure the pieces. I used an 18 gauge nail gun with 5/8 inch nails. I did 2-3 nails in each place where the sides connected.


I like the different combinations of the stains and sizes of the triangle trees. My husband refers to these as mountain peaks and not trees, so you could totally use them to depict mountains too I guess.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Felt ball garland, Vintage Window & Scrap Wood L Bracket Shelf– DIY & jump on this train


I know felt ball garlands are nothing new. They’ve been around the block a time or two by now, and there are a ton of tutorials on making felt ball garlands, and even making your own felt balls. I’m cool with being late to this felt ball garland club. I tend to kind of sit back and wait to really decide if I like something or not, and I don’t really rush to follow trends, unless they really call out to me that is.


I’ve been wanting to do a felt garland for a while and finally decided that since I was in the DIY-all-things kind of mood I might as well make one. I ordered gray and white 2cm felt balls from a seller on Etsy. After I got them I brought out some embroidery thread and a large thick needle to use to string them together.


Once they were all strung up I used these ultra small 3M Clear Command Hooks to hang them on the vintage window I bought from a vendor (@m5vintsgeco) during the Old Town Flea Market in Clovis where we live. I bought the window for $18, and knew it would go great hanging over our T.V.


To hang the shelf I used a 4 inch wide piece of wood, L brackets, and molly screws to secure it to the wall.  I stained the wood with a mix I made up (Minwax’s Golden Oak and Dark Walnut) before I hung it up.


I love old and new coming together to create a cheery space. We don’t have a mantle so I am totally using the shelf and window above the television for our Christmas decorations right now. I also love that I can keep the garland up year round if I wanted to since it’s not in any traditional Christmas or Holiday colors. You can check out my Instagram feed (@alwaysnwonder) if you want to see what the shelf and window and all of our décor look like sitting above the T.V.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Little Wood Houses and Stamped Wood House Ornaments–DIY

Little wooden houses and wood house ornaments

This Christmas our décor is really simple. A little rustic, a little industrial, a little modern, and a whole lot handmade.  A few weeks ago I decided to use some of the scrap wood I had and turn them into little houses. Once I had my cute little houses I saw endless potential. This easy DIY/craft is simple but has an impact. You can make little houses for toys, or use as décor for your mantle or shelf, or turn them into personalized ornaments. 

little wood houses cut out

DIRECTIONS: The first thing you will do is cut your wood on both sides using 45 degree angles on each side. Then make a straight cut for the bottom of your house. I used a compound miter saw for quick and easy cuts. You can make each house the same size in height or cut them at different lengths to make their height staggered.  Once your wood is all cut out you will need to sand it and make sure there aren’t any splintered pieces coming off from the cuts you made.  After sanding all sides wipe them down with a clean slightly damp cloth/wet wipe/tack cloth, to remove dust.  At this point you can leave them their natural wood color, paint them, or stain them.

wooden houses cut from scrap wood

stained or painted miniature wood houses

stained and painted miniature wood house

You can leave the houses as they are, or you can turn them into stamped miniature wood house ornaments. I used the supplies below to help create the stamped wood house ornaments I made.
SUPPLIES: 1/8” Steel Stamping Set, small eyelet hooks that screw into place, twine (whichever color you prefer), a gold ultra fine tip Sharpie paint pen, a hammer, a small drill bit, and a drill

supplies for stamped wood house ornaments

DIRECTIONS: Use a hammer or mallet to hit the steel stamps into the wood to create an indention of the letter. I used a piece of washi tape across the wood to help keep the letters I stamped straight, or straight enough. I lined up the bottom of the stamp to the edge of the tape before using my hammer to hit the stamp down. (I suggest practicing on a piece of scrap wood before starting your first ornament so that you are more familiar with the amount of pressure you need to use to hit the stamp into the wood, and you can practice keeping the letters straight.
After stamping the phrase or words you want on your wood house, use the ultra fine tip Sharpie paint pen to fill in the letters with paint. You don’t want to flood the letters with paint, so just lightly fill in the letters. (Again, practice on a scrap piece of wood first if you’re worried.)
After stamping, use the drill and small drill bit to to start a hole at the top of the house in the middle. Once the hole is there it will be easier to turn the hook all the way into the wood. Then use your twine and loop a small piece through the hook and tie it off to make an ornament.

stamped wooden house ornaments (2)stamped wooden house ornaments (1)

black and gold peace love joy stamped wooden house ornament (1)

Ordering Large Prints for a Gallery Wall

family photo gallery wall with large and small prints found at

I know it was just a couple of weeks ago that I posted about the gallery wall in our living room, but I’ve already updated the wall after taking family photos and receiving our prints from, and I wanted to show off the new look for these walls.

alwaysinwonder's family photo gallery wall with large prints

I have some larger frames and some smaller ones mixed together. I had never ordered photos larger than 5x7’s before, but Mpix made it really easy to upload photos and order the sizes I wanted. Before, when I had I ordered photos I usually just got 1 hour prints from Walmart. This time I wanted to use a photo service and make sure the prints were the quality I wanted since they were going to be on our walls for a long time. The 11x14 of our family in the larger black frame is one of my favorites.

family photo gallery wall and ordering large prints from

I also changed our gallery wall in our hallway too, using the new photos we had printed. It used to look like the pic below, but now you can see the changes I made with frames and prints.

gallery wall before.
gallery wall with eclectic frames and family photos from alwaysinwonder

More frames, more photos, and more memories.

gallery wall with eclectic frames and family pics from

I wouldn’t hesitate on using Mpix again. Their shipping was fast (I chose next day because I couldn’t wait to get our pictures), the photos arrived in great condition, and ordering was very easy.  One tip, I chose not to have them color correct our photos since I had already edited them using a photo editing software. So if you’ve already edited your photos, and your colors on your screen are pretty accurate, I would hit “Do NOT color correc”t before submitting your order.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post in any way. I found Mpix by searching for online photo print services and decided to give them a try.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thread and Spool Garland

spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (18)
I absolutely love simple crafts like this thread and spool garland I made last month. The hardest part about it was picking which colors to use. If you’re like me, you’ll want to use a lot of different ones because you know an ombre, rainbow garland is going to brighten your day anytime you look at it.
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (17)
You’ll need a few supplies you may or may not have on hand, and the only “tools” you’ll need are your hot glue gun, and scissors. I bought these wooden spools, and a few of the embroidery threads at Michael’s. I actually had several colors of the embroidery thread and the twine in my craft supplies already, so be sure to check your stash before heading out to shop.
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (2)
Once you’re supplies are laid out and your glue gun is hot and ready, you can use the thread to wrap around each wooden spool. I put a small drop of hot glue on the wooden spool to hold the thread in place, and then began to wrap the thread around the spool until it was fully covered in the middle. Once it’s covered you’ll cut your thread, and add another tiny spot of glue to its end so you can secure it to the spool and it won’t unravel.
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (4)
After you have all of the spools wrapped with the colors you want to use to create your garland you will string them on your twine in the order you want them to go on. You’ll want to add another drop of hot glue to a spot on the twine where each spool will be staying. This will secure the spools in place and you won’t have to worry about them sliding around. The spacing of your spools is completely up to you, as are the colors you choose to use and the order you put them in. There are so many different colors of embroidery threads. Make a garland to go with your space, or make one for a friend.
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (7)spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (8)spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (10)spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (11)spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (14)
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (19)
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (20)
spool and thread garland from alwaysinwonder (1)