Counting scrappy blessings …

From the November 2015 edition of Two-Lane Livin’

Most of our gardens are finished producing, and we begin looking forward to the holiday season. Here at the Holstein household, the holiday lover in me wants new, fresh decorations. The tightwad in me doesn’t want to spend money on plastic stuff from China.

What’s a girl to do?

Mr. Holstein built a small porch for his mother a few months back, and there are scrap lumber pieces just waiting to be useful. I have an idea that will get me a couple new decorations, use the scrap wood, and cost little or nothing at all. Here is what you need if you want to try this project:

  • Scrap 2×4, or 1×4 pieces of lumber. Length doesn’t matter;
  • Autumn or Thanksgiving themed coloring book pages or printed designs;
  • Carpenter pencil, or regular pencil nicely sharpened;
  • Chalk paint in white and orange*;
  • Acrylic paints, paint sponges, and detail brush(es);
  • Spray craft sealant;
  • Medium grit sanding sponge; and,
  • Blue painters tape.

Sand the scrap wood with the sanding sponge just enough to smooth rough edges and open the pores a bit. It is not necessary to have a polished surface. Use an old towel to wipe the dust off.

Using a paint sponge, coat your scrap wood with your choice of chalk paint. If you need a couple coats to cover a spot that is okay. This project resembles a “primitive” so perfection is not required. Let dry.

Decide on the design you want to use. Reduce or enlarge to fit your scrap wood. Using the side of the carpenter pencil lead, shade the BACK of the image you chose. It needs to be dark, but not so heavy with lead that it smudges easily.

Tape the image onto the scrap wood, image up and lead shading against the paint. Trace the image with the pencil, but don’t drag your palm, it will smudge. This is just like using tracing paper. The idea is to leave a light outline of your image on the painted surface.

Paint the image with a detail brush and acrylic paint. When dry, spray with craft sealant. Fasten your choice of hanger on the back, if desired, and enjoy!

TwoLane Living Nov 15

* DON’T BUY CHALK PAINT! Please, don’t waste money buying chalk paint. It can run $16 a pint. You need very, very little paint to complete a couple boards. Make your own with the following recipe:

Chalk Paint

1 cup latex paint
½ cup baking soda
3 TBSP cool water

Split into thirds and tint with a little acrylic paint. It goes a long way, and dries very quickly.

Robin’s Upcycle is located in Kanawha County, WV. Open by appointment. Phone 304-460-5NEW (5639). For info, visit