Thursday, November 13, 2014

. . . DIY 4x4 Christmas Candlesticks . . .

A couple months ago my mom and I decided to have a painting party and have everyone bring a container of chalk paint of their choice and we provided the project.  We had so much fun doing this that we decided to do it again but make a Christmas Craft this time.  It is hard to come up with a project that everyone will love and that can be made in a couple hours from start to finish but this was perfect.  We made 4x4 Christmas Candlesticks and the fun part is that everyone's ended up looking a little bit different.
Again we used Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint from Decoart and it worked beautifully for our 4x4s.  The 2 colors we used were Everlasting and Romance (the perfect red).  I also came up with the idea of using wide mouth jar lids painted and glued onto the top of the 4x4 and that is used to hold a pillar candle.  We also drilled a hole in the top of each block so you could use a votive or tea light.  To do the tea light hole you need a 1.5 inch spade drill bit.  Some of the girls chose to take the wide mouth jar lids but not glue them on so they could use both options depending on which candle they had handy.  I chose to skip drilling mine altogether because I knew I'd probably always want the pillar candles.  My mom did a set where she glued the lids and has the holes drilled so she can do either one.

These are three sets that my mom and I did before the party to use as examples and each set has a slightly different look.  Adding a little something extra with ribbon or wraphia made a big impact and then a sprig of berries and pine really makes the candlesticks pop.  I also found really cute vinyl Christmas labels at Michael's that I added to mine.  They are removable too so if I get tired of them it's an easy fix.
 So pretty and it's always rewarding when you can make something you can use.

 This set is distressed a bit more than the others and was done when it was completed so the red runs into the white and gives it a more rustic look.

Our party theme was turquoise and red so we set up this set using a sprig of turquoise beads and then red and turquoise ribbon so it's a little more modern and colorful.

This is the set I made for our house.  I added vinyl stickers and a sprig of berries with red burlap ribbon.  I picked up some pretty red candles and the candlesticks are ready to go.

 I tried to use all turquoise and red for the party set up.  I stacked paper plates in alternating colors and did the same with the cups and napkins and then picked up paper straws in the same colors.  To add some candlelight to everything I just used blue Ball jars and filled the bottom with Epsom salt and added a red and white gingham ribbon and dropped a tea light into the bottom.  

There was a table set up of all the things the girls would need to make this project including lots of Chalky Finish Paint. 
 Because we knew time would be limited to get this project done my mom and I sanded all the blocks and put one coat of primer on them and then applied one coat of Everlasting Chalky Finish Paint.  The girls got right to work when they got there and started painting another coat of the white and then while that dried they got busy eating and visiting.  It worked out well to do that because by the time they were done eating all the yummy food they could get started on the sanding and then painting the red accents.
 Once everyone had their blocks painted white we had them sand the entire block and distress it the way they wanted.  We then started having each person tape off the design they wanted.  Some did chevron, some did stripes, some did polka dots and one even did a monogram.  It was so fun to see what each person wanted.
 Lots of fun sanding, taping and painting.  Then of course finishing them with the Americana Decor Clear Wax. 
 We found that since we were trying to get the project done in a couple hours that a hair dryer just dried that paint up like nobody's business.  I am going to have to keep one handy every time I want to get a project done quickly. 

Don't you love the chevron and vertical stripes too?  They turned out so cute.
 I am in love with the top set that is really distressed.  It turned out so nice and looks so rustic.  Then the monogram looked awesome as well.  The stickers add a great something extra too.  I just love all the sets and couldn't pick a favorite.
 I think everyone left very happy with how their blocks turned out and I hope they will all use them in their holiday decorating.

Everyone had a great time I think and the projects all looked so good as they were heading out the door at the end of the night!

TO MAKE:
Use untreated 4x4s cut to the desired size.  We did a set of two for the night of the party but then did sets of 3 for a few other sets.  Ours were cut to be:

Sand your blocks until smooth.  **If you are going to drill with the spade bit then you will want to go ahead and do that now.  Apply one coat of primer.  I used spray primer on my set but we used brush on primer for the sets the girls painted.  I think the blocks that had brush on primer did much better than my set with spray primer.  

Once the primer dries apply your white paint until the wood is covered to your liking.  Sand the entire block getting the block distressed as much as you'd like.

Use round sponge brushes to achieve the polka dot look or use painter's tape to tape off the blocks in horizontal stripes or diagonal stripes or even vertical stripes.  Whatever your heart desires!  Use different widths of tape to get a different look to your stripes as well.  Once the tape is applied you will paint the white areas red or whatever color you are using on your blocks.  Let the red dry and then paint another coat.  I found that I liked mine with 3 coats but most of the girls at the party were happy with 2 coats.  It is completely up to you.  

Once the red has dried you can sand a little more to distress the blocks or you can leave them as they are.  For my 2 blocks that have stripes I left the tape covering the white so no red would bleed into the white and sanded the red back down to make it a little distressed on the edges.  I then removed the tape so I could touch up any bleeds and then I was ready for wax.  I didn't sand my polka dot block until after I waxed.

Apply your choice of wax.  I use Minwax or the Americana Decor Clear Wax and love both.  I think the Minwax is a little thicker but both protect well and leave a great feel to the finished project.  Once you've applied your wax and buffed it off you can lightly sand with a very smooth sandpaper to get a really nice finish. 

If you are using the wide mouth jar lids to hold pillar candles then you can paint those to the desired color and use E6000 glue to apply them to the top of your blocks.  Let them dry and then you can add your candles.  Add any extra embellishments that you would like and then display them.

21 comments:

  1. This looks like SO much fun Lindy! I've been dying to throw a craft party for some time but always end up reverting to putting it off because I get too tied up in the details (how to handle the supplies, finding a project that is quick and all levels of crafters can do and WANT to do, etc...) This project is so cute and appeals to everyone, thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I understand. I have been like that for years. I would have people email me and ask if I would give a party and they would pay etc and I always said no. Anyway I have done 2 now and they were a huge hit and so much fun. A lot of work though. It takes quite a bit of time to set it all up but it is worth it. You should go for it.

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  2. What a great idea for some fun and beautiful decorations! I love this idea...thanks for sharing!

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  3. Looks like so much fun. HPS Michelle

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  4. @jennifer @jodee @michelle thank you all so much. I love this project too. Simple and fun to do with a group or by yourself and what a great gift idea too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. so much fun! I have made snowmen with 4x4s but never thought about this. This would make a great ladies night craft project at my shop! perfect idea! Thanks for sharing it with us!! SO excited to find your blog!
    Jess
    http://www.liverandomlysimple.com

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    1. Great idea to do them in your shop. I love snowmen made out of blocks so I bet yours are so cute. Thank you for stopping by.

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  6. Such a great idea! And the party looked like a lot of fun.

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  7. what a great time it looks like you all had. Beautiful candles so festive and colorful
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Angie! I will stop by and say hi.

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  8. These are so cute and colorful. I love them!

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    1. Thanks so much. I like how bold they are too. Appreciate your comment.

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  9. I love these candlesticks and the idea of throwing a paint/crafting party. Thank you so much for linking up to Dare to Share, you are today's Dare to Share Feature of the Day!

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  10. Oh, these are fabulous, Lindy! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features today at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link to this week's bash. http://www.thededicatedhouse.com/2014/11/make-it-pretty-monday-week-121.html Hope to see your prettiness again at the party. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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    1. Wow That is fantastic. Thank you so much for the feature. I love your party and will be back again soon. Thanks again.

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  11. Hi Lindy I love them they r so adorable but I need some craft project for children to do since I volunteer at a school can u help me out with some of your idea thank u very much I'm connielatty57@gmail.com

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  12. I love this idea. I'm thinking of doing it on a bit larger scale. Like 9-10 pillars, at varying sizes. Each with a different design. My question is, with the specific products you used are these able to be out in the weather? I'm thinking on my porch.

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    1. Hi Heather! These wouldn't be great for outdoor use as we did them but you could for sure do them to use on your porch with the right product. If you plan to use them outside DecoArt as well as other companies make outdoor paint that is meant to hold up to the elements. If you wanted to use the chalk paint like I did for mine then you would need to seal it with polyurethane and for outdoor use I would for sure to with an oil based poly. I don't care for the spray on but the brush on. I use Helsman Polyurethane by Minwax. They have them in different finishes so you can go with satin or glossy. Another option would be spray paint that is made for outdoor use. Spray pant can still be distressed if you wanted that look but if you plan to distress it go with flat or satin finish. The gloss doesn't distress as easily. I hope this helps a little bit. I'm always happy to answer any other questions if you have them.

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  13. I love this and would to make some too! How did you make your polka dots? Did you use a stencil or sticker?

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    1. I'm so glad you like them! I actually used little round sponges that I picked up at Michael's. They are from Martha Stewart and come in a pack of all different sizes so it's super simple to make dots. I use them all the time and love them. They wash up easily so you can reuse them over and over again. I'm sure there are other brands that you can find too but that is the kind I have. I hope you find some and yours turn out beautifully!

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