Frugal Tree Flocking with Dollarstore Supplies

Frugal Tree Flocking with Dollarstore Supplies

My mom in law told me that flocking your Christmas Tree is something they did back in the 80s but evidently it’s back in style again! Shopping around town I saw price tags as high as $300 for a flocked tree and that’s way out of the price range for a lady who already has a perfectly good fake tree at home.

I started drybrushing white paint on my old tree branches at home which looked ok but didn’t give it much texture or dimension.

BUT while in the craft section at my local Dollarama, I came across a bag of ‘paper mache fibre’ for 3 bucks. It looked well-enough like snow so I set out to do some flocking with it!

I watered down elmers glue and applied it everywhere I wanted the flocking to stick and then just sprinkled the mache fibre on top. 

Yes, it was a messy process!

Here’s some progress pics as I added finished branches to the tree:

You can see that it did flake and leave a mess as I put the branches back on the tree. The mache fibre came smelling kinda gluey so I assumed that wetting it would harden it. So I spritzed the finished tree with water. It worked! It set the remaining flocking perfectly and reduced the actual snowing-down of remaining fibre. 

Not bad for $3 and some glue and paint I already had on hand! 

Here it is all set up after the kids and I put all of our decorations up and topped it with the star I made out of old chair spindles and my granny’s crocheted tablecloth as the tree skirt

And a letter A for the Ashdown Family ♡

Merry Christmas Xx

Advertisements

Upcycled Chair Spindle Tree Topper/Star

Upcycled Chair Spindle Tree Topper/Star

I have been set on doing a really elaborate rustic farmhouse style Christmas Tree this year and it seems that anything of quality at the local stores costs an arm and a leg. So I got on Pinterest and found some cute wooden stars that piqued my interest and got to thinking about how I could make my own.

I’ve had a small collection of dowels/spindles from the various wooden chairs that have broken over the years in our house and decided to wing it and I love how it turned out!

I taped and then predrilled holes to screw the dowels together in the shape of a star.

I had an old tree topper with some lights in it that I wanted to use on the new topper so I took it apart and saved the lights

I gave the new star a quick coat of paint and hotglued some pinecones and foliage to it, wrapped the lights around it, and- TaDa! Pretty darn cute 🙂

I even turned a wire coat hanger into the mounting spring by twisting it around a pole in the drill to get the shape and inserting it into a predrilled hole in the star.

I never set up the tree until after my sons birthday at the end of November but I’m excited to see how it looks all lit up atop the family tree!

Some Holiday Painting

Some Holiday Painting

This past weekend I scrounged up some supplies from my stash and put together some Christmas signs and stocking holders. 

I modpodged some vintage wrapping paper to a board and added hooks for stockings. I really liked how it turned out so I may do some more to use up the wrapping paper bits I’ve been holding on to.

And I’m keeping a couple for myself 🙂

I suppose I could have taken better photos but I am just too eager to share lol!

Sew Cute Caddy

Sew Cute Caddy

I originally made this to hold treats for a birthday party. Now it serves as my handy dandy sewing caddy. 

If you’ve never put holes in china check out diamond-tip drill-bit and say that five times fast!

While playing around with sewing stuff I made a little pincushion and added an elastic band so it could hold onto the sewing machine.

I’m so ready for some holiday sewing! This is the only time of year I ever really feel like bringing out the out machine and trying not to pull out my hair getting it to work properly LOL

 

Weekend Project: Garden Paths

Weekend Project: Garden Paths

Another chapter in our neverending backyard projects saga wrapped up this year with the installation of a firepit area and garden paths. 

We have really crummy grass because I can’t be bothered to invest time and money into maintaining something that provides so little benefit; I need more time to tend to my tomato plants and echinacea flowers! So replacing some turf with gravel seemed like a great way to reduce the workload and improve the esthetic of the yard. There’s still (always) so much more to do but I will show you how we made our paths and pit and talk about what we hope to achieve by the end of next summer!

When we first moved here this is what our yard looked like:

Its been a busy few summers with the construction of our upcycled greenhousegarden plotchicken coop, and pond. Our yard is slowly transforming into a beautiful and diverse space for growing food, observing nature, and playing and entertaining with friends and family.

Before we began the path project, our yard looked something like this:

At the time that photo was taken, we had already settled on a plan of action and begun the work of removing the old culvert firepit and digging the new one.

I used garden hoses to guesstimate where I wanted the paths to be and I started digging away the sod over the course of a few weekday afternoons while hubby was at work.

We found some cement stacking stones on a local classified for a really great deal an bought them before we even knew exactly what we would use them for but I’m glad we did because they turned out to be a great border for the firepit circle.

 I began piling layers onto the areas that would become new lasagna beds (or ‘sheet-mulched’ beds). New Gardener Blues shares a great post about how to properly sheet-mulch a lasagna bed here.

In the meantime, hubby was hard at work with the rest. After laying down heavy-duty landscape fabric in all newly dug areas we ordered a load of 4 tonnes of 1/4″ crushed gravel, and rented a bobcat and a tamper. 

Here’s the hubs levelling and tamping the gravel in the firepit circle:

1/4″ crushed gravel compacts very nicely and provides a fairly hard surface area for walking on. It’s low-maintenence and cheap. We used an old tractor rim for the new pit and buried it halfway into the gravel.

With the leftover concrete blocks we made a small patio under the apple tree and a step-down on the slope from the gate. I’ve been slowly propagating creeping thyme and trying to encourage it to grow in and around the stones to soften the space and suppress some weeds

The family took a daytrip to a local beach where we found some sandstone and other flatrocks and I used those to create a small retaining wall below the grapevine as well as some step-up access to my water collection system (another future project)

Before:

We had to cut the grapevine right back to the base so we can re-train it and get it to produce fruit for us again. By the end of next summer it’ll again look like a neater version of this:

The beginning of planting and naturalizing the space:

Things are slowly coming along and of course all I can do is dream about the beautiful and delicious and medicinal plants I’ll be able to grow next year. We have already planted some blueberry and ornamental bushes and cutting flowers and spring bulbs. Next spring I’ll make space for some vining plants like pumkins and melons. We left the option open to invest in some quality flatstone for the paths if it’s ever within our future budget. Since packed crushed gravel makes a great sublevel to stone pathways we’ve already done the hard work! If not flatstones, maybe we will add a layer of pea gravel so I can resume barefoot gardening (my favorite!) -without puncturing my footsies on the crushed gravel. 

Only 7 more months until spring!