DIY Holiday – Chrismas Carol Art

I have taken to decorating the little shelf over our front hall coat rack as a would-be mantle. It got decorated for Halloween, Thanksgiving and now its getting a little Christmas cheer. My local dollar store sells 12×16 stretched artist canvases for the low price of $2. They also sell $1 acrylic paint. I figured this was an excellent excuse to make some inexpensive holiday art.

The Coat Rack Mantle without any decoration

While singing Christmas carols at my desk one day (yep I’m one of those holiday spirit kinda people)  I decided that my art project should revolve around Christmas carols. I promptly went home and laid down some type in Illustrator of  the lyrics “Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more”.  Hopefully our visiting friends and family will feel welcome this holiday season!

Type laid out in Adobe Illustrator

After I was happy with my type layout and font selection, I cut out the type using my Silhouette SD onto adhesive vinyl. If you don’t have a silhouette, you can pick up alphabet stickers from craft stores, or you can cut your own out of adhesive material. After my stickers were cut, I removed the excess vinyl (called weeding) and transferred my stickers using transfer paper (it’s sticky paper which pulls off the vinyl from their backing, then you place it where you want your stickers and apply using a credit card.)

Half the words adhered to the canvas

After my stickers were adhered I took a look and loved it just the way it was! I know, lazy me! If you want to do it right,  paint around the edges of the stickers with some white acrylic paint. You do this so that if any of the paint bleeds under the stickers, its white like the canvas so it wont be visible. After it dries,  coat the whole canvas in 2 coats of black, red or green paint.

After the paint dries, remove your stickers, and reveal the white canvas below. Or be lazy like me and just put stickers on canvas, then go drink some rum laced eggnog instead.

Where was I? Eggnog? Oops. Right. Project…

Then I placed it up on my mini mantle with a small artificial tree, candles, fresh greenery and a ceramic pear.


12×16 Art Canvas
Adhesive Vinyl
White & Black Acrylic Paint
Eggnog for extra holiday cheer

Tools Used:
Silhouette SD
Paint Brush

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

One out of five

Total Cost: $2 ($4 if you paint it)

DIY Coat Rack

For those who follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed a lot of front hall coat storage solutions being pinned to my “Organization” board lately.

Our front entryway is well…a mess. Our front door opens to a square tiled area with no closet and a blank wall. No place to put your keys, coat, shoes or, well… anything.

Slowly we have introduced a few good things to the front entryway. A Ikea Pax wardrobe for storage, a handcrafted bench from a local artisan and a giant mirror that came with our last apartment. The black sheep of the entryway however is an ugly, broken $15 Ikea RIGG coat rack that we’ve had since college.

Ikea RIGG Coat Rack

In fact, I believe its been broken since college. Held together by duct tape and zip ties (really!) The thing fell down every time you put a winter coat on it, and generally looked like a giant blob of coats taking up a massive amount of space in our entryway. We wanted to change it for a long time…we just never actually did.

So finally we got off our butts and decided to make a wall mounted coat rack to streamline the entryway some. Our lovely reclaimed wood bench was our inspiration. We wanted something that looked like it belonged with our bench. Like a brother from another mother. We picked up a piece of 1x12x10 rough pine (also used in the bath table DIY) from Home Depot. We measured our space, and decided for a 12×33″ wide rack with a 4×36″ mini shelf on top (to hold some art etc.)

Cutting the boards to size

We cut down the pieces of wood, sanded the roughest bits out and got to distressing.


We hammered, nailed, sawed, chiseled, and generally beat the crap out of our wood. My favourite part is some rusty nails (that I salvaged from my pallets) that we bashed into the wood, leaving nail heads and in one case the whole nail showing. It really does make it look like its been around 100 years.

Distressed Wood

As we wanted to match the bench, I headed out to pick up the darkest brown stain I could find. I came back with Varathane “Chocolate” and put on a coat. It looked great at first, but as it dried, it was still too light. So I put on a second coat of stain, then followed it up with a coat of Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane.

After 2 coats of Chocolate stain

After it dried, I sanded lightly with a fine sandpaper, then gave it a second coat. Once it was completely dry we attached some nice cast iron coat hooks, and attached it to the wall (into the studs) with some nice 2 1/2″ long black screws.

So here is the before and after:

Before: Coat Monster
After: YAY!



1×12 wood: Home Depot
Varathane Chocolate Stain: Home Depot
Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane: Home Hardware
Cast Iron Coat Hooks: Home Depot

Tools Used:
Circular saw, miter saw, measuring tape, level, stud finder, drill, small foam paint brush, rag, misc. tools to distress

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

Two out of five

Total Cost: $40 ($16 of that is the for the hooks)