Real Wood + Greenery for the Best Holiday Look of the Season

rustic-holiday-decor-collageHave you started decorating for the winter holidays yet? As soon as Thanksgiving was over, we began decorating the Scott’s Liquid Gold office for Christmas. This year, popular holiday décor is overwhelmingly natural, rustic, neutral, and understated. Images and design ideas trending right now highlight natural and botanical elements rather than plastic or manufactured-looking elements. This trend is great for the budget and easy to achieve because many items you can use may even be found in your very own backyard! We are excited to share with you how to create this look in your home and how Scott’s Liquid Gold can help.

To begin, find some real wood. Flea markets and thrift stores are great for finding old wooden trays, planter boxes, barn wood, pallet wood or crates. With a little Liquid Gold, they make beautiful clean slates for your creative attention! Barn wood and pallet wood can make great holiday signs or stocking holders. Crates, trays, and planter boxes can be the start to a lovely tablescape or the festive filling of an empty corner or coffee table.

Once you have your wood, go on a treasure hunt in your backyard for branch cuttings, pine cones, and rosemary, spruce, or evergreen sprigs. If your backyard doesn’t yield enough to work with, try Walmart, craft stores, or garden stores. You can easily find fake or real greenery, wood slices, burlap, and pillar candles.  These elements can easily be put together in many different ways to create charming holiday looks – it’s so easy they can almost be thrown together! christmas-botanical-decorationsslg-plus-decor-2_1
Beyond the decorations, holiday gift wrap can follow the same trend. Pinterest is full of inspiration for beautiful simple gift of brown kraft paper with natural elements such as greenery and twine. Again – great for the budget and less work for you!

Creativity, thriftiness, and a little Scott’s Liquid Gold blend perfectly together for a charming and beautiful holiday look. Happy decorating!

For more information on Scott’s Liquid Gold visit www.scottsliquidgold.com.

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Through the eyes of a window

There was an old window, this window lived in Granby, Colorado.Through the eyes of a windowFor 30 years Window enjoyed sunshine and mountain views by day and billions of twinkling lights among the dark sky at night.  One sunny morning Window was suddenly stripped of the life he knew. He was thrown in the back of a truck and headed to Denver, Colorado. In Denver, Window was on the brink of death, ready to be tossed in a giant brown metal container when suddenly a soft voice struck Window.

“Excuse me, what are doing with that window?” the soft voice asks.

“Why I’m throwing this old thing away” a deep and raspy voice responds.

“Is it broken?”

“No, I just installed new windows for a fella in Granby. These here were custom built in the 80’s.”

“Well let me take those off your hands, I can give him a new life.”

Found an old window

…And Window’s new life journey began. 

Liquid Gold cleans an old window  Repurposing a window

Window was pampered with a cloth smelling of sweet almond and decorated with mini clothes pins and string.

Materials

Uniquely salvaged window, mini clothes pins, yarn/hemp/string, photos of anything you love printed in BW or Sepia (with a white border or glued to scrapbook paper), spray paint.

Miniclips_window  Liquid Gold photos used for repurposed window

Window now enjoys the friendly voices and soft aroma of freshly brewed coffee at the Scott’s Liquid Gold office. And the Liquid Gold team enjoys the company of Window’s vintage accent.

Repurposed Window

 Adopt a window today! There’s one waiting to display your favorite family memories!  Similar re-purposed multi-photo frame ideas found here.

Repurposing a window

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Recreating French Vintage

Hello fellow country vintage lovers! I’m here today to share some wonderful resources and ideas for recreating a French, country, and vintage piece for your home. Read

First, find something old, ugly or boring to work with! I came across this hideous magazine rack with a leopard print-like design at Goodwill, immediately knowing it was the perfect piece.

See hideous!Magazine Holder

After much sanding, it was still very “spotted” I chose a dark stain to re-stain two areas on the rack that I had intentions for a reverse stencil (find great instructions here). I didn’t want the spotting coming through but rather a nice, clean dark wood. This worked out well, the wood took to the stain great!

R-purposed

Placing vinyl letters “READ” over the newly stained spots (I gave the stain 2-3hrs before placing vinyl letters and it needed more time but still worked for me), I then sprayed the rest with an off white spray paint.Read

Notice here – there’s nothing vintage about it, I wasn’t pleased. It looks nice and could have stayed as is. But I wanted vintage! This is when I found It’s Just Me Blog and followed her amazing guidelines for re-creating a French vintage appeal rather easily.

I created the rustic look (localized sanding and sporadic hammer marks) before creating the vintage “print” idea found on the blog. I would suggest doing this the other way around. If you make a mistake while doing the “print” it will be much easier to cover during the “create rustic” process.

Read

I also chose to create the French appeal in two locations, both being fairly small. I wouldn’t recommend this technique of “French vintage print” on anything smaller than this project here, the technique is amazing but indeed somewhat tedious with the smaller writings and lines. 

French Vintage

I chose to make the finished product a place for books rather than magazines. I love how the vintage and rustic turned out as well as the French lettering! The description on It’s Just Me Blog is fabulous and easy to follow. When you’re first reading through – it may sound lengthy but it’s quite simple once you get started.

Don’t forget the Liquid Gold once your project is complete and fully dry! Liquid Gold will ensure the preservative of your beautiful masterpiece!

Read

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Thanks for reading!

Do-It-Yourself Nesting Box

Summer is near, time to enjoy and embrace the natural world! Having a bird house or nesting box is a significant way to create a mutual relationship with nature. bird houseAs we are aware, humans have been increasingly building concrete jungle environments which in turn, is pushing out other species habitats.  By building an alternative and (nearly) natural environment for birds to nest, we are at least making an attempt to co-habitat.

pallet

pallet & pieces

Construction

Construction

Using an old pallet, a little man power, and a few power tools we built this amazing bird house! Once again, pallets are a booger to work with. We were able to get this one apart with a pry-bar and hammer, always use gloves when working with pallets! There is generally an excess of nails, most of which are rusty. After pulling off the best pieces, they were sanded (80 grit) to make the wood slightly safer to work with.

The pieces were cut according to the bird house plan used then glued and nailed appropriately.

I chose not to paint the roof, allowing Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner & Preservative to work its magic.

Before & After

Before & After

Nesting boxes have many positive purposes:

1. Attract natural pollinators to your garden.

2. Think wake up call – sweet chirping or obnoxious alarm clock?

3. Create a mutual relationship & co-habitat with the birds of your community. 

4. And well, birds are just fun to watch! Why do you want a bird house in your yard?

bird house

Nesting boxes generally attract birds like wrens, blue birds, chickadees, titmice, wood ducks and wood peckers. Check out choosing the right bird house for your backyard! Thanks Anthony for great instructions!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Using your Resources

re·source noun ˈrēˌsôrs

“a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life”

wine rack collage

As we organize this spring, it helps to set an ultimate goal. What are you working so hard to achieve? This could be: to de-clutter – truly going through papers and ‘stuff’ to file or donate, having more space – making use of wall space or cabinetry, or simply cleanliness – getting every nook and cranny. Whatever your goal may be, there are tons of resources at your fingertips! We’ve used a few here to create a multi-purpose organizer.

wine rack before

magazine rackBefore heading out to buy new storage or organizing containers watch for items in the garage, at your parents or grandparents house that may be of use. Especially wooden, because we love wood and there is an array of options to fix, clean and refurbish wood items. This old wine rack came from an ARES Thrift Store for $3.99.

I sanded it quite a bit,  using 80 grit. I’ve recently been taught the importance of sanding completely before staining anything wood. It’s important to get all the way down past the previously stained parts so that the new stain will take well. I chose a white wash stain out of pure curiosity. I have seen many people do it and needed to see for myself how it works and looks.  I simply followed the instructions on the can and viola! We now have an elegant and rustic; wine rack, towel rack, magazine holder, or anything else you fit rack!

Of course, I followed up with a Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner and Preservative test! liquid gold testThis lighter wood took to Liquid Gold very well so I chose not to finish it with a clear coat.

My challenge for you, is to think outside the box to achieve your spring organizing goals. Below are some additional resources you may want to use to help you get started! towel rack with Liquid Gold

resource definition

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

A New Kind of Picture Frame

A fun, easy and inexpensive holiday gift idea. Using old picture frames and chalkboard paint you can create this cute mini-board.

So many ways to use!

The How To: You may use old picture frames or find some at your local thrift store ($1-3), how I found these. Once you’re ready, you’ll need to sand (only slightly) whatever backing is on the frame (~220 grit), one of mine is a Plexiglas like material and the other is a soft wood… the chalkboard paint to pretty versatile. After sanding, wipe it off with a damp towel (let dry) and spray 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint ($6) – this will need to dry for approximately 24 hours.

In progress

In the meantime you could put two holes in the top; I used a drill and decent sized drill bit to ensure I could get my yarn through. This is not necessary as there are many ways to hang these – design to your liking. You may also want to paint or re-stain the frame you choose. You can get quite creative with the frame and yarn or string you’re hanging it with.

This can be done under $10 a piece quite easily and it gives your gift a personal touch. Don’t forget to get some chalk as well if you’re giving as a gift.

Happy crafting!

The necessities

Places to use these: The kitchen for a grocery list, bathroom for funny quotes, on the kid’s bedroom door for reminders, or in the office for inspiration! These are excellent for co-workers!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

From Nothing to Something!

A Do-It-Yourself log cabin style coat rack – made from a pallet!

Pallet

The Beginning!

Reusing old items is not always appealing, but re-purposing them can be very enjoyable and rewarding! I gathered some random materials around the office and home; a pallet, planters, random metals objects (hooks), and a few tools to create my very own cozy coat rack.

There is no doubt about it, pallets are not the easiest to work with but after some demolition work, I began sanding away. To create an even greater rustic look I used an old bike chain and hammer to dent the wood more. Then, I used a damp cloth to clean off the excess dirt and wiped it down with Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Wash.

Rack in Progress

Making it Happen

Soon, I had a great product to begin staining. While letting the stain set in, I painted the little random objects to use as hooks and baskets. I gathered some nuts and bolts to tighten the pallet and attached the other materials (wood glue and clamps would have worked as well).

Once the rack was dry, it was quite dull so I used Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Cleaner and Preservative to moisturize and shine my new coat rack and old pallet.

Job 1

The Finished Beauty!

If you want to start a project like this, make sure to look around your house you may be quite surprised at what you find! This fun project is a great way to spruce up your house while keeping those extra ‘things’ out of landfills.

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser.  Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado.  Thanks Amber!