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.

Reclaimed vs. Salvaged Wood

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Reclaimed and salvaged are terms that are often used interchangeably when referring to reusing wood.  The truth is they are not the same thing but they do serve a similar purpose.  Reclaimed wood is wood that has been used previously in the construction of buildings. Old barns are a common source of reclaimed wood as are old warehouses, docks, homes and municipal buildings. These structures must be carefully dismantled when intended for reuse.  The wood is then cut up or re-shaped to be used in a new way.  Old flooring becomes a coffee table.  An old support beam becomes a fireplace mantel.  The simple act of re-using the wood is what defines it as ‘reclaimed. There are several reasons for choosing reclaimed wood as a building material.  Often hundreds of years old and exposed to the elements, reclaimed wood has a beautiful unique weathered patina.  It is an extremely stable wood having been air-dried for many years.  People also often like the stories behind reclaimed wood.  Knowing it came from a family barn or a historic building only makes it more interesting.

shutterstock_72186736Unlike reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has not been previously cut into lumber or used for construction. The wood is typically found in its natural state. It could be from trees that are dead, have fallen or need to be removed for some reason.  Trees are often removed to build a highway or new housing. Like reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has a lot of character. The color is often much deeper.  It may have intricate grain patterns, knots and worm tracks.  Centuries of aging causes a wide range of beautiful qualities that just cannot be found in younger tree growth.

In both cases, reclaimed and salvaged wood is ‘old growth’. Since the wood came from old growth forests it is harder, denser and has more character than new growth wood.  They also share the same benefits. Both are extremely durable and will can last for generations.  The wood can be re-finished, converted and re-used in many different ways. Best of all, both prevent new trees from being cut down.

Today there is much interest in using reclaimed and salvaged wood in home renovations and decor.  It is being used as hardwood floors, to make furniture, create feature walls and art. pallet-coffee-tableThe costs for each varies considerably. Reclaimed wood is often less expensive traditional lumber.  Salvaged wood, however can be more expensive.  It must be collected, transported, milled, and is often re-finished before it’s re-sold.  There is also a lot of waste that doesn’t happen with younger woods. Up to 75% of a tree that was fallen or salvaged is often unusable.

Although different, it really doesn’t matter whether you use reclaimed or salvaged wood. Each offers a one-of-a-kind building material.  Both benefit the environment and reduce what goes in a landfill.  The next time you shop for furniture or plan a woodworking project, consider using reclaimed or salvaged wood. Reusing and recycling are trends that are here to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Like us on Facebook for special codes and coupons! Don’t miss out on your chance to win big with our contest through Pinterest – hurry it ends AUGUST 29th!!!

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!

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!

Bring On Winter

Hang anything you would like from an old door!

I wanted to hang my families ski’s and snowboard’s! I can fit up to three on this one, probably could have fit another two tiers on it if you get the right hooks and hang them at more of an angle. I went to Resource Yard, found a used door for $15 (they had them for $10-85).

The starting point

After a little sanding to even the texture out, I picked a fun color to paint the door (used some old paint in the basement). As I was painting it this amazing blue, I decided I wanted snowflakes on it – seemed to fit the theme. I even created the snowflakes myself, like we did in elementary school (folding the paper 4-5 times and cut away). Then, added a touch of splatter, just because it’s fun to do.

Really anything would be fun on here, If I could paint the San Juan Mountain Range on it, I would have. But my artistic abilities do not extend that far. This would spruce up any garage or basement! Also, helps to keep snow gear from continuously falling over when it is sat up against a wall. It is far cheaper than any rack you may find at a sports store and it has a personal touch! And last but certainly not least, I shined it up with some Scott’s liquid Gold for a beautiful shine! Happy Skiing and hopes for more snow this season in Colorado!

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!