New Years brings new dreams, goals, and challenges. One of my many goals for the new year is to blog more frequently. I haven’t been giving the blog/website the attention it deserves as I have been focus on growing a social media presence, but I don’t want my email subscribers and readers to be left out! I have a lot of great DIY projects I plan on doing and I can’t wait to share them with you!
So as the first blog post of 2018, I want to recap everything that happened in my first year of business!
New Years also brings many great memories, but this year I’m taking time to look back on one whole year in business and all the wonderful experiences it has brought! If it wasn’t for you and the rest of the Prairie Pine Designs customers, followers, and readers, I wouldn’t be in business. So this New Years, I wanted to personally thank you for your support and business! As of today, I have been able to plant 86 pine trees! I can wait to see this number continue to grow. Thank you for helping make a difference.
Workshops weren’t even on my radar when I opened shop last January, which is hard for me to imagine since I love instructing them so much! I started offering DIY WOOD SIGN WORKSHOPS this past fall. It started out as a one time class that morphed into many more! Now, I have a fully booked January 2018 calendar full of them and am currently booking more for the rest of the upcoming year.
2017 has been the best year yet, and I can’t wait for 2018 to begin! I have some amazing things to be thankful and grateful for this year, Chalk Couture being one of them. When I joined to be an independent designer five months ago, I never imagined that this brand new company would take me this far. I just wanted to get all the great products as a deep discount and to to use them in my wood sign business. Little did I know that I would build a team and guide others in their creative journeys in a few short months. December has brought wonderful leadership milestones for me within the company, and I am looking forward to growing, building, and crushing more goals in the New Year.
SHOP PRAIRIE PINE DESIGNS
I was really honored to be asked it make handmade signs for a storefront in Morton, MN! Having my signs in a store is definitely one of the top highlights of 2017! It is my goal to reach out to more local small business in Minnesota to have Prairie Pine Designs locally accessible for those who would love to shop for wood sign home decor! 🙂 If you’re not a MN native, you can also shop via the new online store!
MEETING SO MANY OF YOU
Whether it’s consulting with you about a personalized design, meeting you at a DIY Workshop or vendor event, or chatting with you online via the blog or Facebook Live, I have the the opportunity to meet and grow relationships with so many amazing people! That has truly been the best part of it all!
Thank you for an amazing year! If 2018 is anything like 2017, I know it will be a great year!
My family and I live in rural Minnesota where woods are in abundance and nature walks are always a must. While walking through our small woods the other weekend, I had the idea of putting to use some of the fallen logs to make wood slice ornaments. Unfortunately, the wood was too wet and took too long to dry. So, I did the next best thing, I ordered pre-cut and pre-drilled ones off of Amazon here.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links for easy DIYing. I get paid a very small commission that allows me to continue to provide DIY tutorials to you. Thank you for supporting my blog and passion!
The nice thing about ordering wood slices is that they are already sanded smooth and come with twine string to hang them from. Yes, it cost a little bit more to buy them, but it saved me a lot of time. So in my book, that’s a win!
I started this DIY project off by gathering the rest of my supplies. I then grabbed an old cardboard box and cut it flat to protect my work surface (my kitchen countertops). The list of the supplies needed is listed below:
The next step is to paint your wood slices with the Chalkboard Paint. Let the first sides that you paint dry for 2-3 hours, then go back and paint the other side so that both sides of the wood slice is painted with the chalkboard paint.
The first batch of wood slice ornaments that I bought and created with did not have the pre-cut holes for a twine string to that allowed for easy hanging. If you order or cut some yourself, here is how I cut holes in each ornament thanks to the help of my husband.
After the chalkboard paint was dry on both the front and back of all the ornaments, I decided to wax the surface of the paint. By waxing with Minwax Finishing Wax , I am able to easily wash off the Chalkology paste that I used to decorate them with. I wanted to be able to wash off the Chalkology paste because this will allow me to decorate these ornaments many times over, not just for Christmas. To learn more about this process or about the Chalkology Paste, check out my post About Chalk Couture.
Once your designs are dry, they are ready to be sprayed with a sealant if you wish or ready for the tree! Here are a few more examples that I created with the Mistletoe transfer (which you can find at charmingchalker.com)
Didn’t they turn out so cute?! I’d love to here what you think! If you found this DIY tutorial helpful, please feel free to pin it!
Who doesn’t love a great thrift store find?! Whenever I get the chance to go to the local “Bargain Barn”, I am never disappointed. This time around, I found a large mirror on sale, but I wasn’t loving the frame. Nothing a little paint and elbow grease can’t fix!
Here are the steps I took to create a very cute farmhouse styled mirror for my entryway this holiday season.
Step one: Find a framed mirror! This lovely golden framed mirror was $8.00 at my local thrift store.
Step Two: Gather your supplies. I used what I already had on hand, which includes a sample sized paint can of “antique white” from Valspar, a small paint brush and some scotch tape to save money.
Materials I used for this project:
Step three: Start painting! 🙂
Check out the final results below!
Being an independent designer of Chalk Couture has it’s perks. One of them is receiving a monthly Club Couture transfer in the mail for FREE every single month! The Club Couture transfer is a brand new design that is available to designers before it is sold to the general public. So designers get to see and use the transfers first, before it’s sold and advertised on the Chalk Couture site! I am looking forward to receiving this Club Couture transfer this month because I truly think it is ‘the best one yet!’ See what I did there 😉
It doesn’t only signify the beginning of the new year. It can represent anything you want it to. That’s what I love about decor, creativity, and Chalk Couture. It can mean so many different things to each of us, but yet look so beautiful!
What would you use this transfer for? Have you seen what else Chalk Couture has to offer? If not, check out all the awesome transfers, chalkology paste, and chalkboards at charmingchalker.com
So you’re probably wondering, what does growth have to do with a DIY blog? Well, not a whole lot to be honest. But, I know that there are many Prairie Pine followers who own their own creative business just like myself that are continually searching for ways to learn, grow, and monetize their gifts and talents. That is why I feel compelled to share.
Over the span of 2017, I did something I had never done before. Actually, I did several things, but what it all comes down to is one word, GROW. I chose the word “GROW” as my word for 2017. You may have heard others do this before. It’s a lot like a New Year’s Resolution. You pick a word for the year that you want to work on and achieve. For me, it was growing. I wanted and needed growth in all aspects of my life including spiritually, financially, emotionally, and especially in my new creative business. I also thought this word choice felt fitting to the Prairie Pine Designs business as I am continually pledging to plant a trees and watch them grow as the business grows….
One way I wanted to achieve this growth is by learning as much as I could about as much as I could. The best way I thought of doing just that is of course by reading. It has been my goal for 2017 to read one book a month (12 books for the year). If you knew me throughout high school and college, you’d know that I hated to read. I still do. It’s not that I don’t enjoy learning, but I dislike how long it takes to read a book cover to cover. I don’t like taking that time to sit down to read when I could be doing something productive like crafting or cooking. Ha. 😉 So, I knew this was going to be a big challenge for me. That was until I discovered how awesome Audible is!
Audible (along with podcasts) have allowed me to listen to more books this past year than I ever have read in my whole life (true fact)! There have been days where I have listened to multiple books from start to finish in just a few hours! After discovering Audible and listening to great podcasts, I have grown in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, in myself, in my relationships, and in my business. Below is a list of books and podcast I have personally come to love and use as I continue my growth in this business and in myself.
This list contains Amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience
This book isn’t found on Audible, therefore I haven’t read all of it yet. I actually own it via pdf version and am always referring to it with wherever I am at in my business at that time. You can download your own for FREE here.
This “book” is actually a daily goals journal. I have had this journal for over 6 months now and still haven’t completed my #1 goal. But, that’s okay. It isn’t meant to be 100 consecutive days…it can be however long you need or like. I have discovered that by writing down my long term goals, along with my daily ones, keeps me extremely accountable.
Podcasts have been so helpful! I am subscribed to about 30 different ones, but here are my top favorites….
It is my hope that this small list of resources inspires you and your journey of growth whether it be for your creative business or yourself. I am also always open to new suggestions! Have a book recommendation? Please leave it in the comments below! I’d love to hear and read what you all suggest!
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If you are anything like me, you are probably intimated by the thought of having to buy a cutting machine, learn all the programs and tech behind it, and buy all the fonts to use for commercial use just so you can make and sell your creations. It took me a long time and a lot of money to learn all of these steps for my Silhouette in order to create the signs and business that I have now. I’m going to be honest, it hasn’t been easy. There has been numerous rolls of vinyl wasted (and if you know me and the Prairie Pine Designs mission, this makes me cringe!), numerous hours spend on software gliches and downloads, and precious time spent on weeding and transferring of designs.
I am here to tell you there’s a better way! You no longer need to figure out a fancy machine or waste vinyl on one design. Now, you can make multiple signs and designs in the time you would spend making just one! It’s so crazy to see the time and money I have saved in these past two months since discovering Chalk Couture!
As you can probably tell, I have fallen in LOVE with Chalk Couture! The products have made it so simple and easy to create beautiful home decor pieces that are both temporary and permanent. I was introduced to this new company at the end of July 2017. As soon as I saw the products in action, I knew I had to get my hands on some product and be apart of this awesome company! Chalk Couture has literally transformed how I make signs and other home decor designs. It has saved me time, energy, and material that I would otherwise be using on cutting vinyl and weeding. It has also increase my sales and profits because my production time has increased tremendously!
You can check out Chalk Couture products in action by watching this FB #Live where I demonstrated some of the REUSABLE transfers…..
As you probably saw in the video, Chalk Couture can be used in so many different ways, and it allows sign makers like myself create even more in half the time ; ) If you have ever wanted to create your own decor, make handmade gifts, or create your own at home creative business, then Chalk Couture is definitely something to consider!
By the way, these products would be really fun for a DIY night, Christmas Gifts, Wedding or Baby Shower signage, Birthday gifts, and more!
With all of that being said, I want to be totally honest, Chalk Couture is an awesome company, but it is a Direct Sales Business. I have always stereotyped Direct Sales and told myself that I would never be a network marketer. I had no interest in this sales/business model from past experiences with friends and family. But, once I saw what these products could do for me and my business, I took a leap of faith. Chalk Couture just launched in July of 2017, and I became a designer on August 1, 2017. I am thrilled to be apart of a ground floor opportunity that is changing my creative business by leaps and bounds and is helping others just like me. If you are at all interested in trying out these products for yourself, please feel free to shop my chalk shop at charmingchalker.com
If you’ve done your research and have fallen in love with these products like I have and want to become a designer like myself, you can do so here.
So what does it mean to be a designer? By becoming a Chalk Couture Designer, you are able to purchase ALL products at a 40% discount (Score!) while also receiving a free transfer every single month in the mail! Not only that, but you are provided with your very own Chalk Couture website that you can direct your family, friends, co workers, and customers to for them to purchase products. When they do, you will receive 25% commission of their purchases!
You can also purchase your own inventory and attend vendor shows, craft fairs, DIY make & take parties, etc. When customers by from your inventory on hand, you will receive a 40% commission! How awesome is that?
What is required to become a designer? To become a designer, you will need to purchase a Chalk Couture Starter Kit for $99. This kit included over $200 worth of Chalk Couture product that you will need to get started. A monthly fee of $25.99 is also required of all designers. This fee covers your costs for the online website and chalk couture phone app. Lastly, you have to purchase $150 worth of product every quarter ($600 a year). At first I was really intimidated by this. My budget didn’t allow for that much in purchase. But, what I didn’t realize until further research is that the products you buy to hit you personal volume (the $150 per calendar quarter) is part of your inventory and should be sold for profit!
You do not need to be a designer to enjoy Chalk Couture! If you’d like to shop for transfers, chalkboards, or chalkology paste, please do so at charmingchalker.com. Theres new transfers and products released on a regular basis. Some have been selling out fast, so don’t wait if you see something you love!
If you have any questions about Chalk Couture or how to become a designer. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below!
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Here’s what you need:
- Blank Coir Mat (target has them for $9.99)
- Paint ( I use Rustoleum Latex)
- Oracal 613 or Oramask 813 (for the stencil)
- Transfer Tape
- Foam paint brushes and/or foam daubers
- Spray Sealer (I use Minwax Polyurathane)
- Silhouette Cameo 3 or a machine similar
Yesterday, I shared a tutorial to over on the Prairie Pine Designs Facebook Page LIVE! If you missed it, no worries as it is linked in this post. 😉 Making faux framed wood signs is one of my favorite things to do when creating a sign. It is more cost effective (since you don’t need all the tools to make a “normal” frame), the sign is lighter and easier to hang, and it gives the sign a unique look! For those that are just starting in your sign making journey, this is a great way to add a frame.
A stain wood blank
Chalk Paint (I prefer to use Waverly Chalk Paint from Walmart or make my own. You can find my DIY Chalk Paint Recipe here.)
Find your piece of wood that you want to create with. I prefer using 1”x10″ or 1″X12″ boards and cut them down. Once cut, I sand it with 80 and 120 grit paper with my orbital sander. Once sanded smooth, stain you sign. I use Minwax Dark Walnut. Once your sign is dry (I let mine dry for at least 8 hours), you are ready to create your faux frame! Watch the video tutorial below get the step by step instructions on how to create your faux frame!
Tada! There you have it. It is truly that easy! This technique is a really quick and is a great way to add a frame without all the wood work and measuring.
If you found this helpful, please pin this tutorial to Pinterest!
*This post may contain affiliate advertising. This means that if you click a link in the post, I may make a commission based on your purchase, which allows me to continue providing tutorials and wood sign creations.
Here you will find all of the frequently asked questions along with links and resources so you can find everything you need! These post do contain affiliate links which do not cost you any more but pay me a very small commission when you purchase which lets me bring you more tutorials.
What machine do you use to make your lettering and stencils?
I use a Silhouette Cameo 3 to make all my vinyl lettering and stencils. The Silhouette is a die cutting machine that has a few different models. The Cameo 3 is the newest version that allows you to create so much more than just stencils! It can cut cardstock, vinyl, fabric, felt, fondant and so much more. The possibilities are endless with this machine!
I also love using my Chalk Couture REUSABLE silk screen transfers whenever possible. You can find these transfers here. To learn more about Chalk Couture and how to use the products, visit my post all about it here.
What is your favorite paint?
What is your favorite stains?
I like to use a few different stains and techniques. My go to stain color is Dark Walnut from Minwax which you can find here. Otherwise, I like to make my own by using brown, black, or grey chalk paint and applying it with a baby wipe. I also enjoy making my own stains which you can find steps on how to make here.
How do you apply your stain?
If I am using the Minwax stain, I use rubber gloves and shop rags. If I am using chalk paint as a stain, I apply it with baby wipes.
What kind of wood do you use for your signs?
Most of the wood used for Prairie Pine Designs wood signs is pine. But, I do use other types on occasion. I also enjoy working with reclaimed wood.
How do you seal your signs?
There’s a few different ways I seal signs depending on the style and what they are being made for. For outdoor signs, I use outdoor semi gloss or matte polyurethane spray. For indoor home decor, I like to use Waverly matte wax which you can find at Walmart.
What do you use to make the wood frames?
I use 1” x 2″ pine furring strips, which you can find at your local lumber yard or home department store.
What are your favorite paint brushes?
Where can I buy pretty designs and fonts?
There are multiple places to by fonts and designs. When creating signs and/or designs, you have to buy the commercial rights to the fonts and designs you use. I
What other tools & supplies do you use that are helpful?
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for my newsletters where you will get tips and tricks straight to your inbox!