Rustic DIY Christmas Ornaments

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:

2.0″-3.5″ Pre Cut Wood Slices

Chalkboard Paint

Small Paint Brush

Finishing Wax (optional)

Reusable Transfer

Chalkology Chalk Paste


Sealer (optional) 

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


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!

Happy DIYing,


Farmhouse Thrift Store Upcycle

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.

Of course I found a number of other things while I was there 😀

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:

  • Mirror with frame   (Local Thrift Store for $8.00)
  • Paint – Valspar Sampler   (Ace Hardware)
  • Paint Brush   
  • Tape 
  • thrift store farmhouse decor
    If I was starting from scratch, I’d use painters tape, some kraft paper, and some spray paint 🙂 The process of painting will go so much faster and smoother with spray paint verses hand brushing.
  • thrift store farmhouse decor
    This is what the mirror looked like before. As you can see in the photo, I used the scotch tape to tape off the edges of the mirror so that I could paint the edges of the frame.

Step three: Start painting! 🙂

Here is a Facebook Live video of me demonstrating how I painted the frame. (The video did get cut off due to connection). As mentioned above, spray paint would have been a lot easier to work with, but since I didn’t have any on hand but did have this sampler sized paint, I used a paint brush to use up what I already had on hand. After I finished painting it with three coats, I let it dry, then hung it up with a homemade evergreen wreath for this year’s Christmas decor.

Check out the final results below!

  • thrift store farmhouse decor
  • thrift store farmhouse decor
  • thrift store farmhouse decor
If you loved how this easy project turned out and would love to try it for yourself, please share this project by pinning it!
Happy DIYing,

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How To Create Signs Without a Die Cutting Machine

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

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.comTheres  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 or leave a comment below!

Found this post to be helpful? Please feel free to pin it!

Happy DIYing,



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How to Create a Custom Doormat with Your Silhoutte Cameo

Cozy up your front door with a custom coir doormat that any guest (and you) will love!
Custom doormats can be expensive, especially if they are handpainted/made. I love the idea of having a custom doormat to welcome guest and to spruce up our outdoor home decor. Here you will find the steps needed to create your very own doormat for the fraction of the price 😉

Here’s what you need:


Step 1: Acquire a blank coir doormat. I prefer to get he 18″x30″ mats (or bigger) I find mine where ever they are on sale. I am always on the hunt for these, because I love making them for friends and family as gifts. If I can’t find them at your local Target on sale when I need one, I buy them from IKEA.
Step 2: Gather your supplies. You will need a foam painting brush, black (or any other color you wish to work with) latex paint, a sharpie to trace with and your lettering.
Side note (#1) : I have found that it works best to cut my lettering out on 631 vinyl to create a stencil. But, if you could also use Oramask 813 or freezer paper! 
Step 3: Create the lettering in the designs studio and cut. When designing, I adjust the page settings to accommodate the measurements of the doormat. So, I change the width to 30″ and the height to 18″. I then create my desired design withing these parameters to fit the doormat correctly. If my design is larger than 12″ wide (the width at which a Silhouette Cameo can cut) I splice the design to fit and connect it together during the transfer process. Also, make sure you select “None” for the cutting mat as you will have to cut without a mat.
Side Note (#2): Make sure your rollers are moved in the proper positions for cutting without a mat!  
Step 4: Weed your vinyl stencil and apply your transfer tape.  I prefer using this Expressions Vinyl Transfer Tape.
Side Note (#3): “Fuzz” your transfer tape before you apply it to your stencil. I do this by sticking it to my jeans or to the blank doormat a couple of times. This is important and will allow you to transfer you vinyl more smoothly than if you hadn’t. 
Step 5: Transfer your vinyl. This is the trickiest step as the vinyl does not like to stick to the coir doormat material very nicely. This is why “fuzzing” your transfer tape is a must. Take your time and do it in small sections if necessary. The stencil isn’t going to lay perfectly as it should on a wood sign or anything else you may create stencils for. But, that’s okay! The coir material doesn’t bleed, so it is very forgiving and easy to stencil on 😉
Step 6: Paint! Once your stencil is transferred, you are ready to paint your design. I like to use a medium sized foam brush.  Depending on your lettering or design, this can take the most time. But, it is fun seeing your custom work come to life! Depending on what colors you are using, you may have to do multiple coats. If this is the case, let each coat dry with the stencil. After your last coat of paint (which you don’t need to let dry) you can pull up your stencil.
Step 7: Let dry. Your doormat should sit for about 24 hours so that it can completely dry before walking or scrubbing off your shoes on it.
Step 8: Weatherproof. Spray you dry mat with outdoor spray sealer. I prefer using Minwax Spray Polyurathane. This too will take ~24 hours to dry.
Step 9: You done! Yay!
You can also check out my DIY Custom Doormat video tutorial over on my Facebook page here. I went #Live to show you just how simple it is.
If you have any questions about creating your own mat, please leave a comment below, and I’d be happy to answer!
If you found this tutorial helpful, please feel free to pin it! 🙂
Happy DIYing,

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Faux Framed Wood Signs

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. 


Supplies Needed:

A stain wood blank

Painters Tape


Measuring Tape


Chalk Paint (I prefer to use Waverly Chalk Paint from Walmart or make my own. You can find my DIY Chalk Paint Recipe here.)

Paint Brush or Mini Roller

The How-To:

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. 

Happy DIYing,

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How to Make a Wood Sign

Last week, I recorded a #Live on the Prairie Pine Designs Facebook page to show you how to make a wood sign! If you missed it, no worries, because I will be going #Live again to show you how to create one. 

In the video, I mention a number of materials and supplies I use. I wanted make this post so that you will be able to use it as a resource to use when creating wood signs for the first time! 

Here is the list of the products I used!

Silhouette Cameo 3 – The Silhouette cameo is the ultimate DIY machine. It uses a small blade to cut over 100 materials, including vinyl to make vinyl stencils! You create you need design in the Designer Studio Software and send it to your Silhouette machine to cut. Most designs take 1-3 minutes to cut.

ORAMASK 813 Stencil Film or GreenStar Sign Vinyl – This is the material used for your stencil.

Vinyl Transfer Tape – This is used to transfer your stencil to your prepped wood.

Painters Tape 

Chalk Paint (Folkart, Waverly, or homemade brands) or Latex Paint

Miniwax Stain

Pine Common Board – found or bought at your local lumber Store or department store such as Home Depot, Lowes, or Menards.

Also check out the FAQs & Resources page to learn more about the process and materials used or sign up for our newsletter to get DIY inspiration and info straight to your inbox!

Happy DIYing

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Our DIY Wedding on a Budget

In honor of our FOUR year wedding anniversary!

August 17th, 2013. One of the greatest days. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been FOUR years. It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago. So much has happened within those years, and yet, it has gone by so fast! Since being married, we both finished school and graduated with college degrees, we found full time jobs and  bought a house, and we also welcomed our son, Arlan James, into the world 🙂 As we began planning our wedding and life together, we knew major life events were going to happen quickly after we got married, so we tried to prepare for them as best we could. That’s one of the many reasons why we decided to go with a very small budget friendly wedding.

SIDE NOTE: We got engaged on May 24th, 2013 (exactly four years after becoming a couple) and set our wedding date for August 17th of that same year. We had less than THREE months to plan and prepare. With such a small engagement (and budget), we didn’t have much choice other than to DIY as much as we could! Even though I loved our wedding day and all the planning that took place, I do not advise having a three month engagement, unless you plan on eloping! Lol. It was sure tricky trying to DIY everything with such a short time span to do so.  But, it was obviously all worth it!

Watch the first 1:00 of the video to get a glimpse into our wedding day. Photography credit: Jennifer Skoog Photography

The first thing we did  was book our wedding reception venue. We already knew before getting engaged where we wanted to get married and that we wanted a small wedding. So, booking our venue was a pretty easy task to check off the list right away! We got married outside on the lawn in front of the lighthouse at The Shores of Leech Lake Marina in Walker, MN. A place that is near and dear to my husband’s family. They grew up going to this marina every summer to enjoy their summer weekends sailing across the lake. The scenery of the landscape and Leech Lake in the background provided such a beautiful atmosphere that we didn’t feel the need to decorate for the ceremony.

We borrowed benches for the ceremony from a local Amish family! They couldn’t have worked more perfectly 🙂
The ceremony music, including the song I walked down the isle to, was played from a wedding playlist that I had created on my Ipod.
Saying “I do.”

There were only two things we didn’t DIY or worry about the budget with – our reception dinner and our wedding photography. We wanted our guests to have a memorable experience and enjoy. Plus, we thought this was a place we could splurge a little bit since we did only have 30 guest. We also wanted photos that we would be proud to show others and display in our home. Photos that we can look back on for years to come and remember every moment of our special day. Because we knew  we wanted to have our ceremony at Shores of Leech Lake, the only other “big” thing left to figure out was where we wanted to have our reception dinner at. Since the resort is only a few miles from the town of Walker, we started brainstorming. The first place we both thought of right away was Chase on the Lake.  This venue was perfect for our needs. It offers hotel stays, the 501 Restaurant, the Aveda Copper Door Spa, lake front access with a sandy beach, dock access to tie the sailboat to, and the perfect sized room and menu for a 30 person wedding reception that was within our budget! (they also have a larger reception hall to accommodate larger weddings).

Chase on the Lake
Our sweetheart table. All the tables were provided with the dishware, napkins, and table cloths.
The Chase catered our reception with prime rib, baby red potatoes, and asparagus. It was as delicious as the picture looks!
The Grand Send Off!
Sailing back to Shores of Leech Lake from Chase on the Lake

I found my wedding dress in June of 2013 at The Bridal Boutique in St. Cloud, MN off the rack for $450 (with no alterations or fittings needed!).  Charlie wore a tan suite that we rented from Randy’s Menswear in Alexandria, MN for $70 (for just the jacket and pants). He also wore a white shirt and navy tie which were items he already owned.  We both wore our Sperrys for shoes. The navy blue bridesmaid dresses were all bought at JC Penney for a fraction of the price of “real” bridesmaid dresses you would find at a bridal store. The best man, and only groomsman (Charlie’s brother) wore khaki colored dress pants and a white t-shirt (which were both items he also already owned).

My  “off the rack” wedding dress
The Bridal Party
Our comfortable footwear.

We made most of the wedding decor ourselves (except for the flowers & and a few items we found on sale). Like mentioned above, we didn’t do or spend much on decorating. That was one of the many reasons we wanted to get married outside. We did have a little cocktail hour for our guest while we took pictures in between the ceremony and reception. To do so, we had wonderful help from the owners of the resort. They decorated the picnic tables and lighthouse with candles, lights, gems, and tables clothes (all of which were their items)!

Cocktail Hour during family pictures included a picnic tables with tea candles and a table cloth.

When it came to the reception, we did decide to step up our game. We were fortunate enough that the venue provided all of the linens and dishware. That was one less thing we had to worry about. Right outside of the reception room, we decorated a table with our guestbook and seating cart.

Our guest book was handmade by me. FIY – make sure you get washable ink for fingerprinting if you go this route. We made that mistake!
Seating chart made from scrap paper and an old barn window.
Table decorations included a vase of flowers and votive candles.
Our centerpieces were also handmade by both Charlie and me. He made the monkey knots out of jute rope, and I made the table cards our of scrap craft supplies.
Charlie’s mother, Donna, has one of the best homemade cheesecake recipes. She was kind enough to make a few for our desert! Yum!
Our budget friendly wedding bands. Charlie’s band was bought at Riddle’s Jewelry for $70 thanks to a discount and a 15% coupon. My engagement ring and wedding band were bought at Kelsey’s Jewelry, a mom and pop shop in Bemidji, MN (Which is no longer open) for $1500.

After sailing back to The Shores of Leech Lake from the reception dinner, we enjoyed the rest of the evening by a bonfire with live music entertainment and more good food including cupcakes, hot dogs, and s’mores.

The cupcake stands were made for FREE by me out of a tree trunk and a wooden crate that I had found.
The evening ended with a final send off under a sparkler arch of friends and family.

The Final Tally:

Wedding Ring &  Bands : $1570.00

Invitations: $23.00 (including postage)

The Dress and Veil: $450.00

Tux Rental: $70.00

Officiant: $200

Venue Rental and Food for 30 guests: $2,000.00

Photography: $1,100.00

Flowers including bouquets and boutonnieres: $400.00

Cocktail Hour Drinks: ~ $130

Music Entertainment: $200

Bonfire Munchies: $175.00

Cupcakes and Wedding Cake : $75

A Case of Votive Candles: $25.00

Wedding Gifts to each other – Pearl Necklace: $99.00  Custom Cuff Links: $30.00

Two Night Stay at the Chase + Couples Message: $250.00

Everything else was made or used with things we (or friends and family) already had!

It is said that the average cost of a wedding today in the U.S. is between $19,000 and $33,000 (not including a honeymoon or the rings) and that one – third of American couples go into debt for their special day.  We didn’t have an exact amount set aside, we just knew we wanted to keep it as low as we possible could. After adding up all of the expenses, I’d say we accomplished our goal of having a small intimate outdoor wedding that we LOVED without breaking the bank or going into debt to do so.

Other tips and tricks that helped us keep our wedding cost low:

borrow what you can

have a small bridal party

cut the size of your guest list

buy seasonal flowers

buy flowers online

Make your own invitations and have guest RSVP via email, phone or wedding website

skip save-the-dates

consider an outdoor wedding at a scenic location (no decorations needed)

buy your dress off the rack (or even secondhand)

ask for wedding help instead of wedding gifts

If you found our wedding tips and tricks helpful, please pin this post by hovering of the “pin” tab! 🙂

I’d also love to hear what tips and tricks you did to keep you wedding costs low! Comment below 🙂

*This post is dedicated to all the wonderful people who made our wedding day so special that are no longer here with us including Kevin Kleve (Bride’s Father), Scott Nocton (Family Friend and Wedding Officiant) and Randy Swchinghamer (Family Friend and Music Entertainment).

Happy DIYing,

*To get updates on new blog posts and DIY inspiration, subscribe to the Prairie Pine Designs Newsletter!

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Transform a Shabby Highchair Into a Chic Keepsake

This post may contain affiliate links

In January of 2015, my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our first child. It was a very exciting day! We quickly began to acquire “all things baby” when summer arrived. We waited until the summer season to buy what we thought we would need because that is when all the garage sales are here in Minnesota. I am a huge bargain shopper, and I get excited when I find a great deal. Garage sales are no exception.

Every year in June, a near by town has a huge city wide garage sale event. I purposely cleared my schedule to make sure I could make it to as many sales as I could, and I am sure glad I did. I scored many useful things for when our little bundle of joy arrived, but one of the best deals I found was for a wood highchair for $5.00. At first, I debated on whether or not I wanted to buy it because I had thought I had wanted to buy a chair that could fold up easily (for storage purposes) because we live in a 600 sq ft home. But, once I saw it, I knew I wanted to refinish it!

After using it for almost two years, I finally got my chance to do so! I am so happy with the results, and I can’t wait to share with you how easy it is. If you have a little one on the way or are on the hunt for a stylish highchair, I highly suggest finding a wood highchair and following these steps!

The highchair before refinishing it.

 You will only need SIX things to turn your shabby chair into a farmhouse chic keepsake.

Material Needed:

(2) 12 oz cans of spray paint

I really like using Rust-oleum brand, so that is what I would suggest using. I also suggest finding a paint that also is a primer. That is why I love this paint so much! Their is no need to prime your furniture before painting, and it goes on so smoothly. You will need at least TWO 12 oz cans. I was able to spray my chair with exactly two cans. But, if you wood takes the paint differently, you may need THREE.


(1)  1/2 Pint sized can of stain

I used Minwax Dark Walnut for the tray. Dark Walnut is one of my all time favorite stain colors and my go-to for almost anything. If you don’t already of a can of stain on hand, I highly suggest this brand and color.



(1) 11.5 oz Spray Can of Clear Semi-Gloss Polyurethane

If you already happen to have a can of clear polyurethane or varnish on hand, please use what you have! It doesn’t make a big difference if it is gloss, semi gloss, or satin finish. This step is important though, and I wouldn’t go without it. A polyurethane or vanish ensure that the tray of the highchair will hold up to spills, scratches, and stains for years to come.




You will need a sander to sand off any and all finishes on the tray of the highchair. I love using my Black & Decker Orbital Sander, but anything will do. If you plan on hand sanding, I suggest using one of these.



(1) 80 grit sheet of sand paper

It will depend on how much sanding your tray will need, but I only needed to use ONE sheet of sand paper to sand the entire tray before staining.




Lastly, you will need masking/painters tape. This will be used to tape off any metal parts and/or safety straps that you do not want to get paint on.


Now that you know the SIX things you will need to refinish your highchair, it’s time to get to work!

  • First, you will need to give your chair a good cleaning. I did this by taking it outside and spraying it down with the garden hose. I then took a bucket of hot water with some dish soap and a rag and started to scrub. If you happen to have a chair like mine, you will want to make sure you get in between all of the nooks of the back rest. This was the most difficult part of the whole process.
  • Once your chair is nice and clean, dry it off with a towel or let it dry in the sun.
  • Next, find a safe spot to spray paint. Since it was so beautiful out this last weekend, I went ahead and did this project on my lawn. If you are contained to an apartment or garage, make sure you lie down newspaper or a drop clothe to protect your floor!
  • The final piece of prep is to tape off any parts of the chair that you do not want to spray paint. I taped off the safety harness strap and the side rails (the metal part) that the tray slides onto.
  • Now it’s time for the fun! Start painting! I started at the legs and worked my way up making sure the inside dowels and the bottom of the seat were all painted. As stated above, you will need at least TWO cans of paint, if not THREE to cover the entire chair in 2 or 3 coats of paint.
  • While your chair is drying, you can now sand down the tray with your sander and 80 grit sand paper. Make sure everything is sanded off, including the bottom and sides like the example shown below.

  • Once everything is sanded off smoothly, take a shop rag (old towel, t-shirt, or sock) and stain the top and bottom of the tray. Place in a safe place for drying. Allow at least 24 hours for complete dry time.
  • After the paint is dry on the chair (a few hours or overnight), it’s time to polyurethane it. This doesn’t require a specific technique. I personally started at the bottom and worked my way up just as if I were spray painting it making sure I coat the seat really well as that is will be the area with the most wear and tear. Allow for an hour or two between each coat. I applied three coats on mine.
  • The last step is to clear coat the tray. Once the stain is dry, coat the bottom of the tray and let dry. Once the bottom is dry, coat the top with 3-5 coats. It is important to coat the tray with as many coats as your can to protect it from the moisture of spills and colors of stains from food.

After buying the chair for $5.00 and all the supplies needed, I spent $19. I’d say that’s a great deal for a “farmhouse chic” highchair that you can use for generations to come!

*If you would like more of a visual step by step process of this DIY, come check out my LIVE video on Prairie Pine Designs Facebook Page here or sign up for the Prairie Pine Designs newsletter to recieve DIY inspiration and new blog posts straight to your inbox!

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Happy DIYing,


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Five Things Every DIY Newbie Should Know….

Entering the world of all things do-it-yourself can be a daunting idea if you’re a newbie, but don’t let all the tips, tools, and tactics scare you!  

Wood working is a great place to start if you are wanting to tackle a few of your very own projects. The following five basic guidelines will help you stay safe and conquer any project!

1.Safety First

Never forget to wear your personal protection equipment (PPE)!

  • Eyes

Safety glasses are one of most important pieces of PPE. It is very important that you wear eye protection when handling power tools and wood. I personally like using these ones here. Any eye safety glasses brand will do, just make sure you have a few pairs on hand! If you need to wear prescriptions, you can get safety glasses to go over your normal eye wear. I personally do not use this type of eye protection, but if you need a pair, they can be found here.


  • Ears

When working with power tools, it can get loud. Especially if you’re working inside a shed, garage or shop building. That is why wearing hearing protection is always a good idea. There are two different ways you can do this, and it all depends on your preference. I personally use ear plugs as they are light weight, I can have multiple pairs in multiple locations, they are easy to store, and easy to travel with. Otherwise, you can also use ear muffs. Ear muffs are great for long term wear and blocking out all the noise.

  • Mouth

Sanding masks are a great way to block out all of the sand and dust in the air when working on any project. You can find disposable respirator masks at any hardware or department store. I personally use these ones.

  • Hands

Many people, especially DIYers, don’t think of hands as something they need to protect when wood working. But, in certain situations, gloves and other hand PPE could save you your skin, fingers, and hands! You can find every day work gloves here. Another great tip is to wear rubber gloves while painting and staining. This will protect your skin from absorbing any of those paint or stain chemicals, and it will make clean up time a breeze.


  • First Aid Kit

Always have a stocked first aid kit near by. If you do most of your DIY projects at home, be sure to have one in your garage and/or shop. If you are working on a project away from home, have one in your vehicle. Even if you don’t do many projects of your own or use power tools that often, it is always a good idea to have one of these around!

1A. Safety Habits

  • Clothing

Your safety habits around your materials, tools, and environment are just as important, if not more important, that your PPE. It is imperative that you are aware of your surroundings when handling any time of wood working tools and equipment. To start, make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing for the job. Avoid any loose fitting clothes including hoods and big jackets. Also, before starting anything, make sure you don’t have any dangling jewelry such as long necklaces and/or bracelets.

  • Distractions

Distractions are inevitable. They are going to happen! Just remember to finish whatever it is you are doing (especially if it involves a power tool) before you leave. Taking your attention away while making a cut or drilling in a screw can be a recipe for a big disaster.

2. Wood

  • Wood Types

There are an endless number of woods and cuts you can find at any lumber yard or home improvement store. I personally like working with common pine boards the most, as they are inexpensive, durable, and easy to find. You can use whatever wood you would like for what ever project you are attempting. I would suggest doing your research on what types of wood work best for what project you are accomplishing.




  • Standard Dimensions


A lot of you probably already know this, but many of you may be unaware, so it’s worth sharing! When you buy a 2X4 or any other sized boards, one would think that would be their actual measurement and size, right?! But, it isn’t. That’s why I attached this easy to read “Cheat Sheet”. This chart will show you exactly how each cut is measured. Hopefully, this will help you when figuring out what you will need for your projects.



3. Measuring

  • Measuring Tools

A measuring tape, square, and level will be your best friends. These are the tools I use and recommend.

  • Marking

Carpenter’s pencils are awesome for marking your measurements before you have to make any cuts. I love using these Craftsman carpenter pencils here. If you don’t have pencils such as this, you can use any other type of pencil (not pen or marker). If you make a mistake and mark you measurements wrong, it is much easier to erase it and make a new mark than it is to make several other marks and get confused as to which one you are suppose to cut on.



4. Cutting

  • Different Cut Types


The most common cut is called a cross cut. This is where you make a cut with your saw that is perpendicular to the grain. A rip cut occurs when you cut parallel with the grain. A miter cut is an angled cut that occurs across the grain and is a popular cut for making frames. Finally, a bevel cut is any sloped cut made at an angle other than a right angle. Most projects will only require a cross or miter cut, but more skill full projects will request a rip or bevel cut.



5. Tools

You can’t do too many projects without the proper tools! Below is a list of all the tools I use on a regular basis to achieve DIY projects including my custom signs (click on the pictures for more details on each product).

  • Miter Saw

  • Circular Saw

  • Sander

  • Power Drill

  • Nail Gun

  • Hammer

  • Wood Glue

Entering the world of all things do-it-yourself can be a daunting idea if you’re a newbie, but now that you have the tips and tools you need to know to start, there’s nothing stopping you! So, what are you going to conquer first?! I would love to hear what you are currently DIYing and how the process is going for you. Just comment below!


DIY Chalk Paint


How to make you very own chalk paint for half the cost of name brands

Chalk paint has become really popular over the past decade for many reasons. It works best for repurposing and painting furniture, it can be diluted with water to make a wash to show wood grains,  it easily washes off of your paint brushes so that they can be used multiple times, plus there is no need to prime or prep your pieces before painting. Need I say more?!

There are all sorts of wonderful reasons to use chalk paints other than just what it looks like. But, if you’ve ever gone shopping for it before, you will find that most brands carry a high price tag. This can veer DIYers like yourself in the other direction! That is why I love making my own!

Materials Needed

Plaster of Paris

Latex Paint  With a Flat Finish


Sealer/Wax Topcoat 

A container to mix in (empty plastic yogurt or sour cream containers work great!)

A paint stick or plastic spoon to stir.

The Recipe

  • 1 – 8 ounce (0.5 pint) can of paint (latex or acrylic)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris
  • 2 tablespoons of  luke warm water

Mix the Plaster of Paris and water in a small dish or glass making sure it is stirred until smooth. It should resemble pancake batter. Next, you with dump this mixture straight into you container with the paint. Stir with a spoon or paint stick until the complete concoction is completely mixed together. If you want to make more than this batch makes, then just simply double or triple the measuring amounts for each material.

*Tip: I like to use white paint as my base color no matter what color I need. Once I have a batch of white chalk paint mixed together, I then add other colors separately. By doing it this way, I am able to use one batch for multiple projects and colors!

Time to Paint

Grab a bristle like this or foam brush and start painting! The painting process is just like any other. You don’t have to do anything special other than making sure your piece is clean and sanded if needed. Chalk paints are designed to be applied with a bristled paint brush, but don’t worry if you don’t have a designated chalk paint brush like the one listed. You can certainly use a regular brush, but the application of the chalk paint may not go on as consistently as it should.

Name Brand Vs. Homemade

I bought a  full container of plaster of paris for just over $8.00. It’s 4 pounds, and I used 2 1/2 tablespoon so according my conversions, it cost about $.15 for each batch for the Plaster of Paris. Add that to my $9.50 for an 32 ounce container of paint (Apple Barrel) that I found on sale at Walmart, the total comes to $8.75. In the past, I’ve spent over $15 plus shipping for a chalk paint that contained less paint than this homemade recipe! So, I can now have 8 ounces of paint for $2.52 vs the $15.00-$25.00 cans you find in any paint store or online.

Waxing over Chalk Paint

To wax or not to wax? That is a question I ask myself a lot! It isn’t required to wax over chalk paint. Your paint and furniture will look and do great without it (most of the time). Wax also has a durability issue. It only last so long before you have to re-wax it (a couple times a year). It isn’t permanent or even semi – permanent. But, it does give your furniture a soft and rich finish. So, posted a finishing wax that I use if I do decide to do so, but I am going to leave this debate up to you! 🙂


Waxing your furniture, signs, or anything else you painted is a form of sealing the paint, but like mentioned above, it doesn’t last forever. This is why I prefer to use this seal spray. It does require any fancy applicator brushes, and it is extremely affordable. The only downfall is that I can only find it in an aerosol can format.

Your Thoughts?

Let me know how your DIY Chalk Paint turned out for you! What did you use it on and what colors did you mix? Were you satisfied with the quality of this recipe? If so, please pin! 🙂


Happy DIYing,