Saturday, September 15

DIY Winter Decor--PS, It Has Sparkles!

I had an idea for a sparkly decoration for my wall to brighten up the cold winter days.  I could see it all in my head: the glitter, the letters, the I took myself down to the local Hobby Lobby, purchased the bulk of my supplies, and set to work on my idea.  It turned out well, so I decided to share it with everyone!  It took a few days to make, because of drying time, but I think it's well worth it.  And, it wasn't that expensive, because I like to buy things that are on sale or that I can use coupons on.  So, without further ado, here's my project!

First, assemble your supplies.  In this picture, I purchased the wooden plaque, high-gloss acrylic spray, foam brushes, 1/2" thick x 3 1/2" tall chipboard letters, wooden cutout snowflakes, and clear plastic jewelry line.  I already had the different colors of glitter, all-purpose glue, wood glue, and paints.  I am missing the letter "T" and the picture hanging bracket in this photo.
I did this project in my living room.  Regardless of where you do this project, it will be a good idea to spread newspaper or a protective covering of some sort on the surface where you will be working.
The first thing I did was start painting the wooden plaque.  I used a white pearl paint, but it was somewhat see-through and would end up requiring several coats.  If you use a pearlized paint, you might want to apply a base coat of a solid color that matches your pearl paint.  It will cover much better.
Next, begin adding glitter to the letters.  Pour some all-purpose glue into a container, and using the small foam brush, and brush it on the letters like paint.  A thin coat will do just fine.  I started with the faces of the letters.
Then, sprinkle on the glitter.  Good thing hubs wasn't home for this step.  The glitter goes everywhere, and he HATES it.  I just laugh.

I did all the letters like this, making sure that I didn't have any bare spots on the letters.  I let the glue/glitter dry overnight.  Then I came back and started applying the glitter to the sides of the letters (try to keep glue and glitter from seeping onto the back of the letters).
Once all of the front and sides of the letters are glittered up, and your plaque is painted to your liking, it's time to attach your hanging hardware.  I decided to purchase a large metal hanger with pegs and teeth.  It sounds vicious, but it's really quite nice!  Check it out:

To attach these, simply measure out the middle of where you want to attach it, then gently tap each bracket side into the wood with a hammer.  Super easy!

Okay, now you are ready to attach your letters and strings for the snowflakes.  Cut your desired number of pieces of the plastic string to your desired length (I decided to just add three snowflakes) and wipe off the plaque to make sure it's free of debris (or in my case, glitter).  Begin to apply wood glue to the backs of the letters.  I'll demonstrate the wrong way:
You will want to add the clear string to the glue on the back of the letters before attaching the letters to the wood.
As you can see, leaving thick blobs of glue on the back of the letter will result in oozing glue when you apply pressure to the letter to attach it to the wood.  I forgot that when I did the W.  No biggie, I was able to wipe up most of it with wet and dry paper towels.  If you can't get all of the glue off, just do your best.  It'll dry mostly clear, and if it's noticeable, just touch it up with your paint.

Note:  I used a transparent ruler to create a guide to keep all of the letters straight.  I usually can eyeball things and be just about perfect, but the striations in the wood were throwing me off.  Just a tip to help you out.

Now, the right way to glue the letters:
Apply small amounts of wood glue and spread it around with your finger until it covers the back of the letter evenly and thinly.  Set the letter on the plaque and apply gentle pressure for a few moments.  Continue in this fashion, gluing the letters and strings where desired, until all of the letters and strings are in place.
Now is the time to decorate your snowflakes.  I applied a layer of silver paint to the front, then sprinkled iridescent glitter on the wet paint to get it to stick.  Let everything dry for several hours or overnight, for best results.
Okay!  Now we can attach the snowflakes and spray the plaque with a sealing spray.  Tie the clear string onto the snowflakes, making sure to tie the knots securely.  Grab your sparkly plaque and high-gloss spray and some spare newspaper, and head outside on a clear, cool day with low humidity.  Be sure to read the application instructions on your spray can and follow the instructions CLOSELY.  If you don't have proper ventilation when using the spray, the fumes and odor will build up very quickly.  Spray everything with the clear coating until you get the finish you want, and allow this to dry for about 24 hours.  Using the spray is an optional step, really; I sprayed mine with a coating of acrylic in the hopes that it would prevent the glitter from flaking off of the letters when I pack the plaque away with the other decorations.  Constant handling would cause it to wear off over time, so I wanted to protect it.  It's entirely up to you, though.

Well, now your done.  Stand back and admire your sparkly new wall art.  I hope you have as much fun as I did making this!  I plan on making another next week to go with my fall decor, and I'll post pictures of that too.  It'll look a little different, but the process will be the same.  SPARKLY!!!!!


  1. Ohhhh! I was "oohing" and "ahhing" over this! LOVE the idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I am going to have to try this! Have a blessed weekend~

  2. Thanks Emily! I'd love to see your finished project if you get a chance to make one!

  3. What a beautiful idea and I think I can do it with your step by step instructions. These would make wonderful homemade gifts. Thank you so much for linking up to our blog hop today.~Melissa

  4. Thanks, Melissa, and thanks for the opportunity to link up my blog on your site!

  5. What a GREAT idea! This would be fun in other colors for kid's name plagues for bedrooms or a chicken coop! Stopping by from Tilly's Nest!

  6. How beautiful! I love this idea. I just pinned it to our pinterest boards. I hope you will consider sharing it on our Blog Fest:


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