Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Creative Christmas decorations

Christmas when I was a kid, was all about traditions. On Christmas eve we would pile into the family station wagon and head to the Children's Christmas Pageant at Holy Family Church. (It seems like every year at least one of us was a reader, Shepard, angel, etc...) Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the story of Christmas and all the music, and I am forever grateful that God came to earth as a babe, but my favorite part was after. We all would pile back into the cold station wagon and drive around town, as a family, looking at Christmas lights. There was one section of town called Candy Cane Lane, all the neighbors decorated their houses and had lit candy canes in their front lawn. In another section of town, the neighbors got together in the summer and made plywood cutouts that adorned their yards. In the years since, driving around and looking at Christmas light displays is still one of my favorite times. Yet as an adult, my own outdoor Christmas display has been pathetic. Now that my children are old enough to enjoy decorations and ask about ours, it is time to get to it. In my head it is much more grandiose than it is right now, but you have to start somewhere right?

My theme is "The Gift of Christmas". I had planned on starting with the Manger seen, with Jesus represented by a wrapped package. Instead I found some scrap plywood in the garage, and started with gift boxes that will hang from the front fence and be lit with flood lights. I have a total of $7.48 into my project so far. Here is what I did.

In September I told you about my great deal on a jigsaw. Sorry it took so long. But here is my first project!

1. I created a template based on the size of the plywood I found. I then drew it on with a Sharpie.
2. I donned gloves and safety glasses. (You will note they are tinted, I have since picked up regular safety glasses or $2 at Menard's)

3. I placed the plywood on blocks to elevate it off the floor and started cutting, being careful to not cut myself or the cord.
4. lightly sanded the rough edges.
5. Used a high quality exterior primer doing 2 coats on each side and 4 on the edges. (My scrap plywood was NOT exterior grade, I am hoping that by priming enough and keeping them off the ground I will be OK. Only time will tell.)
6. Purchased 9 exterior colored paint bottles from Michael's. (Used a coupon and got them for $7)
7. I applied 2 coats of each color for good color saturation. I then outlined using black to make it pop a bit.
8. I then attached Picture wire to the back, so that they would just hook over the fence.

I know that I am not going to win any awards, but my girls and I are happy with the result. Maybe after Christmas we will find a great deal on C7 lights and be able to amp it up for next year.


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