How to Create Simple Christmas Plank Art

How to create a pretty decoration for your home using paint and wood and a little creativity






Welcome to the very first
Craft and Create pretty Christmas decorations with your Cricut
Im super excited to be collaborating with these talented ladies!  Every Month we will come together to create some fun Cricut Awesomeness to share with you!
First let me walk you through my project and then we will take a little tour of their projects!

You may remember me creating this sign during the summer.
Craft and Create pretty decorations with your Cricut and some Paint!
Using Wise Owl Paints and a piece of 1x8 I created a piece of leaning plank art.  I told myself then I would do something on the opposite side one day for the following season, and well Fall came and went, AND its now winter.  So, with Christmas on the brain I decided to create a sign I have had in mind for at least a year now...

Here is everything I used and links to where you can find it!
Some of the links here are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them I will earn a small commission.
Cricut Explore Air 2 {BUY IT}
Cricut Light Mat {BUY IT}
Non-Permanent Vinyl {BUY IT}
1X8 or any board you can get your hands on. {SEE IT}
Clear Spray Shellac {BUY IT}
Orbital Sander {BUY IT}
A Favorite Paint Brush {BUY MINE}
Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint





Bundle and Save!
Lemon Verbena Salve (Also available in unscented and lavender) {BUY IT}

Now to get started! First I flip it over and prep the other side,..

Spare lumber is perfect for creating Christmas decorations!
 First I would wipe it down with a vinegar water mix I keep on hand,.. then sand.

Spare lumber is perfect for creating Christmas decorations!
While sanding I was sure to beat down those corners and sand deep on some of the edges for added interest.  It cant look too new!  Two coats of Shellac would seal it up nicely.

Use the right tools and products to DIY your Christmas Decor
That's my go to!  While it dried up I went and designed my stencil.  My Cricut Explore Air 2 would come in handy for this project! I love being able to create my very own stencils in whatever size and arrangement I need!
I love using my Cricut to DIY Decorations
One of the things I appreciate about my Cricut is being able to create my graphics in a program I am comfortable with and being able to import them to the Cricut design space!  Im going to show you step by step JUST how easy it is! Knowing I wanted a variety of Stars I had already perused the Cricut Design Space for them, and not quite found what I wanted so, it was time to create my own on PicMonkey.  This is my go to program for graphics and such.  Its very affordable and they are always updating the available resources!
Custom graphics are so easy to create for my DIY Christmas Decorations!
The first thing is being sure to open up a blank canvas by choosing "design" and setting the Canvas Color to "Transparent".  This allows you to create "Clip Art" type file or a file that has no background.
Custom graphics are so easy to create for my DIY Christmas Decorations!
Then going to the "Overlays" area, I would take bits and pieces of stars and create the ones I had in my brain,..
and then the words,.. I saved each star and each word as its own PNG file so that I could use it as I wished in the Cricut Design Space and have flexibility to place and piece them as I wished.  (It has to be saved as a PNG to be used properly, saving as a JPEG will add back in the background-so be mindful!)
Cricut makes the custom Christmas decorations so easy to make!
With the graphics created I went over to Cricut Design Space to begin creating the stencil.
Once in Design Space I choose to Upload each of the images I created in PicMonkey.  The checkerboard background indicates it is transparent-just what I wanted.  To the right you can select how much Cricut needs to work to pull the image apart into separate pieces.  I select Moderate typically, thought Im sure I normally dont need to.
The next screen shows me the results and I press continue.  With single color PNGs like I have, typically there will not be an issue at all.  I cant help but note just how crisp those edges are! Nice...
For each image it will ask if I want it to be a "Print" file or a "Cut" file, and for this I will select "Cut".  Now to design the cuts.
Christmas decorations are so easy to DIY with the right paint and products!
Before deigning, I would need to measure the board to be sure how much space I have.  If you've never checked, they are never the exact same size as their "name".  This 1x8 is actually 7.5" wide.  This tells me I don't want any of the images to exceed this size.  I would actually keep it under 7.25".
With all the images uploaded, I would insert them all onto the virtual mat.  They may import to be HUGE.  Just click on the mat, and press ctrl+A, then move the corner of the box you see toward the inside to scale all the images down at the same time.
Keeping in mind the width, I would continue to work the words in the layout I wanted, then scale the stars.  Being mindful of how much space I wanted between everything on the mat to make weeding the excess material easier, I placed everything where I wanted, "Welding" anything I wanted to be attached to one another, then, again, selected CTRL+A, and "Attach". Doing this would keep the layout exactly as I had placed it, otherwise, your Cricut will do an AMAZING job at placing everything super close together, however it can to save you as much Vinyl as possible.
After placing some "temporary" vinyl on a 12x12 mat, I loaded the mat into the machine, and pressed Make It.  I LOVE how the Cricut walks you through and reminds you of each step so as not to waste anything.
Cricut also makes those custom stencils for my Christmas Decor EASY PEASY!

I selected "vinyl" on the dial, skipped over "mirror" in design space since that wasn't needed, and I was ready to cut!
While it was cutting, I decided to lay my base coat.  This would be in Wise Owl Ecru.  Ecru is a lovely beige I chose since I didn't want a harsh bright white.  Wise Owl is easy to blend and dries SUPER fast so I love using it on signs!
My ClingOn is my go to brush to make painted Christmas Decorations
...and on to the weeding as it dried.  If you don't know what the "Paint-Vinyl-Paint" method or the "Paint-Vinyl-Paint-Peel" method is, well here you go.  While the base coat continues to dry,  I proceed to weed the excess vinyl away from the stickers I have created.
These stencils made on my Cricut will make my Christmas decor DIY a breeze!
By the time I'm done the base coat is dry and I can place the stickers where I want the image to show.
These stencils made on my Cricut will make my Christmas decor DIY a breeze!
Next, I use my shellac and spray the stickered areas.  While it dries I clean up! (Use those pauses! Its a great time to clean or do other prep work, and that helps us to not rush the project)  Now for my favorite part. The PAINT!
These Wise Owl Paints and my ClingOn S50 will make my Christmas decor DIY a breeze!
And this is where you lose me,.. I continue to paint and blend and spray until I get what I want.  Black Cherry would blend into Mermaid Kiss, which would blend into Abyss, which would blend into Anchor Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paints,. a little water would be misted to make blending come together,.. I am always smitten with how easy the Wise Owl paint is to work with!  ...PERFECT for signs.
This Christmas decorating idea may be my favorite yet!
Once again, I allow it to dry while I clean up!  By the time I am done cleaning up, its all ready for me to remove the stickers.
This Christmas decorating idea may be my favorite yet!
 I just love how crisp the edges are!

This Christmas decorating idea may be my favorite yet!
The Ecru is popping perfectly,.. gentle.  Not too much..
This Christmas decorating idea may be my favorite yet! And its SO easy with my Cricut!
After some sanding smooth, and applying some Lemon Verbena to seal, its all ready for decorating!
Pretty right? I love how the Black Cherry ended up blending with Mermaid Kiss to create that Sunset,.. and above that I love the simple reminder of the reason for this Christmas Season.

Now to check out the other creators!
Cant read them all? Pin for later!







I hope you visit and enjoy EACH one! I think my favorite HAS to be the adorable Reindeer Lollipop!  Happy Holidays all you fabulous people!

May Your Christmas be Cheerful ad Bright.
Dont forget to Pin It!

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7 comments

  1. Oh Thea, this is gorgeous! The design, the colors! I never think to use PicMonkey for designing but I'm going to start! Thanks so much for being one of the creatives in this group. We are so lucky to have such talented bloggers! Pinning!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love how you used the back of the sign! Such a great idea. I also never thought to clean the wood with a vinegar water mixture. I make a lot of signs I will have to try this out. Thank you so much for joining in on our first month of the challenge. I hope you join us again for January.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't see where you mention how long hte sign is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! i didnt mention it as I never measured the length. I guess it really wasnt necessary for this project though I believe it was around 32"

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  4. Thanks - I haven't tried one yet, but would like to try the flag you show in the picture above this Christmas one. Does it have a tutorial

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here you go! https://www.thatsweettealife.com/2017/06/how-to-create-patriotic-plank-art.html

      Delete

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