For the past couple of Christmas seasons I have found that painted sleds sell fairly well for me at Reclaiming Beautiful.

I started out with a pair of black and white sleds back in 2017.

I sold one and I kept the one shown above for myself.

Last year I did another pair of painted sleds, one in black again and one in more traditional Christmas colors.

and they both sold.

You’d think, knowing that I wanted to do some more this year, that I would have grabbed all the sleds I saw at garage sales this past summer.  But no.  I only bought one of them even though I saw quite a few.  I have a tendency to do stuff like that, because who is thinking ‘sleds’ in the middle of summer?

I was kicking myself over that recently, so I went to Craigslist to see if there was anyone selling them online.  Sure enough, there were quite a few.  But almost all of them were way above my price range.  Some ridiculously so, like this one listed at $225.

I’m sure that is a ‘highly collectible’ sled because of the rocket ship motif.  And I hope it goes without saying that I would never paint over that sled.

But even the more beat up and less unique versions were mostly listed in the $45 and up range.  However, I did come across someone selling three sleds for $15 each.  They were appropriately roughed up to justify painting them, and as an added bonus they weren’t very far away.  So I sent Mr. Q to pick them up, thus giving me four sleds to work on this year.

I set up a bit of a sled painting assembly line in my dining room in order to get all of the sleds done in one weekend.  I started with the black one.  I painted the wood parts of the sled using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Then I stenciled it with a warm white craft paint.  Finally I added some of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta.

I know black and white aren’t traditional Christmas colors, but I love the look.  Two years ago I wrote a whole blog post about Christmas in black and white.

Be sure to check it out if you like that look too.

The smaller black sled above is the one I kept two years ago, but this year I gave it a fresh coat of Big Mamas Butta and took it in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  You’ll see why in a minute.

The other taller sled got the same paint job that I used last year.

That is Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the sled, and red, green and black craft paint for the stencil.

I painted the handle and sides of the smallest sled using Dixie Belle’s Barn Red.  Well, wait, let me back up a minute.  I started out painting it with the same shade of red I used on the chairs I shared last Friday, Honky Tonk Red.  I painted the slats in Drop Cloth as a base for the Gingham Red transfer.

Once I had the transfer in place though, I felt like the Honky Tonk Red was just a bit too bright with the transfer so I pulled out the Barn Red and went over it with just one coat of that.

I really should have taken a picture of a chair and the sled side by side to show you the difference because I’m sure you’re thinking that this red looks the same.  But trust me, in person there is a difference.

This is the 2nd version of a red plaid that comes with the Prima Marketing Gingham Red transfer set.  For this sled I only used one sheet of this plaid so I have another one left to use on something else.

When I got to the final sled from my Craigslist purchase I decided that the patina of the existing chippy red paint was too good to cover up with fresh paint.  I often work so hard to create this chippy look and here was a genuine version of it.

So for this one I simply sanded the surface lightly to remove any loose paint, added the stencil, and then gave it a wax job (again using the Dixie Belle Big Mamas Butta) to freshen it up and to protect it from the elements a bit.

As I was just finishing up my sleds, my sister stopped by for a visit.  I was telling her that I really loved how this last one turned out but I wasn’t sure I had a spot for it.  She suggested hanging it on the photo cottage door.

Sure enough, it looks freakin’ adorable there.  And once we get some snow on the ground and it starts looking more like a winter scene and less like a fall one, I think it will really look fab.  It has even motivated me to put some Christmas lights on the photo cottage this year.  I’ll be sure to share a photo of that if we get some measurable snow.

So the red one is staying with me, and that’s why I decided to sell the little black and white one.

And next year, remind me to grab those sleds when I see them at garage sales, OK?

25 thoughts on “sleds.

  1. Love them all! More inspiration as always. I just pulled an old child-size sled out of storage and was going to paint-now decisions, decisions… Years ago I took a class with an auctioneer who also sold out of a local group shop. His mantra was buy off season-and you’ll get the best buys because others aren’t buying then. His example was Christmas items during the spring and summer! I’ve never forgot that and have gotten lots of vintage Christmas bargains because others aren’t thinking Christmas-it’s no wonder I have storage issues.


    1. That is such good advice, and I’m always so bad at it. I’m equally bad about buying Christmas stuff at 75% off on December 26. I look at it and think ‘what a great deal’, but then I move on because I’m ready to just be done with Christmas decorations!


  2. I love vintage sleds, these are great. I totally would’ve peer pressured you to get them. Have to get out there next season, can’t believe we missed Roseville! 😉


  3. LOVE IT! Love them all and what a great deal you found for the 3 of them, an added bonus for you😊. The black and white designs are perfect, works for the whole winter season, not just Christmas.


  4. You have inspired me again! I have an old sled I bought at an estate sale many years ago and I’d almost forgotten it. Now to decide what to do with it! 🙂 Your post was perfect for our weather today. We may see some snow this afternoon they tell us! Thank you for sharing your adorable sleds!!


  5. I have 3 in the garage right now so you’ve just inspired me to get going! Love them all and that plaid transfer is just amazing!!!


    1. These are really cute! Love the black and white, but the plaid really catches your eye too. Good idea to hang the sled on the potting shed too…looks great and will look even better once our snow gets here. You could keep yourself stocked with “smalls” with the sleds…❤


  6. Please repost the one you did about window boxes or tell me how to see that again !!! Just joined and that was the first one I saw and loved it . I live in Houston and still Fall here !


    1. Hi Judy! I’ve done quite a few posts about window boxes, but I wonder if you are thinking of the one that Prodigal Pieces shared recently which is this one. I also have another one coming up on Friday, so be sure to stay tuned!


  7. Oh Miss Quandie I just love sleds! Especially old ones like the ones you find…..and I love your instinct for decorating them in just the right way (-; It would be so nice to have a big collection of stencils but, since I don’t sell the things that I make, I can’t justify just using them once! I get inspired seeing the way you use yours!


    1. I know what you mean about justifying the cost of the stencils if you’re just using them once. Luckily some of these from Maison de Stencils are pretty cheap. Today the Scandinavian looking one I used on the taller black sled and portions on the red sled is on sale for $8.50. But wouldn’t it be cool if there was some sort of stencil library where you could just check them out and use them, and then exchange them for different ones?


  8. Dang, all of these are sooo cute! You did such a great job! I have two sleds in the garage, both could use some love! Thanks for the idea last year and this year! Brings back memories of my brother and me sledding down the small hill in our yard! Looking at the hill now, it doesn’t look like much, but when we were little it seemed much bigger!
    If only he was still with us so we could reminisce!


  9. I wasn’t even thinking about outdoor decorating till i read this about your spray paint what a great idea. I’m spray painting some dried hydrangeas tomorrow LOL


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