winter isn’t over yet.

Spending last week in sunny Las Vegas and then returning home to sub-zero temps reminded me … winter isn’t over yet.  At least not here in Minnesota.  We still have plenty of winter left.

I don’t know about you, but I’m usually at a loss when it comes to decorating after the holidays are over.  As much as I’d like to jump right into gardening season, it just isn’t reflective of our weather reality in a northern climate.

So when I saw the Skate Rental stencil while perusing the Wallcutz website, I decided that although it’s listed in the Christmas stencils section, it’s really more ‘winter’ than ‘Christmas’.  It would be perfect for the part of winter that comes after Christmas, but before spring really arrives (which seems to last about six months in Minnesota).

My next task was finding something to put the stencil on.  I was super happy with how my Rudolph & Co. foot board sign turned out, so when I saw a headboard/foot board combo for sale on Facebook Marketplace I jumped at it.

I snagged this set for $35.  The seller didn’t have the side rails, and I suspect that’s why she’d priced it low.  So for a mere $17.50 each, I had the raw materials for two signs.  I think I’m going to hang onto that foot board for another Rudolph & Co sign, but the headboard was perfect for a Skate Rental sign.

As a bonus, the nice people at Wallcutz agreed to sponsor this post by sending me the stencil free of charge.  So I measured the headboard to determine what size would be best and sent in my request for the largest version of the stencil, 26″ high by 18″ wide.  One of my favorite things about Wallcutz is that you can order their stencils in a variety of sizes to suit your particular project.

I started by painting the headboard in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, my favorite warm white.  Then I started stenciling.  I knew that I wanted to use more than one color to give my ‘sign’ a more custom look.  I also knew that I was going to be hanging it on my dark olive green house, so I wanted to work with that color.

So I began by taping off various sections and stenciling them.  Most of the wording is done using Dixie Belle’s Caviar, except for “Pine Mountain” which is stenciled in the Juniper from Suzanne’s Fall Colors collection.  The pine boughs are also stenciled in Juniper, naturally 😉

Taking a cue from the example of this stencil on the Wallcutz website, I decided to paint in a block of the Juniper and then stencil the “Old-Fashioned Family Fun” over that in Drop Cloth at the bottom of the design.  I simply used the stencil as a guide to mark the area where I wanted my block, then taped it off and painted it in with two coats of Juniper.

Once dry, I removed the tape …

 and then I put the stencil back in place and stenciled the wording over it.

The blades of the skates were stenciled using Dixie Belle’s Gemstone Mousse in Diamond.

The skates themselves were stenciled using DB’s Farmhouse Green.  The laces are a separate stencil, and I added them once the Farmhouse Green was dry using DB’s Cotton.

I wanted a whiter white for the laces, so that’s why I went with the Cotton instead of Drop Cloth.

One last thing to note, I often fill in the bridges with a fine artist brush when stenciling.

Today’s q tip:  if you want a stencil to look like a hand-lettered sign, fill in the bridges.  If you want a more industrial, stenciled look, don’t fill in the bridges.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, bridges are the gaps in a letter (or other design element) that are necessary to hold the stencil together.

It’s fairly easy to fill those in with a small artist brush, and I think it makes a big difference to the end result.

Since I’m keeping this sign for myself, I’m being way less cautious (ie. more lazy) than I would be if I was selling it.  I just gave it a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s spray on wax to seal it.  For maximum durability, I probably should have used a clear poly sealer … but hey, whatever.  If it doesn’t hold up, no worries.  I’ll just re-do it.

I have the perfect spot to hang this on the side of my house next to the door.

This is the door that we use on a regular basis (rather than our front door), so I get to admire the sign every time I go in and out (which isn’t all that often in this cold!).

What do you think?

If you have any favorite decorations for this part of winter, be sure to leave a comment and share your ideas with all of us.

Thank you to Wallcutz for providing the stencil, and to Dixie Belle Paint Co. for providing the paint used for this project.

32 thoughts on “winter isn’t over yet.

    1. Thanks Meggan! I had been looking for skates at the thrift store for weeks (to use to stage these photos) and was surprised at the high prices on them there ($25 to $35/pair), and these were not fancy skates, they were 25 year old skates. Not old enough to be super cool, not new enough to really be something someone wants to skate in. Anyway, I gave up and then remembered a pair that I added a transfer to last year (see that post here). Turned out that I still had them out in the carriage house, so I pulled them out, turned them around to the non-transfer side and voila! Maybe we need to add ice skates to the thrift store unicorn list along with good vintage luggage 😉

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  1. What a fabulous transformation! It is the perfect piece and placement. The Q-tip just finishes the piece. I love all the paint colors. Another job very well done 😉.
    Smiles, Alice

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  2. I’ve had my eye on that stencil, glad you made this sign, just the inspiration I needed to order the stencil.
    You are right, that gap decorating time between the holidays and spring is challenging. I like to keep the greenery out and remove any traces of red from Christmas. Birch logs and natural pinecones are wintery without a holiday feel. Pussy willow branches are a glimpse of spring without screaming winter is over, so I like to add them to the evergreen branch decor. It’s hold over decorating for the countdown to spring, which seems like forever.

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    1. Thanks for all of the great ideas Jill! I love the idea of adding some pussy willow branches. I also figure it’s OK to keep white lights up after the holidays, right?

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  3. This is fabulous! Living in Houston, decorating for winter isn’t really a thing I do. But I grew up in Buffalo NY, so I can appreciate the need to brighten things up while waiting for Spring- especially during the dark days of February – the longest shortest month of the year! lol

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  4. Love this so much! Would make me smile every time I went in and out. Love the q tip about filling in the bridges. Really makes a difference. This is a perfect winter piece!

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  5. I love how this turned out! It’s perfect for the “it’s still winter” theme while leaving the Christmas out of it. I need to start thinking like this. It will help the winter blahs I get right after Christmas (and having to put away ALL that stuff!!) I also appreciate that you share such good tips! (Qtips!! So clever!! ) They really help! I have also had my eye out for some vintage ice skates. I see more of them in black at reasonable prices in my area. I guess everyone wants the white ones!!

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  6. Well, I love it Miss Quandie……..the shape of the board itself makes it LOOK like an old ski resort sign! My only teeny tiny critique (Debbie Downer!!!) is that the skates might be darker……but it’s very very nice!

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    1. In hindsight, I wish I’d done a slight shadow behind the skates. That would have been perfect. But by the time I thought of that I’d already waxed it. Maybe next year I’ll spiff it up with a little shadowing.

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  7. Love all your makeovers! Shades of white are so enjoyable to paint with as they make the best transformations. Happy birthday to Mr. Q. Thanks for the giveaway.

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