Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Thrifted/Upcycled Kind of Christmas - (Part 1)

Greetings lovely friends & readers

I have lots of Christmas Creations to share with you so I plan to be posting quite often throughout December.

Today I wanted to share some thrifted & upcycled Christmas makes to hopefully inspire you that you don't need to spend alot of money - just a bit of imagination & time.

 Although I have forgotten to take a Before Photo, the wooden Angel above left was picked up in the Stratford Hospice Op-shop for $1.50. She was a pale denim blue in colour. I painted her in 2 coats Antique White chalk paint & then decoupaged a Christmas serviette on to her dress. She makes a sweet display on my table along with a vase of Seafoam roses  πŸ’—

Remember back in * this post * when I won the breadboard at a Pink Ribbon Breakfast fundraiser.  It had sat in the back of my craft cupboard so I added a pretty poinsettia transfer & gave it 2 coats spray acrylic varnish so that food can still be placed on it.

The Reindeer above was white - he was on clearance (50 % off) in a local Variety Store last Christmas.  I painted him in red to fit in with where I planned to display him. The cherubs above right were purchased from my local SPCA store in mid winter.  Although they look plaster they are not & were only $4 each. 

The poor Angel above was a sorry sight in my local St Johns Oppy.  She was $1.50 & looked most unloved.  I pulled her to bits by holding my hair dryer over the star & wings to loosen the glue - this did not come away as successfully as I hoped.  But a sand, some chalk paint & decoupaged tissue, new hair,  then wire added to hang her with & some pip berries wound around the wire ... a huge improvement don't you think ??!!  πŸ’•

Frequently in thrift stores they have bins of kitchenware for very cheap as they seem to get so much of it donated.  I found the sifter & the vintage grater in Mums Hospice a couple of years ago.  Looking back through my photos I first attempted this in August 2022!!
I filled ziplock bags with cheap toilet cleaner purchased from the $2 shop & left each item in it for a couple of days, turning frequently.  I wanted them to rust really well!!  Once they'd reached my desired rusty-ness, I ran cold water over them to stop the process & there they sat, in my cupboard ...... until last week ...... when I dragged out the Sifter.  I'd seen an idea on Pinterest & wanted to try it.

You can see how rusted it got by the photo of the back view.

I filled the inside with some wadding to about 3/4's the way up.  Then I hot glued in a variety of different bits & bobs ... rusty birdhouse, a pinecone, some greenery & pip berries.  I wanted some long cinnamon sticks but had none so I hot glued shorter ones together & then tied them up with torn fabric strips.

I made a small calico gingerbread man as well as some candy canes which I tea dyed & then painted stripes onto. I packed it really tightly & secured everything, as well as poking some dried moss into the gaps.

I also made a tag by tea dying a luggage tag ... I am so thrilled with how this project turned out & look forward to doing something with the grater now. 

The big mess creative space top left, was how my work table looked last week as I had various wooden bits in the process of being painted. 
 I decoupaged tissue onto the oval tags & tied up 6 different soaps in cellophane & ribbon - I plan to gift these to the ladies tomorrow at our Christmas Craft Group break-up.

Yesterday I did a Christmas display on my outdoor deck table.  I'd purchased 2 metres of red hessian in Spotlight's black friday sale & made this into a runner.  I placed my pots of white & red petunias on this but felt it still 
"needed something more"  ............
I had the chalkboard signs in my drawer so I painted them with Forrest Green & then added a transfer & Jute twine to make into a Christmassy sign.

The teapot above left was a thrift store find months ago so I also painted this with the green while I had it out.  Once again, a transfer, some greenery & berries & it just finished off my table setting.

Incidentally this is what you do when your teapot has a wet bottom as well as wet sides & lid ... you have to be a bit ingenious to dry it all at once  πŸ˜‰

The blackboard advent calendars were purchased last year at the same time as the wooden deer (previously mentioned) in a 50% off sale ... I bought 3 so gave one each to my Grandsons.  

I'm really delighted with my Christmas Outdoor table & No dear friends .... as I type this .... there is not a cat on it as yet !!! 😲

My daughter-in-law Sarah makes me a beautiful calendar each year with photos of Alec in it.   I must admit to a bit of a πŸ˜₯when I turned it over for December ... missing my dear Mum so very much!

Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,

I shall be back soon with Part 2 ... I just have to actually finish the item before I can share it with you.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry three x0x0x0


  1. Lots of lovely creative ideas Julie. xx

  2. You know Julie, l've often thought, with all the restoration craft
    work you do..bringing old things back to should have been
    a doctor..think of ALL the lives you could have saved...All the years
    l've followed, l've 'NEVER' seen anything l did'nt like...and at this time
    of year, it gets even better, and more colourful...Lovely..! :)

    Love what you've done with the breadboard...wonder if l could do that
    with my pizza board...HeHe! :).
    And l do love the December calendar page at the bottom there...
    Now! That's what family is all about, and Mum will certainly in all your
    minds this Christmas...Bless her..!x

    I'm just off to get the nativity crib things out the top cupboard, that'll
    be me, busy for the next couple of's something l love to do,
    as my Mum did, from when l was five years old...Goodness! That's a
    while thing l can say for myself...I still have a very good
    memory....! :O).
    πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„ πŸŽ… πŸŽ„
    I did'nt know you had any cats Julie...HeHe! Bless!xxx

  3. Wow Julie you are just amazing . I love every thing ,.
    Enjoy hugs June.

  4. I wish I had your gift, to see beautiful possibilities where others see junk. I'm looking forward to the next instalment:-)

  5. Fabulous upcycling there, giving things a new lease of life. I do agree that the angel you rescued looks so much happier. I look forward to seeing more! (I bet the cats will be on the table very soon!)
    Have a good week
    Best wishes

  6. Julie, that poor St. John's angel just needed a new set of clothes to get her in the spirit! Sometimes one does not know they need a bath and shampoo and evidently she did not 'til you got her home, lol. She would sell for dollars now instead of cents if on the shelf. And there you are, red and white petunias and white roses. I'm not even going to have a Christmas cactus blooming this year, it bloomed at the end of October, so I guess a red Halloween decoration. You have gotten back your stride from being sick, so glad to see that. Have fun with your crafts ladies. Lynn and Precious XX

  7. Julie, as other commenters have said, your ability to see other possibilities in thrifted items - and then actually follow them through - is inspirational. Have you considered a 'Before and After' tab on your blog? I honestly think that what you do is of such a high standard that you could have a book published....or if not a book a mini book for sale (electronic or pdf) linked to your blog. Melanie

    1. Thank you so very much for your sweet comment Melanie - that is so kind of you. I think a Before & After tab on my blog is a wonderful idea. Perhaps something I can look at in the New Year as I am not all that savvy when it comes to technology. I can get my daughter in law to help me set it up. Thank you for the suggestion xx

  8. your thrifting decorations are just lovely.... I never heard of that way to rust things - . lovely memories of your Mum coming up - they are sad but pleasureable at the same time...


  9. Oh my Julie your creativeness never ceases to amaze me. Everything you've created is just beautiful. Love it all.

  10. Julie, how wonderfully creative you are. I always enjoy reading your blog, this one is super special. Your hard work and creative hands have made some beautiful decorations for Christmas. Thank you for sharing. Dennise.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me your sweet kind comment Dennise. xx

  11. Julie, I am in awe of your creative ability. Love all these upcycled bits for the Christmas season.

    God bless.

  12. What a wonderful transformation of all the bits and bobs you have collected, Julie - you certainly have made a fabulous series of displays...
    Our place will be pretty drab this year as we are moving across town this coming weekend, to a massively enlarged and renovated house - I live with family, and this had been a work in progress for two years, and I have my own almost self contained 'flat-ette' at the rear of the main house. I can walk directly into the main house, as well as having my own outside entrance. Perfect for us all, but this end of year will be somewhat chaotic!!
    I have been getting your comment replies, thank you

  13. Well done on all your transformations Julie. I'm always amazed how your coats of paint and the decoupaging (or toilet cleaner!!!!) makes such a difference - and a truckload of good ideas doesn't go amiss too! How long do you spend thinking what to do with each object?

  14. Lovely Christmas items, I love the Julie updated angel over the sad looking one, great job.

  15. Calendar was a really thoughtful gift I hope it won't make you feel sad looking at December, by the time that month comes around I hope you will have inner peace. Betty :)

  16. Janet O. has left a new comment on your post "A Thrifted/Upcycled Kind of Christmas - (Part 1)":

    Always a treat to see what you create from common household items and op shop finds (and toilet cleaner!?!) I was not blessed with the vision to see how things can be transformed, but I thoroughly enjoy seeing how you envision and remake things into a new life!

  17. Wow Julie, you really have been busy and getting amazing stunning lovely results.

  18. You give old unloved things a compete new lease on life Julie, so clever!


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