If Frosty the Snowman made some Christmas candle vases...

They'd look like this! Get it? Frosty? Ho ho… oh.

Since 2002 I try to hold an annual Christmas Craft night each year (see some past crafts here and here) where I invite a bunch of my favourite ladies over to drink wine, eat nibblies, gab and make a Christmas craft. It is a really fun night which always kickstarts the Christmas season in a festive way. I strive to hold it at the end of November or the beginning of December each year so that my friends can enjoy their crafts all December long. 

To prepare for the night, I plan out the craft, do a trial (to make sure my random idea can actually be executed), and then purchase the supplies for each crafter so that when they show up, their little bundle of craft supplies is waiting! I always try to keep the cost economical - striving to come in at $25 or less for the craft.

This year (as you may have guessed) we are making the frosted vases above.

Here are the supplies used should you want to make your own!

To start, using a laser printer, print the template with the snowman, reindeer and Christmas tree onto your removable label stock. It is important to use a removable stock versus a permanent one so that you can easily peel it from the glass vase when done.

Once that is complete, cut out each shape and adhere them to your vases. 

Thirdly, tape a strip of scotch tape around the top rim of each vase. It does not need to be one long piece, it is actually easier to do with this part with smaller, more manageable pieces.

From here, take your vases to a well-ventilated place (such as the garage) to apply the 'frosting'. Place them upside down on a piece of cardboard or an old newspaper. Spray one light coat, wait for 20 minutes and then spray a second light coat.

Once dry, remove the shapes and taped rim and your vases will look like this.

Place a small bead of glue along the line where the frosting meets the clear area where the tape was. Adhere your fringe trim.

Add a tealight candle to each and you are done. Enjoy!

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Obsessed with Christmas too? Check out all my festive posts here.


Finally, a china cabinet

When we moved, our old hutch did not fit our new dining area. Our new house has a nook where the cabinet would logically go and our old cabinet was a few inches too wide and had doors that opened out to the side. So, not a good fit - literally.

The hunt was on for a replacement and logically I turned to my good friend Craigslist. This is the tale of how I transformed an old china hutch that was dated and drab into something updated and crisp.

Not to spoil the fun or anything, but this is how it looks now....

Annnnd here is the photo from the original Craigslist post...

It was listed for $150 and they were willing to deliver it for $50 if local. After some haggling I was able to get it for $150 delivered. They weren't willing to move on the price of the cabinet as they were selling it for an elderly family member, but did agree to deliver it for free - which is great as it was too big to fit in our SUV!

I was really attracted to the basic style of the cabinet (if I squinted and used my imagination). I loved the clean simplicity of the 'shaker cabinet' look and really liked the pull-out drawer and upper glass showcase portion. However, I knew right away that I wanted the cabinet to have legs, and I also didn't like the off balance hardware so planned on changing that as well. And of course the colour. So, I pretty much wanted to change everything. But I'm not high maintenance. Really. 

But still, a really sturdy, solid wood cabinet (with a light inside) for $150 delivered. Not bad. 

First off, I got to work removing the bottom 'skirt' of the cabinet. 

I called in reinforcement for this part. I needed some muscle.

Chace paused "Uncle Grandpa" long enough to come and help. Actually, in reality he really wanted to help which warmed my little DIY heart. So, I showed him how to use the drill to remove screws and he got busy!

After we had unscrewed and pried off the front and side plates, we were left with the wooden wedges that you see. Those were glued in place so out came the rubber mallet.

I'll let you guess how many times I had to preview these two photos quickly back and forth on my camera for Chace. He thought it was hilarious "Now you see it. Wham! Now you don't"!

Allow me to illustrate.

Funny right? To a six year old it's hilarious - FYI. Funny to me is the fact that it doesn't look like he comes anywhere near to hitting it, yet it flies off. #magic

At this point we were left with this.

Next up was attaching the brackets for her new legs.

The brackets were attached to the bottom with screws and the legs simply twist into the centre hole.

The legs I chose were a simple 6" parson leg. I liked how the width of the detail on the door fronts carried down and matched the width of the simple leg.

Once all four legs were installed, we flipped it over and this is what we had.

Nice legs.

Next, we unscrewed all the hardware. Everything including the hinges and bottom latches were removed. Chace got bored at this point and I lost him to the lure of a popsicle inside.

This is how the top was looking at this point.

Because I knew I was changing all the knobs and pulls, I filled all the holes with wood filler.

Then, I called it a day. The next morning I sanded down all the filled holes.

And wiped everything clean, removing all dust, grime and sticky residue.

From here, I marked the positions for my new hardware on the two upper doors (the middle one is fixed and does not open), slide out drawer and three bottom cupboard doors. Then, I drilled all new holes.

Next up was painting! I chose a nice light grey for the interior and a simple white for the exterior. 

Having used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on Chace's dresser in the past, I was interested in using chalk paint again. However, I struggled with the wax topcoat last time, plus the Annie Sloan line is quite expensive. When I saw this new Rustoleum "Chalked" line at Home Depot for half the cost, I thought I would give it a whirl. I also liked that the top coat for this line is to be applied with a brush. I am still scarred from my last wax experience (here).

I applied the paint using a high quality synthetic brush as recommended on the can. It said 'one coat' would do it. Guess what, it LIED. And not a little lie, a "lier, lier pants on fire" big lie.

Not the coverage or look I was going for. Save yourself the trouble and never used this paint. I moved on to a foam roller after this and had to do THREE coats. And in the highly visible places I and to do  FOUR. It was a nightmare. I felt like I was painting forever.  After all that I still had to do the top coat as well. And it yellowed a bit if too thick. I repeat, don't use this paint (unless you want a really rustic look in which case it could be fine). For this project though, I was disappointed in the end result and definitely was not the timeline I had hoped for but oh well, reality.

Needless to say, many nights looked like this in my garage...

Once I had done all the white, I taped off the inside of the hutch and painted the back grey. I thought the grey would make the crisp white china stand out more. Plus it added some visual interest.

For the hardware, I really wanted gold but could not find any knobs and pulls that I liked in the right finish. I found some options online, but they were generally quite expensive. So, I went with some options from Rona (square and upper door pulls) and Home Depot (long drawer pull) which started out silver...

Until I sprayed them gold. I got the paint at Michaels. I did a lot of research on gold spray paint and this one kept coming out on top.

I added in the existing hinges and screws too so really ended up with this.

It felt like a hardware factory! If you ever spray screws, a good trick is to stick the sharp end in cardboard and that way they stand up straight for spraying.

After what seemed like a month of painting, I reassembled the whole cabinet.

I was so thankful to be done. After living with this for a few months, I was ready to unpack those boxes!

Chef Kev and I moved it inside and I finally got our china and glassware unpacked. A good day I tell ya! (I also got that artwork up that was currently living in the hutch nook).

And here we are!

Here is a side-by-side for comparison...

 And some close-ups of the details.

I like the new balanced look of the bottom better than before. I placed each pull in the centre of the door panel and like the look of it better than the off-balanced 'before'.

I also went with one long pull for the drawer versus the two smaller ones seen in the 'before'. I really wanted a longer pull but this was the longest I could find without ordering something pricey online.

I made the handles on the top larger as well and like the overall balance better here too.

I love having a lighted top portion where I can display some of our china and also add in seasonal elements. Here is how it is looking today - I can't wait to get my Christmas mitts on it soon too!

There is a little groove in the glass shelves and the bottom wood base which allows the plates and bowls to stand up securely.

I added in a few photos and personal touches too. I like the mix of elements in here versus just loading it full of china.

Above is my sister and I at my wedding. She passed away a few years ago so I like to always have her near and watching.

And below is a penguin salt and pepper shaker that I adore along with a photo I took when we were in England on vacation. Ah, English pubs. All the hearts.

Oh, and I can't forget to show you how the hinges turned out. See why I didn't want to leave them black?

It was a labour of love but for less than $250 all-in, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

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