I’m so excited to be sharing a post with you all here at Lovely Crafty Home! Thanks to Rachael for letting me share one of my DIY-related blogs from The 20 Somethings. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tyler and I write over at The 20 Somethings with my boyfriend Eric and our friends Sarajane and kyle. We cover everything from food and fashion to home and nightlife and try to do it all with an Asheville twist. I love DIY projects, and cooking, and grew up in a house where my mom was always working on some new creative endeavor. She actually managed a craft store when I was a kid in the early 90’s – so my childhood was never short of puff paint, burgundy and hunter green magnolia swags, iron-on holiday sweatshirts, and Shrinky Dinks. I try to live up to her example and be crafty whenever possible. Here’s something I came up with for some fall decorating. I hope you enjoy.

Recently I spent some time getting the house all decorated for fall! I bought my mums, got out all of the fake pumpkins and leaves, and put together a cute fall display on the mantle and the console in our living room. I really wanted to make sure we had some kind of statement piece on our mantle. We usually have two large bird paintings on the mantle – on either side of the television. But, I figured they were a little to spring-y/summer-y and wanted something more rustic for fall. I’ve had several barnstars for a long time and they’ve just been sitting in a box in the basement. I knew they were perfect for fall.

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But, it took some work to get them to this point. I started with the stars leaned against the brick – but they completely disappeared against the dark wall.

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Then I put them against some plain pieces of pine 2X4′s, cut into 24 inch segments. It was super boring and plain. PS: They’ll do that cutting for you for free at most hardware stores – Home Depot had it done in just five minutes. Even if you have a saw at home, save your time and your fingers and let someone else fool with it.

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So I knew I had to get creative. I decided to make it look like the stars had been attached to a collection of recovered barn wood. I got my paints, stains, hammer, lighter, and various sharp objects out and went to work!

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The first step was burning some of the pieces – I just set up a lovely little candle and went to work. Now, it should probably go without saying but, be careful doing this. It would probably be best to do it outside and to have a bucket or cup of water nearby. Of course I completely disregarded those kinds of safety instructions…but you shouldn’t.

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I took a palette knife and my hammer and went to work scraping, scratching, denting, and distressing the wood. It was lots of fun! I make sure to hammer down all of the edges and corners to make the wood look worn and soft. I made deep gashes across the surface of the boards. I did some of these before staining or painting and some after – to add different colors and textures.

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For the stains I used a weathered gray and a special walnut. I did two board with the walnut, two with the gray, and one with a mix of the two. I let them dry for about 15 minutes then wiped them down. The gray needed more, so I added more stain and let it set for about an hour.

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Meanwhile I painted a few boards bright blue and let them dry. I then went to town on those boards with the hammer and palette knife and the lighter. I used some of the gray stain to go over the blue paint to tone it down and also get into the gashes and cuts in the wood. I let the stain dry for about an hour before wiping it off.

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And for a few other boards I used the Martha Stewart crackle finish. This one didn’t really work out like I wanted. You are supposed to prime the surface with the Martha Stewart primer and finisher – which I did, begrudgingly (that stuff cost $7) – then cover with the crackle paste with a palette knife. Apparently the thicker you apply it, the more it crackles. I really didn’t notice any significant crackling when I used it. BUT, I could have not waited long enough…I was a little impatient. I then painted over those boards with some green paint I watered down to turn it into more of a stain. And a coating of the gray stain went on top of that. I put the boards together with fence staples – which was a pain in the ass, by the way – and then attached the star. And ta-da! There you have it! Here are some up close shots of the distressing on the boards and how they’re connected.

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I put the stars on either side of our television and added in different pumpkins, orange and yellow books, a picture of leaves, and some fall-scented candles.

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 Thank you so much for sharing this awesome DIY project Tyler!!

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