Some people dream of a white Christmas. That’s usually not a problem in Canada! However, I prefer a colourful one, Canadian style, with Christmas sleigh decor done up in Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket Stripes!
I’m the first to admit that I’m crazy about these iconic stripes. If you saw our post a few days ago, we gave vintage stocking stretchers the same stripe treatment with this Christmas Stocking DIY. And of course, you may remember the project that started it all: our upcycled sewing table.
Nothing could be more iconically Canadian, for this month’s International Bloggers Club (IBC) Christmas challenge, than incorporating point blanket stripes. Check out this Canadian Encyclopedia link if you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket.
About the IBC
The IBC is a group of bloggers from all over the world who challenge each other to make something using a common theme. Last month’s challenge was Halloween. Today I’m really excited to share this upcycled toboggan tutorial with you for the Christmas challenge. You’ll find all my friends’ holiday tutorials at the bottom of the post and they’re spectacular. So don’t forget to check them out before you go. And if you don’t have time to browse today, pop back in later in the week to pick up where you left off.
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Christmas Sleigh Decor
Ok, I can hear those in the know screaming at your screen. Technically this isn’t a sleigh! In Canada, this fine snow surfing vehicle is known as a ‘toboggan’. Hubs found it curb side this summer.
Poor Hubs has had a checkered past when it comes to toboggans (which is why I chose to do stripes instead)! You see, Canadians are fearless when it comes to winter sports and Hubs permanently damaged his front tooth as a child in a tobogganing accident. It’s a wonder any of us baby boomers survived our childhoods! Bad childhood experiences aside, I couldn’t wait to put a decor spin on this toboggan.
But hey, if we get inundated with snow in the upcoming months, we’ll be able to grab it off the wall and toboggan in style!
Christmas Sleigh Decor Materials
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- Sleigh Rides stencil
- Bennett lint free micro rollers
- 3″ china bristle paint brush for dry brushing
- Twisted cotton rope
- Paint: indigo blue, yellow, red, green and white
- Vice grips
- Staple remover or pry bar
- 50/50 water & vinegar for cleaning in a spray bottle
- Varathane Diamond Wood Finish – Matte
- D-ring picture hangers
- Picture hanging wire
- Screws (#6)
- 1/8″ plywood for reversible sign
Christmas Sleigh Decor – Prep Work
To start, remove the yellow pull cord.
Then clean the wood with with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar.
The sticker label proves to be more challenging.
So I use this natural all purpose cleaner by Method. It’s my go-to whenever I want to remove sticky residue. Unbelievably, it removes sticky goo just as well as that noxious Goo Gone; no more harsh chemical for us!
Once the wood is dry, remove three of the cross braces in the centre, leaving one at either end.
Because they’re only held on by staples, the cross braces pry off easily.
Hubs trick to removing the now loose staples is to use a vice grips with a thin board for leverage. You’ll see that in action on the video.
We always sand glossy surface to prepare for paint.
Sanding removes most of that yellow aged look – an added bonus.
I hadn’t working out my stripe placement yet, and it turns out that the braces will not be going back in their original position. So at this point I should have filled the staple holes with wood putty. I had to backtrack and do that after painting. Not a big deal but it’s best to do it first.
After sanding to knock down the gloss, I dry brush on some white paint – but only in between the two remaining braces. To dry brush, dip the tips of the bristles in paint, then offload most of it onto paper towels.
You can still see the wood grain through the paint.
Putting on the Stripes
Let the paint dry overnight. For the stripes, I use the following measurements and colours.
Tape the stripes. It takes 3 coats of paint to get the depth of colour. I use a separate roller for each colour.
I have a tip on how to keep the rollers from drying out between coats. Hubs also has a brilliant trick to dry the rollers so they’re good as new. You’ll have to watch the video to find out how.
Sleigh Rides Stencil
I’m using this Sleigh Rides stencil by Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils to embellish the sleigh. But I want to use my Christmas Sleigh Decor year round, so I apply the stencil to a piece of wood so I can make a sign that’s double sided. You’ll see why I do that later in the reveal.
I position ‘Sleigh’ on a jaunty angle.
Then ‘Rides’ follows right underneath. This is my first time using a stencil brush – this one is a #10 – and I have to admit, I love using it! Of all the stencilling methods I’ve tried, I thought this would be the most difficult. But it’s not. Just load paint onto the bristles. Then offload it onto paper towels so you have a fairly dry brush and swirl away, as you’ll see on the video.
You’ll see how the other side of the sign looks in the reveal.
Secure Cross Braces
Position and clamp the first two cross braces right through the middle of the first and last white stripes.
Because we don’t want to scratch our wall once this is mounted, we countersink first before drilling in the screws from the back.
Christmas Sleigh Decor – Add a Shelf
We salvaged pallet wood so we can add a shelf near the bottom of the toboggan. I originally planned four shelves but want to enjoy the unspoiled look of the point blanket stripes.
Using the same procedure of countersinking the screws, attach the shelf to the cross brace first.
You’ll need longer screws for this:
Once all three screws are in countersunk, you can mount the shelf in the same way as the other cross braces.
But before you do, insert the sign, then place some credit cards between it and the cross brace as spacers so there is wiggle room to remove and flip it. Don’t forget this sign is two-sided!
This time, when you flip it over to drill for the screw holes, you’ll need some boards underneath to support it.
I applied Varathane water based clear coat in a matte finish to the sign for durability. You can add it to the entire sleigh too for added protection.
Finishing Touch – New Rope
To stay true to the original toboggan, I’m adding this cotton twisted rope from the dollar store. Cut the length you need and be sure to tape the ends with clear tape to prevent unravelling.
I should mention that I notched the shelf first using a jig saw and chisel.
That’s so I could knot it right underneath the shelf before threading it through the original holes in the cross braces. The knots help hold the sign in place too!
Just add mounting hardware and it’s ready to hang!
Christmas Sleigh Decor Video
Learn all our tricks and tips to make this Christmas decor:
Christmas Sleigh Decor
At Christmas time, I’ll decorate the shelves with holiday-related items like my needle felted elf. See what I mean when I say I’ve gone crazy for these iconic stripes?! My little elf is adorned in a point-blanket coat :).
This little bird didn’t fly south for the winter, but he’s keeping warm!
Perhaps instead of gloves, I’ll scatter a few painted acorns on the shelf.
The acorns coordinate well with the point stripes!
Of all the options, my favourite way to display our Christmas sleigh decor will be like this. I adore how it looks with our Christmas stocking DIY.
However, once Christmas is over, we’ll just flip the sign around – from ‘sleigh rides‘ to ‘rides’. Then we’ll have a transportation-themed display!
Gabriola Frog couldn’t miss an opportunity to hop on her chopper now, could she?
See what I did there with the double-sided stencil sign to stretch this project year-round? Isn’t that so versatile? For more stencil options, visit Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils. There’s fabulous options for Christmas and year-round stencil crafting!
Interested in learning more stencilling techniques? Visit our tag, how to stencil, for more projects.
Pin Christmas Sleigh Decor
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated :).
Int’l Bloggers Club – Christmas
And now onto the brilliant Christmas projects by the uber-talents participating in this IBC Christmas Challenge:
- Unique Creations by Anita – Steam Punk Christmas Tree
- A Crafty Mix – Bottle Light Swapple Art Insert
- Birdz of a Feather – That’s us!
- Interior Frugalista – Scandinavian Village Scrap Wood Houses
- Raggedy Bits – Easy Wooden Farmhouse Ornaments
- What Meegan Makes – Vintage Christmas Style Wreath