Scandinavian decor is holiday-perfection! Let’s use it as the inspiration to decorate your table this Christmas.
Today’s post is a little bit different than the typical. It’s the response to a BLOGGER DIY CHALLENGE that was opened up to a mastermind group I’m part of with KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms.
This is how it works! A “challenge” is put out into the group. Anyone who is up for the challenge signs-up. There is roughly a month of prep work and then all of the bloggers in the challenge all post on the same day, showing how they answered the challenge.
This challenge was to create a DIY post for a raised tray, showing it styled for the holidays!
After doing some looking around my house as well as Pinterest, I decided to add a Scandinavian influence to my piece. It was SO easy and I absolutely LOVE it!
Do you want to make one for yourself? Here’s how!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Oh, and don’t worry if you’re curious about how something else in this tablescape was made. I’m going to be doing a few follow up posts explaining just about everything for you!
For fun, make sure you get all the way to the bottom of the post to find all the links to the other bloggers’ posts as part of this challenge.
Supplies needed for your raised tray
There are so many ways that you can do this so definitely make use of any old paint and supplies you already have at home. For example, you’ll need a board. I learned, as a result of this challenge, that we have a pile of boards in our backyard that I never knew about! Let’s be thrifty!
Here’s what I used for my project scandinavian decor raised tray :
- 2″ x 10″ x 8′ Board
- Benjamin Moore – Ben Exterior Paint Soft Gloss
- Rust-Oleum Chalked Charcoal Chalky Smooth Finish (First Try)
- Krylon Chalky Finish Tintable Paint – Tinted Black (Second Try)
- Krylon Chalky Finish Clear Sealing Wax
- General Purpose Sand Paper – Assorted Grits
- Lint-free Cloths
- Wooster Ultra/Pro Short Cut 2″ Paint Brush
- Putty Knife
- Shape Template
- Fabric Pencil
- Measuring Tape
- Wescott Clear Ruler
- Frog Tape
- Artistro Paint Pens in white
- Plus 1 surprise supply mentioned down toward the end … are you scratching your head in wonder???
I used a Cricut Maker to cut my stencil from a sheet of Mylar. If you have one, great! You can make your own stencil to fit your project. Otherwise, you can use the technique I'm showing along with a shape template to make your raised tray with Scandinavian decor influences.
Scandinavian decor from scrap wood
You should have seen my delight when Dan showed me a pile of scrap lumber he has in the backyard!
It’s like a treasure chest that I never knew was hiding out of view yet just waiting for me to get my hands on for oh so many projects to come.
For this project, I picked a nice long piece. It wasn’t pretty wood but that didn’t matter because some rustic charm works for this project perfectly.
My “answer” to the Blogger DIY Challenge was to create a super LONG and IMPACTFUL raised tray for our 110″ x 40″ farm table. So I wanted the board to be BIG!!!
To prep the wood, I first gave it an overall wiping off and then sanding with some pretty rough grit sandpaper. I wanted to make sure all potential splinters were long gone.
In order to make the ends as smooth as the sides, I covered them with Dap all-purpose wood filler. This is basically like using a putty knife to spread thick peanut butter (that happens to be purple) on the board. It’s then sanded smooth. So easy and perfect for this project.
The wood filler dries in just a few minutes.
Creating your scandinavian decor foundation
The piece was intended to be slightly rustic. For that, I used two layers of paint; well, so I thought.
Spray painting doesn’t like wind.
First, I painted a coat of Ben’s Exterior Paint in white over the entire board. I didn’t “pick” this paint for this particular project, I simply had it out as I was painting the trim of our front door. Worked great!
Then, here’s where the trouble starts, I began to use Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Spray Paint in Charcoal. It was an unusually warm day that wasn’t going to last as it was coming and going all within one 12-hour window. In my mind [yes, I’m brilliant] I thought, “Oh, it’s going to be warm and sunny! I’ll go do my painting!”
What I didn’t account for is the fact that weather moving that fast comes with WIND. It was so windy and there I was trying to spray paint. No, not smart. I somehow got it done though and we ended up finished with a board painted and ready to stencil.
With some help, I brought it inside and set it up on some jars on our farm table to finish. Two things came into realization.
First, it was WAY too long! There was no way, at the current length, that anyone could sit at the ends of the table. It had to be cut down to 6′.
Second, it wasn’t dark enough. I was looking for black and this was definitely charcoal. Yes, I see that the can is labeled “charcoal” but the picture looks MUCH darker than the real color.
Both problems were easy enough to fix. Dan ran the board over to his brother’s house (right next door) to cut the board down, while I ran out and bought some more paint.
Turn a problem into an opportunity!
Now, I’ve used a LOT of different brands of chalk paint. I guess my favorite is Annie Sloan but it is a LOT more expensive than some of the newer products on the market AND is much harder to find locally.
Since I had already moved the project inside, I wanted chalk paint that I could paint with a brush. So I ended up getting Krylon’s tintable chalky finish paint and having it tinted black. I also bought their Chalky Finish Clear Sealing Wax at the same time. I was drawn to the idea of painting on my wax as opposed to rubbing it on with a cloth.
So I had to putty the end again and paint it, but look at the difference in colors before the wax.
It still wasn’t quite BLACK but much better! NOW, I was ready to paint my design.
how to paint scandinavian decor accents
This section might be better called, how NOT to paint but it all ends well.
I first tried outlining my stencil with my mechanical fabric pencil, which worked AMAZING btw and then filling it in with a brush. This was done with a full understanding that it would look freehand and NOT professionally painted and I was okay with that. In hindsight, I overestimated my ability to paint a simple design. It looked fine from about 20′ away but any closer and a 3rd grader may have done a better job. Ughhh. I covered it up with another coat of black paint. Try again.
This is when it got good. This is HOW TO PAINT SCANDINAVIAN DECOR ACCENTS. It’s the 1-2-3 that works.
The key is to use a paint PEN. I did a bunch of research and ended up with the Artistro Paint Pens in white. Warning: I LOVED doing this project so there will be more of them using this exact technique! Sorry, not sorry!
- Draw a centerline with a fabric pencil.
- Trace your basic shapes with your paint pen.
- Add styling accents to your basic shapes.
Here are three tips:
- If you’re going to create your own stencil with mylar, only cut the basic shapes. Leave all the details to do freehand.
- Practice the accents on a piece of paper BEFORE you start painting. Don’t just WING-IT as I did. (As my mother always said, do as I say and not as I DO!)
- You can use Frog Tape at the end of the stencils to hold in place. That’s my preference. You can also use repositionable spray adhesive too.
Adding the finish to your Scandinavian decor inspiration
The details are what makes this piece particularly interesting.
Let’s add some Character
First, I took out my fine-grit sandpaper and got sanding! Hitting all of the edges and corners to give it a slightly lived-in look. I wasn’t going for a full-on shabby chic experience. Just a bit of character, kind of like the little lines around our eyes when we smile!
After doing all the sanding, the entire board had to be wiped down with a lint-free rag and allowed to dry. That didn’t take long.
Protecting the Chalk Paint
When you use chalk paint, it needs to be waxed. This is typically done with a paste that is applied with a hard bristle brush or a rag. Personally, I hate the feel of it. Even with gloves on, it still bugs me.
What a surprise to discover Krylon Chalky Finish Clear Sealing Wax that goes on with a regular paintbrush! It has a consistency similar to Elmer’s Glue. There’s good and bad from my experience.
The bad is that it is a bit drippy, but nothing horrible. It also took a long time to dry. For the backside, I rubbed it off after a few minutes per the instructions. The finish is just okay.
On the front, I painted on the wax and let it sit. After about an hour, I buffed it in a bit with a lint-free rag. Then I waited. It took about 5 hours to dry completely. Kind of a pain, right! I mean, the typical wax is ready as soon as you’re done buffing it.
BUT, I really like the end finish. SOOO, I think I’m okay with waiting for it to dry due to the ease of use and final feel.
Interestingly, it gets a really good rating on Amazon but a horrible rating on Home Depot?? I’m happy with it but it isn’t the same as the other wax, so you might want to go with the paste.
The final reveal … very sneaky
As I was handling the board, the obvious kept running through my mind, “Man, this board is heavy!”. Well, duh. It’s a solid 2″ x 10″ x 6′ pine board!
Realizing that I wasn’t going to use this all year, I started wondering where I would store it. AND how, with the feet to elevate it (remember, that’s the primary challenge) can I simply slide it somewhere out of the way.
Then I had a brainstorm! For the Blogger DIY Challenge, the tray doesn’t have to be permanently raised. Just raised and displayed for the holidays.
Sneaky me … I ran to the Dollar Store and bought some votive candle holders. I just slipped one, turned upside-down, under each corner, and started decorating! Now when I need to store it, I can just slide the board somewhere, like maybe under a bed or couch. No worries about the feet getting in the way or caught on something!
You can see the glass in a few spots as I left a gap so YOU could see them in pictures. BUT, these could easily be hidden with the greenery and nobody will know how the tray is floating … or is it levitating???
Even seen, they still look really nice!
Here’s are the supplies again:
Here’s a closer look at the place settings.
Are you curious about how I did the table runners, plate wraps, and board display? No worries, it’s all going to be broken down in upcoming posts. Just be sure to subscribe so you can get the DIY emailed to you directly!
Blogger DIY Challenge – Round up
I’m posting these URL’s for the other women who are participating in the challenge, but I haven’t even seen them yet as they’re all going LIVE simultaneously. So, I’m just as excited as you are to see what they have each come up with for their answer to the challenge.
Note: These challenges aren't easy. Just to illustrate, we had 24 bloggers sign up for the challenge and 14 finished it. There are so many projects in the works for DIY bloggers, that adding one to the calendar is TOUGH. So kudos to all of the incredible creatives who completed this challenge in their own unique way!
Visit these friends’ blogs and be sure to comment on how beautiful their displays came out! (Please comment below on mine too!)
- WOOD PEDESTAL TRAY FOR A FARMHOUSE CHRISTMAS | CHALKING UP SUCCESS
- HOW TO MAKE A FOOTED TRAY | COTTAGE IN THE MITTEN
- CHRISTMAS TRAY DIY | COTTAGE ON BUNKER HILL
- HOW TO CREATE A SENTIMENTAL FOOTED TRAY | FEET UNDER MY TABLE
- QUICK EASY WAY TO MAKE A FOOTED TRAY | FROM FARMHOUSE TO FLORIDA
- UNIQUE FOOTED TRAY FOR HOLIDAY DECOR AND ENTERTAINING | J DUB BY DESIGN
- DIY WOOD FOOTED TRAY| MODERN ON MONTICELLO
- HOW TO MAKE A FOOTED TRAY THE SUPER EASY WAY | MRS. COLEMAN
- HOW TO BUILD A RUSTIC FOOTED TRAY | MTB HOME LIVING
- EASY TO MAKE DIY FARMHOUSE TABLE RISER | THE PONDS FARMHOUSE
- HOW TO MAKE A TABLE RISER | SHOP AT BLU
- HOW TO USE SCRAP WOOD TO CREATE A PEDESTAL TRAY | SONYA BURGESS
- DIY DECORATIVE TRAY | SYDNEY AND CO.
- HOW TO MAKE AN EASY FOOTED TRAY | FAITH AND FARMHOUSE
Scandinavian decor influences
What I love about Scandinavian decor is that it’s textural, the designs are clean, it pulls from nature, and it blends wonderfully with a lot of aesthetics. That includes my own modern farmhouse style.
For example, all it takes is to throw a faux sheepskin over a stool and it just feels Scandinavian!
In keeping with the Scandinavian decor as my inspiration, I used kept my tablescape pretty clean. There aren’t a lot of color stories, mainly natural, red, green, and black. There are real pine cones and amazing faux greenery. And the tall pillars are perfectly in line with the muse, plus they don’t block conversations across the table!
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Love this? Go ahead and PIN it to one of your boards. Here’s a perfect graphic!
If you want to see more posts similar to this one, check out:
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Have a fantastic week! Namaste,