Refinish & Re-purpose Wooden Home Decor

Country Chic Paint Projects

This past summer I had a little “me time” in Buckhorn, ON. It’s a really beautiful, quaint town with some eclectic shops that carry unique items. My favourite shop was Style Your Nest; I could have spent a year’s salary in there if I didn’t know better.

I did however walk away with a beautiful purchase made by Krieger Customs. It was a very raw and rustic wood piece that acted as a blank canvas for me. I also happened to discover another amazing Canadian company, Country Chic Paint who among other things, makes Furniture & Home Decor Paint (chalk-based) and All-in-One Decor Paint (clay-based). They happened to have a special that day where you could receive one small jar of paint for free.

To say I was inspired is an understatement. I quickly went to work gathering the other materials that I needed to create the piece that you will see below in our video. I am quite proud of our finished product that we are using as a wall-mounted key and mail rack. A list of materials used and links are included below.

Check out our video and let us know what you think!


DIY Chalk Paint

  • Country Chic Paint All-in-One Decor Paint in Chocolate Tart
  • Country Chic Paint All-in-One Decor Paint in Dune Grass (Spring & Summer Limited Edition colour)
  • Country Chic Beeswax Distressing Bar
  • All purpose paint brush
  • Various grits abrasive sanding sponges (really any type of sandpaper will do the job)
  • Paint brush (I used a cheap, regular paint brush, but read Country Chic Paint’s tip as to why that was probably not the best choice)
  • Sealing wax (I used some I had leftover from another project, but you can use Country Chic’s Natural Wax as it does not contain any mineral solvents)
  • Lint-free cloth or wax brush
  • Hooks & screws
  • Drill


Country Chic Paint Before and After

The piece in its original state was beautiful on its own, but I really loved refinishing and re-purposing it to fit our colour scheme in our home and to fill a void; our front entrance is very narrow and doesn’t fit a table so this was the perfect solution.

DIY Chalk Paint with Country Chic Paint

Do you have a favourite chalk paint project? What items would you love to refinishing and/or re-purpose?

Thanks for reading!

City Mom

Upcycle Trimmed Tree Branches for DIY Christmas Garland

Christmas Garland

I’m so excited because this year we are able to have a real Christmas tree. In the past, when we lived in our downtown condo, we weren’t allowed to have real trees, but there is no such rule in our new house.

After we bought our tree and got it home, my husband had to trim some of the branches along the bottom of the tree so that it could fit into its stand. He saved the branches for me, knowing that I’d probably want to find some sort of use for them, he knows me well. He’s a good guy!


DIY Holiday Garland

You can find these clippings at stores for $15 to $20, but if you’re like us, and have a real tree, why not make use of what would be garbage anyway.
This Christmas garland took me about 15 minutes to make and it was a lot of fun. You may remember this post, where I shared a ‘How-To’ on creating starfish tree ornaments. As it turned out, these ornaments didn’t make it on the tree so I was excited to get to use them in my garland.

Here are the quick and easy steps to creating your own garland. Mine is beach themed but you can add any decorations and small touches to yours to make it fit in with your colour scheme.


  • Tree trimmings (ours are from a Douglas Fir tree)
  • Pruning clippers
  • Ribbon in your colour of choice
  • Twine or string
  • Straight pins (I used pins with pearly tops for added decoration)
  • Scissors
  • Themed or coloured ornaments
  • Ornament hooks


  1. Gather your trimmings and sort through them to find ones similar in size
  2. Lay half of the branches in one direction, and the other half in the other direction with their ends overlapping
  3. Use the twine to wrap around the centre where the branches meet. Tie tightly in a knot. Tie two of three more along the centre
  4. Cut two ribbon pieces to make loops for the bow. Using straight pins, pin into place
  5. Cut two longer ribbon pieces for the ends of the bow. Pin these into place as well
  6. Using ornament hooks, hang your ornaments and/or other decorations throughout the greenery

We don’t have a traditional mantel this year so I placed our garland on top of a long shelf above our TV.TIP: I lined it with tin foil so that the sap leaking from the cut branches would not stain the shelving.


If you find yourself with some leftover trimmings, I hope that I have inspired you to make good use of them!

Happy holidays!

City Mom

DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments

DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments

I have recently shared that I am looking to create a rustic, beachy Christmas this year in our new home as our old decorations aren’t going to fit in with our brand new colour scheme. That is why when I saw my friend Jennifer’s post on Facebook about these rustic tree ornaments she was making, I fell in love. The images she shared were beautiful and I know from following her on FB, that she is quite talented in the DIY and “upcycling” department.

Not only did I want some for myself (I’m buying four) I wanted to know how she did it. I figured that if I was curious, there were probably a lot more people who would be curious too. Jennifer has graciously agreed to share a ‘how-to’ for us so that we can make our own or perhaps just gain some inspiration to get out and discover ways to “upcycle” what is right in our own backyards.

There has never been a better time to do so as rustic, shabby-chic and natural elements design is right on trend.

Please “meet” Jennifer and learn how to make these beautiful, rustic wood ornaments.


Hello! My name is Jennifer and I’m a habitual recycler and upcycler of just about anything I can get my hands on! I love to create and repurpose items that I often find curbside or in my backyard.

These simple DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments are no exception; they’re made from branches from my yard that came down in a windstorm a few weeks ago. The steps are simple and the tools required are minimal:


  • Branches (mine were 2 – 2.5” in diameter)
  • Wood-burning tool (I use one from Lee Valley)
  • Circulating chop saw or table saw (I use The Mister’s)
  • Hand drill
  • Pencil
  • Decorative ribbon


DIY Rustic Wooden Ornaments How To

  1. Cut branches 1/4” thick, sand away any rough pieces
  2. Drill a small hole in the pieces (for ribbon)
  3. Draw your pattern onto the wood pieces (I did rustic trees)
  4. Using your wood-burning tool, trace pattern on each piece
  5. Repeat for each ornament
  6. String with ribbon and hang!


These ornaments make great personalized gifts! Be creative…get outside and see what you can find to re-purpose. How inspiring!

DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments


If you like Jennifer’s rustic ornaments and would like to save it for later, here is a fun image that you can use to Pin!


Thank you Jennifer for sharing your how-to and for this wonderful inspiration as we head into the holiday season.

City Mom

Getting Beachy with Walls Republic Wallpaper

Walls Republic Wallpaper

By now you are probably well aware that we have moved from our downtown digs to a new, furnished, model home. We have loved the transition albeit a little unusual to buy a fully decorated home.

As great as it is, we also want to personalize it to really make it our own. We’ve done a few projects here and there, and we have more planned, but today, I am so excited to share our most recent project, a feature wall in our master bedroom.

A few weeks ago, I shared with you that our new home features a beachy feel and colour scheme and that I had fallen in love with a weathered laminate that looked like an old beach house. This laminate can actually be used to create a feature wall. Sadly, when I received a quote for this, it was close to $1,000; too much for our budget.


Walls Republic

I wondered if I could create this beach house feel in a cheaper way so I began searching. I’m so glad that I did because I discovered an amazing wall covering company called Walls Republic. For 17 years, Walls Republic has been providing designer wallpaper, contract wallcoverings, and wall murals.

I fell in love with Walls Republic because they feature a variety of colours, textures and designer styles that fit every budget. They keep up on the latest trends like wood, stone and brick textures and have been featured on styleathome, House & Home and more.

We were able to create our beach house dream for a third of the price and turned an impossible project, into a reality by choosing the Pastel Blue Vintage Wood wallpaper.


Our entire decorating experience from start to finish with Walls Republic is shown in this video. Check out how easy it was and the dramatic outcome:


For some, choosing a wallpaper online might sound daunting, but let me tell you that it is easy-peasy with Walls Republic because they have put a lot of effort into making it that way.

First, you can order up to five free samples at so that you can shop with peace of mind. Once you choose and order your favourite pattern, you have 30 days to return it (unused) no questions asked! From nature wallpaper to flower wallpapers to graphic black and white wallpaper, Walls Republic has a huge selection of beautiful wallpapers to choose from.

Walls Republic provides a handy and easy-to-use wallpaper calculator, but if for some reason you find yourself with more than you need, you can return that too (unopened)…see what I mean about peace of mind?

And lastly, all orders (within CAN & US) ship for just $10. And speaking of shipping, many of the Walls Republic patterns qualify for ‘2 Hour Shipping’ which means your order gets hand-picked, packed, and shipped within a maximum of 2-hours’ time. Cool right?!


Wallpaper Before and After

I cannot express how impressed I am with our Walls Republic experience. First, I am in love with the weathered, wood paneling look that we have achieved. It makes me smile each time I walk into our room because it truly makes me feel like I am in a rustic beach house and we all know how much I love the beach! It gives the room depth and adds interest to an otherwise, blank wall.

Beyond the esthetic appeal, the quality is top-notch as well. The wallpaper is very durable and easy to clean. And speaking of easy, Walls Republic Residential wallpapers are non-woven backings, making installation a breeze. Non-woven papers mean you apply the paste to the wall, not the paper itself.

Our pattern came with instructions but you can also visit Walls Republic University to learn wallpapering techniques and tips.

If you’ve been thinking about including a feature wall in your house, I highly urge you to do so. It is so fun and exciting to go bold and to step outside your comfort zone…you won’t be sorry. And I absolutely recommend that you do so with Walls Republic; they have the best quality, prices, designs and customer service.

Walls Republic


As mentioned, you can check out Walls Republic on the web but you can also gain inspiration and learn more on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

leave a comment

City Mom


Disclaimer: we received complimentary product for the purpose of this feature. All opinions are completely our own.

DIY Starfish Christmas Ornament {Video}

DIY Starfish Christmas Ornament

I know, I know…it’s only October 23rd so you might be wondering why I’m already writing about the holidays. Well, the answer is twofold: first, there are only 63 shopping days left until Christmas; and secondly, we have recently moved into a new home that has a brand new colour scheme, so our old decorations just aren’t going to cut it this year. This means that I need to get started on my decorations now in order to be ready in time, especially if I plan to make some of them myself.


The two main floors of our new home can be best described as a modern, blue/green, beachy, rustic theme. That’s a mouthful, but it’s what I’m going with. I’m so excited about this because well, I love the beach and all things rustic. I would love to celebrate every single Christmas at the beach but I want the snow too, so a perfect combination is a beachy, rustic Christmas here at home!

Of course, ditching our old decorations and creating a new collection will be time-consuming and costly, so I am looking for opportunities to cut these costs by doing some DIY projects; and who doesn’t love a homemade ornament hanging on their tree?


What is a beach-themed holiday tree without a few sparkly starfish right?! I knew this would be my first DIY project and I’m glad it was, because they are so easy to create and require very few ingredients. Check out my video to see how I did it:

As you see, this is a very simple project. I got my supplies at Michael’s (and raided my husband’s toolbox) and used one of their 40% coupons for the Starfish because they are kind of expensive at $19.99 for 4 which made it a much more affordable project.

City Mom Wants to Know


Thanks for watching!

City Mom

Our New Home – Part Two {Video}

Our New Home

As promised, here is part two of our new home; this video features the other two floors (main level and basement) of our new house.

Those who know me well, know that there are two things that really make me “tick” (other than all the obvious ones) and that is the beach and Paris! Once you see the video, you will know why I fell in love with this little home.

A couple of months before buying our new house, my husband and I attended the Lifestyle Home Show here in London. One of the vendors had this gorgeous, weathered beach house flooring. Knowing that colour scheme and style would have never fit in with our downtown condo, I jokingly asked my husband if we could redo just one room in the condo to get that vibe in our home.

Though that flooring is not a part of our new home, the vibe and colour scheme is. As you can see in the video(s), the top two floors have a fresh and airy colour scheme with small “beachy” elements here and there. And the basement? Well, it’s just a Paris-lover’s dream come true!


Buying a furnished model home allows a unique privilege to move into a home that has been professionally staged and designed. But I am still a DIY’er and wannabe designer at heart so I have been having fun adding my own touch to the house to really make it ours.

If I had my choice, I would live in a rustic, shabby-chic beach house for the rest of my life (and visit Paris on the weekends), alas, at this time in our lives, that can not be a reality so, bit by bit,  I am going to try to create one here in the city.

Stay tuned for some fun additions that are both cost-effective and relatively easy to implement to enhance the theme and/or design of your home.

Thanks for watching!

City Mom

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