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DIY Christmas Gift

'Tis the season! I've got Christmas on the brain my friends, specifically, gift giving! I love love love buying gifts for my family and friends. I always try to think of something meaningful and unique, and what better way to show someone you care than making them something special?!

My friend Erin and I both love a good DIY project, you should check out her Etsy shop! We were talking about the gifts we are making our families this year, and decided it would be a fun blog collaboration! You must go see what she's been up to, so creative! I will definitely be attempting to make that cute tray!

One of the many reasons I'm looking forward to Christmas this year, is watching my nephew on his first Christmas. He has brought so much joy to our family in the past eight months, and I know he will make Christmas more special than ever before. So naturally, I wanted to make a special gift for my favorite little guy.

When my sister and I were growing up, we had a small step stool in the bathroom that we both loved. It was just a simple wooden stool that read: "This little stool is mine, I use it all the time, to reach things I couldn't, and lots of things I shouldn't" It's such a cute phrase that I'll never forget, and perfect for little boys. Even though my sister has the stool from our childhood, I wanted to make a special one just for Phillip.

I found a simple wooden stool at JoAnns Fabrics, and used my 60% off coupon for a steal of a deal! I also had a wood burner that my cousin had given me a few years ago, and decided that would make the perfect, rustic stool for Phillip. 

My sister's house is decorated so cute, like a cabin in the country. She and my brother in law are avid country music fans, and often watch my cousin's roping competitions. So I know Phillip will grow up to be the cutest little cowboy. I wanted his stool to reflect that, and be something that is fun for a little boy who wants to be just like his Daddy. 

Along with the stool, I purchased cowboy theme stencils at the craft store, as well as a golden oak stain, and an alphabet stencil (which I didn't end up using). There are so many different stencil patterns available. You could do trains, fire trucks, or flowers and butterfly's for a little girl. The options are endless! 

The Supplies:
Wood Burner (at your local craft store), stool, pencil, computer and paper or alphabet stencil, theme stencil, and stain. 

Start by lightly sanding your stool if necessary. Mine was pretty smooth, but I sanded the top just a bit. You'll also want to make sure it's clean so the stain will go on evenly once you've finished burning the design.

Thanks to Andrew, I didn't need to use the stencil and worry about spacing the letters evenly. He reminded me of an old elementary school trick! We typed up the phrase on the computer and selected the correct size and font for the size of our stool. We then switched the letters to "outline only" so it would be easy to trace. 

Once you print the phrase for the top of your stool, flip over the paper and scribble on the back with a pencil. 

Next, flip the page over and center it on the stool where you want the writing to be and secure with tape. Then trace the letters with a pencil.

Magically, when you lift the page, the led will have transferred onto the stool! So easy and fun! I was so impressed Andrew remembered that trick. I hadn't done it years!

You'll also want to stencil the images with your theme, I just picked my favorite images from the stencil and placed them where I thought it looked best.

I added Phillip's initials to personalize it
Now it's time to start wood burning. The fun part! I did this inside, so I laid a thick towel down under the stool to protect the table. It's quite time consuming, but so worth the effort! My wood burner has a tip like a calligraphy pen, but newer ones come with multiple tips that would make it easier for curved letters. 

I used the tip to outline the letters and images first, then used the edge to lightly burn and create a shading affect. I started on the sides with his initials to get used to the feel of my wood burner, and then moved to the writing on top of the stool.

Don't worry about messing up. I "messed up" numerous times, but that's the beauty of using a wood burner, it's supposed to look rustic. And when you add stain, it helps hide those little mistakes.

Once you've finished burning on your design, it's time to stain! I decided on a lighter color stain so it didn't distract from the design itself. But you can use whichever you prefer. I think anything would look great!

You'll want to go outside or in a well ventilated area. Just use a clean, old rag and rub the stain onto the stool, be sure to go in the same direction as the grain. And just wipe off the excess stain. 

I LOVE the way it turned out! I think my sister will really like it, too. I love that Phillip has his own special stool that he will always remember using. Just like my sister and I do! Before we know it, Phillip will be using his stool to climb into Mom's cabinets, or help Grami make cookies!

What fun projects have you been up to? Are you making any gifts for loved ones this year?

Be sure to go say hello to my friend Erin over at Cali-Land Chic, she is SO talented!! And since we're having so much fun making DIY gifts this year, we have another post ready for you in a couple weeks! Get excited, I know I am!!


  1. THIS is amazing!!!! You totally outdid yourself! I am going to HAVE to step my game up for the next go around! Haha. Your nephew is such a lucky little man, this is adorable!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE. This collaboration is so much fun!!! <3

  2. this is too cute! you are so crafty!! i never would have even thought to do that!

  3. I am SO impressed!! This is adorable! Pinning!

  4. Seriously?? That stool came out SO good Theresa!
    What a cute idea!

  5. This is TOO cute and what a great gift idea. You could even make a little basket or pack out of it with little boots or a little pony on a stick. So cute, great idea.

  6. dang girl- u have some major talent!!


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