I had a spot in the corner of my living room that was not looking very Christmas-y, but I wasn't willing to invest in another tree for my home. I needed something that made a big impact as guests walked through the door, but it still had to be simple and be able to be stored easily...oh, and it had to be cheap!
I roamed around my local Lowe's and found "Treated 1x4x6 Top Choice" boards for under $4 apiece. I snagged two of them and headed home all skippy with my find.
Once I got home, I sawed the first board into a 4 foot section, leaving a 2 foot section.
The second board I sawed into 4 pieces measuring 26 inches, 20 inches, 16 inches, and 10 inches.
*If you don't like to get all wood shop at your house, you can take these measurements with you to the store and ask for your boards be be cut for you. There is a giant saw at the end of the lumber aisle they can use to help you out*
If you intend to hang this tree, I would suggest attaching your hanger to the back of the longest board now. I did it later and ended up with several holes in the wall I'm currently hiding from the Big Guy... I used a simple saw toothed hanger like this:
At this point you can assemble then paint or paint then assemble. I assembled first...probably would have painted first if I wasn't all gung ho with cutting wood and ready to screw stuff using electric tools that made me feel all tough.
I drilled pilot holes then used screws but it's just as easy to use nails and or wood glue. I tilted the boards to get that wonky/whimsical look I was after. My top board split and I almost switched it out, but then I started to love it. Here is my tree assembled:
Next, I applied a wash over the whole tree (watered down paint) with a cheap chip brush then wiped it off using an old rag:
*Now, let me take a minute here in case my husband is reading this, that although it might look like I painted this tree on the kitchen table, I would never do that...mostly never...right, so let's move on.*
Now, using some watered down dark brown acrylic paint, apply to the edges and corners of the boards to get the age and depth of old wood. See?
Okay, you can hang or prop your tree up as-is OR you can hang crap on it! Let's hang crap on it!
Using some small finishing nails (or you could use cup hooks) I created some hanging spots:
You can hang some cool retro balls:
Or Christmas Cards:
Or turn it into an Advent Tree by hanging numbered envelopes with small treats or notes inside:
But, I like the frosted, retro balls best, it looks kind of Charlie Brown-ish to me...
Send me a picture of your $10 tree if you make one so I can share!
**I've posted 3 days in a row, people!**
I wanted to share the recipe I tried this year for our Thanksgiving Turkey since I know turkey dinner is on many Christmas menus. I think after 16 years of cooking this meal I have found the perfect technique for a beautiful, golden, moist turkey.
I started out with an 18 lb. Butterball turkey. You can adjust cooking times according to the weight of your bird.
I always brine my turkey and have tried many different recipes for brine in the past and I think I finally have a winner with Pioneer Woman's Brine. Here is what I ended up with after a few changes from her original recipe:
Perfect Turkey Brine
- 3 cups Apple Cider
- 2 gallons Cold Water
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Rosemary
- 1-1/2 cup Kosher Salt
- 2 cups Brown Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
- 5 whole Bay Leaves
I found huge Ziploc bags called Ziploc Big Bags right alongside the other Ziploc bags at my Walmart. I usually try to brine in a huge pot but it's very messy and hard to find a spot big enough to store it in the fridge. Love these bags!
Next, I used Martha's Parchment Turkey roasting directions and the turkey was beautiful!
Perfect Parchment Turkey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove your turkey from the brine and rinse well. Pat dry with paper towel.
Cut 3 long pieces of parchment paper and arrange them one on top of the other, each one at a 90 degree angle to one underneath, like this:
Place your turkey in the center and slather with 1/2 stick of softened butter. Just use your hands and get messy!
Now, take the first piece of parchment and bring both ends up, around to the top of the turkey, and roll down, then staple in place. Repeat with the remaining layers of paper. I had enough space at the ends to roll and staple excess paper when I was finished.
Bake at 375 for 3 hours then remove paper, baste with all the yummy juices that have accumulated inside the paper and place back in over to roast for one more hour or so until breast reads 165 degrees.
Now, this is the critical part! Move your turkey to a quiet corner to rest. Cover the pan with foil, then layers of newspapers, then layers of old towels. Leave it alone for at least 45 minutes!
Okay, it's time to carve! Just look at her...
I'm totally going to try this technique with a chicken!