DIY Holiday Décor with Jute Lights

Before and after pictures were a must for this project! I love breathing fresh air into what others would call ‘junk.’ There is always a story when you reclaim a piece of furniture. A simple sign on the wall becomes a conversation piece!

Two abandoned Adirondack chairs were  being left for trash at the side of the road by someone at the back side of our neighborhood.  I had noticed them on a walk with my family earlier that week. I may have driven past them a few more times in the subsequent days. May have. Come Saturday I had a date with my friend for garage sale shopping and our first stop was: the chairs.

Something about ‘dumpster diving’ chairs from the side of the road while in your mid 30’s tickles me, so it’s safe to say we were laughing the entire time we were lifting these into my vehicle. We knew they were there for scrap, but it was nonetheless hilarious to be ‘taking’ them.

At the time, I had planned a backyard bench project using both chairs, but ended up with this idea for lighted wall art after purchasing the jute lights at a craft store.  I paid a pretty penny for these pre-made jute lights, but you could DIY them yourself for cheap with lights from a dollar store and some jute. (See picture of a DIY jute light I made at the end of this post)

Step 1: Sand down your wood, but ONLY in certain areas to further distress and remove any rough. Clean with a warm wet washcloth to remove any dirt or debris.

If you locate any rotted areas, sand down, then fill with a wood putty and top with polyurethane to seal and prevent further issues.  Use the other side of the piece for aesthetic reasons (hide any wood flaws).

Step 2: Attach an extra strength wire hanger to the back.  I generally purchase mine at flea markets which can be cheaper than the hardware store. Look for 50 lb. plus strengths when hanging heavy wood.

Step 3. Level out the battery pack thickness.  The battery pack was glued to the back, then secured with a small piece of electrical tape, but it made the back of the sign sit uneven against the wall. Screw on a small block of scrap wood to level it out.  (See top right picture)

Step 4: Add Lettering or a Special Message. I bought plain wood letters, painted them a deep red, then added an antique glaze to the edges for a rustic look.  You could also use a paint marker or acrylic paint to hand write a favorite Holiday quote.  Get creative here!  Use song lyrics, a French or German language Christmas greeting, or a Monogram of your family initials.

Step 5: Make a burlap bow.  I used a tutorial from MommySuite.com.  The burlap I used was $3 for a spool and I had plenty leftover. It was super simple. You only need a hot glue gun.

Step 6: Attach the jute lights.  I chose to wrap it around in a circle pattern and VERY carefully used a hot glue gun. You do not want to burn a hole in your copper wire for your lights.  Twisting the jute to add the hot glue on jute areas only was easy to do, it just took time and patience.

I also added a burlap flower to the bottom left corner. Remember- creativity! You can add buttons, paper flowers, or a string of twine with clothespins to hang pictures from.

My friend Lisa purchased this from me at a craft fair and I loved seeing a picture of it on her wall!  It is very satisfying to know she will enjoy it every Holiday Season for years to come.

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Want to DIY your own JUTE LIGHTS? It’s easy!  Buy thick jute cord (you can get a huge spool for about $5 at a craft store) and $1 battery operated LED lights from a dollar store.

As you attach your jute lights to your project, twist the lights and jute together tightly, then hot glue it to your piece. Be careful not to touch hot glue to your lights or cord, it could affect its functionality. I did this for this project below.  The frame is from an old art canvas.

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