With just little bit of time and inexpensive crafting supplies, it's a cinch to create rustic country-western themed decorations as accents and focal points for parties, dinners, and home decor with these simple do-it-yourself (DIY) projects:
An iconic symbol of American home canning of fruits & vegetables popular with country farms and western homesteaders, the multi-purpose, versatile glass Mason jar is a natural fit with so many creative decorating options.
Measure the circumference of your Mason jars by wrapping a piece of string around the outside and cutting it so that the ends overlap by about one centimeter.
Measure the height of the jar from the bottom ring to the foot, and determine how wide you want the strips; for smaller jars we suggest 3” and 4” for the larger ones.
Spread out the burlap on a flat surface, and cut to your desired width and to the length of the string. If making multiple jars, you may wish to mark the dimensions with a fabric pencil or chalk so you can cut them all at the same time.
Position the burlap on the jar, then lift back the edge and make a line of hot glue a half-inch from the side and press fabric down. Allow to harden, being careful not to burn your fingers.
Finish wrapping the jar, and secure with another line of hot glue where the pieces overlap.
Tie ribbons in a bow around the jar and secure with a small dab of hot glue under the knot if desired.
Drop thin cross-sectional orange slices into the jars and fill halfway with water.
Place small bouquets of Gerbera daisies or wildflowers for a beautifully simple table decoration.
Variation: Substitute any other citrus fruit and matching ribbon, e.g. lime/green, lemon/yellow, or use colored water, glass marbles, or submersible LED lights for color.
Fill jars 1/4 full of white beans, pebbles, or sand and set small pillar candles for charming country-western candle holders. Use varying jar and candle sizes in a group for table lighting.
Another alternative is to the fill the jars with water and use floating candles.
Acrylic or exterior paint in desired lettering color(s)
220 grit sand paper
Antique brown wood stain
Polyvinyl seal (optional)
Cut out individual letters in large font and position on the painted board, affixing them with a small piece of tape.
Place a section of carbon paper under each letter, then outline the printed font with a pencil, pressing hard enough to leave a carbon tracing.
Dip a medium sized paintbrush in the white paint and fill in the letters; it may take two to three coats to achieve desired opacity.
Use a small paintbrush to clean up corners and outside lines if desired.
After paint has dried, sand the surface to create the appearance of distressed wood.
Stain with brown wood stain, and coast with polyvinyl seal if desired.
Variation: Use this technique to make several narrow signs and nail them to a post to create a multidirectional “road-sign,” helping to direct guests to different party areas. Place in a bucket full of gravel or sand and decorate with potted plants for both interior and exterior use.
Rope was certainly indispensable to cowboys and frontiersmen, and this rope sign will make you think twice about leaving it out of country western decorating too.
You Will Need
Rope, jute, or twine
4 oz. white school glue
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 cup warm water
Permanent marker, optional
Pick out the word or phrase you want to use.
Spread a length of wax paper on a flat surface, and write out the word in permanent marker on the wax paper to use as a guide if desired.
Whisk together the glue, corn starch, and warm water until completely smooth.
Feed the rope into the glue mixture and allow it to become saturated.
Arrange the rope along the outline of the words, cutting at lengths if desired. Be sure to push down hard where the rope crosses itself and add extra glue to the joints. If you are concerned that it won’t stay down, use a pushpin to hold it together.
Let dry for 12 hours on flat surface.
Once dried, you can lay them directly on tables, hang them on walls, or glue them down to a wooden plank.
Variation: Use the simulated rusty and/or silver "barbed wire" garland made from fabric to form words and phrases.
Use a chalkboard to serve as an easy and quick decorative western sign that is as informative as it is attractive. Use a ready-made chalkboard, or create your own with this quick easy tutorial, using readily available materials.
You Will Need
Primed “board,” such as wooden plank, mirror, picture frame glass, etc.
Latex paint in desired color
Unsanded tile grout
150 grit sandpaper
Pour 8 ounces of paint into a mixing container.
Add 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of unsanded tile grout.
Break up any clumps and stir until well-mixed.
Working in small sections, paint the primed surface with the mixture, applying several coats to ensure adequate coverage.
Let it dry for at least four hours.
Smooth the board with sandpaper, then wipe off dust.
Condition the surface by covering the entire surface with chalk, then wipe clean.
Achieve perfect lettering and designs on the chalkboard using this simple technique.
You Will Need
Printed font, drawn lettering, and/or design on paper
Cover the back of the paper with your lettering and/or design on it with chalk, ensuring total coverage.
Place the paper on top of the chalkboard, arranged like you want it to appear.
Trace the outline of the letters & designs with a pencil with enough pressure to transfer through but not hard enough to leave an indentation. Remove the paper to reveal transfer.
Use a chalkboard pen to fill in the letters and designs, then wipe with a dry eraser.
Hi-ho Silver, what’s a cowboy without his horse? Well, he’s a lot slower, that’s for sure. Arguably the pride and joy of the western frontier, horses are romantic symbols of freedom and strength.
And they have a lot of cool accessories too, which make great decorative elements for Western-themed events. Here a couple of ideas for making attractive horseshoe accents.
You Will Need
14 gauge steel/Baling wire
Twine or strands of hay
Optional: Letter stamps/ink pad
Cut a 14” length of wire.
Bend the end of each wire 1” from the end to form a 1” wide hook.
About 2-1/2” from the tip of the hook, bend the wire again on each side at 90 degree angles to form a square "U".
Insert the hooks through the top set of holes in the horse shoe and adjust it so the horseshoe leans upright against the wire U stand.
Trace the silhouette of your desired name card shape (ie. banner) on the craftpaper, then cut it out and punch a hole in each side.
Decorate the name card and use stamp letters or write the guests’ names on each one.
Thread twine or thread through the holes on each side, and knot it around the horseshoe.
You Will Need
4 clean horseshoes
Sheet of cork with adhesive backing
1/8” Neoprene rubber sheet
Place horse shoe on the rubber sheet and carefully cut around the outside of the horseshoe with the utility knife.
Trace the shape of the horse shoe onto the adhesive side of the cork and cut it out using the utility knife or scissors if desired.
Affix adhesive side of cork sheet to the rubber cutout and reinforce the edges with small dabs of superglue.
Spread superglue around one side of the horse shoe avoiding the holes, then place atop the cork.
Create your own corner of the Old West setting up a themed photo booth with western-inspired props. This will be a fun activity that produces memorable photos that last a lifetime. How’s that for hosting a legendary event?
WANTED: Poster Frame
Use the transfer technique described in the rustic wood sign tutorial, but apply it to a large cardboard cutout instead, big enough for two or three people to pose in. If desired, you can “weather” the cardboard with a this wash of acrylic paint before adding the lettering.
You Will Need
3’ x 4’ cardboard rectangle
Printed or drawn font/lettering
Acrylic paint/brushes, optional
Draw a rectangle with a ruler in the center of the cardboard, leaving a 4”-6” boarder along the sides.
Cut along the lines with a utility knife to remove the center.
If desired, mix acrylic paint with water to create a light wash, then paint over the cardboard if desired, leaving streaks to create the appearance of distressed wood.
Arrange lettering and designs on paper around the frame, and transfer it to the cardboard.
Fill in the letters and designs with black permanent marker or acrylic paint, and add other desired decorations (ie. Gold star stickers, stenciled scrolling, etc).