Shabby Chic Handwritten Winter Decor DIY

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Believe it or not (I can hardly!), this will be the second Christmas John and I will spend as a married couple. And, as you can probably figure out, we’re still in the “collection” phase of our relationship. You know– collecting decorations. Collecting enough chairs to go around the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

Seriously though, we’ve spent much of the last month trying to collect a few more Christmas and winter decor items to decorate our home. But… we don’t have that much room for storage either. We don’t have a garage or even a storage area on our balcony. In fact, we’re using our balcony as a storage area for our kayak and bikes.

We’ve decided that whatever we use as holiday house decor needs to play double (or triple) duty. For example, for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, we had pumpkins up with fall-colored flours, wheat stalks, the works. And it worked. And there was less to put away and store for next year! (Yay!)

And that’s why I love, love, love these cute, little, handwritten blocks. They store easily and can be used from Christmas through the winter (even into Valentine’s Day!). Oh, and they’re easy on the wallet and not difficult to create. We whipped these three little guys up in about an hour– and that was even with learning how to use our brand-new Dremel Micro 8050.

You’ll Need:

  • Dremel’s Micro 8050, fully charged (takes about 3 1/2 hours in the cradle)
  • The high-speed cutter bit
  • solid wood blocks of varying sizes and at least 1 1/2 inches thick (Poplar works well)
  • pencil
  • clamp
  • fine-grain sandpaper


  1. Using the pencil, sketch out your handwritten message on the blocks. I chose “love,” “joy,” and “snow”.
  2. Clamp the block to the table and make sure that the wood won’t move. You’ll want to have both hands guiding the Dremel, not holding onto the wood. (John was right about this step! I promised him I would say that! :-) )
  3. Set the Micro 8050 on the “10” setting and lightly trace your pencil marks. Be careful to keep a firm hand– the Dremel will want to follow the grain of the wood and can zip away from you quickly.
  4. Go over your traced word again, this time heavily. Use your judgment to round out the words and smooth some of the rough edges.
  5. When you’re done, use the sandpaper to gently rub the entire surface, giving it a slightly worn, weathered look as well as removing any stray pencil marks. Using a small edge or corner of the sandpaper, smooth out any areas inside the lettering that is rough.

Having never worked with a Dremel before, I was really impressed by how quiet and intuitive it was to use. I’m always a big fan of not annoying our neighbors (we have ridiculously thin walls) and being able to figure a new piece of equipment out easily. It takes all of the fun away if you feel like you’re wrestling with it!

John was really excited about all of the bits and the versatility of the Micro 8050– there are so many uses for each one of the bits that I know we’ll both be using it again for crafting and for small projects around the apartment. The LED light on the front is a really nice touch, too (and was super helpful for the detailed parts of this project). It’s also awesome that it’s completely cordless and that it charges in a docking unit, which makes it easy to reach for and replace while working. (And really, makes it a stellar tool to have on hand.)  If you’re inspired, check out for more ideas and tips for using the Micro8050.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

4 Responses

    1. Thanks, Janelle! I was really nervous when I was making them– that they would look awful. But I have to say, I really like them!

  1. Oh I love a dremel! I sometimes steal my husbands… I may have to this weekend and make some of these!

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