Very excited about this project I recently finished, just in time for the holidays!! We do not have a fireplace to hang our stockings from. Usually we lay them out neatly on the tree skirt underneath our tree, however we have recently taken in a stray cat and we were worried that she would scratch them up. That left me trying to figure out what to do about our stockings. So of course I got on Pinterest and found a plethora of fabulous ideas. The inspiration for my idea came from The Happy Housewife blog and her DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder which you can see here. http://thehappyhousewife.com/home-management/stocking-holder-no-mantle/
She used a solid plank of wood 12 x 36 inches but we all know my affinity for upcycling shutters and I happened to have half of a shutter closet door left over from a previous project.
I cut out every other slat and sanded the piece down, leaving hints of the white paint here and there.
Then I made some strong, steeped tea, and using a cheesecloth "painted" on a coat of tea over the shutter. I did this a couple times, letting the piece completely dry in between. In order to make the wood look distressed or aged, I used a solution of steel wool and vinegar. I soaked a steel wool pad in white vinegar for couple days and then strained the vinegar. Again using a cheesecloth I wiped on the solution over all the surfaces. Once it was totally dry, I took a very fine grit sandpaper and lightly went over some of the areas that I thought needed it. If you want a lighter color, you can soak the steel wool for less time or you can skip using the tea. The tea itself does not darken the wood much at all but the vinegar solution reacts to the tanins in the tea making the look darker. This project took a relatively short time to make and I am so happy with the end result.