Whitney’s Christmas JOY Plaques

 Like Ashley, I too like to start decorating for Christmas in early November… we inherited this from our mother!  I hope you all are not tired of seeing us create with candlesticks and finials because here we go again:)… This is what I did!!
I decided to make wooden plaques that spelled JOY.  My first step was to get my supplies…
Three unfinished candlesticks and 3 little wood circles ~ found the sticks at Michael’s and the circles at Hobby Lobby.
An 8ft 2 x 6 I purchased at Lowe’s.  You can have Home Depot cut it down to buy less but at $3 I wanted all the extras!
I started by using my Gorilla Glue Epoxy to attach my candlesticks to the circles…
I want to again mention that the epoxy has the consistency of a hot glue, only it sets in about 5 minutes which gives you more play time and it is a very permanent hold… this has become a very favorite product of ours!
Just added a bit to the circle…
And added the candlestick.
While those were drying I went to cut my 2×6.  I measured it off every 8 inches.
I then used my $12 Stanley hand saw I purchased at Lowe’s to cut the wood.  This tool is a must for small jobs and if you do not own a power saw.
This is what my 3 pieces looked like…
Now it was time to attach my wood pieces to the sticks.
I used my Gorilla Glue Epoxy once again to attach them.
Just added some epoxy to the top of the stick and then placed the wood on top.  I stole my next idea from the Gorilla Glue Girls who used Gorilla Tape to clamp things together until they dried.
So I did just that…
Not too shanty, right??!
After those dried I added my wood finials.  I found these at Lowe’s.
Just added some GG Epoxy…
And put them on the top of my wood plaques.
Now it was time for paint… I used American Accents Canyon Black spray paint on these babies.  Once it dried I used my 3M block sander with 80 grit paper to shanty my edges up a bit.
This is where I learned the importance of wearing safety gloves.  This lovely ended up about an inch into my thumb while sanding…
So after getting a bandaid I started on my next step… I cut burlap into three 4×6 pieces…
I used my Elmer’s Spray Adhesive to attach them to the wood.  I just sprayed some on one side of the burlap and placed it on the wood.  I then used decorative furniture nails on each corner to give it an even cuter look…
They all looked like this at that point…
Stencil time… I used my Cricut Personal Cutter to cut out each letter.  I used black acrylic paint and my stenciling brush to get the letter on the burlap.
Added a little twine and a few jingle bells because I could…
And now time for the reveal….
So… what do you think??!  I love them!
I made all three for under $12.  Now that is a thrifty gift!! These would make great teacher gifts and you can use any word which makes them decor you can use in any season… can’t beat that!


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  1. Jennifer Castro on November 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    What cricut cartridge did you use for the latter’s? I really like the way the letters came out

  2. meghanjoan on September 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Ok…I know this post is almost 4 years old…I’ve been in Michael’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot, AC Moore, JOANN…even tried a Mill Store which carries nothing but unfinished wood products….nobody has these finials. Are you still able to find them, or do you think they’ve been discontinued? I know you said you have found them at Hobby Lobby, but the closest one to me is an hour drive and I’d like to be sure before I make the trip. I’ve been doing some online searches to try to order them, but I can’t even find them on Google. Any tips/pointers?

  3. Rod Gardin on January 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Great project. Can you tell me what shanty is? Do you mean to use the word shabby instead of shanty? A shanty refers to a low-cost dwelling, like the shanty towns that popped up during the Hoover administration.

    • Shanty2Chic on January 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Just a play on words Rod… Nothing too literal here 🙂

  4. Regina on November 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    How on earth did you make all three for $12? Each candlestick is $5 a piece at Michaels and that doesn’t include the rest of the materials. Please share! I really want to make these at church and can’t figure out how to make them a reasonable priced craft project

  5. Tara on July 28, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Does anyone know where I can find the candle stick holders now?

    • Shanty2Chic on July 28, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Hobby lobby carries 1 style online!

  6. Tami Grandi on June 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I have the same question regarding the screws in the finials. Do you drill a hole in the wood plaque first or did it just screw directly into the wood.

  7. Kate on February 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    SO CUTE! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Barb on February 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! I can’t wait to make these myself!! Thank you soooo much for a GREAT tutorial!!!

  9. jennifer on October 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I love these!! What size are the candle sticks? And do you find it easier to dril a small hole first before adding the finials?

  10. Jen on October 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I really like them! (My first name is Joy, so I tend to accumulate stuff like this!) I can see it in white or barn red, instead of black…. Very charming project!

  11. Sarah @ Stella&Gray on February 7, 2011 at 2:19 am

    beyond presh. i am like overwhelmed right now with inspiration. looks so polished and rich, well done! 🙂

  12. Anonymous on January 4, 2011 at 6:44 am

    What an adorable and super creative idea!!! I have to know, what is this font called?? It's too cute!! 🙂

  13. Steffanie on December 30, 2010 at 3:36 am

    okay I just now saw this (Ive been a little MIA from my blog for a while) and this are fantastic. What section in Lowes are you finding the finials though? I swear I have been in there several times looking for some and even asking someone and still no luck. Any help would be appreciated!

  14. Donna on December 14, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Thanks for the CUTE idea. I just finished a set for a friend and painted them red for her. Now I want my own!

  15. Mrs. Art Doll Maker on October 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing this project! I fell in love with it!

  16. Amanda on October 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I am writing to request permission to reprint this adorable project on We would of course give you full credit and will happily link back to your blog. Please let me know if this is acceptable. Thanks!

    Amanda Formaro
    Chief Editor –

  17. Heather on July 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    l.o.v.e. this!! I can see this in ORB to go with my dark emprador fireplace surround and dark red letters. thanks for the how to and the inspiration!!

  18. Alison on January 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I totally made my own set of these and LOVE them!! (Although I had to do my own sanding by hand and it didn't turn out quite as rustic as I wanted.) Thanks so much for the tutorial. I am now wondering about doing a single monogram plaque for our bedside tables…. it would totally go with our decor.

  19. Allyson on December 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I love it! How creative!

  20. Julie on December 18, 2009 at 5:52 am

    these are awesome and the tutorial is great -thanks for so many details!! i can't wait to try this! could you leave it up all year??? or will you put it away for christmas next year???

  21. Vivian on December 17, 2009 at 4:15 am

    wow! This is a cute and easy DIY. I'm bookmarking this page so I can make some for next Christmas. Thanks.

  22. Kat @ measuring my life in l-o-v-e on December 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I just wanted to let you know, I just posted about your tutorial on these after showing my finished project here:

  23. Nicole on December 13, 2009 at 2:11 am

    I love love love this project. It is adorable. What is the font that you used for the letters? Merry Christmas!

  24. Karrens on December 1, 2009 at 5:52 am

    These are AWESOME! Thanks for sharing! 😀 I was so excited I called my husband in from his football game..he loved them too.

  25. Sandi on November 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Girl, I love it. Your instructions are great. I am going to try this but with maybe an initial for a friend instead. What a great gift that would make.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  26. on November 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    I love the candlesticks! What a great idea, I'll be linking.

  27. The DIY Show Off on November 17, 2009 at 3:46 am

    You guys are amazing. What a beautiful project – as usual. I love it. Thanks so much for adding so much inspiration to the DIY holiday party. You two rock!


  28. Joy Beadworks on November 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I'm all for JOY! Beautiful…I'm off to Home Depot NOW!

  29. Deb on November 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Those are gorgeous…what a wonderful job you did!!!

  30. Jenn on November 15, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    I am making these this week! I'm so excited. They are adorable!! I'm going to make mine red though–a nice Christmas red.

    I also bought my candlesticks and finials online–much cheaper.

  31. decdiva1 on November 15, 2009 at 6:22 am

    love you girls! i wish i came up w/ some of this stuff! love the "joy" plaques and the magnet one for recipes, that may be my gift this year to the women in my family! thanks for all the fab and easy ideas! many blessings to you and your families!

  32. Beautifully Inspired on November 14, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Do you remember what isle the finials are in at Lowes? I tried to find them with no luck.. Nobody working there knew what I was talking about either? Please help me because I am just dying to try this!

  33. Amanda on November 14, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing! I was wondering if you could please tell me the two sizes (height) of candlesticks you used?


  34. Annette on November 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you so much for the shout out! Your Christmas plaques are gorgeous. You have inspired me to create a third shadowbox and decorate some wooden letters to turn the shadowboxes into a festive Christmas display. Thanks so much for sharing and Congrats on opening up your new etsy shop!

  35. Shanty 2 Chic on November 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Hey girls~

    A few of you asked where I get my candlesticks and finials. I am unable to reply to many of your comments because your email is hidden. I do get all of my candlesticks at either Hobby Lobby or Michael's. I use coupons or wait for them to go on sale. I find my finials at either Hobby Lobby in the unfinished wood section or at Lowe's with the decorative wood trims/corbels and dowels. Hope this helps!


  36. quester on November 13, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I would love to know where to get these things as well. We have been to Hobby Lobby, Micheals, and JO Anns and they have some wooden candlesticks and finials, but they are way smaller than what you have.

  37. bec4 on November 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Oh so cute–love these!

  38. Sarah on November 13, 2009 at 5:05 am

    You have amazing ideas! I am so glad I found your blog! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  39. Carmen on November 13, 2009 at 4:46 am

    I went to Lowe's in search of finials. No one there seems to know where they are. What department did you find them in? Also, you must have got a killer deal on the candlesticks. They are $3.99/$4.99 each at my Michaels. If I can get the price down by buying bulk online I could do them for neighbor gifts. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Jessica on November 12, 2009 at 4:09 am

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  41. Melissa on November 12, 2009 at 2:12 am

    You girls are AWESOME! I will definately be making these, and for $12…can't beat that! Thanks for the great projects!

  42. Room to Inspire on November 11, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Ladies, Just wanted to let you know I gave you guys a shout out on my blog yesterday – I am lovin' the Ralph Lauren Glaze!


  43. Michelle on November 11, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    What an adorable project. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh and I am so jealous of those of you who have a Hobby Lobby and Micheals. I have visited HL on vacation and really wish we had one of our very own. 🙂

  44. Pam on November 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Love it! Could you tell me the font you used?

  45. Miss Mustard Seed on November 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Very cute project, as always!

  46. Anne Marie on November 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    where the heck have I been? I feel like a late bloomer here…..first time…….can't believe the 'awesomeness' that is on your blog – I'm totally going to follow (can you tell I gew up in the early 90's)

    stop by the farm any time!

  47. Staci K. on November 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm


  48. Julie Bagamary on November 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    VERY cute, creative and clever. Great instructions too.

  49. Kim -today's creative blog on November 11, 2009 at 4:47 am

    LOVE THIS! I'm such a sucker for burlap.
    thanks for linking

  50. Cazra on November 11, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I LOVE THIS….along with so many of your other projects. My last name is only 3 letters so I may do this for a permanent decoration in my home. BTW: I bought, painted and distressed giant clothespins this weekend. I can't wait to hang them in the playroom this week! Thanks for the great ideas!

  51. thehammondfamily on November 11, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Amazing! Looks very professional!

  52. sweetjeanette on November 11, 2009 at 1:08 am

    ooooh! I absolutely love this idea! You did a great job!

  53. The Lady on November 10, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    So pretty! I'll be bookmarking this for inspiration. Thanks!

  54. Leigh Ann on November 10, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Seriously so cute! You 2 should have a TV show with all your great ideas!

  55. Denise on November 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    So what DID you do with the screw on the bottom of the finial – did you drill it in the top of the wood square? And also, where do you get the cute decorative furniture nails? My email is….THANKS!

  56. Wendy Ferguson on November 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    thank you! you have just given me a fabulous christmas gift idea. can't wait to make some!

  57. Melanie on November 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Seriously! I love them so much! This is my next project!

  58. Sheri on November 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    These are very cute!

    We would SOOO get along!

  59. Jennifer on November 10, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Love, love, love!

  60. Amy Eileen on November 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I am COMPLETELY in love with these!!! I made a burlap banner last night and thought that was cute but now that I have seen THESE! WOW! lol I am going to have to try it!

  61. Heidi on November 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    TOO CUTE! You need to use the backs too…keep them just like they are, but add a small bullseye clip to the top of your wood plaque…then you have a perfect place to display your 4×6 photos. I HAVE to make these! THANKS for sharing!

  62. jackie on November 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    these look so good!!

  63. Sue on November 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Whitney, These are absolutely too cute!! The tutorials both of you post are always so thorough, too. Do you ever sleep? *grin*

  64. Tardevil on November 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Very nice!

  65. Natalie on November 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    You guys have done it again…I love it. I have SO many projects of yours on my endless list to do! Can you tell me where I can find the furniture nails? Thanks!

  66. Its So Very Cheri on November 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I love all of your projects. I have been looking around and am a new follower. I hope you will come by and enjoy your visit and follow me too.


  67. sarah on November 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    those are seriously cute. totally bookmarking this project for the holidays!

  68. tales from an oc cottage on November 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cute!!!!

    m ^..^

  69. Jo - To a Pretty Life on November 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Those are gorgeous! I love the finials on the top. I knew there was something I could have done with all the little bits of wood my husband took to the dump…I'll have to look around to see if there is anything left.

  70. MJ on November 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I LOVE these!!! Thanks so much for sharing them. 🙂 Now I've gotta get to Lowes. 🙂

  71. Mama Byrd on November 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Is hoping out of bed, reading your blog, jumping into the car without brushing your teeth or hair, heading to Michaels for supplies to make these excusable?


  72. jenjen on November 10, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Very cute! I love those. And I had no idea there was anything called Gorilla Tape.

    Awesome project!


  73. Pamela on November 10, 2009 at 4:26 am

    LOVE this idea and soo very easy and cheap to make! Thanx for sharing!

  74. BlueCastle on November 10, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Amazing! This is beautiful. Very creative too.

  75. { L } on November 10, 2009 at 3:25 am

    Who would have thought? lol…this is amazing! 5 star rating! 😀

  76. Mommy Words on November 10, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Once again great project and great tutorial. I just love it! Joy to you!

  77. Wendy on November 10, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I am loving all your projects. I am going to have to pick up some supplies and get to work! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

  78. stephland3 on November 10, 2009 at 2:51 am

    I love these! I would for sure buy them, I may work up the courage and try to create them myself!

  79. pk on November 10, 2009 at 1:51 am

    These turned out so cute! I love the way your tutorials are always so easy to follow too. Thanks for always including them!

    pk @ ROOM REMIX

  80. At Town Square on November 10, 2009 at 12:55 am

    These are absolutely adorable. I want some!

  81. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality on November 10, 2009 at 12:39 am

    You girls are just a machine with these projects! Too cute, love this one too.

  82. 5price4ever on November 10, 2009 at 12:38 am

    WOW!!!Love the ideas!!!My crafting list is getting longer!!!Good job!!!

  83. Kara@ Creations by Kara on November 9, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Love, love, love these! The stack of ideas I want to copy from your blog is growing daily. You guys are awesome!!

  84. Traci@ Beneath My Heart on November 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Wow, I really, really, really like this one! I love black and I love burlap! Great job!

  85. Katie on November 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    You are so creative! That is a great idea. Thanks

  86. sweetpicklesandchocolate on November 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    another awesome idea! I love this one too!

  87. Lee Laurie on November 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    This has to be my favorite thing that I've seen you do on your blog! I'm so excited! Makes me want to go to Michael's or Hobby Lobby right now and get the supplies. To bad they are both over an hour away! I love these!

    Hope your finger is feeling better now!

  88. a little bit vintage on November 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Very cute! Great idea!


  89. Cyndi on November 9, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I love the things you two make, and the tutorials are easy to follow. I do have one question – What do you do with the screw on the bottom of the finial? Do you drill a hole in the wood to screw it into? Keep up the inspiring work!

  90. Susie from Bienvenue on November 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I am sooooo lovin' those! Thanks for the sweet comment today. Thank goodness…we are not alone..ha!

  91. Sarah on November 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    You make it all look so easy, yet it always looks so professional. These are absolutely terrific! Can I order a set? ~ Sarah

  92. Brenda on November 9, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    WOW! SUPER COOL! The tutorial is great! Thank you!

  93. Kimm at Reinvented on November 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Fabulous! Another project for my list… :)Thanks!

  94. ~ RM on November 9, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Oh, hope your thumb feels better! I was thinking of doing something similar with letters for my daughters room~ spelling her name… THis is a great idea!

  95. Kari @ Ucreate on November 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm


  96. Jane on November 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    This is a great project…a lot of impact for very little money…the best kind!

  97. Om Kareem أم كريم on November 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I am SOO making some of these! I love them! You guys are amazing and I love your blog!

  98. Embellished Bayou on November 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    You are too smart, shanty, & chic for your own good! Y'all should open up a shop & sell all your creations!

  99. Janis on November 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    AWESOME job……and a fantastic idea!

  100. Kasey @ A Blog by Me on November 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Very cute idea. Looks great! 🙂

  101. Blue Creek Home on November 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    These are just adorable!!

    I would love to know how you like the cricut. I saw the infomercial and would love to have one.

    I enjoy keeping up with you two talented sisters!

  102. Little Big Nest on November 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    This is such a cute idea! Thank you for showing it step by step! So cute!

  103. Tracy Suzanne on November 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    They turned out great. What a cool idea. Do the fumes from Gorilla Glue make you more creative? LOL!

    Sorry about the splinter. You won't believe it but early this year I helped Neil move a piece of treated plywood and got a splinter in my finger, two days later I was in the hospital for three days. I got cellulitus(however that's spelled). I nearly had blood poisoning. When I saw the red blood streak going all the way up my arm I knew something was wrong. I guess I'm lucky because we've been working on remodeling for years now.

    I just love how detailed your tutorial is. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs…Tracy 🙂

  104. Barbara Jean on November 9, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    too too cute!!

    Nice job


    barbara jean

  105. Lovely Scribbles on November 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I LOVE them! I'm all about homemade gifts, and this idea is way too perfect!

  106. on November 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I know you get tired of my LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE ITS, but I LOVE IT!

  107. Sara on November 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    totally LOVE this project!!!! would never think of it myself and it looks so easy when you break down the steps!

  108. Debbie on November 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    You are very clever and I am getting me some Gorilla Glue! What easy to follow instructions – thank you!

  109. Jenglamgirl on November 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    sO FAR my fav. wood project you have done. I love the jingle bells hanging from twine too. SUPER CUTE! I need a HOBBY LOBBY HERE. Michaels doesn't carry the variety you all seem to get. ;(

  110. julie on November 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    ok girls! i love them! along with yesterdays post! you girls are just so crafty! i am so glad i am a follower so i can copy! thanks!

  111. Chris on November 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    HOW do you come up with this stuff? I love it. Just for the record, you could have linked up every. single. post. from your blog! Thank you for joining!!

  112. Lissa on November 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I just clicked over from someone else's blog when I saw the photo. These are AWESOME! You're so talented! so super cute!

  113. Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous on November 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Love it! So cool. I think if I do it, I might add a little color, my house has plenty of tan and black! lol Thanks for the great how-to.

  114. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) on November 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    What a super idea and so pretty. Great tutorial too. Thanks. Hugs, Marty

  115. Mortensen Family on November 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    No question I am making these! You rock!

  116. Kat @ measuring my life in l-o-v-e on November 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    This is a great idea and I love them! Thanks for sharing!

  117. paperglueetc on November 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I have some burlap…wowza!

  118. Melissa on November 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I just found your site and I love it! Thanks for the great idea. Its one I want to try. I haven't done anything like it before! Thanks!

  119. Beverly on November 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Totally want to do this for our kitchen … wonder if I can get to the craft store today? 🙂

  120. Joella on November 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    These are very nice…so creative!

  121. Lori on November 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    That is fabulous!!

  122. Liz on November 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    WOW, WOW, WOW!! Your project turned out GORGEOUS!! Your tutorial was fantastic. Thank you *so* much for sharing. =)


  123. Cindy on November 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    These are awesome Whitney. Love the jingle bell touch :O)
    I'm hosting a 'made it with what I had' party on the 16th, and would love to have you join.


  124. duchess on November 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    This is one of my favorites of all time – great project! Thanks for the great instructions.

  125. Lisa@Pickles and Cheese on November 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    You are killing me!!! I think these are so cute and I can't wait to try them!! Thank you…they look great!

  126. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions on November 9, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I love them! What a great idea {except for the splinter part}! The problem is that I may make them and keep them!

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