Remember the Holiday Thrift Store Swap I posted about back in October? Well, it’s finally here! I finally get to share the upcycled and repurposed thrift store items sent to me by the creator of the Thrift Store Swap, Lyn from Mid Michigan Mom blog.

Thrift Store Swap Reveal - Holiday Edition

The holidays are my favorite time of the year and I’m soooooooo excited to be participating in 3rd Thrift Store Swap with 11 other talented bloggers. The Thrift Store Swap is all about transforming and repurposing items found at Thrift Stores. Each blogger in the swap was challenged to head to their local thrift shop to buy a minimum of two items under $10, not including mail fees, for another blogger to transform. 

Holiday Thrift Store Swap #3 Reveal

Lyn sent me a wooden Christmas tree, a round wooden box, and a small framed painting. All I have to say is… thank goodness I had a Christmas theme to work around. Having a theme definitely gave me a jumping off point and helped keep me focused during the transformation process.

The first item that jumped out at me was the bright green wooden Christmas tree with a cross-stitched Santa – so not my style and I knew it had to be repainted. The second item, the round box, challenged me to literally think outside of the box for its transformation. And the last item, the small framed picture, received a fresh new modern update and has a new holiday home.

Thrift Store Swap Reveal – Holiday Edition

Thrift Store Swap Holiday Edition

I’m giving you a sneak peek of all three transformations, but today I’ll be sharing how I transformed the wooden Christmas tree and wooden box. I’ll be posting another transformation tutorial for the framed picture in the next few days, so be sure to check back!

Wooden Christmas Tree Transformation


  • wooden Christmas tree
  • black chalk paint
  • paint brush
  • white chalk paint pen
  • gold embroidery thread
  • mini buttons
  • wooden star
  • tin container cover (Michaels dollar section)*
  • faux snow (Dollar Tree)*
  • hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • ruler
  • chalk
  • red paint
  • clean glitter

*Only items purchased. All other items were leftovers from other craft projects.

Wooden Christmas TreeOkay, so let’s get to it! I started with – a green wooden Christmas tree with a pop-out center.

Thrift Store Swap Wooden Christmas TreeSince the color wasn’t my style, I decided to paint the entire tree with black chalk paint and trim the edge with a white chalk pen.  

Thrift Store Swap Reveal - Christmas TreeDealing with the center of the tree was the most difficult. I wanted to create a countdown to Christmas tree by hanging interchangeable numbered wood slices in the center, but I couldn’t find the right size round wood slices. Ugh! I searched the craft stores for two weeks before I stumbled upon a small tin with a clear top in the dollar section of Micheals. It was the right size, color, and had a clear top to use as a writing surface – perfect!

Now that I had the perfect center, I proceeded to work on the center of the tree. The cotton batting from under the cross-stitched Santa was again placed over the wood center. Then, I filled the tin cover with faux snow and hot glued it to the batting. Walla, a new write-on center!

Chalk paint Christmas treeI was so excited to finally have the center done that I forgot to take pictures of the finishing touches. But don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the steps to complete the wood Christmas tree.

  • Use red paint on a wood star and sprinkle clear glitter on it while wet. Let dry.
  • Use chalk to draw straight writing lines and the words “Days until Christmas” on the tree. Trace over the words with the white chalk paint pen. Let dry. Use a damp paper towel to clean off any chalk lines.
  • Hot glue the star, mini buttons, an gold embroidery thread to the tree.

Wooden Box Transformation

When I  saw the wooden box, there were a number of things that I thought about doing. I thought about decorating the top with Christmas miniatures, decorating with paper, or simply painting. But I wanted to challenge myself and do something unexpected…like creating an ‘I Spy’ snowman. 


  • round wooden box
  • white spray paint
  • printer/white paper
  • fuzzy white pipe cleaner*
  • hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • faux snow
  • clear plastic
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • misc. Christmas items
  • mini scarf/hat*

*Only items purchased. All other supplies were from other craft projects.

Thrift Store Swap Reveal Wood BoxTo transform the wooden box into a snowman, I spray painted it white. Next, I needed something clear for the snowman’s belly. Lucky for me, I just baked a batch of Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Peppermint Frosting and had a clear container to use for the snowman belly. 

snowman bellySince I was making an ‘I Spy’ snowman, I filled the container with faux snow and various tiny Christmas items – mini tree, star, red pom pom, snowflake, mini heart, and more. Next, I hot glued the clear plastic circle to contain all the goodies in the snowman belly.

snowman faceFor the face, I found a cute printable online, cut it out, and glued it onto the box cover. And since I didn’t want to look at the ugly glue around the snowman belly, I hot glued a fuzzy white pipe cleaner around the edge of the box.

snowman trimOf course, I can’t have a naked snowman and dressed him with a scarf and cap.

d shaking snowman

And here is my son trying to find all the hidden items. It was so funny to see how determined he was to find everything that I had to sneak a picture.

Thrift Store Swap Reveal Snowman

And there you have two Thrift Store Challenge – Holiday Edition transformations. Make sure to check back in a few days to see the picture frame transformation tutorial. Also, there will be a mini holiday home tour soon where you’ll get to see the new homes for these thrift store finds.


Curious to see how my thrift store finds were transformed? Head over to Happily Ever After, Etc. to see how Betsy transformed the items I sent to her.


At Home with Sweet T

Happily Ever After Etc.

5 Kids, a Dog and a Blog

DIY Just Cuz

Sequins in the South

Small Stuff Counts

3 Little Greenwoods

My Pinterventures

Sugar Crumbs

Our House Now a Home

My Creative Days

Mid Michigan Mom

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  1. Girl you totally blew this swap outta the water! 🙂 So glad to have you wit us for the swap!!! The ispy was a brilliant idea!!! How lucky you were to find something to fit the tree hole. I like that you painted it black, the green was really dated. Nice work, looking forward to the last item.

  2. Erlene,you make this swap thing look EASY! Your items turned out great, especially the Christmas Tree (my fave hands down). Thank you for being such a great swap partner and for putting so much effort into transforming your items. I hope you had fun!