6 tips for making your own hall tree for less than $200

As you know, I’m from the UK and this Christmas my parents came to visit us in Minnesota. My dad was originally a carpenter by trade, so what better way to spend a bit of father / daughter bonding time than to make our own hall tree!

I really loved the idea of making this unused alcove into a hall tree, as it’s the first place you pass as you walk in through the garage. It also makes the laundry room dual function as a boot room as well. Plus nothing says ‘country’ more than a hall tree to store your wellies and coats.

I’d looked at options of buying one from Joss & Main and other similar stores, they range from anywhere from $150 up to $1000+. The problem I found was that I couldn’t find one that fitted perfectly the space I had. Or one that had the exact storage I wanted – boot storage at the bottom and baskets at the top.

Here are a few options from Joss & Main:

Bridgeport Hall Tree, Joss & Main $1019.99

Erickson Hall Tree, Joss & Main $299.99

Sowards Hall Tree, Joss & Main $699.99

With all the materials our hall tree cost less than $200. So cheaper than most high street options. And because it’s custom built it fits floor to ceiling, wall to wall, which I think gives a much more high-end feel than a free-standing unit.

As you can see from this photo of the ‘before’ this alcove in the laundry room was in need of a bit of TLC. It was originally a log store with an opening straight into the lounge next to the fire. But the last owners had replaced the real fireplace for a gas one meaning we no longer needed it, so we bricked it up.

Before                                                      After

We left a small hole in the bricks so the TV and PlayStation cables could be hidden behind the wall. This made designing the hall tree tricky, as we needed to be able to access the cables, so it couldn’t be permanently fixed to the wall. If you don’t have this problem it makes the process a whole lot easier!

I learned a lot from this project with my dad, and I love the end result. Here are my tips from what I learned, to help you to make your own hall tree:

Tip 1 – Fail to plan, plan to fail: I’m always one to just get stuck in with little planning, and it usually ends up biting me with multiple trips to the store to buy missing materials etc. What I learned from my dad is that more time spent up front actually planning the design means less time building it.


Tip 2 – Make a cut list: We planned every piece of wood and screw to build it before we even lifted a saw or hammer. We worked out all the measurements piece by piece and made a cut list. We even managed to get all of our wood cut in store at The Home Depot saving even more time.

Tip 3 – Make sure the unit fits: If you’re building the unit in another room, make sure the unit fits through any doorways to the final spot. We built ours in an adjacent room as the laundry room is so narrow. We made ours in two pieces which made it easier to maneuver.


Tip 4 – MDF is easy to work with: If you’re going to paint the unit, and are not bothered about seeing the wood-grain, MDF is a really nice material to use. It’s really easy to cut, screw into and gives a lovely smooth paint-able surface. It’s also pretty cheap at around $25 per 8 foot by 4 foot sheet.


Tip 5 – Don’t forget to countersink the screws: If you want a perfectly smooth finish, don’t forget the importance of countersinking the screws. I.e. slightly recessing them beneath the wood, so you can then fill them with wood filler, sand and paint.

Tip 6 – Use trim: By using trim you can get a much higher-end finish than leaving the surfaces smooth and flat. This look fits well with more traditional or even transitional looks, but if you prefer more modern style then loosing the trim would work better.

I love the end result of this project, and loved learning from my dad how to do it properly. I’m not a skilled carpenter by any means, but with careful planning on paper first, I think the results speak for themselves. In fact, I loved it so much, I’m going to build my own walk-in closet fittings now! Stay tuned…

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3 simple steps to creating your own personalized Christmas stockings

If you want matching stockings but still want to know who’s stocking is who’s, adding a hanging letter does the trick. They’re quick and easy to make, and you can easily make new or swap them around depending on who comes to visit at Christmas.

You’ll need:

  • MDF or wooden letters
  • Spray paint (I bought gold and a gold sparkle)
  • String or twine
  • A drill

I bought the spray paint and MDF letters from Michaels, but you can buy these from any good craft store.

Step 1: Spray the MDF letters with gold spray paint and gold sparkle spray paint if you want extra sparkle. You can spray them any color you like; red, white or silver would also look great.



Step 2: Next you need to drill the holes. Drill them all in the top left corner so they all hang the same way.


Step 3: Add the string. I chose to use a natural jute string to tie in with my rustic theme. But you could use any ribbon or string you like.


Then all you need to do is tie a knot in the string and hang them on top of each stocking.



These were really easy and quick to make and look great. Now all I need to do is fill them with presents!

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and have fun making your own.

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How to create a Fall themed table

Fall (or Autumn as it’s known in my home country) is one of my favorite times of the year. Although I love Summer and enjoying the weather and being outdoors, I probably prefer the winter, with the snow, log fires, warming food and cozy-ness. So for me Fall reminds me that in a few week’s time I’ll be able to enjoy these things again, especially here in Minnesota.

As you’ve probably gathered I love being creative, and quite frankly I’m running out of rooms in my house to re-decorate! So each season I’ve started to decorate our dining table with a different seasonal theme. This one is my Fall themed table…


I’ve used lots of warm colors such as burnt oranges, olive greens and browns. Yet to keep it looking fresh and bright, I’ve also kept a bit of off-white in there too.


I’ve used lots of berries and natural elements such as pine cones, acorns and of course pumpkins! I also love to use Pheasant feathers. They remind me of the English countryside. Pheasants are seen so often in old country houses in paintings or taxidermy in old hunting lodges. That to me they typify all that is English Country style.


Since moving to the U.S. I’ve found so many great craft stores with an abundance of things to chose from (thanks to my fellow country-style-loving friend’s recommendation!) I’d recommend Hobby Lobby (Hobby Lobby) and Michael’s (Michaels), which is where most of this came from. They have a great selection at reasonable prices to make your home feel more homely.


These glass urns were bought from Hobby Lobby (Hobby Lobby), then I filled them with some decorative sand, some cinnamon sticks for a beautiful Fall fragrance, pine cones, acorns and a battery operated wax candle. With all the wood elements and the lid, a battery operated candle is probably safer!


The teapot is an antique from England – one we used at our wedding – but you can find them in any good antique store. They make beautiful centerpieces for your table with just a few flowers and berries in, and not forgetting the pheasant feathers!

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll be working on my Winter table shortly. Only 92 days till Christmas!