If you haven’t seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you’re missing out on one of the funniest movies! If you have seen it, then you might recognize everything in this project! For the video tutorial, click here. Otherwise, just follow along on this blog and make a Griswold styled Christmas decor piece you’ll enjoy for years!
Most of my supplies are from Dollar Tree, the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby and my stash! Just like Clark’s famous Christmas, it was crazy, but it all came together…. finallly!
Supplies I used:
Dollar Tree: Wood station wagon, sanding sponge, walnut furniture stain marker, Tumbling Tower game
Amazon: Scrabble letters, half beads (for hubcaps)
Hobby Lobby: Framed decor (clearance and only $1.49!), matte Mod Podge
Target: Dollar Spot Christmas tree from 2021 (You can use almost any small tree)
Debi’s Design Diary Faded Burlap
Walmart: Waverly antique wax, black paint, silver paint
Stash: Scrapbook paper, tiny bells garland (maybe from Dollar Tree), dowels, napkin, plastic wrap
Here’s that cute station wagon! It just screamed “Clark!” to me!
You’ll see the framed decor in this picture, that’s the one I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I didn’t use the shims for my background, but went with paper instead.
Let’s make it!
I creased the scrapbook paper with my finger and used my Xacto knife to trim it.
I set the paper aside and painted on Mod Podge. I prefer matte for this project.
Put the scrapbook paper on, and don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it’s Clark’s story after all, right? I did find that I could smooth out some bubbles by using my heat tool and rubbing the paper flat.
The car needs some prep work. I removed the raised wood pieces by using my heat gun to reactivate the glue. A friend suggested heating the back also, and I think that helped!
Once you’ve loosened a piece, go ahead and scrape it off with a tool, then heat the next piece, scrape and repeat until all the pieces are off.
I covered my car with a napkin (you’ll get details in a minute), so I used a LIGHT coat of Mod Podge. You could use scrapbook paper, but you’ll want a little thicker Mod Podge.
TIP: You can also paint the car with any acrylic paint!
TIP: Consider the tires before painting or covering the car. Ask me how I know! LOL!
The napkin option:
You may have a two or three-ply napkin. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but just keep working a corner till you are sure. Separating the layers will make the Mod Podge stick to the layer you want to use.
TIP: Our friends suggested two ways to separate the napkin. One is to use tape on one side. Another is to put a tiny bit of Mod Podge on your fingertips.
Apply the napkin while the Mod Podge is still wet. Smooth it down gently.
There are several options to trimming the excess, y’all. Probably the best way is to just give it a trimmy-trim and then sand the edges.
I painted the wooden pieces with a basecoat of Debi’s Design Diary Faded Burlap,then used Waverly antique wax by dry brushing. Just dip your paint and then remove excess from your brush. The remaining bit will not cover, but will add “some” detail.
Final step was to use my Dollar Tree furniture stain marker to make some streaks.
TIP: Now, you know I make the mistakes so y’all don’t have to! Those tires, y’all. Yep, I forgot to paint them first, so I used a small jar to make a circle shape, then painted them on.
TIP: Paint the “hubcaps” silver before gluing on. (Oops again!) These are just half beads, but you can use just a small circle, even cardboard.
And here’s where we are so far!
TIP: Paint the bumpers silver!
I wanted to create a roof rack for the tree, so I stained some skewers with Waverly antique wax. I hot glued them together and then made tiny pieces to hold the “rack” above the top of the car. I enjoy making things like this roof rack, especially with stuff from my stash!
Speaking of stash, I had this tiny bells garland that I may have gotten from Dollar Tree some time ago, so I used it to wrap the tree onto the roof rack. In true Clark Griswold style, it winds into the car, but it’s Clark, y’all, so we are going with it!
The car needed to be raised up a bit, so I used the Dollar Tree Tumbling Tower game (like Jenga blocks). I used four and just hot glued them on.
“You serious, Clark?” Oh, Clark was serious. So serious he needed this in Scrabble letters so he would never forget that unforgettable Christmas. Just glue them on, and don’t worry if they are a little wonky. Clark would approve.
TIP: A friend suggested I use some clear packaging for the windows, and it was a great tip! I was able to adhere the thin plastic by setting my hot glue to low temp and putting just a tiny bit in the corners. You can also use acetate from various packaging.
Glue the car down to the surface.
And here we go! A cute reminder off the Griswold Family Christmas!
Please let me know in the comments below what you think of this craft! I read every one!
Thanks so much for stopping by,