Wooden Sled Decor for Winter Decorating

Wooden Sled Decor for Winter Decorating

When I spotted this decorative sled at Goodwill, the calendar read May and our southern summer was beginning to rear its ugly, sweaty head. I tossed it in my cart and filed it away as a Christmas project for later that year. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but Christmas came and went, and the sled was still collecting dust in my garage. That’s when I decided to ditch the red and green for icy blue and silver, and to transform it as wooden sled decor for winter decorating!

Decorative sled at the thrift store

The wooden sled also seemed like a great candidate to do some stenciling on! It had lots of smooth real estate to bedazzle, so to speak.

A fresh coat of paint on the rails and the center sled part, a little stenciling, and I’d (hopefully) have a lovely sled to use as winter decor.

Paint for wooden sled decor

And I know some of you have expressed struggling with winter decor in January and February! So much so that I put together this collection to spark some ideas.

Non Christmas winter decorations

And if my idea for the wooden sled went as planned, it’ll fit right in this coming winter!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

All stencils used in this tutorial have been provided to me free of charge by Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils; however, all opinions are my own.

Painting a Decorative Sled

First, I selected a dark metallic silver paint for the rails. I am, admittedly, obsessed with this color right now.

Painting the rails on wooden sled decor

For the sled itself, I envisioned a fresh bright blue that had a touch of grey in it- think of a brighter, louder Wedgewood blue. And I also planned to distress it a little to give it an aged, well-loved sled look.

Sure, I could have looked for a fancy chalk (or similar) paint in the color I wanted, but I honestly didn’t feel like trying that hard!

So, I headed to the hardware store for an inexpensive sample of latex paint.

Wooden sled decor from the thrift store

It was looking much fresher and brighter by the second!

Repurposing a decorative wooden sled

Next, I decided to “weather” the rails a little. Not a totally “rusted” look, but more like a touch of rust effect.

Silver rails on wooden sled decor

So, I decided to rub some dark brown crème wax over the silver for a rust effect. And it worked swimmingly!

Aging silver paint with dark wax

Stenciling the Wooden Sled Decor

My wooden sled decor was coming together better than I could have hoped. I lightly sanded the blue portion just to distress the paint ever so slightly.

Now to add some fun winter details to my decorative sled. So, I hit up Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils for the right winter stencil!

I selected the “Winter Graphics” stencil for my project because I figured white snowflakes would look divine! Plus, the stencil had three different sizes of snowflakes on it, which was a total bonus.

Winter stencil to use on wooden sled decor

Next, I grabbed my favorite stencil brushes (purchased from this online shop), some painter’s tape, and white craft paint.

Then, I began to add snowflake decorations to my wooden sled.

Snowflake stencil on wooden sled decor

The snowflake stencil worked perfectly! And my wooden sled decor was going to be darling when I was done!

The best snowflake stencil for wood

Finally, I finished up the entirety of the wooden sled, moving the snowflake stencil around.

I liked letting the snowflakes hang off the sides a bit and incorporated the natural break between the wood in the center.

Stenciling a decorative wooden sled

Lastly, I *very carefully* sanded the areas of snowflake that went over the sides.

Because I had already lightly distressed the edges of the sled before I stenciled, the white paint stood out against the exposed distressed wood!

Wooden Sled Decor for Winter Decorating

But that was it, my wooden sled decor was done!

Using a winter stencil on a decorative sled

I’m not sure where exactly I’ll use it. Maybe the mantel? Or maybe I’ll give it a good top coat and use it on our front porch!

DIY winter decor

DIY winter decor doesn’t come as naturally as the other seasons, does it? But I REALLY love how this turned out…and maybe it’ll inspire me to try my hand at more ideas.

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for winter decor, you may also be interested in this idea for a winter wreath!

DIY winter wreath

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Well, your timing is perfect! I am currently working on a very small little sled (maybe about 8 inches long by about 4 inches wide); haven’t painted it yet as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. Your sled is PERFECT and gives me some inspiration! Thanks!

  2. Jenni Trimmer says

    SUper cute winter decor. I love that it’s not limited to the holiday! The brown wax on the metallic was spot on.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Jenni! I wasn’t sure how the brown wax would work (I had never used it before), but it was perfect…or as close to perfect as I cared about! 🙂

  3. Boy, you have the best darn thrift and goodwill stores in your area. I can never find good stuff like you do at the ones close to me.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It probably helps that I go to thrift stores a LOT and I have lots of different store options…in fact, driving 30 miles to the city next door to hit their thrifts today!

  4. Gorgeous. Blue and silver are go to colors for so many people now. The silver is so much prettier than RUST! You could “Christmas it up” with an easily removable sign if you wanted. Turn it sideways and and add a cocoa bar sign! I am already so sick of winter here in Maine, I have a bouquet of faux daffs on my coffee table; Al just went out to shovel….AGAIN! Winter is 3 weeks longer here in ME than it was in NH where I grew up…and THAT’S too long. Crafting does help dispel the winter blahs for me, thank goodness!

  5. I love this Sarah! I really like the blue, silver and white color choice too!!!

  6. How cute is that? Wow. Love the runners. They turned out great. ?

  7. acraftymix says

    The chance of me finding a sled here in South Africa are about as slim as me baking a cake that doesn’t flop 😀 But I love what you did Sarah. Those rails do look like they’re almost ready to fall into rusty gorgeousness. Perfection as always

  8. Love ‘all winter long” decorations. Thanks for sharing.

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