Monthly Archives

February 2018

In DIY, Silhouette on
February 22, 2018

DIY Letterboard Paper Letters

 

I love my $10 letterboard from WalMart. It’s made by Leisure Arts and can be found in the craft aisles. I recently used it at my son’s 5th birthday party and wondered if I could make the title of the sign stand out a little more by creating larger DIY letterboard paper letters. Turns out you can if you have a paper cutting machine like the Silhouette or Cricut.

For this project, I used basic cardstock. Below are instructions for the Silhouette CAMEO.

  • In Silhouette Studio (the design software), create your text and adjust the text in terms of height and width as needed.
  • For words using non-script fonts, reduce the “Character Spacing” from the “Text Style” panel so that your letters slightly touch each other (see the words “rules” and “of” in my picture above). Then, with your word selected, right-click to “Release Compound Path” followed by another right click to “Ungroup.” Now, each letter should be unique/separate from the other letters. You may need to manually move certain letters to overlap the adjacent letter.
  • Once all the letters slightly overlap, choose “Weld” from the Modify panel. You should now have one “piece” of text.
  • Next, we are going to make the little tabs that stick into the letterboard. These tabs secure the letters/words to the letterboard.
    • Draw a rounded rectangle that is 0.15in tall by however wide you need it. Width is determined by where you overlap the rounded rectangle with the base of letters. For instance, I placed a wide rounded rectangle under the letters “L” and “E” in the word “Rules” and the a narrower pair under the letter “R” in the same word. See pink boxes in screenshot below.
    • Once you have your rounded rectangles placed AND overlapping the letters, the next step is to “Weld” them to create the tabs.
  • Last step is easy, simply fold so that the tab creates a 90 degree angle with your paper letters/words. Stick it into your letterboard and you’ve got some cool looking customized letterboard paper letters!

Now that you have the steps, the DIY/customization possibilities are endless!! You could even use fun/colorful cardstock and really give your letterboard some pizzazz!!

 

In DIY, Freebies, Graphic Design, Holidays on
February 16, 2018

Happy Chinese New Year 2018! (FREEBIE!)

 

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Happy Chinese New Year friends! It’s the Year of the Dog!

As an ABC (American Born Chinese), I love sharing my heritage with my non-Asian friends and now that I’m a parent, I want to definitely pass down the cultural traditions to my half-Chinese kiddos.

I think it’s safe to say every Chinese kid always looked forward to getting red envelopes! These envelopes were filled with money, usually LOTS of money! I didn’t really get allowance growing up so you can imagine how excited I got when I received red envelopes from my parents and other adult family members! So, I decided to make a red envelope printable so YOU TOO can get excited! Unless you live near an Asian market, it’s a little hard to find these envelopes but now you can print them from your home!

Download this FREEBIE that comes in two color options by clicking here. Happy Chinese New Year! 🙂

In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
February 11, 2018

Love Letters to Kids [FREEBIE!]

 

Three days until Valentine’s Day! Last week, we prepped preschool Valentine’s and for the past couple days, I decided (for some reason…darn you Pinterest!) it would be fun to make themed meals on Valentine’s Day. Just breakfast and dinner so I’m not crazy, right?! I’m picturing heart-shaped toast with nutella and banana slices, bacon (who doesn’t love bacon?!), pink-colored milk, and strawberry yogurt with red/pink sprinkles. And we’ll end the day with a heart-shaped pizza, steamed green beans (a veggie my kids LOVE!), and cutout sugar cookies for dessert! All ideas at the moment…let’s see if I can execute! Ha!

Amidst all the ideas and planning, I did think of one craft that is probably the most important for the holiday of love. I have a 5-year-old who has taught me (and continues to teach me) quite a bit in my journey of motherhood. I have learned that my words are powerful. They can hurt (when this mama loses it) or they can build up, heal, and comfort. I know that, for myself, I remember specific words my parents or other grown ups have said to me at a young age and how crazy I carry those words into adulthood. So, what I realize is that at the end of the (lonnnnnng) day, I pray my children remember the loving, meaningful words I say to them that let them know they are loved, known, and seen.

Today’s FREEBIE is a very easy craft involving just a printer, pen, scissors, and tape…things we have in our home so no excuses for not doing this craft! Download the fill-in-the-blank love letter printable by clicking here, follow the simple instructions on the printable, and let’s fill our kids’ love tanks to the brim!

 

 

In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
February 7, 2018

Classroom Valentine’s Card Printable [FREEBIE!]

 

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you’re a parent, you probably will have to prepare classroom valentine’s cards this or next week. I prefer non-candy goodies because let’s be real, my 5-year-old has plenty of energy and we don’t need to add to it. Plus, we just got rid of a big stash of Halloween candy!

These cute temporary tattoo packs from Target caught my eye and I thought putting them onto a card is a simple way to fancy it up.

You can download this FREEBIE printable card by clicking here. There are four cards per 8.5in x 11in sheet.

All you need is:

  • Color printer (or send to your local print store like Staples, Kinko’s)
  • Temporary tattoos from Target (check Valentine’s section. These come in a box of 20 packs)
  • Hot glue gun (or regular glue is fine. It will just dry slower)
  • Pen

Simply follow the instructions on the bottom right of the printable and you’ve got an eye-catching valentine’s goody that kids will “ink” is so cool! Get it?? Har har, I have a thing with puns so #sorrynotsorry

 

In Birthday, DIY, Parties on
February 3, 2018

Royal Icing Sugar Cookies

 

For years (heck, maybe even a decade!), I have wanted to take a cookie decorating class. What can I say? I’m a crafting nomad, always desiring to learn new crafts and techniques. And if it involves food, yes please!

Ethan’s 5th birthday party was the perfect reason to make some royal icing cookies! I already bought an “E” cookie cutter from his 3rd birthday party and recently picked up a “5” cookie cutter. The ones from Sur La Table are a good size (about 5in.) and are only $1.50 each!

 

 

Wanna know a secret? While I would love to make cookies from scratch, sometimes it’s just too much work, especially when you can buy cookie mix that taste pretty darn good! My go-to mix is Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix. All you need to add is butter, egg, and flour (for cutout cookies), all of which is always stocked in my fridge/pantry. After you make the mix, I do recommend taking two extra steps:

  1. Chill the dough in the fridge for about 30 mins.
  2. When rolling out the dough, sprinkle flour on your flat surface and rolling pin. This cookie mix dough can be sticky.

I waited a day to decorate the sugar cookies so that I wasn’t spending half the day in the kitchen. Mama’s got to be strategic with her time (read: no way my kids would play nicely and quietly for that long)! If you are using the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, I recommend using this royal icing recipe as it was the perfect amount for the number of cookies made. NOTE: I didn’t use the Domino’s brand of confectioners sugar, just whatever I had in my pantry.

When it came to decorating, the following supplies were purchased from my local craft store, Michaels:

  • Wilton disposable decorating bag
  • Wilton decorating coupler set
  • Wilton No. 3 tip
  • Wilton gel food coloring (I recommend this over the watery kind. I used two colors: Moss Green and Black)
  • Brand new soft bristle flat paintbrush (for the buffalo check pattern on the letter E cookies)

Other supplies I used:

  • Spray bottle (the best way to control the viscosity of the icing)
  • Toothpick (to mix the icing after using the flooding technique. Here’s a youtube video tutorial in case you’re a visual person like me!)

 

I was quite pleased how the cookies turned out! It was easier than I had imagined. And I had a lot of fun making them AND eating them!! 🙂

 

In DIY, Freebies, Parties, Silhouette on
February 2, 2018

Olympics Pennant Flags [FREEBIE]

 

In one week, the Winter 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang will commence and I couldn’t be more excited! I grew up glued to the screen admiring Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski gracefully dance across the ice during the Winter Olympics. And I watched live the nail-biting Kerri Strug performance at the 1996 Summer Olympics. I’m pretty sure I shed tears and then declared I would become an Olympic gymnast like every other girl in the world.

Fast forward two decades later, I am not a gymnast nor an Olympian. But the spirit of Team USA is still strong within me and I wanted to make a fun craft for my kids to use to cheer on our American athletes. Last year, I discovered an amazing material that does not tear, fray, or fade called Oly*fun. It is also very easy to use with a cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cricut.

Materials used:

  • Oly*fun sheets in red, white, green, black, blue, and yellow. You could also use other materials like cardstock, felt, or fabric.
  • Craft glue (I highly recommend a precision tip glue such as Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue)
  • Hot glue gun
  • 3/16in. wooden dowel

Click here to download the FREEBIE cut file for the Silhouette machine.

 

I hope my kiddos will enjoy watching the Olympics as much as I did as a child. It is inspiring to see young athletes’ dreams coming true after years and years of hard work and dedication. It is a beautiful reminder of our world’s vibrant diversity and culture. Our family plans to attend the Summer Games of 2028 when it will be held in Los Angeles!