Browsing Tag:

DIY

In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
December 2, 2017

Reverse Advent Calendar (FREEBIE!)

 

My 4.5yo preschooler is really into a calendar his Oma gave him earlier this year. We have different symbols for when he goes to preschool, church, doctor/dentist offices, and even when visitors are coming. He adds stickers when it’s someone’s birthday. It’s like a year-long art project. So, it was no brainer that we would get one of those ubiquitous chocolate advent calendars. I mean, they are only 99 cents at Trader Joe’s!

The other day as I was unpacking all our Christmas decorations, I came across a large empty plastic fillable ornament. I think it was something someone used to pack their Christmas gift and because I am a pack rat AND maker, I kept it. I bet I thought I could come up with some need for it. And so the creative juices were going and going and *ding* …light bulb!!

The month of December can easily become stressful and busy. Even more so with my family as we have two December birthdays. While my children are at that age where Christmas is now oh-so exciting with bright shimmering lights and fake snowfall, my ultimate hope for this Christmas is to truly experience the gift of the advent season together. So, as a way to cherish this special time, I created this month’s FREEBIE, a Reverse Advent Calendar, which I am having my preschooler do each day this month. It’s reverse because instead of taking something out, he’s putting something special in(to the ornament).

Here’s how it works:

  • Simply download the FREEBIE file (click here) and print
  • Cut out each tag and either hang them on a string (like a banner) or leave them as a stack
  • For each day, write down (or draw!) a favorite memory
  • Wrap the tag around a pencil to curl it and drop it into your ornament
  • Store your ornament in a safe spot to be opened and read next Christmas or 10 Christmases from now!

Supplies Needed:

  • Printer
  • Two 8.5in x 11in sheets of paper. NOTE: I cut 12in x 12in cardstock into 8.5in x 11in sheets. This way, the back of the tags were colorful. Totally not necessary!
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Pen
  • Fillable plastic ornament
  • Ribbon (to tie your ornament closed when finished)

 

We did time capsules for both our kids’ first birthdays, where we asked party guests to write a message for them to read when they turn 18. Pretty cool right? I mean, it sounds like a long time from now but at the same time, if you’re a parent, you know that day will come soon and fast! 

While I’m certain my son won’t remember a single memory from this year’s Christmas, my hope is that when he opens the filled ornament years from now, he will see how much we did together as a family, how many special memories were made, and maybe even laugh at the cute, only-a-kid-would-say “favorite” memory. (I’m not crying, you are…)

I hope you and your kids enjoy this activity! 😊

In DIY, Graphic Design, Holidays on
November 25, 2017

DIY Envelope Addressing

 

One my “crafty” bucket list goals is to learn modern calligraphy. I took a shot at it earlier this year and even practiced a bit on my whirlwind trip to Paris…how romantic and idyllic does that sound? Well, despite being a creative person, I have a long ways to go. It definitely is one of those “practice makes perfect” kind of activity. And I just need to make time for the practicing to happen.

Until then, I am going to stick to my secret weapon when it comes to addressing my Christmas card envelopes. The irony is that my secret weapon really isn’t that secretive. You probably have it in your own home. I’m talking about a printer! 😱 Yup, I have used my home printer to address all my special occasion envelopes. Hooray, no more hand cramping that leads to sloppy handwriting!

In addition to a printer, you just need either Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or if you’re fancy-schmancy, Adobe InDesign. I have a PC so I can only really vouch for Word and InDesign but all three should work just fine.

Below are the basic steps:

  1. First, set up your file to match the size of your envelope.
  2. Then add text (aka your recipient’s mailing address) using your favorite font(s) and playing around with the formatting.
  3. Once you are happy, insert your envelope into your printer paper/envelope tray. NOTE: you may need to flip it upside down depending on how your tray feeds your envelope.
  4. Do a test print to see how your text lines up and make any adjustments if needed.
  5. Once you have your finalized style, print again and the rest of your envelopes.

If you’re like me, you have a long list of addresses. No problem! You can use a “merge” feature that will auto-fill your addresses so that you are not typing (or copying/pasting) each one in. NOTE: After your program merges and autofills, I do recommend going through each record to make sure everything looks right.

For MS Word, check out this youtube video with step-by-step instructions on  using the MS Word’s “Mail Merge” feature.

For InDesign, watch this video to see how to use the “Data Merge” feature (different name across programs but all the same function).

 

You can even have a little fun and add color plus some vector graphics on your envelope template. The possibilities are truly endless! These little design elements will surely make your envelope and Christmas photo card stand out! 🎄

 

 

In DIY, Home Decor, Silhouette on
November 9, 2017

DIY Lightbox Letters

 

Halloween night was incredible! My 4.5yo and almost 2yo wanted to keep going and going and going, especially my littlest one. As you know with my month-long tribute to the spooktacular holiday, I love Halloween even more now as a parent. It’s such a joy watching my kids get into the spirit, trying to contain their excitement (or not!) and gazing with mesmerized eyes at all the festive decorations in our neighborhood.

Halloween kicks off “crazy season” for my family. I have been a little MIA lately because I threw a surprise birthday party for the hubs. I’ll blog about that party later. But I will share one cool craft I did in preparation for the party. My hubby was born in the 80s so the party had a little nod to that rad decade. Over the summer, I purchased a $10 light box from WalMart and have used it any chance I got. Unfortunately, the hard part is finding a phrase or saying that works. You see, the light box comes with two sets of each letter. So for instance, for Halloween, I couldn’t do “trick or treat” because I didn’t have enough of the letter T. So I just ended up with “Boo!” Haha, I know, super lame.

For the surprise party, I wanted to use the phrase “Totally Tubular Dude” and again, I was stuck with the same letter T problem. Well, enough is enough…I’m a maker and I’m going to make it work! If you find yourself in the same situation, here is a tutorial on how to make your own light box letters!

 

 

By /
In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
October 31, 2017

DIY Paw Patrol Chase and Skye Halloween Costumes

 

 

About the middle of summer is when I have a very important conversation with my son…Halloween costumes. We brainstorm all the possibilities and I let him stew on the options. Yup, I use food puns whenever I can.

Two years ago, I made my son a wearable firetruck costume out of a UPS shipping box. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of keeping the costume AND in plain sight (in the garage). So, of course he asked that this year’s costume be made the same way!

If you know any preschooler these days, it’s all about Paw Patrol. My son is obsessed with Chase the police pup while my daughter loves Skye, the Amelia Earhart of the crew. And voila, Halloween costume decision made!

So, knowing that my by-the-book firstborn son would be checking my work, I got started right away. I have no time to waste! I kid you not, he seriously checked my progress each day and said “yes, mommy, that is good. Yup…Mmm-hmm, that’s correct. Great job mommy.”😳

With my Silhouette cutting machine, I was able to replicate many of the designs on Chase’s vehicle, Skye’s pup pack, as well as their pup badge designs. If you ever wondered how much you can create custom work with the Silhouette for your project needs, this is 100% proof right here.

 

How I made the Chase costume:

  • Spray painted a UPS shipping box (12in x 12in x 20in) blue with multiple coats. Cut out a hole to fit my son in the middle and stapled elastic straps to make “suspenders” for a wearable costume.
  • Create custom pieces that were cut by my Silhouette machine, such as the head/tail lights, wheels, decals, front “winch” box, and badges.
  • Inserted submersible LED tealights into Container Store’s Amac colored boxes to create the back “flashers” as well as put two bike flashing lights on the front.
  • Sew hand-cut blue craft foam onto existing black baseball cap. Glued on yellow ribbon, hand-cut felt ears, and paper badge. He wears this everrrrrrrday.

 

How I made the Skye costume:

  • I already had a dark pink tutu dress (bought from Old Navy) from my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Surprisingly it still fit her…a little on the short side but we just add bottoms and it’s all good. I sewed the paper Skye badge over the glitter “one” HTV that was on the front of her dress. Hooray for this quick hack!
  • To make Skye’s pup pack, I wrapped a software box (no joke!) with pink craft felt and hot glued another paper badge on top. For the wings, I simply cut out cardboard from an Amazon shipping box, wrapped it with silver poster board, and added some pink trim. Lastly, I hot glued both the wings to the back of the pup pack as well as two elastic bands to form a backpack. I also stapled the elastic bands for extra security.
  • The last accessory was the headpiece. Luckily, I had a dark pink fabric headband from one of my daugher’s baby headbands (one of many she never really liked wearing 🙄…). I cut out the “googles” out of light pink felt as well as little pup ears out of light brown felt, and sew both of them onto the headband. That was easy and quick to pull together! Whew!

 

 

All in all, everyone’s happy. The kids are stoked and I couldn’t get my son to take off his hat or vest (even with the insane heat wave last week!). I’m pretty happy how both costumes turned out and I’m also pretty happy to be done working on them! Ha! Looking forward to seeing how these costumes hold up on tonight!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the month-long Halloween craft/DIY projects on the blog! Happy Halloween!! 🎃

By /
In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
October 29, 2017

Glow Necklace Favor Tags (FREEBIE!)

Will your little one be roaming the streets this Halloween? Maybe with a group of little goblins? Well, unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you might want to put a little glow stick necklace on your child for safety reasons. It’s easy for you (the parent) to identify your child and what munchkin doesn’t like things that glow in the dark?! Um, can we say win-win? And anytime I can win as a parent…count me in!

Since candy is plenty this time of year, this is a great non-candy goodie for the kiddos! Took a walk through Target’s Halloween section (where I…mmmyeah, probably spent a solid hour) and spotted these simple glow necklaces that came 10 in a bag for just $3. Oh Target, just take my wallet!

To go along with the glow necklaces, I designed these adorable candy corn-shaped favor tags that read “Shine bright on Halloween Night!” You, too, can make these super simple goodies by downloading today’s FREEBIE! Below is a super quick tutorial with supplies that you probably already have at home!

 

Where to buy specific craft supplies: hyde and eek glow necklaces

By /
In DIY, Holidays, Home Decor on
October 23, 2017

Spiderweb Table Runner

 

Everrrrrry time I walk past the dollar bins at Michaels to check out, I see paper rolls of all colors and patterns. Usually I have pretty good self-control with these impulse buy type of products but somehow I have acquired hoarded five of these over the years, none of which have been used…until now!

With every holiday, our dining table gets a little festive makeover. For Halloween this year, I made a table runner out of those dang paper rolls and was quite pleased how it turned out! The paper material is thin so I quickly learned a lesson in patience when peeling the paper off the 12in x 24in cutting mat. I used the spiderweb stencil from Design ID#45894, stretched it out to fit my extra-long cutting mat, modified the design a bit to make it into a 12in x 24in piece (a lot of ungrouping, welding, and deleting border), sent it to Silhouette to cut, and voila!

I know I love Halloween but I can’t help but think what kind of runner I can make for Thanksgiving or Christmas?! After all, I do have paper rolls in kraft and red! 🙈

By /
In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
October 9, 2017

DIY Halloween Spiderweb

 

Six years ago, I had a craft blog (not this one) where I shared similar tutorials and projects like I do now. Then kids came into the picture and well…my time was spent on either wiping butts, doing the fourth load of laundry, or finally taking a shower at 8:30pm. Life is a little less hectic these days *knock on wood* so I’m back at it with crafting. One of my most popular post on my old blog was a simple and super economical DIY project showing how to make spiderwebs out of black yarn. It was even featured on Apartment Therapy! For about $3 or less, you can have instant spooky spiderwebs in your windows in no time!

Supplies Needed:

  • Black yarn
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape

 

 

By /
In DIY, Silhouette on
September 6, 2017

PixScan – my new favorite tool!

One of the reasons I decided to join the Silhouette Design Team was to push myself to try new projects and techniques. Well…a couple weeks ago, I got the opportunity to play around with Silhouette’s PixScanTM mat, which is a must-have for any paper crafters out there. It is similar to a cutting mat in that you can place paper on it and use it to cut with your Silhouette machine. The coolest part is the incorporation of technology to make precision cuts! You simply upload a photo (taken by smartphone, camera, or scanner), bring the image into Silhouette Studio and it magically appears in your Silhouette Studio design program. From there, you can see where exactly your paper is placed and place your cut designs accordingly. I can’t believe I didn’t use this earlier!

To see how I used the PixScanTM mat, check out my blog post at Silhouette’s blog! 🙂

 

 

 

By /
In DIY, Parties, Silhouette on
August 15, 2017

Personalize Your Special Event with Your Own Print and Cut Design

As I mentioned in an earlier post, June was a busy month for me and it was totally unrelated to this blog or my gig with Silhouette. I was blessed with the opportunity to work on two special events with Switchfoot’s BRO-AM Foundation. Their music was on repeat in my college days so this experience was also sentimental. If you have a few minutes, take a moment to learn more about their awesome non-profit that was founded on the band members’ desire to give back to the San Diego community and youth initiatives. As a mother, I am thankful the less fortunate kids out there are getting love, hope, and support every child unconditionally deserves!

One of our events was a Benefit Party where we placed custom sugar cookies in each VIP gift bag. We wanted to carry through the branding as well as the mission statement wherever possible. So why not on the packaging label that seals each cookie bag?

This method is pretty much making your own Print and Cut design. And the beauty of this method is that the process behind it can be applied to any special event, from birthday parties to weddings.  Let me show you how!

  1. To start, I created my cookie label design in Adobe InDesign. You can use any graphic software program that allows you to save your design in common image file types (JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and TIF files). For more info, click here for more details.
  2. For this event, I needed 1.50in diameter cookie labels so in InDesign, I made a wider circular design perimeter (1.55in) so that I knew to keep my design within it.
  3. While designing, I also kept in mind the location of Silhouette’s Registration Marks, which is necessary for Print and Cut function to work. Basically, leave some space on the top as well as the bottom left area.
  4. When the design was complete, I simply exported the file as a PNG and imported it into my Silhouette’s library.
  5. Within the Scale Window, I resized it to fit a letter-size cardstock sheet (8.50in x 11.00in).
  6. Next, I placed 1.50in diameter circles over each cookie label while making sure they were nicely centered. These 1.50in circles’ cut lines fell within the 1.55in design lines.
  7. And finally, I sent it to Silhouette to first print the image with my home color printer and then transferred it onto a cutting mat and sent it again to Silhouette to cut with the cut settings.

That’s it! How easy is that?! Knowing this technique will really personalize your event and make your event styling look and feel cohesive!

 

By /
In DIY, Silhouette on
August 6, 2017

Obligatory First Day of School “Chalkboard” Sign

 

School is just around the corner and I’ve got another great craft project to excite your kiddos about starting or returning to school…you know, the obligatory “first day of school” sign! This project created for Silhouette’s Blog is especially unique because it features Silhouette’s chalkboard vinyl. There are several GOOD reasons I chose this method versus using a standard chalkboard. Let’s break it down:

  1. Unless you’re an expert chalkboard artist, you will be spending a lot of time fitting your words, perfecting the look, erasing, starting lines over, etc.
  2. You can use chalk markers (I highly recommend Marvy Uchida Chalk Markers) for crisp white or colored lettering that makes your board look professional!
  3. The chalkboard vinyl is reusable so you can use the same chalkboard for many years to come and for multiple kids!

So you wanna make one now right? Click here to read the tutorial!

By /