Count Your Blessings Garland

In south Texas we don't get a true fall, but this year we made own own fall leaves and turned them into this "thankfulness"/ fall garland.

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WHAT YOU NEED:

3 sheets of manila paper (any white/ craft paper should be fine)

orange, red or yellow paint

some fall colored tissue paper

modge podge or white glue

twine

scissors

:::

In Texas, especially south Texas we don’t get a real fall. We get a wet season of increased rain, a few cold fronts and some change in the trees, but not a whole lot. Every once in a blue moon we get lucky and a few inches of snow comes down in late December-February (and it melts almost immediately), but seriously that is almost unheard of. Long story short, our falls are just different. So. I decided this year the Bubs and I would make our own leaves! He had a blast!

1. Tear tissue paper into small chunks and then glue onto the manila paper. We watered down our glue so it was gentler on the tissue paper. We also “painted” the tissue paper on, once the paper was wet with the glue+water mixture.

2. Let dry.

3. Paint over with a complementing color (I think teal would have even been a nice addition to our garland, but we opted for orange instead).

4. Cut into the fall leaf shape of your choice. There are so many free leaf printables online.

5. We cut them up and attached them onto a piece of twine with clothespins. We have so many left over, so I am thinking we are going to make one more:)

The idea was to write things we are thankful for on the back. At night before he goes to bed, he thanks God for the littlest things, like playing with Evelyn, his toys, getting to jump on Daddy, eating candy… it’s the sweetest thing to hear him pray. I want to capture those things onto the leaves. This age, it’s just precious.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this leaf garland idea! Even if you do have those beautiful fall leaves in your part of the world, it’s always good fun to break out the tissue paper and glue:)

Photo Transfer Canvases (a video tutorial!)

I posted a tutorial pretty similar to this in pictures last year, and it went crazy on Pinterest. I use the same method for my square canvases that I used to sell through my online shop. It got a little too much to keep up with, in fact I am wrapping up my very last order in a few days. I know a lot of you are curious how to do this, and some probably have way better methods (so by all means let us know in the comments how you do it!) but here’s how I do mine. Hope you enjoy!

Video tutorial on how to make your own photo transfer canvases

PS – These make super duper awesome Christmas gifts!

PS#2 – These photo canvases are waaaay cheaper and cooler looking (#inmyhumbleopinion) than the ones you pay like crazy for through photo shops like Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc.

PS#3 – I am no videographer person, so I apologize in advance for my overall quirkiness.

And if you prefer the photo step-by-step tutorial, visit here!

Ribbon Banner (using fabric strips)

I’ve seen these all over Pinterest, and plan to make quite a few more! They are so much fun and incredibly easy to whip up. I am working on a new one for a special project soon, so I’ll be updating this post with those pictures in a few days or so… but for now I’ll leave you with these pics of how to make your own “ribbon tassel”. You can use ribbon, or tear fabric into strips like I did below.

ribbon banner

WHAT YOU NEED:

+ ribbon/ fabric strips

+ twine/ rope

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1. Tie the string up somewhere so that you can easily see the ribbons/ strips of fabric hanging. Two chairs might also work well.IMG_2839 IMG_2841

2. Fill up your banner the length you would like it be and be sure to make it full.IMG_2852 IMG_2857 IMG_2862

I used this one for a baby shower decoration, but they can be for anything!

The Teepee (a tutorial)

DIY teepee // under $40!

WHAT I USED:

6 – 1″x2″x8″ wood poles (75¢ each at Home Depot)

1 – 9′x12′ canvas tarp ($27 at Home Depot)

1/2 yard of fabric* (optional, $3 at Hobby Lobby)

stitch witchery* ($3 at Hobby Lobby)

1 roll of sturdy rope* ($5 at Hobby Lobby)

*some of these things were slightly cheaper using Hobby Lobby’s 40% off coupon!

When I started researching making my own teepee, I found a few GREAT tutorials but none with enough pictures, so a lot of this I improvised and it has a gazillion imperfections (don’t look too close), but overall I think it came out great!

Hopefully the pics are self explanatory, but just in case I’ll explain a few things.

let's build a teepee!

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1. Cut down the pieces of wood to the height you like. We cut ours down to 7′, as our ceilings are 8 feet tall. This works out perfectly! Also drill one hole about 10″-12″ from one end as seen above, and below…

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2. Lie them flat on the ground and thread the rope through each of them. I had to rope one at a time.

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3. When you’ve roped them one time, stand them up, loosely setting them a part from each other and tie a secure knot. You will be able to adjust your teepee’s shape and size like crazy later.IMG_3012 IMG_3024

4. Once the knot is made space the poles a part they way you’d like them to fit. This will change a little if you move it around, but the next step will secure the overall width of your teepee. Use most, if not all of the rope to fasten the poles together by wrapping it around and around, and especially under the “wrapped” part, and between the poles themselves.IMG_3025 IMG_30285. Pull the tarp over your teepee frame. This is the step that required a little bit of improvisation (is that a word?)… or winging it. You also want a piece of chalk handy. I used sidewalk chalk! Pull the tarp over each “triangle” of the teepee frame and trace it with the chalk. You will want half of a triangle for the front, if you want it to flap open as seen in the example at the very top of this post. Trace each triangle, and then cut, one by one. You can use the edge of the tarp (already hemmed!) for the front flaps. Some triangles may be wider, and some more narrow. IMG_3032

6. Cut each piece out as you trace it. Lay them out in the order you you cut them.IMG_3035

7. Begin sewing them together. Leave the halves unsewed… you will need this opening later.
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9. Once all your triangles are sewed together, fit over the teepee to test it out, though you may want to test it along the way.IMG_305810. Clip holes along the top half of the front flaps, to string the rope through. This will enable you to loosen or tighten up the teepee as you need.

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11. I more or less placed the fabric against the front flaps and cut them, you might want to do this before stringing it together and placing it over the frame (it would have saved me a lot of time!) Use the stitch witchery (a.k.a. MAGIC!) to adhere it to your canvas tarp.

teepee for kids! 12. And you’re done!

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Glitter Candle Holders

Glitter Candle Holders! Easy DIY project for baby shower, party, house decor, etc

These were soooo much fun and so stinkin’ easy to make! I made them for a baby shower and let’s just say I am a glitter high lately. Just wait. I have another fun project with gold glitter that I hope to share soon.

What you need:

+ candle holder (any shape, size, etc!)

+ modge podge

+ gold glitter

+ paint brush

Paint the part of the candle holder with modge podge that you would like covered in glitter, and then sprinkle on the good stuff generously! Let them dry for 2-3 hours and voila!

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Family Handprints Frame

family hand prints

I got this idea off Pinterest (of course). I don’t remember what life was like before Pinterest… I took a different take on it though, printing our hands directly on the glass instead of on paper. This was Pete’s Father’s Day gift, and he LOVED it!

I got a lot of requests for a tutorial on this from people on Instagram and Facebook asked… so here goes :)

What you need:

+ a long rectangular frame (I got mine at Michaels, it was a frame designed for a class picture, but it happened to have hanging hooks on the short sides too, which fit me needs PERFECTLY! You can grab it here)

+ black acrylic paint

+ foam or paint brush

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1. Get your work area cleared out and I suggest laying the glass against something white, or something light, to be able see what you’re doing. My faux granite tops were going to make things a bit more difficult so I laid a white towel underneath. Set aside the parts of the frame you don’t need in a safe place.

2. Eyeball (or you might be a perfectionist and make some light marks with a dry-erase marker… I’m more of a ‘wing it’ kind of gal) how much room each handprint will need and go from there. For example, I have about the same hand size as Pete (I know big hands for a girl, so not cute), but it did help getting a good idea how much room we’d need for his print before he was available to make his own print.

3. Get your hands ready! Lay some fresh paint on them with a foam or paint brush. Be generous with the paint! Some acrylics are watered down, so it’s okay if you lay it on thick.

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3. With little hands you might want to demonstrate and guide them as they make their print. Immediately after the print, Joseph was anxious to make a dozen more handprints on the glass… so you might have some spare paper handy.

4. Let the hand prints dry and then put the glass back in the frame, with the paint side facing front.

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I was honestly TORN on whether to include Jenna. I realized that we never took her hand prints in the hospital. We have molds of one of her hands, but we never got a hand print. I cannot even remember why, but we did get footprints thankfully. So after going back and forth on this, I decided to use her footprints and include her that way.

I’m loving the way they came out too…

So if you’re wanting to do this and include your baby in heaven too, here’s how I did it.

footprints on glass

What you need:

+ wide clear packing tape

+ a small bowl of water

+ photocopy of the baby’s prints (laser, not inkjet)

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1. Lay the tape over the prints, and make sure the tape is bubble free and completely covering the prints by rubbing it with your thumbnail of a coin. You may have to use two strips of tape if the prints are larger, just be sure to overlap so the prints are entirely covered by the tape.

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2. Cut around the prints, as close as possible.
IMG_17113. Soak the prints in the bowl of water for a few minutes.

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4. After a minute or two, begin rubbing the paper side with your fingers. The paper will begin to rub off. Rub until all the paper residue is gone.IMG_1728

5. Lay the prints flat on the glass. They will stay flat once all the paper is gone. Once they are dry, you can lay the glass back on the frame. The prints will not be glued or printed directly on the glass, but will stay in position for you, slightly sticky with adhesive from the tape, and resting between two pieces of glass.

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DIY Carpet Cleaner

diy carpet cleaner

When I discovered you could make your own cleaners this was probably one that I got most excited about. I mean how expensive is this stuff in stores? And you almost always have to use the entire $25+ bottle of carpet cleaner for one application. So anyway, this stuff is pretty much amazingtown. The best part though, was that it works just as well as the store bought stuff!

We have off white carpet and with two littles it is pretty hard to keep it as clean as it once was when we first moved in (counting down the days until we can put in tile or wood floors!). We were so blessed by my mom when she gave us her carpet cleaner.

What you need:

+ hot but not boiling water

+ 1/2 c hydrogen peroxide

+ 2 TBS dawn dish soap

+ 1/4 c white vinegar

+ a few drops of tree tea oil (optional but it’s pretty nice that it does has an antibacterial quality)

 

What I do:

1. Fill the carpet cleaner bucket almost to the top with hot water from the faucet (a little over 3/4 way full).

2. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and after placing the top back on, shake bottle enough to mix up your solution.

3. Enjoy!

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DIY Sunscreen

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I am such a dork but today one of my small dreams came true and I made my own lotion!!! Well, sunscreen that is. I used this recipe!

Why I decided to make my own:

- most sunscreens out there are actually not doing their job

- lots of sunscreens are actually doing more harm than help

- this sunscreen is all natural and safe on babies!!!

- it is SPF 30

- it’s actually cheaper than organic/ natural sun protectors in the long run. To buy the supplies up front (I went to amazon), it is pretty pricey but the ingredients go a long way

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Me and the Bubs actually wore it outside today and it dried clear and felt smooth and silky like a ‘normal’ sun protector. I used four ingredients. Four! I am so excited about using it on the beach:)

Baby Nursery on a Budget

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I’ve been wanting to post this for ages. But the weather’s been too gloomy for good pictures, and life with a newborn keeps me pretty busy. :)

So here it is. I found five minutes on this beautiful day to snap a few pictures of Evelyn’s room. I’m so in love with the colors!!! And it’s like icing on the cake that Pete will randomly walk in there to get something for me or her and say “I love her room.” He’s my favorite.

When we found out we were having another girl, I almost went all out – like I could honestly justify spending a good fortune on her room, for so many reasons. But… I’m a thrift store girl at heart. I’m ruined. So after creating a dream board for our sweet girl on Pinterest, I set out to make this my personal project of ‘handmaking’ her room, as much as possible by using blocks of color, pattern and knick knacks to make it come together. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s ‘done’ enough to make me happy for now. Except for the empty frames ha! They will be filled soon.

IMG_0773 writing

IMG_0771butterfly chandelier c/o little dreamers // white on white canvases tutorial here

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IMG_0776basket found at a garage sale for $5 // pendant banner handmade for under $10 // DIY Antro-inspired curtains $20

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IMG_0792dresser, garage sale for $50 // changing mat c/o Wal-Mart $12 // grey+white striped pillow cases c/o Target $12

IMG_0806found this frame for $2 at a garage sale, repainted and added some lace with a staple gun to hang her hair pieces

IMG_0761black shelf, thrift shop for $5 // butterfly c/o World Market $5 // bird cage, antique store $5

IMG_0764reupholstered lamp shade using a glue gun, fabric scraps, tulle and beads (original was polka dotted white and pink)

IMG_0762shelf, craigslist ad $35 // hanging birds c/o World Market $10

IMG_0789found this idea on Pinterest! Gathered up a bunch of old buttons, repainted to match room, drew a large letter ‘e’ on canvas. laid them out on canvas within the letter and glue gun did the rest!

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UPDATE: Evie’s nursery was featured in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine here!

(you can find some of the pins that inspired a lot of these ideas here)

Baby Footprint Ornament

If you are visiting for the first time, this post is part of the series “12 Days of Christmas With You in Heaven”. To learn more about this series, please click here

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! I am always looking for ways to use Jenna’s footprints, and this is the perfect excuse.

Baby Footprint Ornament

What you need:

- laser copy of your baby’s footprints (black and white or color)

- small bowl of water

- clear packing tape

- small strips of tulle

- one glass ornament

- pencil

- mod podge

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1. Cut out your baby’s footprints to a small square.

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2. Cover the printed footprints with clear masking tape. Overlap the tape if need be, you don’t want any paper on the front side without tape covering it. Do not fold excess tape over the edge. Trim edges instead to get a nice clean look. Rub out any air bubbles with a rolling pin, wooden spoon, brayer or even your fist.

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3. Dunk taped footprint square into the small bowl of water until it is completely soaked.

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4. Once you can feel that the entire paper is soaked softly sub the backside to see if the paper begins to peel back, as seen above.

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5. It will look something like this. Continue to rub off excess paper and submerge with water if need be. Be cautious not to rub too hard, as it could rub off your image.

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6. Yay! Now you have your precious footprints! Set aside on a dry towel.

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7. Grab your glass ornament and strips of tulle and begin slowly pushing them into the ornament. Using the eraser side of a pencil worked like a charm.

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8. Continue until your ornament is completely filled with tulle. Recap your ornament.

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9. With a small paintbrush spread some mod podge where you would like the footprints to go. Place the footprints (you might cut out each one, and a little tighter as well, to wrap around the ornament better) one at a time over the mod podge.

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10. Set aside to dry and enjoy!

Baby Footprint Ornament Hanging on tree

Transfer Your Ultrasound Pictures onto Canvas!

If you are visiting for the first time, this post is part of the series “12 Days of Christmas With You in Heaven”. To learn more about this series, please click here. Today I am so excited to share my newest Pinterest-inspired project… something you can do with your ultrasound pictures. For many loss moms ultrasound pictures are all they have. This is for them. And for anyone that wants to show off their precious children!

So… here we go.

What you need:

- ultrasound pic
- gel medium (can find this at a local craft store)
- paintbrush
- white tissue paper (about one fourth of a sheet)
- one piece of printing paper
- tape
- scanner
- access to a laser printer (If you don’t have one in your home, you might find one at your job… office… or school)
- photo editing program (there are a few free ones like GIMP – the one I’m using in this tutorial – and Paint for PC’s)

Step 1. Scan your ultrasound photo and open it in GIMP or your photo editing program of choice.

Step 2. Take your “free select tool” or lasso tool and trace the area of the picture that you want to appear on the canvas.

Step 3. Once you close your selection, cut the image portion out by clicking on CTRL+X, or Edit -> Cut in your menu bar.

Step 4. Create a new image in GIMP/ Photoshop and make sure the dimensions are the size of the canvas you will be using. Mine was 4″x4″, so I set the size to match. Also make sure your DPI/ resolution is 300 DPI for the best printing. Paste the cut out selection of your ultrasound picture onto this new image by clicking CTRL+V or Edit -> Paste in your menu bar.

Be sure to save your work as a layered file as you work, to keep from losing the progress you’ve made so far.

Step 5. Click on your Selection Tool, or as GIMP calls it, the “Fuzzy Select Tool” and click on the darkest part of your ultrasound picture (usually the area above and around the baby). Hover over the “Color” tab in your menu bar and click on “Colorize” (this may be a little different in Photoshop). Move the color swatches around until you find the color you would like the background of the image to be. I chose a purplish color.

If you prefer the black and white version of your ultrasound picture on canvas, take your eye dropper and click on the darkest part of the ultrasound picture. Color the background layer this color so that your image on canvas will have a background color around the ultrasound picture to match. In this case, you can skip down to step 8.

Step 6. When you’ve decided on a color for the background of the ultrasound picture, click on CTRL+I to Invert your selection or hover over “Edit” and click on “Invert” to select the rest of the ultrasound picture, which will most likely be the baby and everything else in grey. Repeat the same process to color this part too. Have fun switching up the colors until you find a combination that you like the best.

Step 7. Next you want to fill in the white space so that when you transfer this image onto your canvas you have a nice solid background color. Take your eyedropper tool, or as GIMP calls it your “Color Picker Tool” and click on the background color (the first color) you chose. Switch layers in your Layers box on the right, and use your Paint Bucket tool to color the background layer. Your image should look similar to this below.

Step 8. Once your coloring decisions have been made and your background is filled in, you might want to add some text below the sweet ultrasound picture. Use your Text Tool and be sure to select a color for your text that will show up nicely against the background color you chose.

Save your work as a JPEG file somewhere on your computer where you can easily find it.

Step 9. Take your sheet of tissue paper and cut out a rectangle just a few inches smaller than your printing paper size, as seen below. Tape it snugly over the printing paper, but not too tight that it warps the paper (this could cause your printer to jam). Make sure the tissue paper is resting flat against the printing paper. You might try printing the image you created on regular paper before printing it onto the tissue paper, just to test for placement.

Once you are ready, feed the taped tissue paper carefully, into your printer and print.

Step 10. Once your image has printed out nicely, cut the image as close to the edge as possible. Keeping the printing paper behind it while you cut is usually helpful, to not tear the delicate tissue paper.

Step 11. Take your paintbrush and gel medium and brush a generous (but not globby) coat over the canvas. Remove the printing paper from the backside of the tissue paper if it’s still there and place carefully over the canvas. Begin flattening the image to remove bubbles in the center, and work your way out. Be careful not to press too hard, because it is extremely easy to tear at this point.

Step 12. Once you have finished flattening the image onto the canvas, take your paintbrush with a little more gel medium to coat the top. Also be sure to flatten the edges around, in case you have some tissue paper still hanging off.

This is where you can stop and just wait about 30 minutes or so until it dries. You can also take some twine and staple it to the back to turn into a Christmas tree ornament, or even decor for your home. Or you can leave it as is.

These canvases take a little work and patience, but so worth it in the end.

Please let me know if you tried it! Feel free to ask any questions too.

And… if you decide you’d rather just pay someone to turn your beautiful ultrasound into a piece of art, you might check out this link.

Photobucket
 

Anthropologie DIY Curtains {sneak peek baby girl’s nursery}

I knew I wanted something unique for baby girl’s window, and was so excited to find this tutorial for knock-off Anthropologie curtains. It was pretty easy, but definitely time consuming! The instructions were great though. Yesterday my kitchen table was covered in fabric, tons of thread and Cherrios.

Someone on instagram said I was Pinterest nesting, and I’d have to totally agree… :)

3D Letters on Canvas

Let me start by saying this is not something that popped out of my brain (though I wish I could take the credit ;), but it is something that I completely fell in love with on Pinterest. This idea for wall art will go perfect in Baby girl’s room:)

What ya need:

- canvas (any size)

- white or ivory spray paint

- any kind of regular glue (I used wood glue only because my Tacky Glue was in storage, so either will work just fine)

- any color foam letters (the ones you find in the scrapbook aisle of your local craft store). My letters happen to be glittery white ones, but any color will do since you’ll be painting over the entire piece.

:::

To get started…

1. decide what saying or word you want to display on your canvas and lay it out without gluing it down. Get it laid out just the way you like it.

2. Naturally the larger foam letters tend to be warped, bend them so that they are flat. Bending as much as you need (even if it leaves marks behind) them will not matter once you finish the project.

3. Remove the sticker back, and begin gluing the letters down carefully. I used a paintbrush to make sure the entire letter was covered in glue. Once you lay the letter down, use the paint brush to remove excess glue around the letter.

*note: the adhesive that sometimes comes on the foam letters will not be enough to secure the letters onto the canvas over time

4. Press each letter firmly down for a few moments. This is where you might need that paintbrush to remove excess glue.

5. Once the letters are all glued downand dry you are ready to spray paint!

6. Take your spray paint and cover the canvas completely. Be sure to read the instructions on the back for multiple coats and safety. It will more than likely require more than one coat.

The final product is priceless! Once the spray paint is 100% dry you are through:) Enjoy!

for more DIY projects click here.