Thursday, March 19, 2015

Baby Shower Gift Card Bouquet for the Mom to Be

I was looking for an idea for a baby shower gift that focused on pampering the mom to be and loved the idea of gift card bouquet.

I thought about some of the things that became my reality when my babies were born. Aside from a Starbucks habit to combat my sleep deprivation, I spent time wondering how to make myself look presentable by way of beauty shortcuts and exercise. I decided to find some gift cards to meet those needs for her!

The Starbucks gift card is great for any mom but especially for the mom of a newborn. Because I know this mom is super fit and anxious to start getting back in shape, I included an Itunes gift card so she can download some new workout music for days that only new music will motivate a tired body off the couch. 

I included a Sephora card because I remember searching the site myself when my littles were newborns for new makeup, concealer, and moisturizer to hide the new mom face that I'd find in the mirror after a long night of no sleep!

I also included a gift card for Buy Buy Baby so that she could grab something from her registry.

Instead of buying a gift card to a spa or for a massage, these cards could all be used from home. I know when I had a newborn, as nice as a massage sounded, I just didn't feel like I'd be able to enjoy myself going out and leaving him. I was always up for online shopping though!

To make the bouquet, I used a small yellow bucket and fit a yarn covered styrofoam ball inside. I cut flowers from scrapbook paper with my Silhouette Cameo and attached them to stick 'stems' pressed into the styrofoam ball to look like flowers.

I wrote this little ditty to go with the bouquet and explain why I chose the cards that I did:

Your new baby boy will be here in no time,
So I got you some cards and wrote you some rhymes
And as your nights run into your days,
I hope this bouquet helps in a number of ways:

When you’re tired, dragging, and been up all night,
These ‘bucks’ will revive you and make it alright

When your patience is dwindling and it’s all going wrong,
Just login to Itunes and buy some new songs

When it’s time for a shower but the baby won’t let you,
Use the Sephora card to buy dry shampoo

When all else has failed and the madness non-stopping,
Just go to BuyBuy Baby and have some fun shopping!

I  love that the gift card bouquet was a way of treating the mom after the long months of pregnancy and to help her ease into the new schedule that is sure to be a challenge. 

The poem I wrote might be a little on the silly side but what better way to welcome her new role than with a sense of humor?!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Use Engineering Prints to Decorate at a Party

One of my favorite decorating touches at our daughter's first birthday party was the photo collage I made with engineering prints and poster board. Just as I did with my son, I took photos of her every month of her first year wearing numbered onesie stickers. 

At my son's first birthday party, I hung a banner with his photos from each month. 

I knew that I wanted to do something similar for her party. Instead of a banner, I made a collage of the 12 photos with PicMonkey and then had a large engineering print of the collage made.

Here is the engineering print of the photo collage on black poster board and on the wall. I used felt roses for some extra pops of red and to disguise the tacks that I hung the board with.

I loved the way it turned out so much, the was process so simple, and the cost so low, that I decided to choose several of my favorite photos of her from birth to a year and make prints of them to use at the party as well.

A lot of people have asked me how and where I made the prints for the photo wall so I'm going to show you how I did it.

I used Staples and was really happy with the quality and how fast they were done but you can do it at other copy/print/mail centers as well. Follow these instructions if you want to do it using the Staples website.

When you get to the Staples Copy & Print online store, click on 'Oversized Prints'

I selected 'Engineering Prints in B/W'

You'll need to click on Media (Blueprints...) to select the size you want. I chose the 18X24 size. Check the box at the bottom that says 'Fit content to Paper'

Click on 'Add Files' in the upper left corner and select a photo from your computer or disk that you want to print. This is the photo that I used to make a poster for the mantel.

After previewing your photo, just add to your cart and order! All of mine were ready for me to pick them up within an hour. 

For the wall collage I used a combination of washi tape, heart clothespins, and clear tacks to affix my prints to poster boards. Because the paper for the prints is so thin, you might not want to use any kind of adhesive that could bleed through the paper and stain the photo. I hung the prints with a LOVE sign that I made out of leftover paneling and vinyl lettering and it made for such a sweet Valentine's Day first birthday photo wall.

The engineering prints are perfect for a party decoration or something like a word art print but are not meant for high resolution photo printing. Photo canvases are still my favorite way to display my pictures.

That said, I'm going to order one of these engineering prints before purchasing photo canvases in the future. Because it's difficult to visualize how a photo will look when it's really large, this is a perfect way to determine what will look good before paying big bucks for the canvas that can't be returned.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Preppy Bunny Silhouette for Spring

Even though my oldest stopped napping, an enforced 'quiet time' while the baby takes her afternoon nap leaves me a small window of time to get things done. That something varies from cleaning to crafting but whichever it is, it has to be fast. 

This rabbit silhouette for spring and Easter decorating was a super easy and fast project that I made mostly with materials I had on hand. I bought the fluffy yarn for the cottontail and the furniture nails.

First I used a staple gun to cover a small canvas I had with a piece of an extra drop cloth we had. I hammered bronze colored furniture nails all around the border of the canvas.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the rabbit silhouettes out of cardstock and then used spray adhesive to apply them.  I already had the cut file for my Silhouette saved from a project I'm working on in my son's room but there are a ton of free printables that could be used if you don't have one. Just print one out and trace it onto the fabric or paper that you want and then cut it with scissors. 

For the preppy look I made the bunnies in navy and green and gave one a little pink ribbon around her neck.

For the cottontail I thought I would cover a small styrofoam ball with the yarn but it was too big. Instead, I just wound the yarn around my finger until it was the right size and hot glued the ball onto the rabbit. 

The canvas is going to bring a sweet and preppy spring touch to the mantel (when I take down the Valentine's Day decor) and will be a perfect Easter decoration. Not bad for a project that took less than an hour from start to finish!

For now it looks so cute sitting on the front room table.