My son just turned one month old and I new I wanted a different kind of monthly photo from what I did with my first son. He's already going to get all of his hand-me-downs, I can at least give him an original monthly photo. So, I headed to pinterest to get some inspiration and found this adorable idea. It's a blanket you can buy the monthly milestone blanket for $33 at Etsy here. But, I thought, "I can definitely make that for waaaaaaaay cheaper.", and set about planning how to make that happen.
I decided to use a canvas drop cloth as my "blanket". The smallest one I found at my local Harbor Freight was 4x12 so I had to cut it down a bit to make it a more appropriate size. It was easy to just use the fold lines and I wasn't too particular on measuring.
After cutting it down I laid out my numbers. To make the numbers I was going to buy some number stencils but then couldn't find any. Instead, I used some chipboard numbers I found for $2.99 and traced around them. It was probably better anyway because it was way easier to see how everything laid out on my drop cloth. Once I figured out my spacing, I got a sharpie and traced around the edges of each number.
After I had traced around each number, I grabbed some black acrylic paint and a paintbrush and filled in the tracings. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect you won't be able to tell when you take the photo. For the "months" I ended up printing out the word using a microsoft powerpoint slide and then cut it out and stenciled around it and filled it in with black paint as well. Voila! Done!
My son turned one month on Thanksgiving Day so I decided to put a few pumpkins next to him on the canvas and placed a pumpkin hat on his head. When I took the picture I stood on top of an ottoman and took it from a direct downward angle. My husband helped with keeping him somewhat happy and I just snapped away. Once I had a decent one I cropped and enhanced it and then ran it through my favorite photo editor Rookie Cam to lighten it up a bit. I intend to iron the fold lines out before the next photo I take because I didn't love having them in the photo. I also added a digital circle to the number one to indicate the month. You can do it digitally like me or you can find a picture frame and remove the glass and back to frame the number each month. The digital was easier for me since I was editing it anyway. I used the app "Phonto" to add the circle.
I plan on doing other adorable things for the theme of each month similar to the idea that inspired this DIY. So, for about $15 (more than half the price to buy the inspiration) I ended up with this adorable milestone "blanket" and will get to give my son some really great photos to look back on. I hope it inspires you to make your own for either yourself or a friend. It would make a great gift!
Since I could have a baby any day now I went ahead and made some doctor and nurse goody bags for all of the people who are going to help me bring a new life into the world. I did this for the birth of my son over 2 years ago and it went over really well. Everyone likes to be feel appreciated! It only took me about 30 minutes and probably the same in dollars to create something that shows those helping me through a pretty momentous event in my life that I appreciate them and what they do.
What you will need:
- small plastic gift bags
- hole punch
- bag filler/confetti stuff
- assorted items for the bags
For example, I put a granola bar, chapstick, hand lotion and gum in my bags
I cut out the tags and hole punched one corner. Then filled each bag with some bag filler (I used gold leftover from my daughters mermaid party.) and tossed in the items. Then I strung some ribbon through my hole punched tag and tied it onto the bag. Done! It was easy and fast and will hopefully brighten up their day!
You can download the gift tags below. They don't include the "-The Johnson Family" section at the bottom and instead have a blank space where you could write in your family's name instead. Enjoy!
I am almost 39 weeks pregnant and could have my baby any day. So, I've been finishing up with the few things that needed to be done. Since we aren't finding out the gender until the baby is born the number of things on my to-do list is not much. I washed the one load of laundry I had, stocked my changing station with diapers and wipes, pulled out a few baby items from my previous two kids that might come in handy and set-up my new halo bassinet which I am super excited about.
With my other pregnancies, I decorated the nursery and had an entire wardrobe plus made a few other personalized items for the new baby. However, not knowing the gender really puts a wrench in that plan. The one thing I have managed to do is create two different going home outfits using a few clothing items from Old Navy, a headband from Hobby Lobby, a hat from my son when he was a newborn and my silhouette machine.
I designed the silhouette cut myself and chose gold glitter for the girl and navy for the boy. I think the outfits turned out pretty adorable and make me feel like I did SOME special preparation for this child.
I also made big brother and big sister shirts for my other kids that kind of match. So, my daughter has a glitter gold vinyl on a white shirt and my son has a navy vinyl on a baseball tee. I also created big sister and big brother goody bags that include a few gifts, activities and snacks to keep them entertained.
For my son, who's 2.5, I got a boy baby stella doll with a magnetic pacifier and threw in a few other toys we already had for pretend play with a doll. When my son was born my daughter also received a new baby doll and care items so she could pretend to take care of the baby. I think my son will really enjoy it and it is his first baby doll. I also got him a crayola color wonder activity set and a color blast set so he can be creative without coloring everything around him. He's a bit messy. I also got him his first backpack to carry all of his swag. He's a major dinosaur fan so I felt like the dino backpack was appropriate. He is also getting a book about being a big brother. I got the same book for my daughter about being a big sister when Arthur was born. I finished off the bag with some of his favorite snacks and treats.
My daughter's bag was a bit more difficult because she has already gone through this once. But, I managed to find her an adorable book about being a big sister that is geared for a slightly older crowd called "How to be a Baby by Me the Big Sister". It's adorable and perfect for her bossy big sister personality. I also got her two "It's Fun to Draw..." books. She already has one of this series and loves it! To help her with the drawing I got her a set of glitter gel pens. I don't know about you but when I was a little girl these things were all the rage and coveted by any girl who had them. I hope she'll like them as much as I did. Since she didn't need another baby doll I decided to go with another craft project and chose a jewelry making kit. This one has a bunch of different beads including alphabet beads so, she can make a big sister bracelet if she wants. It's definitely something have fun with and will keep her entertained for a good long while. I finished off her bag with a small monogram necklace I picked up at Hobby Lobby, her Leap Pad and games and a few of her favorite snacks. I put them all in the same bag she received when Arthur was born which I custom ordered from Etsy.
Even though I know big brother and sister bags are not necessary I feel like letting them know that I am thinking about them and making them feel special is important with such a big life-changing event. Plus, it makes my in-laws lives a bit easier since both kids will have new toys, snacks and activities to keep them entertained while they wait. When I had Arthur I was in labor for 27 unmedicated hours. So...it could be a while.
I know kids love to play dress-up so, I always incorporate an element of that when I throw a birthday party. For my daughter's mermaid/shark themed party this year I created mermaid tails and shark fins for each party guest to take home and wear for the party. They were a big hit with everyone, including the adults and only took about 2 hours and $20 to make!
DIY Shark Fin
You will need:
- gray craft foam (I was able to fit three shark fins on one piece for .88 and I made 12 just to be safe.)
- hot glue and glue gun
- free template (courtesy of itsthelife.typepad.com)
- large safety pins
DIY Mermaid Tails
You will need:
- about 4 yards cheap, stiff material (I cannot remember what this stuff is called but it is only $4 per yard and has a stiffness to it. I believe it is used for putting under things and at hobby lobby they have it displayed being used to make a pretend cape.)
- about 3 yards iridescent sheer material (This stuff is a bit more at $6 per yard but it is important.)
- 1 30ft. spool of ribbon (I chose a sheer turquoise.)
I always like to do a small gift for my children's teachers at the end of the year. This year my daughter helped pick out some soaps and lotions from Bath & Body Works and I created a cute tag to go with them. You can download the tags by clicking on the photo. I 100% forgot to snap a photo of the end result as I made them at the very last minute but, it was really cute. Trust me. Enjoy!
Father's Day is tomorrow! Are you in need of a thoughtful and quick gift that the kids can help with? This DIY back massage t-shirt is a fun project for you to try that only needs a few times to be completed!
- fabric markers
- city template (we just free-handed it but this blog has a great, free printable for the less artistically inclined.)
You can find the template here: http://thebluebasket.blogspot.com/2011/09/tutorial-car-shirt.html?m=1
Add a couple toy cars to the mix and now you have a fun gift that will allow Dad to both relax and play with the kids at the same time!
Do you have a father or grandfather that you won't get to see on Father's Day? Then send them a hug with this easy and inexpensive project!
-brown butcher paper (found at the dollar store)
1. Lay the paper out on the floor. It is helpful to weigh it down on the corners so you can complete the project.
2. Have your child (or whomever wants to send the hug) lay down on the paper with their arms stretched out.
3. Draw an outline around the person on the paper. Then you can let your child decorate their outline. We also added a speech bubble and a note. We basically used it like a giant card.
4. When it's done roll it up and mail it! You can generally find poster tubes at the post office or you could fold it and mail it in a large envelope.
We know our loved one's will really enjoy this unique present and we hope yours do too!
These cheap and easy to create party poppers will be a big hit with my daughter’s classmates. All you need to do is gather your materials and get started!
You will need:
– toilet paper rolls
– candy and small toys/trinkets
– wrapping paper (as thin as you can get; don’t get the expensive stuff)
First, you cut each toilet paper roll in half.
Second, you stuff it with your candy and toys.
Third, tape the roll together (very little tape; you want it to be easy to pop open) and wrap it with your paper.
Fourth, twist the ends of the paper together and tie it with a ribbon and your done!
This was a super quick and easy project. I simply bought some nice looking bottles and some mid level priced olive oil. Then I went into my backyard and cut some rosemary off of one of our bushes. I then shoved said rosemary into the pretty bottle and poured the olive oil over it. To finish it off I just used some twine to wrap around it and added a custom label. Easy peasy and looks great!
I've included my labels for you to print. Have fun!
This was super quick and easy. I recently saw a t-shirt that said, "But first...Coffee" on it and I thought it would be perfect for my husband. He isn't really a huge t-shirt wearer but I figured it would be good for around the house and on weekends. So, this was also a very low stress project. I just pulled out a black fabric marker and these letter stencils left over from Lilly's birthday party apron craft and filled in the letters to make the phrase. I just eye-balled it and I feel it is pretty successful. It's not perfect but the phrase actually lends itself to imperfection. I will probably pair this shirt with the coffee and brown sugar hand scrub that I made to really give the gift a purpose.
This project is my least favorite so far. It was really messy and I didn't love the results. I mean...they're o.k. but not fantastic.
To do this o.k. project you need:
- a couple yards of burlap
- print outs of the words you want to use
I used a place mat that I already had as a template for cutting. This yielded uneven edges and as a result I had to cut them down so, now they are not quite the right size. After cutting....and cutting....and cutting to get them even I simply taped the the printed out words for tracing onto a piece of foam board (anything hard, white/lightly colored surface would do). Then I laid each piece of burlap onto the board and changed the words out underneath each one. I made 4 Italian ones that said thins like nourish, eat, enjoy etc. and 4 English that said the same thing. I made the Italian ones for my aunt and the others for my husbands aunt. Also, I had to place them underneath something heavy and flat to make the creases from being folded go away. I guess I could iron them but, I guess I just don't care anymore. I really hated this project. Good luck if you want to try it. Maybe it'll work out to be less painful for you.
I finished up all of my Christmas gift crafting this weekend and this was one on my list. I have few guy friends who are addicted to coffee but still care about their appearance and hand softness. So, I thought this would be a great gift and, it only took a few minutes to make!
You will need:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ground coffee
- bowl for mixing
- container for scrub
If you like this post you should also check out my DIY "But First...Coffee" Shirt!
My sister-in-law posted a picture of string art similar to this one with the comment that she would like one for our state, Arkansas. So, I thought I would surprise her for Christmas.
To make the string art you need:
- one board (I bought mine at Wal-Mart in the craft section unpainted for about $4.)
- paint color of your choice
- nails (I went with an oxidized looking nail. I thought they looked more retro and interesting than silver ones.)
- string (I used all purpose white thread. It's a little thicker than regular thread. I also just used red thread for the heart.)
- a printed out image of your state or whatever you would like to make string art with
First, I painted my board. I chose lime green because my sister is kind of fun and I think it will match her home. Then I laid my map print out on the board and taped it down. Then I began to place my nails around the edge of the state lines. I then made a heart around the city that she lives in.
When I placed the nails for the heart I found that the board bent because there was nothing to stabilize it while hammering so I found a piece of styrofoam and placed it under the area I was nailing to make it easier.
Once I had placed the nails it was time to string it! I tied the beginning of my string to the first nail at the top left corner and then began to wind back and forth between the nails forming the heart and the nails forming the state shape. I had to use each nail making up the heart multiple times. I didn't really count or anything I just did it until it looked like I should move on to the next nail. When I finished I tied the end of the string to the final nail which ended up being the same as my starting nail.
After doing the white part I decided that I would fill in the heart with red thread to emphasize that it was a heart. I followed the same method as I did with the white except that I stayed within the boundaries of the heart shape.
There you have it! A heartfelt piece of art that will hopefully make a great gift. My only problem with this project was that the nails I bought were a little difficult to use. Aesthetically they were very pleasing but they were not uniform and some were rather dull ended. This made it much more difficult to nail them to the board than if I had chosen uniform, sharp nails. But, It all worked out. Oh, as a note I actually did put some hot glue on the nail tips on the underside of the board to make sure they stayed in place while I was stringing them. I did this because my nails were not cooperating and kept popping out. I would imagine that if you used more uniform nails that weren't so wide then you wouldn't need to do this.
I have been planning on making these for a really long time and have never gotten around to it but, I recently saw a photo that someone posted of a "ticket" they received and it spurred me into action. I plan on giving my "parking tickets" as little booklets and placing them in stockings for my friends and family to use. I hope they are helpful to you.
You can access the file here.
I've seen several posts about doing this type of thing. But, I'm going to post my take on it.
I went to the dollar store and bought 6 wine glasses and 3 "silver" trays. I already had some chalkboard paint from a previous project. Then I just painted the center of each tray with the paint and the base of each wine glass as well. I didn't even tape off the plates but I did wrap a piece of tape around the glass where I wanted the paint to stop. I did about 3 coats on each thing but other than the waiting for paint to dry this only took about 30 minutes total "working" time. I plan on giving the wine glasses with a bottle of my infused alcohol and a little note describing how to care for the glasses along with some chalk wrapped in a bow. I don't have a specific person in mind for the trays but I figured I was using the paint anyway so I might as well go ahead and make the trays too. You know you always need a gift at the last minute. I will also include some ribbon wrapped chalk with them and directions for their care. I have included an image of my chalkboard dishware care instructions below and you can download them here.
Rachel is a mother of three, high school Spanish teacher and part-time blogger who loves crafting, creating fun and engaging activities for her children and students and hanging with her friends and family. She blogs about what she's doing and her interests at any given time which vary. She's a little OCD and always looking for her next project. Her husband calls it, "focusing her crazy", but she just calls it fun.