Tag: shower decor

DIY Shower Craft Project: Personalized Photo Banners

Hanging Phot Banners

It has been a summer of showers. Really, it has been a few years of showers, but I don’t mind because I love hosting them and having the opportunity to celebrate my nearest and dearest. Most recently, I threw a shower for my newest sister-in-law, a couples shower cook out. It was non-traditional, filled with grilled meats, yard games, and a lot of booze, one of the more fun showers I have hosted. Although it was non-traditional, I still wanted a shower feel with sweet decorations and personal touches. These photo banners are one of the many crafts I completed for the big day, find out how I did it below!

Photo Banner Supplies

In order to create the banner you have to pick up a few supplies:

  1. Either cut out a banner shape from cardboard or thick card stock or purchase a pre-made set from your local arts and crafts store. I opted for option B, it saved me time, and at 50% off, it only cost a few extra dollars.
  2. Scissors to cut out your pictures and trim the string.
  3. A paintbrush to use to apply Mod Podge
  4. Picture print outs. Since the photo banners were going to hang in doorways I printed enough to do them front and back. I highly recommend printing on heavier paper. I had issues with the standard printer paper bubbling and trying to rip when I painted them with Mod Podge.
  5. Mod Podge or some type of adhesive.
  6. String, twine, yarn, hemp, whatever look you likes best to string the banner sections together.

HOW TO:

Step one: First thing you have to do is pick up the supplies. All of these items can be found at your local arts and crafts store.

Step two: Print out your pictures. size them all to the backing size, mine were 5″x8″ and 4″x6.” As I mentioned above, I recommend using a heavier paper and a high quality printer if you have access to one. I used my standard printer and standard printer paper, and had a few issues come up. Despite some bubbled images, once hung, they looked great.
Step 3

Step three: Trace the banner shape onto the picture print out, and trim as needed. Typically, I recommend doing this on the back of the image, to prevent pencil marks showing up on the front, but with this project I needed to see if any part of their faces were caught in the triangle cut out. Erase visible pencil marks when you are finished.

Step 4

Step four: Lay the image on top of the banner section, and make sure everything lines up. Use a pencil, pen, or sharp tool to punch holes through the picture, and the banner piece if holes aren’t already punched. Since mine were pre-made, the holes were pre-punched.

Step 5

Step five: Coat the back of the picture with Mod Podge (or a type of adhesive) and press it to the banner backing. I chose to coat the front with Mod Podge to give it a more polished look. This picture shows first hand the bubbling I experienced with a few images. Be as gentle as you can when applying the Mod Podge. If a section does bubble, lightly press it down. It is better to leave it alone, once it dries, you couldn’t tell unless you were close up.

Step six: Allow all the pieces to dry.

Step seven: Add string to connect all the sections together, leave extra on either side to hang them up.

DSC_2984

Tie your completed banners up, use tape to tack them to walls, or place the ends under heavy objects. I completed four in total, and hung them in the doorways of my front and back door as well as the opening between my kitchen, living room, and dining room. Every banner was double sided, allowing me to include a wide range of pictures of the couple, from formal engagement pictures to Instagram snapshots.

This project didn’t take longer than an hour and it added a personal touch to the shower.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my latest DIY craft project. Help me spread the word by following and sharing on your social networking site (or sites) of choice. I would love to hear how your version of this project went, feel free to share pictures and comment below[subscribe2]

Back to the Grind: My Summer Off

Trinidad, CA

So far, 2015 has proven to be a busy year. I feel like I’ve been on the go since the beginning, and a lot of changes and new beginnings have presented themselves in the past 7 months. As the school year wrapped up and summer began, I readied my summer to do list, which included posting regularly to my blog. While 2015 has been an eventful year for me personally, my blogging life has fallen a little flat, and summer was no exception. In between the vacations and projects, I kept pulling up my site, starting a post, before being distracted by something else. Eventually I hit a point where I decided it was okay to take a break. What used to be a passion had suddenly turned into a to do burden. I was no longer putting the time or effort into my posts to make it worthwhile for me to write or my readers to read. But now I find myself back from summer and excited to share my new projects and life stories. I look forward to once again fulfilling my weekly goal of sharing my interests with you!

New Orleans

Lets recap. January started off slow and typical. Winter was cold, snow never coated the ground, the weather was dreary, and I was feeling the gray creeping inside my brain. I was tired, run down, and needed a pick me up. I got just what I needed in the coming months, and the work/sleep/eat routine was broken in February when I took my first trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2015.

It was an experience like no other, in a city like no other. I felt the tremors of the city as soon as we hit the bridges leading into town. There is an underlying sense of excitement and life in every tree, building, plate of food, and person you pass by. The city is full of color and culture. I took in the beautiful, huge, stretching trees that I have come to associate with my childhood and the south. My eyes devoured the architecture, flying beads, and costumes, while my stomach ate up some of the best food I have ever had. I ate my first crawfish out of a bag, sitting on the ground in the park. It was a beautiful city and breath of fresh air, just what I needed to get back on track.

Seattle to San Fran

Not long after our trip to New Orleans, I was once again packing my bags, getting ready for Nick and my long awaited west coast adventure. For 10 days wse spent time on foot, in cars, on bicycles, on buses, and hiking trails from Seattle to San Francisco. My recently relocated cousin gave us a good excuse to go out to Seattle and visit. What began as a long weekend trip turned into an all out tour of the Pacific northwest. This trip was a like no other, and is an experience I will never forget.

Each city was as unique and interesting as the last. In Seattle I discovered a city built on hills, with an underground city hiding underneath. In Portland I found amazing natural beauty nestled directly outside of skyscrapers. In northern California I fulfilled my childhood dream of standing in front of a redwood and we feel asleep to the sound of barking of sea lions. In San Francisco I saw an amazing harmony of cultures coexisting in the bay side city. In ten days we experienced mountains, forests, beaches, and cities. I wore sundresses in the sand, galoshes in torrential downpours, and layers of coats in feet of snow.

This trip was not only a testament to our beautiful country, culture, art, and architecture, but it was also a reminder of how much I love my Nick. We packed into our tiny rental and drove hours from location to location. Perhaps we would have made better time if we didn’t stop every mile on the Pacific Coast Highway for me to snap yet another picture, but Nick noticed every time my eyes lit up in need of another snapshot memory. I never tired of his company, I could have spent another 10, 20, 30 days packed into a car with just him, touring the countryside and cityscapes.

Many of the pictures I took on this trip have already made their way into my encaustic art. Be on the lookout for future posts about my new projects!

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Although it was difficult to leave our vacation bubble and return to the real world, I headed back feeling rejuvenated. I was so inspired by everything I saw, felt, and experienced, and I couldn’t wait to infuse that into my teaching, artwork, and home. With the passing of March came the warming of the air, spring showers, and the coming and going of my busiest time of year at school. Before I knew it, summer was on the cusp, and so was our first dinner club.

As an effort to keep in touch with our dear friends in our growing, busy lives, Nick and I decided to get a group together once a month to eat good food, share recipes, and enjoy each other’s company. The first one was hosted at our house, a crawfish boil in the backyard. It was a taste of New Orleans brought home, the perfect start to the spring and coming of summer.

CharlestonBefore I could even start my summer countdown, school was over. I began my first weekend of summer in one of my favorite southern cities, Charleston. It marked the beginning of my much needed extended vacation, a very busy wedding season for Nick and I, and the addition of a sister-in-law to my seemingly ever growing family. We celebrated Nick’s brother marrying his perfect match, and spent the weekend piled into a house on the beach with his parents, 5 siblings, significant others, and extended family.

Teapot

We were reunited with Nick’s sister, brother-in-law, and our two nieces in the house on Folley beach. After a year in Italy, it was wonderful to see their faces again, hear about their traveling adventures, and witness the hyperactivity of toddlers. It also gave me the chance to give Kyla her birthday teapot, designed to fit her two year birthday theme, Carnivale, a traditional celebration in Italy. Be on the look out for a more extensive post about this tea set in the future.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 10.52.59 AM

I was very spoiled to be able to enjoy three weeks of my summer in Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head has been a part of me since I can remember. Every summer our family of five braved the five plus hour drive to the small, tennis shoe shaped island off the coast of South Carolina. We learned to crawl, walk, and ride bikes on the sandy beach. I realized my first nugget of independence as my parents allowed the kids to ride the bike trails unsupervised.

This summer was spent between two houses, which felt like a living metaphor. The old and the new, the coming and the going. My parents closed on a new property in Hilton Head in the spring. A beautiful house, only one street away from the original house, but many steps closer to the beach. Although my parents are keeping the partnerships of both houses intact, there was something monumental about heading to the new property. All the kids are grown up, my sister already has one of her own learning to run on the beach just like we did. The old house will always hold the memories of my siblings and I growing up, but I know this new house will soon hold the memories of our kids growing up.

Sarah Showers

After Hilton Head, another wedding was celebrated in another amazing southern location, Asheville, North Carolina. As I headed home I began planning a bridal shower for another future sister-in-law, Sarah, and getting information about her bachelorette party, to be held at the end of summer. A couples shower cook out was hosted at my house, full of crafty projects and decor I can’t wait to share. Be on the lookout for these how tos coming soon. Since January I have gained two more sisters. I am incredibly lucky my brother-in-laws know how to pick girls I click with, I couldn’t ask for better family.

Aruba Scenes

The next wedding location of the season required an international voyage to Aruba. Nick was honored as Jared’s best man as he married his other half, Ashley. Not only did we get to see some of our best friends commit their lives to each other, but we got to do it in an unbelievable location. For five days we sat next to turquoise waters, tanned alongside iguanas, and ate fresh-caught-daily seafood.

5 Year Wedding Anniversary

A few days after Jared and Ashley tied the knot, Nick and I celebrated five years married. Aruba was the perfect location for our anniversary celebration, and our last full day on the island, we spent together, crammed on a 1980’s dirt bike touring the island. I can’t believe we have been a couple for 10 years, with 5 years of marriage under our belts. I’ve never regretted picking him, I’m not sure I had a choice in the matter, it felt right from day one. As I’ve said before, and as I will say again, I think we have at least another 75 years together in us.

Starlight Six Drive In

The end of summer is bittersweet. I begin to realize I am losing a portion of my freedom for another nine months, but I am also ready to see my kiddos, and ready for my birthday, which always seems to mark my last weekend of summer. Year 28 of my life was closed out with a drive in movie, lots of junk food, and lots of attention and love from my family and hub. School was about to start again, and it was time to wrap my head around the coming work, and get ready for another great year.

Cooper James

In addition to all of our trips and busy schedules, we also found out we were pregnant with our first baby in March. Now I find myself back to school, almost 7 months pregnant, planning a nursery, and prepping for our baby boy. I can’t wait to see his sweet face in flesh and color, and discover which features he decided to model after his dad and which ones he modeled after me. With the coming of baby also brings a lot of home projects, which will also be coming soon to my how tos.

Aruba 2

I hope you enjoyed the recap of the last 7 months, and I promise to stay on top of my postings as things continue to get busier. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Help spread the word about easy craft projects, art making techniques, and visual journaling by sharing it with others! Thanks for stopping by.

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Baby Shower on a Budget

Christy's Baby Shower Favors

I recently hosted a baby shower for my sister, in celebration of her baby-girl-to-be, Payton Grace. I was thrilled to host such an important event for her, but these days there is a lot more pressure to throw a dressed to the nines party. With amazing sites like Pinterest, Craftgawkers, and Etsy on the rise there are endless how to guides and decorating suggestions. It seems like I can’t attend a wedding, baby shower, or any other event without Pinterest inspired projects hitting me from left to right. As an art teacher myself I felt even more pressure to do this shower up, and do it right.

Unfortunately with recent large and unexpected car repairs on both my husband and my cars, I didn’t have a lot of money to work with. This created more of a challenge, but I was ready to take it on and depend on my creative brain to make this shower perfect.

Christy Baby Shower Invitations

I didn’t go with a specific theme, other than girly. As I was designing the invitation I ended up choosing light pink and gray patterned paper, and decided to carry this color combination throughout the shower. To create the invitation I used scrapbook paper to piece it together. Once it was finished I scanned it into my computer and added the text. I had them printed postcard style, with a picture of my sister and her husband on the back. By designing them and having them printed myself I saved a lot of money.

I sent the invitations out in light pink envelopes. I used a silver pen to write the addresses, and found a very cute flower stamp to stamp the back of the envelope with silver ink. I think invitations set the tone for the shower. I wanted this to be a classy, southern, dresses and heels shower, and I needed the invitation to convey that. If you love this invitation and want your own version of it, check it out on my Etsy shop here!

After the invites went out, my focus went to the party favor. This is a newer trend with showers, and something I wanted to provide for my sister. After doing a lot of research I decided to go with handmade pink and creme soap. I loved the idea of labeling them with “from Christy’s shower to yours”, it was too cute, and this was my splurge item. The best deal I found was from a seller on Etsy, I love nothing more than supporting my fellow Etsians! Check out her soap here.

She set up a personalized listing and the soap turned out amazing, they looked good and smelled good. I used the same scrapbook paper I used for the invitations to create the labels. I simply glued two rectangular stripes of paper together, one slightly smaller than the other, and hot glued it around the soap. I then glued a small pink rectangle on top, and printed “from Christy’s shower to yours”, cut it out, and glued it on top. I placed the soap in a glass jar I already had on hand by the front door.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Booze, Beverages, and Gifts Banners

After sending out the invitations, approximately three weeks before, I started on decorations. Since I used scrapbook paper, purchased at 50% off at my local Hobby Lobby store, I was able to easily purchase more and use the same patterns and colors in the rest of the decorations.

I decided to use scrapbook paper to create banners to decorate the inside of my house. They are very easy to make, and have a cute, vintage feel to them. I bought all of the scrapbook paper and the ribbon from Hobby Lobby, and both were half off. By making them myself I saved a ton of money, and once I got started I went crazy! I ended up making “beverages” and “booze” banners for the drink and mimosa areas, “sweets” for the dessert table, “grub” for the food table, “gifts” for the gift area, “welcome” to hang outside of my front door, and “congrats Christy” to hang outside. To learn how to make these cute, paper banners check out my how to here!

Baby Shower on a Budget-Tissue Paper Puffs

In addition to the paper banners I also made A TON of tissue paper puffs. These are an amazing way to decorate on a dime. I bought A TON of pink, white, and gray tissue paper, once again from Hobby Lobby for a dollar or two per pack. I hung the puffs from my fan and lights above the desserts and food tables, as well as outside.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Tissue Paper Puffs and Decor

The puffs added an extra ambiance and festive feel to the inside and outside of my house. I loved the way the light shone through them (although I wouldn’t leave the light on for a long period of time, tissue paper is flammable!). To learn how to make these easy and cheap decorations check out my how to here!

While planning the shower with my Mom she gave me a box full of dresses she made for us as babies, and a handful she wore as a baby. The majority of the dresses were made by my Mom and Grandmother, and I knew I had to some how incorporate them into the decor. After some brainstorming I decided to hang them from the windows in my kitchen using string and clothespins. It was easy to do, and I had all of the materials on hand already.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Food Table and Mason Jar Glasses

Luckily I had a ton of help from my amazing Mom, she cooked the majority of the food, and I handled desserts and decorations. Together we collected enough mason jars to use as glasses, and I tied pink ribbon around them to make them even more baby girl shower appropriate. My mom found cute, nice, pink paper plates at a reasonable price, and she bought heavy duty plastic flatware, wrapped them up in napkins, and tied it with a bow. This was the perfect way to dress up paper products.

In addition to pink ribbons and plates we also had pink deviled eggs. They are surprisingly easy to make, check out the how to here. To decorate the food and dessert tables even more I made labels for the food. I found an image of a chrysanthemum on google, simplified it into a flat object on photoshop, turned it pink, and added text on top. I printed three per sheet on card stock, cut them apart, and folded them in half so they would stand up. Anyone can learn how to use programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator, it just takes a good bit of time and patience, but once you have the basics down, it’s a piece of cake!

Since I have a kitchen table and dining room table I decided to make one a dessert table and one the main food table. I went a little crazy with the desserts, but I had so many good recipes I couldn’t resist trying them out. I made toblerone dipped strawberries, simply melt the toblerone, mix in a little heavy cream, and dip the strawberries while it’s melted. I also made sweet, pink popcorn, which was a good idea in theory, but came out a little chewy. If you want to try it out for yourself check out the recipe here. To serve the popcorn, since it was so sticky, I decided to put it in individual, plastic wine cups. They are only a few dollars, you can find them at any grocery store, and although they are cheap, they looked too cute with the pink popcorn in them.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Dessert Table Set Up copy

Last but not least I made pink lemonade cupcakes, which turned out amazing (you can find the recipe here). I already had a good icing tip on hand, so once I made the icing I loaded it into a freezer bag, with the tip pushed through a hole at the corner, and very easily iced each cupcake. To top them off I bought pink vanilla wafers and pink pearl sprinkles from Hobby Lobby, once again for a very good price. To make them a little extra fancy I found the gray chevron and pink polka dot cupcake wrappers on amazon, for $7.00 for a pack of 12 (buy your own here).  The dessert table was topped off with a “sweets” banner and tissue paper puffs.

Baby Shower on a Budget-Outdoor Table Set Up

The move I think I am most proud of was having the majority of the shower outside. I love my 1940’s house, but it is a small city home, with little space to seat a large group of people. With the food taking up both of my tables inside, I had to get creative. I drug my round patio table to my large, flat backyard (thank goodness I have that!) and added a plastic fold out table on either side. Luckily my Mom and I both had one, and together they created the perfect amount of space.

I struggled with finding table clothes for awhile. I knew I wanted fabric, no cheap, plastic table covers were going to make an appearance at my sister’s shower. After searching for a couple of weeks, at my wits end I headed to Wal-Mart to see what they had. To my dismay all I could find were the plastic coverings from my nightmares, until I stumbled into the sheets aisle. For the bargain price of $4.00 each I bought Double size flat sheets, which they sell individually. They were perfect and I didn’t feel bad about cutting a hole in the creme one to allow the deck umbrella to be incorporated. To top of the tables my Mom cut burlap runners and we added fresh flowers.

I love the look of all my mismatched chairs, and the tissue paper puffs created a sense of space. My biggest fear was rain, and it did rain that morning, but cleared out by the time the shower started. The rain brought cool weather, which was perfect for an end of May shower in Georgia.

Christy Baby Shower Me and ChristyAll in all I felt the shower was a huge success! We ate delicious food, enjoyed mimosas (not Christy of course) and had an amazing time. We did one activity, I made simple birthday cards out of cardstock and scrapbook paper, ages 1-10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21 and Payton’s wedding day. I had the guests draw a numer, which signified a birthday. They than wrote a birthday card for Payton, which one day she will be able to open and read herself. While the guests were filling out their cards I had Christy write a note to Payton for her wedding day. It was such a sweet activity  especially since we had Grandmothers, future Grandmothers, and Aunts at the shower. I love the idea of Payton opening a birthday card, on down the road, from our Grandmommy. I love thinking about the advice, stories, and love that is written in those cards, and I loved watching Christy write a note for the baby girl she has yet to meet on her wedding day.

Congrats Christy, I can’t wait to meet my baby girl niece. We are going to have so much fun!!

I hope you were able to find some good tips and how tos to use for your next baby or bridal shower! If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please share! Thanks for stopping by!

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