Friday, February 24, 2012

Project: Girls Bow Organizer

My girl's bow collection was beginning to overtake the bathroom and I needed somewhere else to put them!  Enter: a super easy project.  

I took a large frame and removed the glass.  I used foam board in place of the back - because thats what I had - and it worked well.  You can find large frames with all kinds of crazy pictures in them at the thrift store for amazing prices.  For this project the frame is all that matters anyway! (And there is always spray paint if its seen better days).
 I wrapped the foam board with fabric and taped the fabric to the back.  I later went back and re-stuck the fabric with hot glue.  Then I took ribbon and did the same.  Position, wrap, then hot glue.  Most of the 'bow organizers' I've seen just have straight up and down ribbons.  I am all about re-useablilty.  So I added some diagonal ribbons so that once they are done with all their ribbons and bows they can use it as a picture/note board as well.
 I added a few accent buttons and ribbons.  Because I had used foam board, I just stuck pearl head pins through the buttons and the foam then bent them on the back with pliers and hot glued them down.
 I also added an accent bow in the top corner - for the picture board idea....
 Then I put it in the frame and hung it on the wall in the girl's room!  Seriously took me about an hour.  So this is the view as a picture board....
 And this is what it looks like as a bow organizer. nicely organized.  Now what to do with all that space in the bathroom!?!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Project: Valentine Blocks

I desperately needed a few Valentine decorations.  Like I have said before - I pretty much have nothing but Christmas.  Its a work in progress when you are on a budget!

A few years ago I had gone in on a craft with a bunch of friends to make some name blocks.  I had planned on giving some to family members as well and had tons of blocks cut.  I was only able to finish the sanding while we were together and was going to "finish them at home".  Ha!  Now 3-4 years later there they were still sitting on the shelf in the closet and I have no idea who on earth I was going to give them to!  So this is what a few of them turned into.
 I'm still trying to decide whether I like them simple or want to embellish them a bit more.  (buttons, brads, netting, ribbon, etc).  What do you think?

How did I make them?
Cut different size blocks from a 2x4.  They look cute out of a 4x4 too, but my mantle is a little narrow for that.  Sand them smooth and paint them.
 I didn't paint the side that the paper would be covering.  I used Deep Burgandy and Antique White.  I am hoping to be able to use the "Love" letters for Christmas too, so I left them all red.

Once the paint dries, cut pieces of coordinating scrapbook paper just smaller than the blocks.  If you have the cricut the letters will be a piece of cake.  But if you are like me, print out a cute font, trace and cut with good old fashioned scissors!  I used Mod Podge and stuck the paper and the letters on the front and viola!  I love how that stuff dries.  It always amazes me how it turns from white to clear.  Simple minds.....
I added some subway art printables that I found around the internet in a couple of extra frames and suddenly I feel like my home has some holiday spirit!  Its amazing how little it takes.  And it only cost me about $2 to print the art.  I like that....


Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine Traditions

We are always looking for new traditions so I thought I'd share some of our favorite Valentine traditions, along with some I've heard that I'd like to try.

A Valentine party
Every year we have a Valentine party.  It started when we were in married student housing and I realized how silly it was for everyone to be sitting home on Valentine's Day because no one had a babysitter and we might as well spend the holiday together.  Now we live in the real world, so we don't have the party on Valentine's Day anymore, but my kids don't want to decorate Valentine cookies UNLESS it is with their friends.

Some years we've done dinner, some not.  It just goes with the flow.  This year it is open-house style: come when you can and stay however long you'd like.  We'll be decorating cookies (the one MUST have), I'll have a craft for the kids and some finger foods/snacks.  And we'll just visit and enjoy the fun of the holiday.

Valentine Surprise
On Valentine's Day morning the kids wake up to a special Valentine from Mom and Dad by their bed.  It was one of my favorite traditions growing up and I just had to continue it.  It was so fun to wake up to a balloon or a bear or some chocolates from my Daddy and wonder how he got it there without me waking up!  In our family Mom gets the boys Valentines and Dad gets them for the girls.

Valentine Boxes
You can check out this tradition by clicking here.

Valentine-y Food
On Valentines Day I usually try to theme the food a little bit.  I cut the girls sandwiches into a heart shape and give them some candy kisses or something in their lunch boxes with a Valentine note (once the boys are in school I'll do it for them too!).  We have heart-shaped pancakes or toast with strawberry flavored milk.  Dinner is usually heart shaped pizzas or something with some red jello and strawberries on the side, red colored juice for a drink....simple, but special!

Heart Attack
On Valentines Day, or sometime during the week before (don't want to be too predictable!) I take the younger kids and we give Daddy's car a heart attack.  They tape hearts all over the windows and sometimes we put balloons or a special treat inside.  We leave him a note telling him all about how much we love him, you know - all that sappy stuff :0)

Candle-light Family Dinner
This is a tradition I'm going to try for the first time this year.  On Valentines Day we'll all dress in something nice, like we were going out to a fancy restaurant and then we'll have a candlelight dinner.  Honestly, I don't think it matters what we eat - I just know they are going to love eating by candle-light.  And they seem to love the whole 'going on a date' thing, and I think they'll like getting dressed up for something other than church.  I'll let you know how it goes!

*Update* - As predicted, my kids LOVED the candle light.  We ran out of time for the whole "get dressed up" part.  Maybe next year.  They still ask every once in a while if we can have dinner with candles like on Valentines.  My oldest described it as "so peaceful".  I'm all for candles if it makes it so dinner can be described as any semblance of "peaceful"!!

Thats all that I can think of right now.  I'd LOVE to hear some of yours favorite traditions too!


Project: Valentine "Inboxes"

We like Valentines Day here at our house.  I like to treat it a little like the other big holidays and give it a little bit of its own season.  We start on February 1st.  With lots of little things.  Like the dinner conversations I posted before.  Which, by the way, my kids absolutely love!!  They are so excited to sit down to dinner and see what they get to do during the meal.

We also make little valentine boxes.  These boxes act kind of like an inbox.  They can leave notes or surprises for each other throughout the day - and they are encouraged to do so.  But every night my husband and I leave something in the box.  Some nights its a special note, sometimes a piece of candy or a coupon for a date.  Again, the kids love checking their boxes each morning, and they feel so special and....loved!  And isn't that the reason for this holiday anyway?

Some years they have helped me make them, this year I just whipped them up quickly while they were sleeping.

I grabbed a couple of cereal boxes and some coordinating scrapbook paper.  Some spray glue, tape, scissors, ribbon, and my heart punch.
 I cut the boxes in half, then trimmed off a little more so that I could wrap the entire box with one 12x12 piece of paper.  I sprayed the box with the spray adhesive and wrapped it up like a present.  Then just decorate!
Then just set them in a convenient place and enjoy sharing some love!