5 Minute Floral Arrangements

DIY 5 Minute Floral Arrangement

5 Minute Floral Arrangements

Add a little life to your home decor quickly, easily, and inexpensively by making your own 5 minute floral arrangements.

Quick and Easy Floral Arrangements

When we can’t find any signs of spring outside yet, it’s ok to fake it right?

Besides, I’m not the best at keeping house plants alive. (Tell me I’m not the only one!) I can force a bulb or two (check out my current amaryllis “race” on Instagram) but if someone gives me a ficus, that poor thing is bound to die of neglect a few months down the road.  In fact, I’ve been known to purposely kill a plant or two when I got sick of watering them.  Give me automatic sprinklers any day.

When I want to add a little color or greenery to my home decor, I almost always go for the stuff I can buy at the craft store.

Containers for 5 Minute Floral Arrangements

Aren’t those containers cute?

It’s my turn to host to host Bunco in March and my mom has been itching to have some girl time out shopping together so last weekend we headed out to find some Bunco prizes at a couple of my favorite places for home decor inspiration.  Not only did we come home with a few things for the Bunco ladies, I couldn’t help but get inspired to make some quick floral arrangements for myself.

Tiny Teacup

I particularly fell in love with this tiny teacup with the ruffled saucer.

Add succulents to your home

And these succulents.  Super realistic looking right?

Succulents in home decor are everywhere the last couple of years and I have yet to hop on the band wagon.  Figured this was as good a chance as any.

5 Minute DIY Tiny Teacup Succulent Planter

Tiny teacup + succulent = perfection.

And so simple too!

Just 4 steps to Make Your Own 5 Minute Floral Arrangements

Need a tutorial?  Naw, probably not, but I was in the mood to put together a quick infographic for you anyway.  😉

Make your own 5 Minute Floral Arrangement in Just 4 Steps

  1.  find a container
  2. add floral foam (I like to use the kind you can add water to, not the styrofoam blocks).  If you cut it to fit snugly in the container there is no need to glue it in.  I love that.  In case I’m ever in the mood to change out the arrangement or use the container without the arrangement, I can just slide the foam out again.Make Your Own Tiny Teacup Planter
  3. cover foam with moss.  I do use the hot glue gun on this step to attach the moss to the foam.  Cuts down on mess later and keeps it in place so you never see the foam.DIY Tiny Teacup Planter
  4. add your floral stems

Succulent in a Tiny Teacup

See?  Cute and easy (my Big Two when it comes to crafting!)  In less than 5 mintues I had this adorable floral arrangement.

 

Teacup Succulent

I had plenty of the succulent left to work with, so I used it again in a second container.  Same process as the teacup.

5 Minute Floral Arrangement Container

Container.

Moss is a great way to hide the mechanics of a floral arrangement

Foam and moss.

5 Minute Floral Arrangement with Succulents

Succulent floral stem.

Make Your Own Succulent Planter

Less than 5 minutes people – have I mentioned that?!?

And to change it up.  I added flowers to the little blue flower pot.

Easy and Inexpensive Floral Home Decor

In under half an hour I had almost half a dozen floral arrangements (that’s right – I haven’t shown a couple of them to you yet.  Stay tuned!).  It seriously took me longer to photograph everything than to put together the 5 minute floral arrangements.  Probably spent less than $20 on all of them too.

White Spring Flowers in Small Turquoise Pot

Do I have you convinced?  You totally need to make one too, right?!

Well, go do that and report back.  I’d love to see your takes on this simple and inexpensive project.

 

Let’s go create something great.

 

Looking for more DIY inspiration for you Home Decor?  Why not try your hand at this Farmhouse Barnwood Sign for the kitchen, update your Master Bedroom or Laundry Room, or get really ambitious and Reupholster a Chair.

 

 

Linking to:  Pretty Pintastic Party, Creativity Unleashed, Home Matters Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make,

 

My Top Tips to Reupholster a Chair

 Top Tips to Reupholster a Chair

My Top Tips to Reupholster a Chair

As promised (on my Master Bedroom Redo) here’s a look at my first ever attempt to reupholster a chair.  It was a lot of work, but I think in the end it was worth it.  And much less expensive than buying something brand new.  That’s what DIY is all about, right?
Thrifted Chair for Reuphostery Project

I picked up this lovely chair on a shopping trip with a friend at a Habitat for Humanity Resale Store.  We completely filled the back of the SUV on that trip – hehe!
This chair in particular cost a whopping $5.  Yup.  FIVE DOLLARS!  I figured at that price even if I messed it up I wouldn’t feel too bad.  And it obviously needed a little TLC.

Thrifted Chair to Reupholster

Then I started pricing upholstery fabric – yikes!  I mean, the cost wasn’t exactly a surprise because back when I was doing  interior design it wasn’t unusual to order $125/yard fabrics for custom chairs.  But that doesn’t work for my budget.  I eventually found a small discount fabric place not far from my home, but after a couple trips I still hadn’t found anything I loved and most were still upwards of $12/yd.  Luckily I stumbled onto a link to fabrics.com and found some great deals.

Eventually the fabric arrived and it was finally time to tackle the chair.  I did a quick review of a blog tutorial for reupholstering a chair, then grabbed the pliers and dove in.

Step one:  Remove the fabric and trim

Reupholstering a chair step one

My trusty sidekick helpfully had her nose in on the fun most of the time.

Do you know how many thousands of staples they put in one chair?  Me either but it’s a LOT.  I gave my hand a break every hour or so of work in the hope that I wouldn’t get blisters (I didn’t!).  And eventually I had it all torn apart.
Chair Reupholster one the fabric is removed
At that point I happily took a trip to the craft store to get more batting, upholstery tacks, and cording to sew the piping.
It wasn’t that long (parts of two days’ work) before I had it all finished!  The husband was actually pretty impressed.  He didn’t think I would finish the project, let alone end up with a decent-looking chair.  After all these years the husband should know better than to doubt me, right? 😉
(He didn’t admit any of this until after the chair was all put together and he had sufficiently praised my efforts  – so I forgave him.)
DIY Reupholster a Wing Back Chair

Look!  It even looks good close up! And yes, I painted the base black before attaching the fabric.  I almost forgot to do that part LOL.

Black and White Wing Chair Detail

Some of my other tips?

-Take lots and lots of photos as you pull the old fabric off.  It really helps to be able to go back and see the process in reverse, or look at a few details on how to attach the tricky pieces.

-Carefully label (number it when removed, where it went, and which side is the top!) and set aside each piece of old fabric as you remove it.  Not only will you be able to use them as patterns to cut out the new fabric, but you can also refer back to them when you are assembling the chair.

CIY Chair Reupholster
-Take your time!   This is a labor-intensive process and it takes its toll on your hands and your patience.  When my hands were cramping up or I found myself annoyed or ready to rush through a step I would stop for a few hours or the rest of the day.  The last thing I wanted was to “mess it up” and then have to see my blunder every time I looked at the chair.  So take your time and do it right (or fix it right then) as you go.

-Best paint for quick and easy refinishing?  Buy something with primer in the paint and a semi-gloss or gloss finish.

Black and White Chair Redo

The chair happily took up residence in our master bedroom.  Looks pretty good there doesn’t it?

 

If bigger DIY projects aren’t quite your style check out some of my other tutorials for Home Decor like the Farmhouse Barnwood Sign, Quote Display Board, or Swimming Subway Art.

 

Linking to:  Home Matters Party, BFF Open House, Pretty Pintastic Party, Pin Me Party, What to Do Weekends, Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make, Saturday Sharefest, Creativity Unleashed,

Valentine’s Care Package or Gift Basket Idea

Valentines Care Package and Gift Basket Idea

Valentine’s Care Package or Gift Basket Idea

With just over a week until Valentine’s Day, if you don’t have your Valentine’s Care Package in the mail you’d better copy this idea, quick! 😉  (And in case you didn’t know, Flat Rate boxes only take a couple of days to reach their destination.)

Naw, you’re probably all on top of things like that already, right?  Goodness knows I was last year.  At the time, my husband had just left on a six month deployment and one of the things that made all of us feel better was putting together care packages.

What I wasn’t great at during deployment – blogging regularly.  Most of the care package ideas never made it onto the blog and we all get to have some fun revisiting them this year.

Valentine Care Package Filled with goodies for your l oved one

The husband left on deployment two days before his birthday in January.  This may have been the very first care package the kids and I put together last year.  Getting input from the kiddos and having them shop for things to go in the box – fun, fun!

Valentines Care Package Decorate the inside of the box with wrapping paper

Decorating the inside of the box is a great way to make the package look festive – and to introduce the theme.

I have to admit, I purposely kicked up my Care Package Game with this last deployment.  Sure, I’ve sent care packages before, but this time around I was determined the husband would get at least a couple of envious glances from the other guys when he opened them.   I wanted that wow factor as soon as the box was opened, so I made sure to decorate the inside of each box.

According to Pinterest one of the easiest ways to decorate the box is using wrapping paper.  (And yes, I have an entire board devoted to Care Packages if you want more ideas.)  I used THIS tutorial for that, which basically instructs you to diassemble the box, glue the wrapping paper on to the flattened box, trim the paper, and reassemble.  It worked pretty well (don’t judge that one crazy edge on the bottom) though my personal preference for the *easiest* way to decorate the inside of the box is to use patterned scrapbook paper and double stick tape.

What to send in a Valentines Care Package

Inside the box

As soon as the husband reached his destination he was requesting flavorings for water.  Those were a constant for every care package.  For everything else, I went for sentimental or fun.

One of the big trends in care packages for deployment or other long distance relationships seems to be Open When envelopes.  I thought these were a great idea, especially since it would help spread out the fun of the care package a while past the initial opening of the box.  (More details on those in another post soon!)

Did you notice the envelope marked Date Night?  My goal was to send a care package every couple of weeks.  I also wanted to send a specific Date Night envelope at least once a month.  Inside each one was a different idea for a faux long distance date night – movies, a TV show we followed together, hiking.  (I’ll give this one its own post as well.  Check back soon!)

No Valentine’s Care Package is complete without something sweet so we included a few treats.

Giant Kiss was in Every Care Package

These oversized Kisses became a constant in each care package as well.  I thought it would be a nice touch to have something the husband knew he could look forward to in every box.  Plus, well they’re kisses.  Read into that any way you like 😉

Open When Envelopes for Valentine's Care Package

Valentine’s Open When Envelope

One of the Open When Envelopes was, of course, dedicated to Valentine’s Day.  The kids each made their Dad a card and I found funny printable cards and sent a few of those.  (Sorry, I’ll include the link for the printable when I find it.  It was a year ago, after all.)  Plus, a box of chocolates tiny enough to fit in the envelope.

Valentine's Care Package Send them a custom balloon bouquet

The kids also helped me write messages on balloons.  We blew them up, wrote on them, and deflated them for easy shipping.  That way, the husband got his own little DIY balloon bouquet.

Valentines Care Package Love Notes on Balloons

I love those Sharpie Fine Point pens, don’t you?  I used them for everything lately.  (You can purchase some HERE).

Anyway, back to the package.

Every deployment needs at least one stuffed animal, right?  (preferably covered in perfume.  Trust me on this one.)

Every deployment needs at least one stuffed animal in the care package Valentine's Care Package

Kaitlyn picked this cute little guy out and wrote the tag.  I’m sure her dad loved it, and everything else in his Valentine’s Care Package.

Valentine's Care Package or Gift Basket Idea

As much fun as it was to put together this Valentine’s Care Package, I’m much happier to have him home with us this year.  For those of you celebrating Valentine’s Day apart from your loved one, I wish you a good one.

 

In search of more Care Package Ideas?  I have more great themes like Beat the Heat and Half-Way There care packages.  (I still got compliments on that last one at the squadron Christmas party!)  Or for that spouse that is holding down the fort at home during deployment, a Deployment Survival Kit care package.
Linking to:  Home Matters Party, BFF Open House, Pretty Pintastic Party, Pin Me Party, What to Do Weekends, Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make,  Saturday Sharefest, Creativity Unleashed,

Master Bedroom Update on a Budget

 

Update the Master Bedroom on a Budget

Master Bedroom Update On a Budget

Raise of hands – how many of us have been putting off that master bedroom update?

Maybe it’s because we don’t have the time.  Or the money.  Or the motivation.  (Valentine’s Day is coming up – that might be motivation enough, eh?)

I too am needing a little reminder that projects don’t need to feel intimidating or expensive so I thought I would revisit update on my master bedroom in our NC house.  (Won’t stop missing that house until I get a new on built. *sigh*)

Master Bedroom Update in Blue, White, and Black

Paint is the most effective and budget-friendly way to perk up a room.

The experts say so, the novices say so, and I say so.  A gallon of paint and a roller go a long way.

This blue took us a couple of tries to hit on a shade that was relaxing and not too bright.  That’s what paint testers are for, right?

Master Bedroom Farmhouse Decor

Wall Decor

Even before we all fell in love with Fixer Upper I was a fan of personalizing spaces with lettering.  So when I ran across these giant wooden letters at a craft store for 50% off I grabbed them.

I love that they are already embellished and the colors went great with the room.

Wooden Scrool Frame Wall Decor

Those unfinished (and super cheap!) scrolled wooden frames always catch my eye at the craft store and I finally figured out what to do with one of them!  The wooden “&” came unfinished from the craft store as well.

It felt like the perfect way to tie the monogram letters together.

Master Bedroom Decorating with monograms

The bedding – all made by yours truly.  I rarely sew but sometimes I get a vision stuck in my head.  When that happens I know it’s useless to try to find a match in stores (hours and hours of searching, people.  Exhausting.) and out comes the sewing machine.

I knew I wanted a mostly white bed with accents of black and a tiny bit of blue to pull in the blue from the walls so I just grabbed a few fabrics that worked with that idea and ran with it.  The duvet cover is actually made from flat sheets that I cut into strips, gathered half of them, then sewed them back together.

Master Bedroom Redo

And finishing it off

On the other side of the room is a console table the husband built and a chair I reupholstered.  A $4 chair from Goodwill, 7 yards of fabric, a little paint and a million staples – that one is worth its own blog post.  I’ll try to write about that soon.

Now, I know not everyone is a fan of having a TV in the bedroom.  I, however, am a horrible sleeper and have found it’s better to just let the TV get my brain to turn off instead of spending hours laying there with thoughts swirling in my head.  So the TV stays.

I don’t like a lot of “visual clutter” so I keep the accessories down to just a few photos, lamps, and that silver vase (that I’m pretty sure we bought with a gift card from our wedding).  Simple.  Zen?

The shelves on the console need a couple more knick knacks but I still haven’t run across any that feel right.

Updating the Master Bedroom

That’s pretty much it.  Simple, inexpensive, but effective – don’t you think?

Master Bedroom Before and After

Can’t leave you without a Before and After.

Feel free to laugh at the Before.  That photo was taken the weekend we moved into the house.  Our closing was delayed a day, which meant the furniture delivery was delayed about a week so we were basically camping out in the house.  Air mattress for the husband and I, blankets on the floor for the kids.  They elected to sleep in the big storage closet in the playroom, so I’m sure it felt like an adventure to them.  As for the grown ups – we were very happy when the furniture arrived.

 

As always, feel free to share your thoughts or your own projects that may have been inspired by this (or any other) post.  Or check out my Laundry Room/Mud Room, or Farmhouse Barnwood Sign for more design ideas.

 

 

Linking to:  Home Matters Party, Pretty Pintastic Party, Creativity Unleashed, Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make,

Nerf Gun Party – Top Shot Style 2.0

Nerf Gun Party – Top Shot Style

Nerf Gun Top Shot Birthday Party

 

I’m trying not to dwell on the Monday-ness of today, so why don’t we do something fun and explore Tyler’s Nerf Gun Party?  I was a little too busy to post it in December.  (You can’t blame me, right?)

My kids’ birthdays aren’t exactly back to back with one in October and one in December.  However, there is always a lot going on both months, and this year in particular I wanted to keep things as easy as possible on the birthday party front.

Tyler is in 4th grade, and at that age all of the boys seem interested in three things.  Video games.  Legos.  And Nerf guns.  So it was easy enough to convince Ty to revisit the Top Shot/Nerf Gun party we did for his birthday a few years back.

See how smart I’m getting?!  Not only is that an easy party to pull off with his already large collection of Nerf Guns, I had already done most of the research for it a long time ago.  Hehe.  (You can check out my Nerf Pinterest Board for ideas.)

Plus!  I was able to use all the printables I created for the last party.  Here is the invitation:

Top Shot Nerf Gun Party Invitation
*Alayna’s Party Tip:  Create a simple graphic and repeat it throughout the party.  Invitations, party favors, signs, water bottle labels, etc.   Not only does it make the party feel cohesive, but it ups the “wow factor” because people really do notice small details like that.

 

For the invites, I simply searched Google for images of the Nerf Logo and the Top Shot logo (tell me I’m not the only one that remembers that show?  My husband used to watch it all the time).  Then I added the wording for Tyler’s Birthday Party and it was done.

I printed out signs with the party logo and used them on the door, in a frame on the cake table, on the favor bags, etc.

Nerf Gun Birthday Party Tablescape and Decorations

Just a few things I wanted to point out about the party decorations.  I kept it really simple by using the colors orange and blue for everything (those are the colors on some of the Nerf Gun darts).  These also served as the team colors for the kids throughout all of the activities during the party.

And if you have followed my blog for a while you probably recognize that Happy Birthday banner.  My beadboard pennant banner is one of my favorite Go To items for parties.  It’s durable and versatile.  The only thing I have to do to make it match any party theme is change out the ribbon or fabric  ties.  In this case I simply used scraps of fabric left over from the bandanas.

Nerf Gun Birthday Party Favors

Party Favors:

Speaking of bandanas – there they are, along with the rest of the favors for the party.  I purchased a couple yards of inexpensive blue and orange fabric and cut them into squares (approx 22″ x 22″).  Once we designated teams, the kids put on the bandana in the color of their team.  Some used them on their heads, some as arm bands, but most followed Tyler and wore them on their faces like bandits.

We didn’t want to deal with anyone “shooting their eye out” so the safety goggles were a must.  (Purchased in a set of 12 HERE).

Top Shot Nerf Gun party Gear Bag Party Favors

The bandanas and the safety goggles worked as party favors, along with some Nerf Gun darts and candies in blue and orange packaging (we were kicking ourselves for not buying these on clearance after Halloween).  The kids carried everything home in their “gear bags” which were just paper bags in a color that matched the party theme.

The food:

Typically I like to go with a few snacks and cake/cupcakes for kids’ parties.  Let’s face it – the kids are always more interested in playing than eating.  However, for this particular party we knew we wanted the extra space so we rented one of the town halls.  Since it was December, our options on dates were limited and we ended up with a Friday night reservation and I felt like we needed to serve them dinner.

We decided to go with pizza and breadsticks, since they are Tyler’s favorite.  And the pizza is round like a target 😉
Orange punch.
And a simple 3 layer cake with ice cream.  Kaitlyn was pretty annoyed that I wouldn’t let her decorate the cake, but I had a vision.  And I had left it ’til the last minute and wanted it done quickly.
Aren’t the candles cute?  Tyler picked those out.

The birthday boy had wanted a two-level cake but my small pans are in storage so I convinced him that three layers in different colors would look good.  He was happy with that.  Phew.

Nerf Gun Party Table Decorations

As you can see, I used a couple of the leftover paper bags for the centerpiece on the table.  Orange bags, blue tissue paper, party logo – done!

The Activities/Games:

Station 1:  DIY blow dart guns and tissue paper targets

Kids are so excited to get the party started as soon as they arrive so I always plan an activity to keep them busy as soon as they walk in the door.  For the Nerf Gun Party, that meant they got to make their own blow dart guns and tissue paper targets.

I provided 12″ lenths of PVC pipe (I believe it was 1/2″ diameter – just large enough for the darts to fit inside), along with colored duct tape and markers to decorate them with.

I also precut holes in the center of super-cheap paper plates and slightly larger circles of patterned tissue paper.  The kids were able to decorate the plates then glue the tissue paper in the center.

Nerf Gun DIY Tissue Paper Targets

Then they were able to hang their tissue paper targets on a length of rope and test out their blow dart guns.  If they were good shots and the darts tore through the paper they could glue on another piece of tissue paper and try again.

Destruction – lots of fun for 10 year old boys!

 

Station 2: Plastic Cup Pyramid

From this point on we divided up the teams and each team at a different target station.  First up, simple plastic cup pyramids.  We gave them one of Tyler’s larger Nerf guns with 10 shots to see how many cups they could knock over.

PS – don’t forget to put tape on the floor to mark where they should stand to shoot.

Nerf Gun Party DIY cardboard target

Station 3:  Cardboard Cut-out Target

This one was recycled from last year’s Avenger’s Birthday Party.  (Bonus!)  The target is just a large piece of cardboard with different sized circle cut-outs.  A couple coats of spray paint makes it look great.  Avenger red was just fine with me for this.  I simply covered up the Avengers logo with our Nerf Gun party logo.

My intention with this one was to change it up a bit and get the kids to shoot from the prone position, but few of them remembered to do so.  Not a problem.

Nerf Gun Party Army Men and Plastic Cup Target

Station 4:  Army Men and Plastic Cup Pyramid

Once they had warmed up their shooting skills, we made it a little harder with this one.  The goal was to knock the Army men off the cups without knocking the cups down.

Nerf Gun DIY Spinning Target

Station 5:  Spinning Targets

This one was probably my personal favorite – targets that actually spin when you hit them!

The base is a white cardboard tri-fold display.  I cut squares out of the cardboard and used the discarded cardboard to cut circles for the targets themselves.  The design for the targets were found on Google, printed and attached to the cardboard circles.

To make the edges look finished (and more durable), I duct-taped the edges of the square cut out.  Then all that was left was to tape a portion of a plastic straw to the back of the targets, thread a wooden skewer through the straw and tape the edges of the skewer to the back of the cardboard.

Adhering a penny to the bottom of each target helps them return to their proper position after getting hit.  (Glue dots work great for this!)  The original idea for this target (found HERE) said to experiment with the placement of the straw and the penny but I found that keeping the straw centered in the middle worked best.

Nerf Gun Top Shot Birthday Cake

 

At this point we paused for pizza, opened gifts, and had cake and ice cream.  Then on to the main event!

Nerf Gun Party Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag/Nerf Gun Battle

Two teams, each hid a flag on their base then attempted to steal the flag from the other team.

Rules were simple.  If you got hit (on your honor!) you had to return to your base and touch it before returning to the game.  No hitting above the chest.  If you hit someone above the chest you had to return to your base and touch it before returning to the game.

Chairs and buffet tables provided perfect “cover” for the game.  Extra bullets were provided in containers (flower pots recycled from Kaitlyn’s Cupcake Wars party) throughout the room.

The kids didn’t seem to care if they all had the same guns, though we did provide enough guns similar to THIS ONE for everyone to have one.  Those that brought their own guns used them for the battle.
We found a great deal on extra Nerf darts HERE.

At times we would call a halt to the action and get everyone to pick up all the extra bullets.  Other than that, I just had fun watching the action and taking photos.  It was fun to see how the teams handled strategy and teamwork differently and how the different personalities came out during the game.

Nerf Gun Top Shot Party

All in all it was an energetic, chaotic, and fun party – which was exactly what my little guy wanted.

Think I can convince him to do the same theme again next year?  I saved all the targets! 😉
Looking for more party inspiration?  Stay tuned for a post about Kaitlyn’s 13th birthday party (right, I was too busy to post that one too).  Or check out the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Monster Truck Party,  or Farm Birthday Party.

 

*Post may contain affiliate links.

 

Linking to:  Snickerdoodle Sunday, Home Matters Party, Pretty Pintastic Party,

DIY Quote Clipboard for Teacher Valentine’s Gift Plus Non-Candy Classmate Gift Idea

DIY Quote Clipboard gift idea for teachers

DIY Quote Clipboard for Teacher Valentine’s Gift Plus Non-Candy Classmate Gift Idea

 

(May contain affiliate links)

It has been a snow-filled couple of weeks here and we’re almost to the end of January.  That must mean Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.

Has anyone come up with good gift ideas yet?

The husband and I decided to forego gifts this year and spend the money on something to do together.  I ran across this great cooking class for couples on the 14th – five courses of fancy food, plus chocolates and flowers.  It sounded great.  Sadly, it was sold out.

I may have thrown a little temper tantrum because I really wanted to go.  And because now I have to come up with Plan B.

But.  At least the kids’ gifts were easy.  The little guy’s teacher and classmate Valentine’s gifts came together no problem as well.  Want to see?

Valentine's Teacher Gift Clipboard to Display fun Qotes

DIY Quote Clipboard for Teacher – a quick tutorial

 

My little guy has a planner that he brings home every day in which his teacher has him write anything he needs to do for homework, reminders, and so on.  Every day they also have a motivational quote.

I thought it would be fun to give her a way to display some of those quotes thus  – the Quote Clipboard.

The base for the quote clipboard is just a 12″ x 12″ piece of wood that I stained and coated with poly.  (Link to my favorite poly)

To make it stand up, I drilled a hole on the back and inserted a 3″ dowel.  Silly me left the stain down at the shop, so I ended up painting the dowel black.  In a perfect world, the dowel gets its own coat of stain too.

You could glue the dowel in, but I left it loose and just taped it to the back of the board so it would be easier to gift wrap.

Adding a clip to the front completes the assembly process.
See?  Totally easy.

Simply add a clip to a piece of wood for your own DIY Quote Clipboard or Recipe holder

I have a whole box of clips but I know that they can be hard to find.  So (nice person that I am!) I’ll save you the trouble of hunting them down – the clips are generally referred to as Bulldog Clips and can be purchased HERE.

Teacher motivational quotes

Tyler helped me select three of his teacher’s most-used quotes from his planner and we found a few new ones for her as well.  The top row of quotes in the photo came from HERE.

I loved the rainbow colors on the printables, so I used a similar style on our quotes (bottom row).

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Quote Board for Teachers Valentine or Teacher Appreciation Gift

 

On to the Non-Candy Classmate Valentine Idea

 

Classmate Valentines I have a Ball with You Valentine Alayna's Creations

I like my kids to be involved in the process when they give gifts.  So after a quick review of my Pinterest Boards I gave my little guy a short list of ideas he could give to his classmates.  He chose bouncy balls.  Nice.

It was a simple matter to come up with a “punny” saying for the tag.  It reads:  “I have a BALL with you Valentine.”

As luck would have it, we had these bags leftover from some of my husband’s pre-Christmas baking.  Easy peasy.

Tyler stuffed the bouncy balls into the bags and I stapled on the tags.  Teamwork, people.  Teamwork.

Now we’re all set for Valentines – more than two full weeks ahead of schedule!  (I get a high five for that, right?)

I have a Ball with you Valentine Classmate Valentine Idea Alayna's Creations

Now back to figuring out what to do with the husband on Valentine’s Day.  Any suggestions?!  Please?

 

 

If you are still in search of more Valentine’s gift ideas feel free to check out my Pinterest Board or some of my ideas from previous years like my Crazy Cool Valentines last year or Teacher Gifts in a Cup.

And as always, if you make your own DIY Quote Clipboard or anything else you see on the blog – pease share!

 

Linking to:  Home Matters Party, BFF Open House, LouLou Girls, Pretty Pintastic Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Valentines Link Party, Creativity Unleashed, Valentines Link Up,

Crazy Cool Valentines for Classmates and Teachers

Crazy Cool Valentines for Classmates and Teachers

Crazy Cool Valentines for Classmates and Teachers

That’s right – it’s time to start thinking about Valentines for classmates and teachers.  At least, it is if the stores have anything to say about it.  I even spotted some bikinis for sale the other day (said as I look out at the new 6″ of snow we got this week, on top of what was already there.  Eesh).  Sometimes it feels like retailers are rushing us a bit, though I’m all for staying ahead of the curve.

Keeping that in mind, why don’t we take a look at the Valentines my kids gave to their classmates and teachers last year?  (One of the few posts that didn’t transfer from the old domain so now is a great time to repost, don’cha think?)

Classmate Valentine Gifts

Silly straw and Koolaid Classmate Valentine
With the kids bringing home dozens of small gifts from classmates every year, my goal is always to do something a bit unique.  I also try to keep it easy and inexpensive because dozens of gifts can add up fast!  So, I was happy to run across these cute printable tags on Pinterest.

I kept the design on the tags just as in the printable and added the “love Tyler” to the bottom (he would do anything to keep from having to write his name 30 times!) then printed them on cardstock.  It was a simple matter to cut a couple of slits in the tag to slide the straw through.  A quick staple attached individual Koolaid packets to the tag.

Great non-candy Valentine

Bonus!  Non-candy Valentines make us happy!

Teacher Valentine Idea

Now the teacher gift is where I truly out-did myself.  😉 Knowing I was going with the “cool” idea for the classmate Valentines I kept my eyes open for something that fit that theme.  So, when I ran across these great containers when I was grabbing a few more lunchbox containers for the kids I was soooo excited. (What?!  You don’t get excited in the container section of TJ Maxx?!)  The containers have mini ice packs in the lids – perfect!

The containers came in a set of four, so I had enough for both kids’ teachers with just one set of containers.  Change the “kool” to “cool” on the tag (that font is called Jokerman) and we were all set.

Fun, right?

I’ve already started working on ideas for this year’s Valentines for my son’s classmates and teacher.  Stay tuned!

 

Want more teacher gift ideas?  Check out my Teacher gifts in a Cup

Teacher Appreciation gifts in a cup

 

 

 

 

 

Or.  While we are on the subject of lunchbox containers, check out some of my Lunchbox tips and tricks (for picky eaters).

School Lunchbox ideas great for picky eaters

 

Until next time.  What should we create next?

 

 

Linking to:  Pretty Pintastic Party, Home Matters Party, Valentines Link Up,

DIY Farmhouse Barnwood Sign

DIY Farmhouse Barnwood Sign TutorialDIY Farmhouse Barnwood Sign Tutorial

A farmhouse style sign is easy and inexpensive to DIY with this quick tutorial.

Welcome to 2017!  Feels like I’m a bit late in saying that but better late than never, right?

Staying true to the spirit of the new year, I took a look at the things I wanted to accomplish this year.  Near the top of the list was the goal to polish up the blog a bit.  (What? You thought I was going to say “get in shape?”  Yep that’s on the list too!) I spent the last couple of weeks switching website hosts, reading up on SEO and optimizing images, redesigning the look of the blog, etc., etc.  It’s still a work in progress, but not a bad start, right?  I’m sure you will notice changes here and there for the next few weeks.  (Comments or suggestions, please share!)

Now that everything is up and running (and only a few of my Pinterest links to older posts are showing errors!  I think that was the hardest part – but we can’t have Pins not leading to the right places now can we?!) I can get back to posting on a regular basis.  Three cheers for that!

Now on to the show and tell!

One of my biggest projects last year was a complete remodel of my parent’s kitchen.  Huge project, lots of work, and fodder for many blog posts.  Today I’m excited to show off one of the final touches on the kitchen – the  farmhouse style barnwood sign I made for the wall above the sink.

Reclaimed Wood Sign DIY Wall Decor

The inspiration for this sign struck when my mom and I were shopping for countertops.  We had a few minutes before our next appointment with a granite showroom so we popped into a restaurant supply store where a reclaimed wood sign caught our eye.  We fell in love with the unique shape and currugated metal letters and knew right then we wanted to incorporate that idea into the kitchen somehow.

As the remodel continued, we found a quote that my mom really liked for the room.  I purchased some currugated metal letters from Hobby Lobby (love that place!).  However, it wasn’t until the big projects were complete that I was able to take the time to create the barnwood sign.

How to create your own Farmhouse Barnwood Sign – Step by Step

DIY Farmhouse Sign Tutorial Template

1 – Make a Template

The first thing I did was make a template out of newspaper.  This was my first attempt with this unique shape so I took a little extra time to get it right.  I even taped the newspaper template to the wall above the sink and left it there for a day to make sure I was happy with the size and the shape.

2 – Cut barnwood and assemble

Living on a farm, we have old wood laying around so it was an easy matter to just grab a few pieces.  You could also use pallet wood or any other type of reclaimed wood for this project.  Or buy new wood and distress it.

Lay the pieces side by side and place the template over them.  Trace template onto wood and cut.

Lay wood pieces upside down in desired shape and attach to each other using a couple of smaller pieces of wood.

How to make your own barnwood sign

3 – Stain wood (if desired)

I love the richer look adding stain gives to the old wood.  If you want to leave it unstained and go with the grey and weathered look, that’s great too.

DIY Farmhouse Barnood Sign DIY Tutorial

4 – Create stencil for lettering and paint quote.

 

I used my Silhouette machine to create a stencil out of vinyl.  You could also use letter stencils from the craft store or simply free-hand your painted design.

Because I was using the “white space” of the vinyl as the stencil I was able to use the vinyl letters themselves on the template to get a better idea of how I wanted to lay out the quote.   I’m kind of an “eye it and run with it” person when it comes to this kind of thing but since the template was there I did that extra step.  The most important thing is to make sure that your lettering is centered and straight.

DIY painted Barnwood Sign How To

Paint inside stencil, remembering to dab or “stipple” with your brush.  A foam brush and acrylic craft paint work great.

Currugated Metal letters on Farmhouse Sign

5 – Attach currogated metal letters.

 

The currugated letters already had hooks on the back.  I just added screws directly into the wood and hung the letters from the screws.

Reclaimed Wood Sign

6 – Ta da!  All you need to do now is to attach some hooks to back and hang ‘er up!

Reclaimed Wood Sign Tutorial

 

As always, I would love to know if you make your own sign.  Now go.  Create something.

 

 

Linking to:  Pretty Pintastic Party, Home Matters Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday,

Merry Christmas!

christmas-card-2016-family-photo-with-santa-alaynas-creations

Ah Christmas.  We’ve made it!

Cards are sent, gifts are wrapped and waiting under the tree, the weather is attempting to give us a white Christmas, and everyone is home for the holidays (except for my parents who just left to get that “one last gift”).  Time to relax and enjoy it.

christmas-card-2016-family-photo-with-santa-and-highlights-for-the-year-on-the-back-alaynascreations

From my family to yours – wishing you love, joy and adventure the whole year round.  Merry Christmas!

 

 

Polar Express Party

polar-express-ward-party-silver-and-white-winter-wonderland-theme

In November I was asked to help with the decorations for the church Christmas party.  The person organizing it knew she wanted the theme to be Polar Express but at that point she was still nailing down the details.  We tossed around the idea of making a ticket booth or a big train out of cardboard coming out of the wall.

Fast forward to just after Thanksgiving when we returned from our big vacation to Florida (Disney tips coming soon!) and had a small break in between holidays and we spoke about plans again.  This person was finding a train backdrop and that person was making the ticket booth and so-and-so was in charge of getting some guys together to hang lights.  And for me?  Well she wanted to cover up ALL the ugly carpet on the walls with paper and would I paint some silver trees on that paper?

Um…sure.

polar-express-party-hand-painted-trees

I spent chunks of that next week painting trees on the floor of the kitchen, one 6 foot section of paper at a time.  I did have some help lined up but once I got started I decided there just wasn’t enough space for more than one person to work on it.  Don’t feel too badly though – a lot of the time was spent waiting for the paint to dry (not one of my favorite things).  Once I got into the rhythm I would spend maybe 10 minutes (20 on the big leafless trees) on the trees, let them dry for a bit, another few minutes for highlights, then let it dry completely.

polar-express-party-hand-painted-silver-trees-lined-all-the-walls-turning-the-party-into-a-white-and-silver-wonderland

I am not an artist but one thing crafting has taught me is not to be afraid of trying something new.  And I did ok on my tree during paint night last spring. 😉  So I did a quick internet search for images of trees for inspiration and just ran with it.

polar-express-ward-party-winter-wonderland-silver-and-white-theme

Pretty cool huh?  All pulled together with the twinkle lights and everything it was pretty impressive.

polar-express-party-create-a-winter-wonderland-using-only-butcher-paper-and-silver-painted-trees

Other than my trees, there were a lot of fun party details

polar-express-ward-party-invitation-is-made-to-look-like-a-train-ticket-and-used-to-get-punches-at-all-the-different-stations-at-the-party

The tickets/invitations (aren’t they adorable?)

polar-express-party-ticket-booth

The ticket booth, where the bishop dressed as the conductor and punched tickets as everyone arrived.

polar-express-party-ward-party-duct-tape-railroad-tracks-in-entry

The entry to the gym.  Isn’t that duct tape train track a nice touch?

polar-express-party-coffee-filter-tree-centerpieces

The young women and activity days girls did all the coffee filter trees and the snowflakes.  Impressive.

polar-express-party-paper-snowflakes-complete-the-wintry-silver-and-white-theme

The party was held at 9:00 AM on a Saturday.  Everyone wore their pajamas and they two buffet tables set up with french toast casseroles, sausage, fruit, milk and juice.  They also had a fun hot chocolate bar.  I didn’t get photos of anything after people started arriving since I kept running into people I hadn’t seen in a while and was having fun just visiting.

 

They had conductors set up to punch tickets at each of the stations (arrival, hot chocolate, Santa, etc) but I don’t think the guests were fully clued into that part of the party as I didn’t see much punching going on.

polar-express-ward-party-stage-set-up-with-chair-for-storyteller-to-read-book-and-train-set-for-decoration

Once everyone had started eating. they had someone sit on stage and read the Polar Express, along with showing a few clips from the movie.  They also had a young couple with a brand new baby dress up as Mary and Joseph.  Then Santa arrived!

polar-express-ward-christmas-party-photos-with-santa

I was Santa’s helper for the morning and oh what fun to see all the interactions with Santa and the kids (and the teens and the adults!).  Santa was in top form and was really hamming it up for photos.

polar-express-party-photo-with-santa

Little gift bags from Santa held a silver bell, train whistles and treats.

polar-express-party-favors-include-a-silver-bell-a-train-whistle-and-treats

They also had family photos being taken in front of the big train backdrop by one of the members with her professional photographer set up.

polar-express-ward-party-transformed-the-church-into-a-winter-wonderland-with-a-lot-of-paper-and-silver-paint-and-a-few-twinkle-lights-alaynascreations

It was a little more work than I was expecting when I agreed to help, but all in all I’m very glad I agreed.  Everything turned out nicely and, even better, I got to spend some time with a lot of great people I wouldn’t have had the chance to see otherwise.

Have you done something new this Christmas season that has added to your holiday experience?  I would love to hear about it!

 

 

 

Linking to:  Home Matters Party, Wow Me Wednesday,