DIY Typography Tray: I Heart You

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We tend to hoard things we find in the Target Dollar Spot, known as Bullseye’s Playground. Does anyone else have that problem? They are never absolute necessities, but at the time they are must-haves, and at $1 or $3, it’s hard to pass up. This tray was sitting in Jessica’s craft pile for months and months. It was one of those Playground finds. Finally, a lightbulb moment went off. We played with letters, and with just a couple materials we made a unique DIY tray for a loved one this Valentine’s Day. It can be used year-round because the words I (heart) you can, and should, be said year-round.

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Materials:

Step 1: Lay the letters out on the tray the way you want them to look. Spread out the I, heart and you among the black letters so the message stands out. If you want to use a different object other than letters, such as matches, beads, etc you can, just make sure they are thin. The thinner they are, the less Dimensional Magic needed to cover them.

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Step 2: Super glue the back of each letter, and lay it back down where you want it. Wear gloves for this step – you don’t want letters stuck to your skin!

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Step 3: Once all the letters are glued, start to pour the Dimensional Magic. We suggest smaller trays for this project. We needed four packages of Dimensional Magic, which wasn’t too expensive at $5 each, but the smaller the tray, the less product you need to buy.

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Step 4: Let the Dimensional Magic dry for at least 8 hours. The color will be clear, and not cloudy once it’s fully dry.

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You Are Enough + DIY Custom Stamp

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We are all a work in progress. But, while we do our work, we need to be kinder to ourselves. Because how often do you let your mind go to that place. That judgmental, negative place? You know the one, where you are too fat, too thin, not smart enough, not rich enough, not good enough, not popular enough and not a good enough mom, wife or friend. We, especially women, barrage our minds with negative thoughts all the time. How are we supposed to be the best version of ourselves if we are our harshest critic all the time? Isn’t it time we became our own champion?

These thoughts stem from an interview we recently watched on Oprah. The New York Times best-selling author and blogger, Glennon Doyle Melton, graced Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show. She is a beautiful woman, and as a young girl she was consistently told that she was pretty. She was told this so often, she began to believe that all she was was just a pretty face. Beauty became her sense of worth. It became an impossible standard to measure up to. Eventually it became too much, and she developed an eating disorder, and addictions. She is now sober and helping others with her new book Love Warrior and it’s predecessor, Carry On, Warrior. She tells it like it is, and she is changing lives for the better. Bravo, Glennon.

It got us thinking…how can we love ourselves more, and help our children do the same?

1. When we start the day, we need to use a love language when we look in the mirror. For example, I am powerful. I am courageous. I am amazing. At the end of the day, we need to give ourselves a break if we don’t get everything on our long to-do list done. We need to love who God made us to be – flaws and all. We are enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

2. We need to tell our children how brave, smart and remarkable they are every day. We need to teach them how to be kind and show compassion to others. Too often we tell our girls, “You’re so pretty.” “You look so beautiful in that dress.” “You’re hair looks perfect like that.” Just like Glennon Doyle Melton, our daughters young brains begin to associate their worth by just their beauty (similar comparisons can be said for boys). And, there’s so much more to them, including their minds, hearts and souls. Let’s tell them, “You are smart.” “You are sunshine.” “You are strong.”  We love our children, and we tell them how much we love them ALL THE TIME. But, as we go about our busy days reminding them to pick up their toys, finish their homework, fix this and do that, we rarely take the time to stop and remind them just how special and extraordinary they are. So, we put together a phrase that is a game-changer for us.

The simple and power phrase is: You are ______ (fill in the blank).

It should be said everyday, and we’ve learned it should also be in writing.

To help us with our efforts, we made a stamp. With our Silhouette Mint custom stamp maker, we designed the stamp to say, you are_________. Every day we stamp a Post-It note, and find a word that describes and compliments our children to fill in the blank. We hide the notes in our kids lunches, bathroom mirrors, inside pages of books and on their wall next to their bed. Honestly, it brings the biggest smile to their faces and a joy to their hearts. They love it so much, they ask us daily for more surprise notes. Now, their friends at school are asking for notes. We’ve seen what a boost of confidence it can be. What a blessing to wake up everyday and tell our children how wonderful they really are! Thanks to Silhouette for helping us do that.

Materials:

  • Silhouette Mint custom stamp maker, stamp kit and ink
  • Post-It notes
  • Pen or Sharpie

Directions:

Step 1: Follow the directions included in the Silhouette Mint pamphlet for the best results, but we’ll tell you how we did it. It was really quite easy. First, design the stamp with the Silhouette Mint software. Make sure the right size stamp is selected.

Step 2: Print the stamp. This took about 10 seconds. Amazing!

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Step 3: Bend the stamp at the perforated edge to remove the stamp.

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Step 4: Remove the sticker on the stamp base, and add the new stamp to the base.

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Step 5: Add ink to the stamp’s design. Wait for about 5-10 minutes so it can soak in, and then do a couple tests stamps.

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Step 6: Stamp away, and then fill in the blank.

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Step 7: Get creative. Leave notes for your kids to find, and remind them how loved and special they are.

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Thanks for supporting the companies like Silhoeutte America that support our creativity. We received product for this post, but all opinions expressed are our own, and we would love Silhoeutte regardless. 

DIY Let Love Grow Plant

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Dolly Parton said it best, Let Love Grow.

When we really look around, in spite of the horrific hatred we see daily on the news, we find that love still exists. In fact, love is all around. But, sometimes we need a little reminder. To us, the heart shape, whether big or small, signifies love. Inside of us, it represents this beautiful life with every heart-pumping beat; but outside of us, the shape represents love, goodness and kindness. When we open our eyes, minds and hearts, we find that not only is love everywhere, but hearts are, too. And, with every heart we spy with our eyes, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the love in our lives, and how we can share it with others.

Last week, we saw a heart designed on the top of our latte. Everyday, as our children learn to draw hearts, we pause to think about the love and joy that lives in their hearts {and the role we play in shaping what love looks like in their world}. Every time we send and receive a handwritten note from a loved one, it’s signed with a heart. And, just the other day, one of our kids saw a heart-shaped cloud in the sky.

Recently, we used our green thumbs to create a green heart to remind us to let love grow. The plant can be transplanted outdoors if it outgrows the container, and good news – it’s a perennial – so it will come back year after year.

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Materials:

  • Plastic Pot Saucer, Home Depot
  • Sedum Tile Ground Cover
  • Scissors, sharp {garden scissors}
  • Potting Soil
  • Chalkboard sign, small stick and pen

Directions:

Drill several holes into the plastic saucer. We drilled one in the center and four evenly spaced around the saucer.

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Fill the planter 1/2-3/4 full with dirt.

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Remove the entire square tile of Sedum from the container and flip it over. Use chalk to draw your design, or eye-ball it. We chose a heart, and without lines to follow, we began to cut.

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Place the heart in the center of the saucer with dirt, and then fill in all the surrounding space with dirt.

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Make a sign – Let Love Grow or Love Lives Here – and insert it in the dirt.

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Modern Woodland Nursery

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We ran across a photo of a modern woodland nursery on Mary Gaspar’s instagram account, and found it unique and beautiful. We were intrigued to learn more about the design elements and how it all came together. Luckily she is sharing all the details with us! When we found out Mary is the mother of three girls, we were instant friends, because we know all too well what it’s like to grow up in a house full of women.

Mary is not only a mother to three amazing girls, but also an artist, and has a good eye for interior design, too. We love that she used a mix of store-bought and DIY pieces to bring the whole Scandinavian look together. It’s a cozy black, white and neon pink retreat her daughter can grow into. As moms, sometimes we get so excited to hear the words, “It’s a girl,” we use all the pink, tulle and ruffles we can, and then 4 years down the road, the room requires a makeover. This room is relevant for infants, toddlers, children and tweens.

Mary shares details on her youngest daughter’s room, the inspiration and how it all came together…

Violet is my third little girl and when we found out the sex I was thrilled (again!) cause well, girls are the bomb, and as one of 4 sisters, I know how awesome a house of girls can be! I am an artist and also have a great passion for interior design, which is seen in my home (my play space for decorating)! I had done my other daughter’s room, which they share, in a very girly English Garden theme. I wanted to do something a little more modern and contemporary in feel this time around.
I took my initial inspiration from my own work. I am doing a lot of black and white painting and I draw a ton of inspiration from nature. My work also has a bit of a contemporary edge. That’s when I came up with the idea of doing a “Modern Woodland” theme with a palette of black, white, gold and neon pink. I love the look of Scandinavian inspired decor so I set out for a white crib and flokati rug to start.
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The walls were already painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Moonshine”, a lovely gray, that I use throughout my home. I had a green gingham glider from my other daughter’s nursery that had seen better days, so I added a slipcover in white and presto…looking brand new! I also had a large changing table in a honey brown from a prior nursery that my mom and I took on as a DIY project. We used Annie Sloan chalk paint in white and gave it 3 coats. I changed out the knobs into the sweetest little brass sleeping foxes.
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It’s a small room (11 x 9 ft) and I knew I needed some small, stylish yet effective shelving. I found the arrow shelf and sprayed it gold. That really set the tone for the gallery wall. I framed some of my own woodland inspired drawings, and did a couple of fun DIY crafty wall hangings, like the “Love” sign, made out of wire and bungee cord. The deer silhouette I drew on velvet craft paper and mounted on an oval wooden plaque, and the Animal Head Plaque was ornaments from Land of Nod affixed to wood!
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The room has become my most favorite…a cozy, inspiring retreat for children and adults alike. I love that the decor I have in here will most certainly grow with her. I would use many of these pieces in any other spot in our home, as well!
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Vendor Love
Babyletto Crib: All Modern
Blackout curtains, flokati rug, gold pouf, crib skirt, pink lucite floating shelf and changing pad cover: Land of Nod
White slipcover for glider: Wayfair 
Lamp {feathers were a DIY addition}: T.J. Maxx
Cross Blanket: Modern Burlap
Fox Brass Knobs and Owl hook: Anthropologie
Little gold mirror: vintage
Heart Mirror: Homegoods
Embroidered Deer Pillow: Etsy Shop Sweet Pea and Olive
Crib sheet: Pehr Designs
Art
Let Her Sleep art print: Samantha Ranlet, By Samantha
She Who Is Brave art print: Lisa Congdon
Gallery Wall
Felt Ball Garland: Benzie Design
Giant “V”: Land of Nod
Deer head {spray painted gold}: Homegoods
All other art: Mary Gaspar Art and Etsy shop

DIY Watercolor Animal Cards

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Valentine’s Day is one of the top holidays when the puns just can’t help themselves! Some are cute, some are cheesy, some are just plain genius – all work because we become big piles of love mush {or love stinks grinches}, so on Valentine’s Day we eat them up {most of the time}.

An easy and pretty way to decorate a card for someone you love is with watercolors – you don’t need to have an ounce of artistry for this one – just add color to the paper. We hopped on the train of puns with these! Embrace your creative side, brainstorm the puns, get the kids messy in paint and send a little extra love in the mail this year.

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Materials:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water
  • Blank fold-over notecards. If you don’t have any, cut card stock and fold them.
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Sharpie marker, thin tip

Directions:

Trace and cut out animal shapes on watercolor paper. You can find images online, trace and cut. We used our Silhouette electronic cutting machine to cut the animals for us. If you like to create, the machines are worth the investment. We love ours.

Paint the animals with watercolor paints. Let them dry.

Apply glue to the back of the animals, and stick them to the cards.

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Write your words with a thin black Sharpie marker.

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