Sunday, April 28, 2013

guestbooks minus the book part.

guest books

I loved planning a wedding.  There were stressful moments, but overall, it was just a lot of fun.  I wanted to make it as DIY-y as possible.  And I’m not a big fan of guestbooks.  Does anyone actually ever read those more than once (or even once, for that matter…)?  I spent a ton of time searching for unconventional guestbook ideas.  Luckily for me, I had two lovely cousins host a bridal shower and they opted for a craftier version.

I hear they got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine.  They had all the guests sign vintage-y plates with a special sharpie.  The best part is—it’s super cheap!  They got the plates at Goodwill for dollars a piece.  And they make unique decorations!




And for the wedding, I made guestbooks using canvas and paint!  We didn’t really have a wedding theme, but the ceremony took place in the mountains and our invites included trees, so that’s what made me to decide to go with a tree them.  Just drew the outline of several trees and a leaf with a pencil and painted!  Pretty easy.  If you’re not comfortable with free handing, you could easily do this with a projector and trace the image.  We had about 220 guests, so I spent a lot of time debating how many to use.  Four seemed to be fine, although I think three would have sufficed!


Love that one of the guests drew a tree on the tree. 


I intend to paint the sides.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it at the time.  It’s on the to-do list.


Picture from the big day!  Courtesy of AK Photo.

I also loooved my friend Genevieve’s guest book.  They had an Up! inspired wedding.



Here were some of my favorites and inspiration when I was searching for options…

Free Printable Here.


For purchase here!


For purchase here!


For purchase here!

I’m all for guestbooks that do more than sit on a shelf, never to be seen! Good luck finding the right guestbook for your big day!

Places we seek inspiration.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Challenge #9: Flip Flop Upcycle


So what’s not to love about the flip flops you can buy practically everywhere these days?  Old Navy are my favorites.  Cheap, so many colors, comfortable, and they last for awhile (assuming your puppy doesn’t chew through one of the straps).  Except the only pair I have that has survived said puppy are fading. 


So I did some research and decided to paint them.  I considered painting a design, but decided I wanted to put a quote on them, and then spent a ton of time deciding how to do that, where to put it, should I free hand it, etc, etc, etc.  So here are a few steps to an easy flip flop upcycle.



Wash and dry your shoes!  Paint won’t stick to dirt.


Pick a color.  Paint those flip flops!  I used acrylic.  And decided to go dark because I wasn’t sure light would completely cover the dark blue. 

This step is completely unnecessary if you have shoes in a color that you already like.  The paint is a little spotty, but I don’t mind. 


Get some stamps!  Or if you are feeling brave, then free hand.  I tried, but the little ridges on the straps proved impossible for me to write on legibly. 


Pick a quote that will fit on the area you want to quotify.  I found it was much more effective to use a really thin brush and carefully dab the paint onto the stamp, rather than dipping the stamp in paint.  More time consuming, but looked better in the end. 


Admire your hard work.  I knew what quote I wanted early on.  “She acts like summer and walks like rain” is a lyric from Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”.  It’s perfect for flip flops because (1) summer = flip flops (2) using the word “walk” on flip flops = terribly punny. 


Seal the acrylic.


Wear your shoes around!  Get lots of compliments.  Be surprised at how the paint doesn’t chip, crack or rub off.


Enjoy the crazy in your life.


places we seek inspiration.

Challenge #9: Shoe gazing

So.. It's been a long time. A reaaaaaaaally long time. Too long. Life just sort of gets in the way and blogging is hard to do when you're juggling a million billion other things and stressing out like a crazy person. Am I wrong here?

And once the stress piles up it's that much harder to do things that calm and soothe you so that you end up in a vicious cycle because you can't do the things that make you happy, no matter how simple they may be.

I hit a wall a few weeks ago and Maggie was kind enough to remind me to take some time for MYSELF and do something I enjoy- crafting.

So I took these shoes, and with a little modpodge, electrical tape, embossing powder, beeswax and a heat gun, I heat embossed and waterproofed these canvas shoes (

Yeah it kind of looks like I painted them... And probably would have been less effort if I did actually paint them... But it was an experiment and I know that the gold on my shoes won't peel or scratch off at least. And it made me happy to do this and get back into the swing of things.

Apologies if the formatting is a little strange, I'm blogging from my new phone. Apparently there is a blogger app for android now. There really is an app for everything!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Butterfly Footprints! A Mother’s Day Gift.

I have done this craft for two years now, and if you’re a teacher…do not dive into this craft lightly.  It’s not a quick or clean craft.  If you’re a mom, or doing this with fewer kiddos, you should be just fine.  I love it because it’s super versatile.  Last year I used it as a Mother’s Day gift, this year I used it as an Easter craft, it could be perfect for spring-time themes, life cycle units, etc. 
You need…
  • paint (I used tempera)
  • cardstock
  • markers
  • kids who aren’t (too) afraid to get dirty
  • cleaning supplies
  • and if you’re unlucky (or just teach Kindergarten), carpet cleaner

Step One.  Pour generous amounts of paint in a small tub (or paper plate or whatever you have available).  Let the colors mix a bit.
Step Two.  Press bare feet to paint.  I find I learn a lot about my kids at this point.  Sometimes I’m surprised by the kids who love it.  Sometimes I’m more surprised by the kids who hate it.
Step Three.  Press painted feet to cardstock paper as so… 
Step Four.  Clean feet and let paint dry.  If you are doing this with a class, I recommend doing it at the end of the day so students have no time to ask, “Are they done yet?”  “Do we get to color them now?”  “Mrs. T, can I fix my arches?”IMG_1029
Step Five.  Model to students how to color in the butterfly body and antennae.  I try to give as minimal modeling as possible, because if I show detailed examples, I suddenly realize I have about 14 replicas of my model.  Let students use markers to color!  Or puffy paint.  Or glitter.  Or whatever you want.
Step Six.  You’re done!  When I taught first grade, the students wrote: Happy Mother’s Day! I love you! on them.  But this year we ran out of time and kept it simple. 

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