DIY Children’s Artwork Canvas Tote Bag

DIY Childrens Artwork Canvas Tote Bag

Homemade gifts are the sweetest and it doesn’t get much more adorable than children’s artwork – so this year for Mother’s Day, I worked with my sister in-laws to have each of the 8 grandchildren create a special piece for their Nana.

Each drawing/painting was created in a square format. I then took a photo of each masterpiece (Note: For best results, shoot outside in full sunlight), and used Diptic to group the photos into two sets of four with equal dimensions. This app also makes it super easy to create a fun colorful border, complimenting the kids’ artwork.


After combining the artwork into two collages, I printed each as a MIRROR IMAGE onto Fabric Transfer Sheets, then ironed them onto each side of a Canvas Tote Bag. (I stress “mirror image” because, regardless that it’s clearly on the instructions, I have forgotten this step on numerous occasions – trust me, you’ll want to save yourself the frustration)

Voila! Straight from a child’s heart and imagination… A one-of-a-kind, reusable tote, made especially for Nana. 🙂

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”

To all the amazing moms out there – you are loved and appreciated today and every day… Happy Mother’s Day!!

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DIY Disney Autograph Memory Book

DIY Disney Autograph Memory Book

The beginning of winter in Chicago can be quite exciting – the anticipation of snow, holiday season cheer, ringing in a new year… then BOOM – January rolls in and the magical part of winter seems to come to a screeching halt. Next comes months of frigid cold, making it seem as though spring is an eternity away. For me, winter sanity is planning something to look forward to – like a nice warm vacation.

We decided to book a trip to Florida and try our hand at Disney World for a few days. Cory and I have both been to Disney World when we were little, but this will be our 1st trip as parents… Although all the information for planning a “WDW” vacation can be overwhelming, and some websites even require a secret decoder ring to figure out their acronyms, I find most advise has the same staple suggestions. One of these recommendations is to be prepared with an autograph book for character photographs and signatures.

The Disney Store sells autograph books anywhere from $8 to $20, and customizable books can be found on Etsy for up to $75 (you read that right – SEVENTY FIVE!) To sell me on $75 I’d hope for them to be encrusted with princess jewels or sprinkled with Tinkerbell’s fairy dust, but my guess is they are not… I understand some Disney enthusiasts might be willing to fork over that kind of cash for a memory book, but I have 3 toddlers who – to my best guess – will develop stage fright and not even get close enough to the oversized, slightly terrifying characters for me to snap a photograph, let alone ask for an autograph… Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about keepsakes. But if I can create a quality, personalized version myself and save money, I’m definitely going to choose that route.

To keep the cost of their autograph books at a minimum, I scoped out Hobby Lobby’s 40% off Art Pads & Sketchbooks sale and purchased  6″ x 6″ Master’s Touch Wire Bound Sketch Books for $2.99 each. Here is a similar Wire Bound 6″ x 6″ Sketch Book from Amazon.

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I created my own image featuring the kids’ favorite characters/movies…

Disney Memories.jpg

Click HERE for editable PDF (accurate print size for above sketch book) or HERE for jpg format.

I then personalized each cover using a free New Waltograph font I found on Fontspace.com.

Disney Memories.jpg

If you have a Mac — After downloading the New Waltograph font, you can open the PDF file in Preview and follow the below steps to add your text:Editable PDF Steps

Step 1: Select the Edit button  from the toolbar at the top of the Preview window.
Step 2: Select the Text tool add text tool showing text within a box.Step 3: Select the color [white], [Waltograph] font, appropriate size – I used [48 pt], and [center] alignment.
Step 4: Click on document and type name / text. Note: You may have to do this a few times to get accurate placement.

Printing the images on card stock looked fabulous, but for an extra crisp result – I had them professionally printed online using matte photo paper (Note: Maintaining image size to scale is extremely important). I then trimmed the images with a paper cutter (leaving a white border) and used spray adhesive to attach each design to the kids’ autograph book covers.

image1

This photograph shows image printed on card stock.

We are now prepared for character autographs… Take us to the mouse!

WANT MORE COLOR OPTIONS?? SEE MY NEW POST!!
DIY Disney Autograph Memory Book – Multiple Color Options

Related post: Child Size or Small Wrist Magic BandsDIY Lion Guard Costumes

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“Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories.” – Genie, The Return of Jafar

 

Documenting Baby’s 1st Year

When I was pregnant with Jacob & Evan, my cousin told me about a new (at the time) website called Pinterest. I signed up for an account to start Pinning decor ideas for their nursery. Little did I know what a life-changing website it would become. Why did it have to be created AFTER I got married?!?! I came across so many crafty ways to document the boys’ 1st year and couldn’t wait to make something especially for them!

With so many ideas, I decided to photograph and create two different monthly comparisons – One with the boys together (because twin baby portraits are simply adorable!) and one with them alone (because they are, after all, individuals). In attempt to capture their personalities, I also included brief descriptions about them.  It was fun to reflect on each month’s little joys and take time to appreciate the small things.

Twins 1st Year Monthly Photo Collage with Keepsake Memories

Jacob:

Baby 1st Year Monthly Photo Collage

Evan:

Baby 1st Year Monthly Photo Collage with Stuffed Animal

Naturally, when Avery was born, I wanted to create the same monthly snapshots for her as well…

Baby Girl 1st Year Monthly Photo Collage with Keepsake Memories

Baby Girl 1st Year Monthly Photo Collage

I used Photoshop to create my images. If you do not have Photoshop (or any other photo editing software), a similar technique can be used with either of the following:

  • An online photo editor like PicMonkey that allows you to add a paragraph of text, and enables you to crop and edit your photo as well.
  • If you only want to insert a small amount of text, such as the month, AddText has a quick and simple process for adding a caption (downside = limited fonts and their website appears in bottom right of the photo).
  • If you have the images on your phone or iPad, there are tons of apps that allow you to add text. Imagic Text and Word Swag are ones that allow for longer text/paragraphs.

If you have any other suggested ways to add text to your image, I’d love to hear about it – please comment below.

Looking back at these photos, I had no idea they would trigger so many heartwarming memories (all too easily forgotten). It doesn’t feel like it during the day-to-day grind of picky eating, tantrums and poopy diapers, but it’s true when people say “they grow so fast”. I’m glad I took the time to create this project, as it really helped me cherish the little moments and capture their growth for the 1st year.

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Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

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