Sparkly DIY Christmas Art

Before I say anything about this super duper easy and sparkly craft I have to say that I am Jewish and love Chanukah hardcore, but I have major Christmas decorating envy. It’s just not a thing to go all out crazy decorating for Chanukah, but nothing’s really stopping me so maybe next year I will…. Anyway, when Chelsey of Bright Bold Design asked me to be a part of a Christmas craft roundup I was all “An excuse to play with Christmas things? Yes please!”

DIY Gold Sparkly Christmas Art

 

Are you ready for the easiest crafty sparkly DIY of all time? Yeah, I thought so. All you need is paper, gold trim, and glue. Everything else isn’t really necessary.

1- supplies

I printed out “Joy” in Janda elegant script, put it underneath white card stock, held it up against the window and lightly traced it. (I usually do things free hand but thought it would be nicer to show an option for the people who don’t like to.)

2-printout

Then while my hot glue gun was heating up, I laid out my gold trim on the paper, cutting it where the lines don’t meet and making sure the piece I had was long enough for the whole word.

3-trim

Now this is the only part that takes any effort: because hot glue dries so quickly I glued just a bit at a time and pressed the trim down immediately. So quickly that I don’t have photos of the process but I trust that you guys got this.

DIY Gold Sparkly Christmas Art

That’s it. Then I stuck it in a frame (I didn’t put the glass plastic back over it since I like the 3D look) and viola! Christmas art!

DIY Gold Sparkly Christmas Art

You could do so many variations of this with pipe cleaners, sequin trim, yarn, anything you have in the house plus some glue and paper and you are set!

7- closeup angle

Extra tip: If you’ve got some white butcher paper, you can wrap a present with it and put your bestie’s name on it!

DIY Gold Sparkly Christmas Art

What word are you gonna write? And what’s your favorite thing to decorate with on the holidays? Do you go all out or keep it simple? I like everything sparkly (duh)

ShoesOffPlease-SignatureP.S. Check out the other 6 holiday crafts at Mom’s Best Network 

Holiday Crafts Roundup

IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign


My four year old son is extremely smart (I know that’s a thing that people say so let me just reassure you that I speak the truth), but with that has come a lot of struggles.

It had gotten to the point where I was breaking down in public because I did not feel that I could handle it anymore, this constant onslaught of screaming and crying and never knowing what would trigger it. We were walking around incredibly tense, constantly stressed and found ourselves holding our breath all the time. People often didn’t understand because hearing about it and seeing it are completely different things (as is seeing it and living with it) and I think as most parents know, being invalidated about how you see your kid is one of the most frustrating experiences.

This year he started pre-K and his teacher has changed our world. Our entire family has felt the shift that we feel is at least in part due to her extraordinary influence and understanding. She is so warm, so loving, and most importantly, she really sees him. She respects him as a person, as an individual and it shows in how she treats him and his very lucky classmates.

He’s like a different kid now with all the good stuff (funny, smart, thoughtful, goofy, cuddly) and a lot less of the hard stuff. I used to be nervous to go anywhere with him and now I love going places with him! Our Friday errand trips together are possibly my favorite time of week when we get to spend one-on-one time and where it used to be depleting it is now such a joy. He’s still a typical four year old, fighting for independence and pushing boundaries and only wearing clothes he chooses, but I can handle that :)

So in a very personal way as a mom (AND an avid IKEA shopper), I very much believe in the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign.

Soft Toy Image (Why) 2015_2

Education transforms lives in ways much more dramatic and impactful than it’s been for us (and that is not in any way to downplay how important is has been for our family). The benefits and history of the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign are really mind-blowing.

For instance, in Mozambique, thanks to the IKEA Foundation’s contribution of Soft Toys for Education campaign funds, 55,000 children in 88 schools were reached with the five components of the Child-Friendly Schools approach: education; protection; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and social mobilization. Children in these schools also received physical education and were trained in important life skills (HIV awareness, awareness on gender issues, and preventing violence and sexual abuse).

Soft Toy Image (Why) 2015_1

Education is the most impactful way to help children escape poverty. It has a direct impact on well-being, from better health to increased opportunities. It gives children knowledge skills and confidence they need to shape a better future for themselves.

For every soft toy and children’s book sold between November 9, 2014 and January 3, 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.00 to children’s education through UNICEF and Save the Children.

Soft Toy Image (Why) 2015_3

How has education impacted your life? Do you have a teacher that holds a special place in your heart? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

DIY Custom Cutting Board (Treat Yo Self)

As much as I like to think I’m super independent and capable of doing anything by myself, Tuvia really does the handiwork around the house. This time, I got to play with the toys Dremel Micro 8050 and it was so much fun (Tuvia thinks maybe I had too much fun, maybe it was the cackling while I worked thing, I’ll never know).

treat-yo-self-cutsom-cutting-board2

The older I get (yeah I’m still under 30) and the longer I am part of the small business world, the more I treasure meaningful gifts and the more I appreciate handmade craft. I wanted to make something that an adult would want (read: I want) so I came up with the idea for a customized cutting board, but instead of wood burning it which leaves a dark line, I thought it would look more modern to engrave it.

You can do this project in an hour (depending on your design) and it’s beyond worth it.

personlized-cutting-board-supplies copy

 

Here’s what you will need:

  • Wooden cutting board
  • Dremel Micro 8050
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • Transfer paper (recommended, but optional)

Just so you know, it’s not that I’m naturally a Dremel expert genius, it’s pretty intuitive and I practiced on the back of the board a bunch and came up with tips that will help you get it right the first time so other people will think you ARE naturally a Dremel expert genius.

diy custom cutting board

1- Print out your message.

You can also freehand it or make a design or pattern, but I printed out “TREAT YO SELF” in 2 inch letters to fit the cutting board (download here)

2- Pencil it in.

pencil

If you have transfer paper: attach the paper to the cutting board on three sides with painter’s tape, positioning it so it’s centered. Slide the transfer paper underneath and carefully trace your letters or design (it basically acts like you are drawing directly on the wood).

prinout and pencilIf you don’t have transfer paper: using a soft lead pencil (or whatever you have) color in the back of the paper making sure to cover the entire message or design. Then carefully trace it so it acts like transfer paper. (Tip: if you prefer a dark wooden board, use white chalk on the back)

3- Clean up the markings.

Take off the paper and clean up the lines with a pencil and eraser so you have a clear guideline for when you engrave it.

penciled in

4- Outline the design with the Dremel engraver

The Dremel Micro is light, easy to use, and comes with a bunch of accessories that I had so much fun playing around with and here’s what I came up with for this project.

Use the engraving cutter attachment at speed 20 to outline the letters. Make sure to use:

  • quick sure strokes or else the line will curve a little
  • a light touch for the most control
  • consistent pressure to avoid … inconsistencies (didn’t see that one coming, did you?)
  • etch straight on, not from an angle

So remember: consistent light and confident strokes that are head on will get the best results!

engraved-treat-yo-self

The built-in LED light is especially helpful with this project when you’re most likely leaning over it and casting your annoying shadow (not like Peter Pan annoying, more like the opposite in that it never leaves you)

5. Fill it in with the Dremel grinding stone

I wanted to give it a bit of a “letterpress” look so I switched to a grinding stone attachment (as easy as pressing the unlock button, unscrewing the top, and screwing in the new attachment- five seconds). I also used this at speed 20, but a little differently:

  • more pressure
  • go with the grain
  • hold at a bit of an angle
  • remember to stay in the outline!

sanded down treat yo self

6. Clean up.

I erased whatever pencil marks were still there and used a clean cloth to gently wipe away the sawdust.

Wrap it up and you’ve got yourself a handmade, from the heart, personalized gift that’s pretty and practical!

treat-yo-self-custom-cutting-board

Okay I’m actually not sure how to make sure this is still food-safe so I don’t want to pretend that I know it is, but if you know then pretty please comment below and share your expertise, you knowledgeable thing you!

DIY custom cutting board "TREAT YO SELF" gift for the holidays!

The Micro 8050 can cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean and polish—basically you can bring just about any brilliant project to life and you can purchase it online or in stores at Home Depot and Lowe’s or at Amazon.com for $89. I love that it’s handheld and it has such a good battery life and did I mention the built-in LED light? Yeah, it’s my new favorite tool- everything in our house should probably watch out.

What gifts are you giving this year? Do you know of any great shops I should know about? Do you know how to make that cutting board food safe? Please share!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Alternative Wedding Cake Toppers

You know how I went to Alt and I mention it at every possible opportunity because I think it’s the best thing in the world aside from a giant cookie with ice cream? Guess who was there and I managed not to meet! Sarah Deragon of Portraits to the People! Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending.

Luckily, she contacted me about a Lady Boss banner and the rest is history! Sarah came up with this idea for alternative wedding cake toppers and I looooove them. Check it out below.

Bannerie Alternative Wedding Cake Topper, photographed by Sarah Deragon Bannerie Alternative Wedding Cake Topper, photographed by Sarah Deragon Bannerie Alternative Wedding Cake Topper, photographed by Sarah Deragon Bannerie Alternative Wedding Cake Topper, photographed by Sarah Deragon

 

Awesome, right? My favorite weddings are the ones where you can really see the couple in it and I think these would be perfect for anyone looking to stand out a little. (Anyone feel pressure to define themselves as a couple through a wedding? I didn’t but I would if we would do it again.)

Seriously check out Sara’s website and you’re gonna be all “I want her to take photos of me!” and I’m gonna be all “yeah you do.”

Also, Shoes Off Please turned three but there’s no time to celebrate now so maybe later. I will say that it still blows my mind that people read the blog, leave comments (PLEASE DON’T BE SHY) or mention it to me IRL (and say that they wanted to comment but were too shy). Thank you whether you have been reading since I had no idea what I wanted to do or whether you are a new reader. I think you’re the bee’s knees (weird expression).

*All photos by Sarah Deragon, Portraits To The People

I Heart You All!

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Holiday Gift Guide for Gals

I am so thrilled to be included in Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed’s Holiday Gift Guide for Gals. Hop on over to her blog to take a look!

Lady Boss glitter banner from the Bannerie

 

She has a lot of ridiculously awesome DIYs (she is a Photo Booth GENIUS!) so you should bookmark her blog and go on a pinning frenzy when you can.

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Tiny Prints Home Decor: Custom Pillows

You guys know I like Tiny Prints. We’ve used their thank you cards for Aiden and Mia, and invitations for a summer party and mother’s day. But did you guys know that Tiny Prints has home decor products? And they’re nice, like really nice.

tiny prints custom pillows

As soon as I saw these pillows online, I fell in love with the colors and graphic lines but to be 100 billion percent honest I was a little worried they wouldn’t be so nice in person. I am so happy to report that they were EVEN BETTER!

tiny prints custom pillows

The colors are gorgeous and I just can’t decide if I love them more on our blue Room and Board chairs (craigslist score!) or our gray couch (trusty IKEA).

They come in several color options and customizable text. You can put a first name for a kid’s room, a family name for your living room or you can go my way and put a little phrase. I chose “Hey Dollface” and “Hello Gorgeous” because that’s the first thing I want to be greeted by in our living room (after the smiling faces of my family, of course.)

tiny prints custom pillows  "hey doll face" tiny prints custom pillows  "hey doll face"

These pillows are really good quality. Trust me, I know because I have ripped three pillows from another company unzipping them, and the Tiny Prints pillows are all smooth gliding like MJ on the dance floor.

Tiny Prints custom pillows "hello gorgeous" and "hey doll face"

I love them. I LOVE THEM! Like every time I walk into the living room I notice them again and am so so glad that we have them. They also make a terrific gift for the holidays to decorate your own home before your family and friends come over so you can pretend that your house is always this clean and beautiful or for someone else you love. And if you’re nervous about gifting custom pillows, a gorgeous throw blanket is always a good idea.

Tiny-Prints-Home-Decor-Pillows

 That’s my fab find for the home this holiday, what’s yours? Share in the comments! 

P.S. I am having a Cyber Monday sale today! It’s one day only and the last one of the year so this is your last chance! Use code THANKYOU25 for 25% off everything in the store! (You guys get first dibs!)

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*These pillows were gifted to me by Tiny Prints but opinions are all my own. If I didn’t love ‘em, I wouldn’t post about ‘em.*

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Though I have been collecting images and links for two months I have completely dropped the ball on getting it together for a post! HOWEVER, I was so honored to have the Bannerie be a part of several gift guides this year! I will share them as they come out :)

This E-Magazine Gift Guide is such a cool one. Basically, the Gift Guide is formatted so you can hover over the page or product and a link button will appear which will take you to the individual shops! Easy as pie… ba dum bum!

The Gift Guide features all small businesses with tons of great gifts for kids so get clicking! (And if you’re feeling lucky, there will be an amazing giveaway on Instagram this Friday)

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Have a great weekend!

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