April 2, 2014
This month, I’ve partnered up with Astrobrights paper to bring you a fun kids craft and an awesome giveaway! The lucky winner will receive a generous package of Astrobrights paper in 26 attention-getting shades and also a $50 gift card to Office Depot. I’ve been using Astrobrights papers for years (literally — since my college job at the campus print shop over a decade ago) and is my go-to paper for projects and print jobs that need to pop and stand out.
To enter giveaway, just leave a comment at the end of this post sharing how you would use Astrobrights paper to color your world! Giveaway closes Friday, April 11th at 12 midnight PST. Good luck!
Instructions for DIY project below…
Self-adhesive magnets (I used a magnet strip that I cut down)
Various round objects (such as a glass or spice jar) for tracing
Step 1: Cut out photos of your children in the shape of a circle. Mine were about 2″ in diameter.
Step 2: Cut a circle out from cardboard, same size as the photo. Glue photo to cardboard.
Step 3: To make a lion’s mane, cut out two circles (each circle larger than your child’s photo) in contrasting colors. Cut an opening so the photo can peek through. Fringe the edges and glue mane pieces together, then attach to photo.
Step 4: Add ears and whiskers.
Step 5: Lastly, attach magnet to backside. You’re finished! My kids thought these were silly and giggled at their masked faces!
Update: Congrats to Marty, comment #2, on winning the gift pack from Astrobrights! Thank you all for reading here and participating in the giveaway!
March 17, 2014
Since it’s St. Patty’s Day, I thought I’d finally share the boys’ birthday party invitation, with green being the common denominator here (see how I tied those two things together?).
I found a Creeper illustration online and created a vector/high-res version in Illustrator. You can design and print your own 5″x7″ invitation as a PDF file (I left the white area blank for you to fill in) or use the graphic below (click on image to open high-res file).
And, tadaaaaa. Presenting this years kindergarten leprechaun trap. Not sure what’s more tragic — that I didn’t save the first trap we built years ago, or that we encourage children to imprison jaunty fairytale creatures.
March 6, 2014
I posted this fun little cardboard chair for Hellobee some time back. If you’re ever in the mood to build cardboard furniture, here’s some inspiration, big and tiny, from around the web.
2. Dollhouse dining table.
3. Dollhouse kitchen.
4. Make your own kid-sized furniture
And above is the cardboard bed I built a couple years back. Hmmm, those textiles look familiar!
February 28, 2014
I’m coming out of winter hibernation to say hello! I’ve been keeping busy with the kids, a new job, and snow days on top of snow days.
Most, if not all of us parents already helped our kids with their 100th Day of School project, but I thought what my son came up with was so clever I had to share.
He really wanted to something Minecraft related — because my boys’ diet is primarily made up of all things Minecraft. We noticed that a Creeper face can be made with exactly 100 squares, or pixels.
So with a paper cutter, I cut out a bunch of 1″ squares (mostly shades of green with some black for the Creeper’s eyes and mouth) and drew a 10″x10″ grid onto a sheet of posterboard. To make the project even easier for my son (and faster, for me), I affixed double-sided tape to the backside of each square, and stuck them to the backing of a used sticker sheet so he could just peel off the squares and attach to the poster board. With a pencil, I lightly shaded in the squares that made up the mouth and nose so he’d know exactly where to place the black paper squares. I mean, pixels. The prep work I did ahead of time was worth it — Dax spent maybe 10 minutes putting it all together and his beloved poster was hung up right away after bringing it back home from school.
Back in November, the boys had a Minecraft-themed birthday party. I’m aiming to share their invitation as a free printable soon!
December 2, 2013
A California print (part of her studio’s wall gallery) called out to me, and seeing that it was a commissioned piece from a friend, I thought up some ways I could make a similar poster for my home. As much as our family is starting to really enjoy (dare I say love? what?!) NC, our roots will always be in California.
Since the poster would hang somewhere in my living room, I knew I wanted my version to be a little more buttoned-down and tried to stay true to the actual outline of the state instead of a more interpretive, abstract look. Going off a printout, I freehanded the outline onto a velvety, black substrate I had on hand (old samples from a printing company) but still managed to mess up a few areas, most notably, my hometown — sorry Bay Area and San Jo!
With a sponge brush, I filled in the outline with size, a gilding medium that adheres the gold leaf to whatever surface you’re working on. You can find gilding kits at any craft store. Just make sure to pick up a sponge brush or two if you don’t already have that on hand.
Once the size is dried, carefully lay down your leafing sheets over the size, overlapping the edges of the sheets as you go. Smooth down with your hand or press with a completely dry sponge brush. Rub off the excess with your fingers and gently burnish the borders of the state.
With a clean, dry cloth, sweep off the gold dust and flecks from your print (vacuuming is the best way to clean off your floor and workspace). If you like, you can apply a thin layer with the protective coating that comes with the kit. I skipped that part and went straight to framing my finished print instead.