“Where the Wild Things Are” Birthday Party Invitation

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So this post is going to be a little redundant if you’ve already checked out my DIY Invites & Greeting Cards without Photoshop post, but since Baby P’s invite was so stinkin’ cute and so special to me, I think it deserves it’s own post :). Additionally, this tutorial will highlight inserting a picture into your invite whereas my last post was text only. Perhaps most importantly (second only to Baby P’s cuteness, of course lol) is that these invitations cost about $8.00 for thirty (depending on where you choose to have them printed)! Talk about a steal, you can’t even get lame, fill-’em-in-yourself Target brand invites for $8.00 let alone an adorable, custom picture invitation. Please keep in mind, if you are interested in having a WTWTA themed birthday party and love this invitation design please contact me and I will sub in your child’s picture and send you the PDF for free ūüôā

NOTE: I will reiterate what I said in my other DIY invitation post. It is legal for you to use copywrited images and characters for your own personal use as long as you are not profiting from that use, however, big corporate print stores like Staples and Office Max are weird about printing things with these types of images (like the WTWTA characters on my invite) and will not do it because technically it is trademark infringement on their part as they profit from your payment to them for printing. Some print stores, like my local Postal Anex are a lot more lax about this kind of thing so bear in mind that you will need to seek out one of these smaller establishments or print them yourself at home or at the library.

As mentioned above, the only difference between this invitation and the example in my DIY Invitations and Greeting Cards post is that this one contains a photograph (which is super easy to ad). For creating the text portion of the invite and adding the characters (which I found by doing a Google search for “Where the Wild Things Are characters”) I will refer you to the previously mentioned post. As for adding a picture simply select: INSERT>PICTURE and retrieve the picture from wherever you have it saved on your computer. Once you have added the photograph you may adjust the size and then select: FORMAT>PICTURE>OUTLINE if you wish to change the color or weight of the outline around the picture (I used a thick yellow outline to match the font). Like the font I used? It’s “Hello, Goodbye” available here via dafont.com, the same one I used when creating my DIY Hand-Painted Where the Wild Things Are Sign.¬†Do you absolutely love my photo of Baby¬†P in his wolf suit? Check out the my DIY Wolf Suit Costume tutorial!

 

DIY Fabric Covered Photo Mat – Made from a Cereal Box!!!

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Who doesn’t love free stuff? I actually have quite a few “free” projects in the works currently that I’m super excited about, but for now I’ll share this one with you as it was part of our gallery wall which I will reveal soon! This project actually happened by accident when I realized that the frame I was using wasn’t a standard photo frame and I was going to need to cut a photo mat to fit it. Since the piece of art (I shouldn’t say art, it was a weird picture of a cat or something, lol) that was originally in the frame had an ivory mat around it I was going to have J cut it to fit using a box cutter. Of course he misunderstood me (anybody else have an issue with their men having selective hearing when it comes to their crafting requests? lol) and cut the wrong part of the mat, rendering the part I needed useless. Boo-hoo! It was time to come up with a plan B, which I thought would be just to buy and cut a standard mat to size but then I realized that a standard mat wouldn’t fit this frame either (gahh!). Just as I was getting super frustrated and about to ax the use of that particular frame altogether,¬†I remembered that I had seen a picture mat that somebody had covered in fabric by simply mod podging fabric onto a plain picture mat. Now, that still didn’t solve my problem of not having the right mat size, but if I thought that if I could only find a thin cardboard to fashion my own mat I could take advantage of my left over fabric from past projects. I knew that a poster board cut to size would work just fine but in the interest of not having to traipse into town to get one I thought to myself “what do I have in the house that is of similar thickness/material to a poster board?” and then it came to me – a cereal box!!! About a half hour and a little mod podge later I had myself another fancy photo mat (check out my first DIY photo mat here) that not only matched the fabric on our side-light window panels¬†but was free!!! All it required was a little thinking outside of the “box”, so to speak (get it? cereal box, ha.ha.ha). I hope this inspires a free photo mat on your end (you need not use a cereal box like I did, any thin cardboard will do) and should you not have the need for a photo mat right now, keep this one in mind as a great DIY gift opportunity come the holidays!

I'll have plenty of more frame projects in the works if I keep catching more adorable moments like this! These two melt my heart <3

I’ll have plenty of more frame projects in the works if I keep catching more adorable moments like this! These two melt my heart ‚̧

 

DIY FABRIC PHOTO MAT

SUPPLIES:

  • 1 large cereal box¬†or poster board of some sort
  • fabric of your choice
  • mod podge (I used matte finish but it doesn’t matter what you use)
  • glue gun & hot glue
  • foam brush
  • measuring tape
  • scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: If you are using a cereal box break the box down by cutting along one of the corners so that it can lay flat like a piece of cardboard. Then measure and cut four strips of equal length or four pieces that can come together to form a rectangular mat since it wont matter what your pieces look like beneath the fabric as long as the shape of the mat is even (depending on the size of your box you may not be able to get four equal pieces but rather four pieces just long enough to overlap and connect to form a rectangle). If using a poster board simply measure and draw out your mat and then cut it out already formed.

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My cereal box! In the interest of pinching our pennies I opt for “crisp rice” instead of rice krispies haha

Step 2: Once you have your four pieces connect them so that your print side (if using a cereal box) is all facing one direction using hot glue to form the mat. Ignore this step if you have used a poster board and your mat is ready to go. Now you are ready to measure and add your fabric!

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ensuring that it fits in the frame

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Step 3:  Measure your fabric by laying the fabric print side down (upside down) and laying your mat on top, use a pencil or pen to mark an area just a tad bit larger than your mat size or enough to be folded over the edges (I will explain in the subsequent steps). Once you have marked your rectangle on the fabric, cut it out using your scissors (this should be obvious but keep the rectangle in tact! To cut the center simply puncture a hole in the center of your fabric and cut along the insides).

Step 4: Place your mat so that the non-print side is facing up and lay your fabric cut out over the mat to make sure that it will line up correctly. In each of the inner and outer corners cut a small slit that extends from the edge of the fabric to the corner of the mat (this is so your fabric can be tucked underneath without puckering at the corners).

Step 5:¬†Now you are ready to attach the fabric to the mat. Using your foam brush, brush a generous amount of mod podge onto the mat surface and then lay your fabric atop it and press down to secure. Some mod podge will likely seep through the fabric, this is fine, simply use your foam brush to brush it off so that it doesn’t form clumps. At this point your fabric will still be larger than necessary for the mat but allow it to dry this way before moving onto the next step.

Step 6:¬†Once your fabric has dried for the most part, turn your mat upside down and use hot glue to attach your fabric’s edges to the underneath of the mat, making sure to pull it tightly so that isn’t loose along the edges and holds to the mat securely.

Step 7: Now turn your mat back over and add another coat of mod podge to the top of the fabric, ensuring that you are adding and even layer and are not allowing it to pool or clump along the top. Allow it to dry and you are ready to use it in your frame!!! Ta-da!!! 

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My DIY frame displayed on our gallery wall!

 

To see more of our family pictures from baby P’s 6 month photo session see this post!¬†

 

Baby P’s DIY Father’s Day Photo Gifts

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Father’s Day is just a few short weeks away and baby P and I both agree that J is just about the best daddy there is and deserves nothing but the best for his special day! Thing is, the gift that my frugal hubby would love the most is for me not to spend money, haha, lucky for him I had been planning two budget friendly, DIY, grand slam Father’s Day gifts for months now (well actually since baby P was born lol). Since J is up in NY for fleet week for two weeks, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity¬†to get my Father’s Day pics out of the way, printed and wrapped before his return. Additionally, I like to share my holiday crafts with my Mommy friends, so I always like to test out my projects before hand, to ensure it comes out as planned and make it¬†easier for me to host a craft play date without having to wrangle baby P at the same time.

Okay so back to the photos, can I tell you that I literally cried after I saw how amazing these pictures turned out? Baby P is just the squishiest, happiest little thing and I know J is going to DIE when he opens this gift on Father’s Day (if I can wait that long to give it to him lol jk I will)! Don’t worry I made him promise not to read the blog for a few weeks and since he loves surprises so much I know for a fact he won’t peek ;-). Since the pics are self explanatory I’ll just go into a bit more detail with each picture below. Hope this inspires you to have some fun with your little and give their Daddy something fun and meaningful for Father’s Day!

*For more examples of DIY holiday photos check out this post!

“DAD” PHOTO

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Okay, obviously you’ve seen this one all over Pinterest, so needless to say this isn’t an original idea but sooo stinkin cute nonetheless! I purchased a “D” and an “A” from Michael’s at $3.99 a piece and used a 30% off-entire-purchase coupon, I also returned the following day to purchase the frame (originally priced at $12.99) using a 40% off coupon. Confession: in my super stingy mind I did for a moment consider returning the letters after I was done (I know, terrible) ¬†but I decided it would be best to keep them to repeat this Father’s Day craft ¬†for my crafting play date and with any future children I may have. The onsie is another one of my DIY projects that I came up with specifically for this picture, check out the tutorial for DIY Little Man onsies here, they are super cheap and mostly no-sew! For the picture itself I just sat him on our vintage wing back chair (which actually made for the perfect backdrop!) and snapped his pictures with my smart phone. When I was done, I used the Walgreen’s photo app to upload my pics and picked them up the next time I was out, three 4X6 pictures cost me about $0.40 after coupons!!! Quick plug for the Walgreen’s photo app – I LOVE it, it’s so convenient since it’s all done from your phone, just make sure you Google “Walgreen’s photo coupons” before completing your order since there are always coupon codes for photo prints (this time it was 40% off!).¬†Including all components this project cost me right around $14.00. TIP: If you want to save on framing costs simply purchase an 11X14 frame from a thrift store and arrange the photos side by side over a colored piece of paper or cardstock, as opposed to buying a three hole frame or simply use the app “picstitch” or another photo app/kiosk to turn your three images into a three frame single photo.

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Baby P testing out the chair and modeling his onsie before the pics!

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so proud of the finished product! lol Look at those curled little toes ūüôā

“DADDY’S SHOES” PHOTO

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This photo was a copycat of a professional Father’s Day photo I found here on Pinterest, which I then adapted to include my hubby’s military gear. I figured since I was going to be recreating this idea with all of my Mommy friends, who are all military mamas as well, including the military boots and cover would be an extra special touch. To set up the picture I followed my usual steps for a DIY photo backdrop and then added the words using the free photo app “Phonto” (see this post for detailed instructions for use of the app) after taking the picture. This photo I printed in size 8X10 via Shutterfly for $1.79, the frame I will be using is one that we already have so that part will be free, which means … this gift cost me $1.79, say whaaaaaaat??! NOTE: When doing the picture with a little girl I plan to change the end of the poem to “… as great a person and as true a friend, as my Daddy is to me”, since the original poem is specifically for another male.

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the original image before I added the text. I made sure to take the photo off center so that there would be a good amount of empty space for the poem.

There you have it – two ADORABLE Father’s Day gifts coming in right at around $15.00!!! My hubby will LOVE these gifts, and love their price tag as well!

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We’ll be celebrating this wonderful man come Father’s Day! He does it all and then some, we love him so much! I caption this photo “look, here’s my Dad!” lol

 

Our Family Pictures in Downtown Wilmington, NC

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This will just be a quick post to share our family pictures with you since I love them so much :). Since our gender reveal our photographer Sherry of Cool Breeze Photography of NC¬†¬†has photographed us several other times, to include these family pictures, and we are absolutely in LOVE with her work! My little P was such a good sport considering I dressed him for fall and it was 90 degrees that day, poor thing lol. We picked downtown Wilmington as the location for our pictures because while we knew we wanted to do the pictures outdoors, we figured that having more of a city background as opposed to a nature setting (as was the setting for most of our other photographs) would be a good way for us to switch it up. As for our outfits, I was super selfish and based them around my dress (purchased from Ruche¬†aka my favorite online retailer in the history of ever lol)¬†which I picked out before choosing outfits for the boys :-P, BUT it worked out because given the color scheme I was able to dress J & P in clothes that they already owned. I found that Pinterest has a lot of great resources when trying to decide what to wear for family pictures, I went with the similar-colors-different-prints idea and I think it worked out great! I hope you love these pictures as much as I do and I hope Baby P puts a smile on your face (if he doesn’t you might need to get your head checked, I’m worried about you lol jk). XOXO

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Our Gender Reveal


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In February of 2013 we found out we were expecting our first little baby. Overcome with excitement, we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to know the gender. I, for one, can’t stand surprises (every year I try to get our family to open all of their gifts Christmas Eve lol) and couldn’t wait to plan out every detail of the nursery and the cute little outfits that baby Schulze would wear. Even though my hubby loves surprises, he was eager to know the gender as well, since in his opinion¬†it would add to the excitement if he knew that he would be having a catch with his son one day or watching his daughter’s dance recitals. I hadn’t considered doing a gender reveal (and didn’t even know it was¬†a thing) until good ‘ol Pinterest enlightened me. Not only did I think it was the cutest idea ever, but what better way to capture one of the best moments of your life? I sought out Sherry of Cool Breeze Photography of NC (check out her portfolio and her blog here, she is amazing!) for a mini-session to take place on June 1st (a whole 10 days after the anatomy ultrasound was to take place, people thought I was nuts for waiting but I’m glad, it was so worth it!).¬†As planned,¬†on May 22nd we went for our anatomy ultrasound and got to see our sweet, healthy baby sucking on it’s thumb (so cute, even cuter is that P still sucks his thumb) and the technician wrote the gender on a little piece of paper and sealed it in an envelope. Into my purse it went and there it would sit until the day of the reveal! Come June 1st we took our giant box to our local party store and had them fill it with pink or blue balloons while we waited in the car (I was TERRIFIED that somehow they were going to ruin the surprise for us but they came¬†through big time!).¬†After finishing at¬†the party store we headed down to a cute little horse farm in Hampstead where our session was to take place, I remember us thinking how crazy it was that sitting in the back of the car was the answer to a question we had been asking for 21 weeks! There is no way to describe the feeling right before we opened that box, it was that kind of nervous excitement that makes you feel like you’re having an out of body experience, like right before you walk down the aisle at your wedding or when the roller coaster makes its ascent just before the crazy ride is about to begin. Call it mother’s intuition but I knew we were having a boy right from the start, I don’t know why, I just did. J swore that we were having a girl but says that right when we¬†place the box in front of us to open it, he just knew it was a boy as well.

I am SO, SO¬†glad we have these pictures as a memento of one of the most exciting days of our lives. If you’re planning on finding out the gender of your child anyway and aren’t super private people, I highly recommend doing a gender reveal of some sort (if you’ve been on Pinterest for even one millisecond I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of gender reveal ideas, lol). Also if you’d like to save money (which you should be since the journey of parenthood is an expensive one, haha) have¬†a friend take the pictures or better yet, videotape it. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we did ūüôā