Create Your Own Bag Toppers using PicMonkey

Halloween is approaching fast and it hit me during dance class on Tuesday night that I needed a quick treat for the Halloween party. Usually when I post these tutorials, I get a lot who has time for that? I’m here to tell you, this is super quick and easy. Best of all? It’s free! That’s right, you don’t need fancy software, you can use the PicMonkey website and create your own personalized treat bag labels.

Start by heading over to PicMonkey. Once you get there, click on the collage icon at the top of the screen. It might ask you to pick an image from your computer to proceed, just go ahead and do this, to get the collage open. Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.11.24 AM

It will open up a collage like the one you see on the screen shot below. Click the “x” in the upper right hand corner of the longer photo box to take it out of the collage.

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Your workspace should look the screen shot below and you’re ready to begin creating your bag toppers.

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Fill the photo spots with a background. Just click on the image in the toolbar for swatches and chose a ready made design, create your own background, or upload one from your computer. The upload option is great if you’ve downloaded a free background and want to use it for your bag toppers. For mine, I just chose one of the swatches that came up in the menu.

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Once you’ve decided on your background, click on the edit option above the collage. The menu to the left of your work space will change and should look like the one below. Here is where the real fun begins. You can add text, overlays, graphics, edit your image, and so much more. I like to play around with this menu if I don’t have something specific in mind. The site is always updating their options based on holidays and seasons.

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Here’s what I did to create the label you’ll see in the photo at the bottom:

I started by adding a label (click on the butterfly icon, then scroll down to find the labels header). I wanted a nice big space to add text for the bag toppers, so I picked a fun label to serve as a background for my text.

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Next, I personalized the label with a cute Halloween saying and name.

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That’s it! The topper is complete! Finally, I saved the label to my computer and opened the image in Microsoft word. I changed my paper orientation to landscape to fit more on the page and printed the toppers from the Word document.

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For the final product, I used Wilton clear plastic bags (from the cake decorating aisle at Wal-Mart), cut in half. I cut the toppers out, folded them in half, and stapled them to the top. The final product was cute, simple, and cheap!

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DIY calendar

For the past few weeks, we’ve spent most of our free time (which less face it, it’s pretty much nonexistent) putting the finishing touches on my office work space downstairs. I don’t actually know whether to call it an office or a craft room. It’s really a little of both. As we finish projects, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites on the blog, and I’ll be sharing the whole space, too!

One thing I knew I wanted was an editorial calendar to keep track of blog posts for both my personal blog and Every Day Cheer. I know Google has a fantastic calendar that syncs with my phone and can be accessed anywhere, but I’m a paper and pencil girl. I like to look at it and be able to put my hands on it. I also know that blog content tends to get moved around depending on when sponsored posts come back to me from editors, and when I need to stick a review or giveaway in the mix.

I did a good bit of brainstorming before coming up with the final product, but I must say that it turned out exactly as I had envisioned. It’s also fully functional and on the wall right beside my desk, so I can look over at it while I’m working and see my schedule at a quick glance.

The calendar is good for five weeks, at the end of each week, I just pull those stickies off and move everything up. I mark the actual date on the sticky note, it’s easy to mark through if things change, and I don’t have to worry about rewriting the dates on the actual white board.

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Here’s the thing, you can use this same calendar template for so many other things in your home. You could color coordinate the sticky notes for different members of your family, or whatever your personal schedule lends itself to.

The process is quick and easy, here’s how the wall calendar came to life.

I started with white board we already had and removed the trim for the actual calendar. You can have Lowe’s or Home Depot cut a piece of shower board for you for a fraction of the cost of a white board. If you want it to be magnetic, I would just go with a white board from an office supply store. You can choose your size and remove the frame for this project, it’s an easy step and pops right off without much force. For reference we used a 35″x23″ white board for the project.

Start by measuring your grid lines for the calendar. I just created a calendar grid to one side, and used the extra space for ideas, you could even use it as a notes section. I knew that each of my squares needed to accommodate a standard sized Post-It! note, so I used that as a guide for creating the grid. I used washi tape to create the grid lines.

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Once your grid is complete, use your board to mark the trim and cut the pieces to size to ensure an accurate fit.

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Hold the dry erase board in place and trace around the entire board, giving yourself a guide for attaching the trim pieces. Attach all four sides and corner pieces to the wall using finishing nails.

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Using adhesive caulk, glue the dry erase board in place. Fill in nail holes and joints with caulk and paint to finish the board. I used the Silhouette to cut out the words for the calendar.

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Once the board has dried and the final coat of paint has been applied, you’re ready to start planning!

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make your own flower box

I’ve had the cutest DIY flower box sitting on my dining room table for over a year now. Every time I look at it I make a mental note to blog about the process. Well, the day has finally come. With Allen’s help, I’m going to show you how to make this quick and easy centerpiece for your table.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6′ oak 1×4 (cut into 2- 24″ pieces and 2- 4″ pieces)
  • 24″x5″ piece of luan (for bottom)
  • wood stain
  • wood glue
  • sponge to apply the stain
  • finishing nails

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Cut your wood pieces to size. You’ll need two 24″ pieces for the sides and two 4″ pieces for the ends.

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Place the small pieces between the two long pieces on each end to form your box.

Apply wood glue anywhere the wood joins (this will hold your sides in place when nailing the box together).

Clamp in place.

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Secure the sides of the box to the ends using finishing nails.

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Flip the box over and nail the leuon to the bottom to finish the box.

Stain the box by rubbing your stain on with a sponge.

I filled the bottom of my box with styrofoam and arranged flowers in the box to make a centerpiece on our dining room table.

The possibilities are endless, you could change it all seasonally or add festive holiday picks by pressing them into the styrofoam.

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2013 Christmas Round-Up

Last year, I had so much fun with the 12 Days Of Christmas series. I love creating and cooking, especially around the holidays. Another 12 days series isn’t in the cards for this year, things are busy and I’m lucky to get a blog post up these days, it’s just a busy season around here.

I wanted to share some of my favorite projects from around the blog. You can find links to them and a short explanation beneath the collages. These have all been created in our home and I can say without a doubt that anyone can accomplish these fun and simple projects.

Get your hot glue gun out, I promise this is going to be fun for everyone!

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  1. Santa’s Magic Key- A fun and simple project, Santa’s magic key is left out on Christmas Eve night and it includes a precious poem that incorporates the real reason for the season as well.
  2. Holiday Bucket List- I love the idea of a holiday bucket list. Include all of your favorite traditions and it becomes a sweet reminder in your home this season.
  3. Ruffled Tree Skirt- Create a fun tree skirt to use for years to come.
  4. Ornament Wreath- A quick and easy tutorial for a festive ornament wreath.
  5. Painted Tie-Dye Ornament- This is a quick and easy tutorial using glass ornaments and acrylic paint
  6. Modge Podge Ornaments- Modge Podge your favorite paper to a glass ornament for a festive look
  7. Personalized Glitter Ornament- With vinyl letters create a personalized ornament
  8. Hand-Print Ornament- Using your childs hand create a personalized snowman ornament
  9. Christmas-PJ Tree- If you have old Christmas PJ’s this is a perfect way to always have them as a keepsake and add decor to a child’s room

And the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a few of my favorite Christmas recipes:

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  1. Homemade Hot Chocolate
  2. Christmas Party Pretzels
  3. Peppermint Chocolate Cake Balls
  4. Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
  5. Sausage Balls 

And I’m sharing another fun recipe on Every Day Cheer today. Click over to check out my recipe for Christmas Crunch.

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DIY drawer organizers

I know I’ve expressed my deep love for organization on here before. It’s a real, legitimate love that makes my heart all sorts of happy. On the flip side, the opposite of organization, (would that be chaos?) is enough to make me crazy. I’m a straight lines person, everything in a place, in neat little rows. It’s something I really have to work on, because we all know life can’t be like that, all of the time.

Or so I’ve been told. Multiple times.

You can only imagine my level of frustration when I opened the drawer in my kitchen to find this disaster. Here’s the thing, I’ve organized this drawer (and the one below), the random kitchen utensils and gadgets drawers. But, then they always end up looking like this, a chaotic mess. I almost didn’t include this picture, then I almost told you it was a Google stock image.

I’m kidding, sort of.

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Logically, I told Allen that I needed some organization in this drawer and asked him if he would pick me up a drawer organizer at Home Depot or Lowe’s the next time he was in the store. He agreed, but none of the drawer organizers would really do what I needed, or the size was wrong and there would be extra space in the drawer that wasn’t being used.

You know where this is going, he went downstairs and built one himself.

So I took pictures to show you, just in case your drawers are in need of a little organizing, too. Here’s how you can make your own:

  1. Cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the size of the inside of the drawer. This is going to serve as your base and it’s important for a couple of reasons. It will steady the dividers by giving them a base, and you’ll be able to take this organizer our of the drawer if you ever need to. IMG_7879
  2. Based on what you need for the inside of your drawer, draw a grid on the plywood. IMG_7884
  3. Cut strips of 1/4″ plywood to the height of the drawer, length and quantity will be based on the grid that you have drawn on your base.  Don’t forget to cut the pieces for the edges and subtract the width of the plywood from the height of the drawer, since it will be nailed on top of the plywood. IMG_7880
  4. Using a 1/16″ drill bit, pre-drill holes for the finishing nails. Attach strips (the dividers you’ve already cut) to the base. This will be easy since you drew the grid onto the base to begin with. IMG_7885

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Once you’ve attached all of your pieces to the base, you’re ready to insert it into the drawer. The fit should be just right, so you won’t need to attach it to the drawer.

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This is the first organizer we added to the kitchen for silverware. I love how it turned out and how it makes it easy to stay organized. Allen even added a slot for the knives, in the back of the drawer, far out of the reach of tiny toddler fingers.

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Here is the finished product from the pictures above. I’m still waiting on one more to go in the drawer below this one. That drawer is still a mess. Most of the things in this drawer that didn’t have a place once the divider was added, went into the drawer below. I try not to even open it most days.

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