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brown paper packages: March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

{ahoy! it's a boy! baby shower}

Babies, babies everywhere! This spring has proved to be the season for babies, because I everywhere I look someone is expecting a sweet new addition. Babies = baby showers, and chances are you will be involved in the planning of one at some point.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the most darling baby shower. I loved everything about it, and my friend Sarah (the planner) did a fabulous job. I just had to share all her fun ideas!

What I love most is the perfect simplicity and meshing of all the components. Sarah chose a nautical theme, and carried it through the entire shower. Everything coordinated, but in a subtle way. {LOVE} it!


The invitation started everything off...


I {adore} this fun clothesline as a decoration--the colors are exactly right!


The food was delicious. Sarah served Hawaiian Haystacks (which reminds me, I still need to get that recipe!), fresh fruit & dip, water bottles with darling labels, and YUMMY cupcakes.


The favors were little packages of Swedish Fish, in clear plastic packaging and another cute label.


Add in wonderful friends, a darling momma-to-be, and itty bitty baby clothes, and it was the perfect shower! (I am on the right, with my cute friend Brook.)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{general conference treat buckets}

Our church has the opportunity to hear from our church leaders twice a year, which is called General Conference. It's always a fun weekend, with lots of food, family, and friends. Having little ones can be a challenge though, since they aren't quite as excited about sitting down to listen.

My good friend shared this fun idea with me, and when I introduced it to my kids, it was a hit. A {HUGE} hit. So much so, they have been talking about it since October.

General Conference Treat Buckets

*I found the tin buckets in the dollar section at Target--perfect!

*We decided the words we wanted the kids to listen for during Conference--prophet, temple, faith, scriptures, and family--then I added one word to the front of each bucket in vinyl (font = Wish I Was Taller) . You could also use stickers, rub-ons, or print the words on cardstock then mat them on scrapbook paper and attach them with double stick tape. I tied ribbon around the handle for a fun accent. For really little ones, you could add a picture in addition to or instead of the words.

*I filled each bucket with the kids' favorite candy...

*During conference, I line the buckets up along the hearth, and then anytime they hear one of the words on the bucket, they can come and take a piece of candy. I also give them a cup with their name on it to put their candy in, although not much makes it into the cup, lol.

This is such an easy idea, and I promise, your kids will never get tired of it!

This idea isn't just for General could also be used in any kind of classroom setting--from home, to school, to church!




Friday, March 25, 2011

{a place for everything...with The Idea Room}

A huge welcome to Amy, from The Idea Room!


I am always on the search to find things to make getting out the door as painless as possible...know what I mean? If your house is anything like ours, quick and easy is a must.


When I saw these adorable labels on Alpha Mom created by Cindy from Skip to My Lou, I thought they were adorable but knew if I wanted to use them I had to get better at organizing my lunch making system. Here is what I came up with.


I pre-printed the cute fruit labels and have them cut out and prepared to slip over the fruit. Cindy also provided some fun little notes to slip into your child's lunch bag to remind them of how special they are. I also added some post-its and a pen to write my own personal notes when needed. You could even write them before hand and just grab one and drop it in the bag. I also thought some jokes would be fun too. They are some sites online that would have tons of appropriate jokes for your kids.


Then I took a basket and filled it with "mom-approved" lunch food.


We pull out the basket and while I am making the sandwiches the kids pick a couple of items to add to their lunch. I included things like nuts, granola bars, fruit leather, raisins, pretzels, etc.


Then we also have a tupperware in the fridge to hold the perishable items. We included carrots, soy beans aka Edamame (my kids LOVE these. We buy them in bulk at COSTCO.), grapes, apples, string cheese, and yogurt, etc.


I also let the kids have a dessert. Usually homemade cookies or rice crispy treats when we have them. A great way to do this is to make a large batch of cookies and then store them in the freezer and then pull a few out as needed.


My kids do not eat home lunch every day. There are certain school lunch options that they like so I usually let them pick one or two times a week to eat school lunch. We just look online at the school menu on Sundays (when we are planning our week) and write down who is eating school lunch when. Then I know who will need a home lunch on each day. Does that make sense?

I am really excited about this system and hope that it helps to keep the morning rush run a lot smoother! It also takes time to keep the system up. Fill bags when you are talking on the phone , or when you are unloading the new groceries, to save time so that everything is ready to go in the mornings. We also recycle our bags. The kids bring them home in their lunch bags and then I will wash a bunch of them at once and dry them for reuse. I used to NEVER do this...but from years of watching my hubs do this...I have finally been converted.


Thank you so much Amy, those labels are ADORABLE! What a fun idea. I hope you will all head on over to The Idea Room to check out all of Amy's ideas--she's amazing!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{burlap dry-erase weekly calendar}

After I saw the dry erase calendar from Friday's post, I knew I had to make one of my own. (Click HERE for the full tutorial.) Even though I loved the large size, what I needed was a smaller version for a space I've been trying to fill for a long time.

Despite the fact that I have a calendar inside my cupboard, it seems like everyone is always asking what's going on during the week we're in. So, my answer to both problems was to make a weekly calendar--perfect for quick reference for the current week.

I had a frame that was just calling my name for this project--one that I've had since we were first married. I loved the frame, but not the color or the decorative picture inside. I redid the frame then added the burlap by attaching it to the cardboard that was behind the glass. I used my Silhouette to cut the vinyl for the days of the week, and for the vinyl above the frame (fonts century gothic and tingle institute), which I think is the perfect touch!

I {LOVE} it! It makes me happy every time I walk by.





Tuesday, March 22, 2011

{2x6 spring decor}

Spring is coming!

We've had such beautiful weather the past couple of days, and after a long and cold winter, we are {so} happy that the end is in sight. We've been outdoors as much as possible, with trips to the park, nature center, and in our own backyard.

I don't have much by the way of spring decor, and wanted a little something to celebrate. So, I headed down to the workshop, went through all the scraps of wood, chose a 2x6 board about 8 inches in length, and got to work!

This is such a fast and easy project, plus it's super inexpensive. It would make a fun gift, and would also be perfect for a craft day. I chose "spring" for my text, but you can use this technique to spell out anything you like!

Spring Block Decor

  • 2x6 board
  • vinyl lettering "negative space" OR stencils
  • spray paint
  • craft paint
  • stain
  • power sander, or rough grit sandpaper
  • ribbon

1. Paint your board with spray paint. I used Rustoleum's Aqua...such a fun spring color! Then I painted it again, white this time, and then a third time with the aqua again. (This is so the white would show through when I distressed it later.)

2. I used my Silhouette to cut out vinyl to spell "spring" (font = tingle institute). Without removing any vinyl, I cut each letter out, so I had 6 different pieces. That is an important step! If you don't, it will make it much more difficult to remove the negative space without ruining the whole thing. Then I removed the actual letter from the center, leaving just the outside vinyl, or negative space. Once the paint is dry, place the vinyl on your board, and press down firmly--sealing the edges as close as you can to the board.

*If you don't have a Silhouette, you have a few options:

a. order vinyl (I love Writings on the Wall)
b. use stencils (Click HERE for my tutorial on how to make your own)
c. Lemon Tree Creations has an easy way to transfer a pencil outline for painting...check it out HERE!

3. Use craft paint to paint the insides of your stencil and let dry. Repeat if necessary.

4. I chose to use the negative space to paint the letters on versus using the vinyl letters, because I really wanted a distressed look--even the text. Take your power sander or sandpaper and go over the entire piece of wood, including over the words. Be careful over the words, because craft paint will come off quickly.

5. Once it's sanded to where you like it, you're ready to add a little stain. Dab a small amount of stain (I use Minwax Dark Walnut) on a lint-free rag, and blot it a few times. You don't need much, so it's better to err on the side of being lighter than darker. Gently run the stain along the edges and face of your block, using the rag to remove any excess.

6. Tie your ribbon on!

I liked it so much next to the yellow, that I tied it on the my wreath for a different look. Whether you set it out for display, or make your own spring wreath, it's darling!

I {LOVE} it!


Happy Spring!


Monday, March 21, 2011

{personalized pillowcases}

I was SO happy when I learned that Silhouette had a new fabric interfacing product, and now had the capability to cut fabric. I was even happier when they sent me some to try, and this weekend I started a project I've had on my list for awhile.

I love white sheets, and it's all I use on the beds in our house. I just love their crisp, clean look, and I can bleach them (a lot). On the other hand, they all look exactly alike! I felt like it would be fun to add a little something to my girls' pillowcases so that they had a pillow that was personalized just for them.

Personalized Pillowcases

  • pillowcase
  • fabric
  • Silhouette fabric interfacing--clean cut OR heat 'n bond
  • ribbon
  • spool of heat 'n bond

1. Design the text or image you would like to use in the Silhouette software, then follow the directions to cut it out. You can also use heat 'n bond if you don't have a Silhouette, and follow the directions on the package. I decided to do their names (impervious font)--easy! I am planning to add a little more detail to the left of their name, I just didn't have a chance to finish it this weekend.

2. I added the ribbon first, using a roll of heat 'n bond to apply it to the pillowcase. If you haven't used the rolls, I highly recommend that you try it. It makes it SO much easier when working with ribbon, or strips of fabric. Where the ribbon overlapped, I used a letter to cover it up--so the whole thing looked more smooth.

3. Once the ribbon was on, I ironed on my letters!

This whole project took less than 30 minutes, and I {love} what it adds to their beds and room.


Do you want to try it too?

is offering a fantastic promotion this week! It starts today, March 21st, and runs through the 27th.

They are offering...

a Silhouette SD, one of each fabric interfacing (clean cut & sewable) and a roll of white flocked heat transfer material for $229. This is a savings of over $100!! If you already have s Silhouette, all of their fabric interfacing is 25% off.

Just use the promo code "bpp" at checkout for either promotion.