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Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day I was looking for a new, fun idea that was low in cost (isn’t everyone?) so I started scanning Pinterest and found this blog about creating vases out of jars (yes, I realize it’s in Swedish but isn’t the language of creativity universal?) and I loved the idea I just changed a things. Instead of using plain jars or even upcycling jars I already had (which is a great idea by the way, I just knew I wouldn’t get enough jars by the time I needed to start this project) I went to JoAnn Fabric’s and bought mason jars for $1.25 each.

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Next up was deciding what color/type of paint to buy. Glass paint is really pricey so I decided to buy acrylic paint and just spray the inside of the jars with a clear coat to stop any running when the flower was watered. I bought two colors for $5.99 each, I really only needed one but since I was making 5 vases I wanted to mix it up a bit. You can always use up old paint you already have.

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The next step was painting the inside of the jars. I took the lids off each jar and one-by-one dumped a good amount of paint in the bottom and starting twirling around the jars (adding more paint as needed) until the entire jar was covered. You don’t need to worry about getting too close to the top because you want to set it on its head anyway for the excess paint to drip out. SIDE NOTE: I used way to too much in each jar. When I flipped the jars over the next day there was a ton of paint that poured out. Next time I will use less, waste less.

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Once the paint was dry, and it will take a few days, I screwed back on the lids without the flat place to cover the jar’s opening. I just wanted it to have a more finished look at the top. Then I added chalkboard labels so that I could write on the jar who it was for. I taped off the space I wanted on each jar then put two coats of chalkboard paint, allowing the appropriate drying time in between.

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The chalkboard paint is a little high maintenance. It has to dry for 3 days before you can “condition” it. This means after 3 days you take the side of a piece of chalk and cover the area with it, then erase it. At that point you can wipe it clean but then need to wait another 7 days to write on it. I conditioned the jars and allowed them to sit.

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Finally all they need is soil and a flower and of course to be labeled for the recipient. Any type of flower can be used, I used Marigolds that I purchased from Lowe’s, which cost $12 for 3 pots. It’s better to plant just one or two flowers since there isn’t a ton of room in the jar. I also purchased a small bag of top soil for $5. That puts my total at a little under $30 for 5 Mother’s Day gifts. I didn’t include the chalkboard paint price in the total because I bought it for another purpose and only decided to do the labels because I had it on hand. If I didn’t have it, I would have left the labels off and wrapped some twine around the neck of the jar with name tags. Overall I am happy with the finished product. I hope they are a hit this Mother’s Day! Here is the finished product:

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Mother’s Day

Since this was my very first Mother’s Day I wanted to make so I will always remember it. I received the nicest cards from my friends and family (and even my brothers) so I decided to keep all the cards and make them into a book. I didn’t have to purchase anything to create this keepsake because I already had everything I needed: paper doily, pink construction paper, glue stick, hole punch, ribbon and scissors. I arranged all the cards in the order I wanted them and made sure all the folded sides came together evenly. Then, I picked each one up and started punching holes in the spines (two holes in each card, one in the small cards). I folded my piece of construction paper in half and wrapped it around my card stack and trimmed whatever edges I didn’t want. (If you have fancy scissor that cut designs this would add to the piece). Then I punched holes in the construction paper, threaded my ribbon through it and it looked like this:

The cards should all be easily readable. Flip through it to make sure. And there is no right way to arrange the cards, some might do it smallest to largest and some might do it in order of importance (me). To each his own!

Once that is done, take your paper doily and arrange it however you want it on the cover. Depending on the size of the doily you might have to cut it (see picture below). Before gluing it down take your marker and write on it (I wrote: My 1st Mother’s Day with the year). Put some glue on the back of your doily (smooth part only or the glue will get caught in the “webbing” of the lace). Smooth it over the cover and there you have it, a Mother’s Day keepsake you can come back to each year and remember your very first year as a mommy!

Keep in mind that this idea is not just for Mother’s Day, you can use this throughout the year and throughout yours and your child’s life. For example, I saved all of Afton’s first birthday cards from close friends and family and I plan on making something similar for those. I also saved my husband’s cards from his first Father’s Day and I plan on doing this too!

Tiny Handprints

This is a project we did when Afton was about six months old. I saw a variation of it on Pinterest when I was researching Father’s Day gift ideas (this will be a separate post) and thought it was a cute idea since our hallway wall is empty. I went to the local craft store and got a frame and a heavier sheet of paper to fit into the frame (I bought three pieces because I didn’t know how easy it would be or how many attempts it would take). The paint and marker I already had at home but you can buy the small acrylic bottles for about $0.50 each. First I will show you what it looks like, then I’ll walk you through the steps.

Ok first you put the baby down for a nap. Then you get your paper, paint and a paper plate. The hand print on the left is my husbands and the one on the right is mine. I have seen this done several ways, this is just the way I decided to do it. So we smeared the paint onto the plate and dipped our hands in it and got our prints on the paper (we did all three sheets so we wouldn’t have to do it again). I let the sheets of paper dry overnight. Then in the morning when Afton got up it was fun time! As you can see the handprints aren’t perfect but it was pretty hard getting a six-month-old to cooperate and not get paint everywhere at the same time. At first I was going to leave the paper blank with just our prints and at some point I was going to attempt to get the dog’s prints on it but my better judgement got the best of me. I looked high and low for a quote I liked and just wrote it on with a black sharpie. Here is the framed piece:

I know the quote isn’t perfect, I should have planned that out better but in the end it’s ours and I love all the imperfections it has. We will probably do another one when (if) the next baby comes along and update the frame.

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