So every year I can’t decide whether to have my cards printed or make them myself. It depends on how busy I am, or motivated is probably a better word. This year, I was feeling creative and decided to go the DIY route, but I had one condition, they had to be really easy to make (I have a toddler and an infant), and they had to look intricate (so people would think it took me a lot of time, ha!)–exactly what everyone running a tight schedule wants, right? So using a lot of supplies I already had on hand, and picking up a few new ones, I came up with a easy DIY holiday card that looks like it took you hours, AND bonus!…you can totally customize it to your style and colors! I’ll leave all the instructions and links below!
- one box/20 sq. feet of stikwood (i used the reclaimed weathered wood & had plenty leftover)
- a J-roller
- ikea malm headboard (or any plain headboard with a smooth surface)
- clear acrylic ruler
- a sharpie
- a hand saw (i used this one)
- a fine sanding sponge
- a piece of cardboard or foam board
- a pencil & a pair of scissors
- a circular object to trace around
- hot glue gun & refill glue sticks
- waffle ice cream cones
- plastic test tubes & a vase filled with water
- flowers and/or accessories
- a cake stand (optional)
I had been eye-balling this letter to santa set for the past few weeks and it’s only $8.00! But that’s the other thing, it’s $8.00… and after all the travel I’ve been doing and with the holidays upon us, I just felt like that eight bucks could be used for something way more valuable. Money is tight in this season of our life, so we are very particular about what we spend it on (that’s a whole other post in itself) but I don’t wanna talk about money right now, I really just want to talk about how I was able to take the concept I loved so much about the fancy version and utilize that to make this letter for Lu to send off to the North Pole (we’ll be trying out this usps service this year). The experience was just as special between Luca and I, and I will of course save it for years and years to come!
My mom kept a note I had written to Santa when I was little, and all these years later I still love that she kept it because I totally remember writing it. Plus, its such a nostalgic memory I have from my childhood. My dad had been wanting a Rolex watch for years, specifically, the submariner model. My toddler self asked Santa to bring him a submarine, ha! It was the thought that counted, right? He didnt get it that christmas, in fact, he had to wait until his 40th birthday for that one, but to this day he still never takes that “submarine” off of his wrist, and I love that. I also love that I wanted that for him too.
Luca was so excited to write his note to Santa. I sat and wrote while he told me what he wanted to say, and then he signed off himself. He kept asking me to read it aloud to him and then he’d say, “Oh, but you missed this word. Did you put it in? Okay, read it again.” He was literally editing it the entire time, but I’d say both of us were pleased with how it turned out! If you’d like to use our stationery we made, you can download a copy of it for free HERE! (I only ask if you post a photo, you tag me for credit) I hope you enjoy this holiday activity with your little ones as much as I did with mine! Happy December!
In case you were curious–Luca’s letter:
I love you. Santa gave me candy canes at the mall. I’ve been good. Santa, I want a camera. I clean up, I always go to Disneyland and the Zoo. I’ve been a good boy. Get me a race car, or a big boy necklace, or ANYTHING, that’s fine! But Santa, I’m so happy you’re coming! I’m nice because I always share with my mom and dad and I let Harlow play with my toys. Mommy’s been a good girl, Harlow’s been a good baby, daddy’s been a good boy. We like watching movies. We always take pictures, and we always see beautiful stars in the night and the sun in the daytime. I sleep by myself all the time, and after five nights I get a surprise. Harlow wants chewing things, but he can’t write yet.
luca gets a nice four-day weekend for the president’s holidays so he had his class valentine’s day party yesterday. i knew i wanted to make something homemade, but knew with my schedule and reality i wouldn’t be able to do it all on my own (at least not without stressing myself out). plus, what two year old is really going to know whether or not i slaved away at something? that’s right, none. so i ended up settling on a semi-handmade valentine gram which turned out to be so simple, yet looked totally custom. i’ll share the details below!i started off by picking a card via minted. i found this cute little lumberjack card and knew it was the one from the second i put eyes on it. it was coincidence that it turned out to be a little play on words. our last name is wood, remember? so it says “from luca wood” & “wood you be mine?”–cute right?! i knew i wanted to make sugar cookies i could customize with frosting, so i bought the packaged sugar cookie mix instead of making them from scratch, and in turn made the royal icing from scratch. if you don’t mind pre-made shapes, you could also just buy the cookies ready made at the market, or order them without frosting from a bakery, if you’re really in a pinch.
i used this recipe for the royal icing. royal icing can be super tricky and consistency is key. i recommend watching a you tube tutorial to get yourself familiar. i used one color (a red gel) for all of my icing and just simply lined and flooded my cookie with that color. i then let them dry overnight & used these pens in red & black to create the plaid lines on top of the cookie. play around with how you like your lines–close together, more sporadic, etc.– but i ended up doing a variety of lining and still felt like they were all cohesive.now for the packaging! when you order your valentines via minted, there is an option to order coordinating stickers, so i did just that, and used the stickers to seal the glassine wax bags. i put one to two cookies in each bag depending on the size of the cookie. i used clothespins that i top wrapped with decorative washi tape (similar here) to secure the gram to the bag and for one last added detail i used heart ribbon to tie a sweet little bow onto the clothespin. this process took me all but five minutes maybe, and the finished product was just what i wanted!i sent lu to school with all his grams in this adorable felt envelope i purchased at target last year (dollar section, for the win!) and embroidered L’s name on it, but you could easily make one–in fact, i found a new sew pattern for you here! i’ll definitely be using this for the new babe next year! the perfect part about the envelope is that they can collect grams to bring home in them as well! i love it. well, i hope you found this post encouraging and helpful! i hope your grams turn out just the way you envision them, and a happy early v-day to each of you! xo
so, we’ve been talking for a long time now about sprucing up our old ikea headboard & seriously, what better way than with adhesive wood? i was originally thinking of upholstering it, but after i did that to lu’s twin bed, i knew our euro king would be the end of me. i wanted to give our bed a reclaimed wood look without totally damaging the headboard with nails & screws or what have you. so when stikwood and i connected, it was pure magic. stikwood will send you actual pieces of finished wood that have an adhesive backing. all you have to do is pick a type and finish of wood, provide the dimensions of what you want to stick the wood to, punch those measurements into stikwood’s square footage calculator to figure out how many boxes of wood you will need, and they’ll ship everything right to your doorstep! how neat is that? below are the instructions on how i customized our ikea malm headboard (size: european king) using stikwood:
first you will want to unpack the box, and lay out all of the supplies so you can really see what you’re working with. my wood pieces came in an assorted amount of lengths so i wanted to be sure i didn’t have similar sized pieces sitting atop one another. next, you will want to clean your headboard well to be sure the adhesive will stick to the surface. i pulled the mattress up and away from the headboard (without pulling the mattress off completely) so i could really clean the headboard from top to bottom & apply the wood as low to the bottom of the headboard as possible, but if you are just purchasing the headboard, make sure to install the wood prior to placing the mattress on the bed as it will be much easier!
^^pregnancy cravings. my copycat avocado toast done up just like cafe gitane.^^
^^our little shredder in the making. we took lu to the skatepark to get him comfortable on his board and to watch his little eyes grow and grow watching all the other skaters do their thing. mostly lu and i were just gaga over watching miles and his flawless 360 kick flips.^^
^^picking paint colors for the boys’ shared nursery! i know they all look the same, but i swear they are each different in their own way. we’re now down to two colors, and it’s almost time to paint. the baby business is becoming real around these parts!^^
^^and who could discredit a lovely little trip to ikea where we people watched, came up on some hot deals (although probably overspent), and for once avoided the swedish fish (which are by the way not so swedish & made in the USA–the trickery of that place…)^^
you may have seen this floral arrangement on my instagram. i needed a quick and easy centerpiece for the thanksgiving i co-hosted at my dad’s place, and i found this tutorial via Oh Joy!. i varied my centerpiece a tad from the way she did hers, but all in all, the main concepts are the same. she also did some fun napkin rings & name card settings using ice cream cones as well, so if you’re feeling motivated…!
what you will need:
first, while i let my hot glue gun heat up, i took a piece of cardboard from an old box i had lying around, then i took a medium sized mixing bowl and traced around it onto the cardboard.
next, i cut out the traced circle using scissors.we’ll call the circle cut-0ut your base. i then took my hot glue gun and covered my base with glue.
very quckly (hot glue dries pretty fast), i took my waffle cones and applied them to the base. holding slight pressure on each cone (careful not to crack your cones!), arrange each cone snug to fit into a complete circle. once i had my first layer of cones assembled evenly around my base, i began to apply a line of glue on each cone of the following layer. i would then place each cone atop my bottom row of cones. i did this until i had a half sphere of cones assembled. here you can see the finished piece. notice my waffle cones are cut at an angle. on the Oh Joy! tutorial, she uses cones with an opening that is completely circle & symmetrical. i liked the angle cut cones as i felt they added a more rustic touch, but note that if you are making name card settings, you will want the symmetrical circle-cut cones or they won’t stand up straight!
here is a view from the top. i used three layers of cones, and then one in the very center on top. be sure each cone is properly glued to the coordinating layer or you will have a wobbly base in the end, and that wouldn’t be fun. i ordered these plastic test tubes for super cheap on amazon. i filled each tube half way with water and then randomly placed them into different cones. this will keep your flowers from shriveling! i made this about 4 hours before the gathering, and my flowers held up super nicely. oh look! it’s my Oh Joy! for Target line pitcher from a few years back! i just love her & her stuff!
next is the fun part! take flowers, popcorn, carrots, greenery, green beans, whatever you have on hand & arrange something inside each cone! side note: flowers can be pricey! so if you want a bunch of flowers, i suggest going to your local trader joe’s and buying one of their large bouquets that come with an assortment of leaves and wild flowers. i picked up this arrangement for $9.99! and it literally filled up almost every cone. for the random cones the flowers didn’t fill, i just stuffed those with raw carrots, and shredded cabbage i had lying around–seriously just check your veggie drawer for some colorful foliage or stuff that is about to go bad! you’re bound to have something!lastly, take your finished floral arrangement and set it on top of a cake stand! that’s seriously it! everyone will ooh and awe over this pretty little detail and think you slaved over it for hours. don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!
with the holidays coming up, you’re bound to have a party or dinner you can throw this together for! if you have any questions or comments, as always, leave them below & i will reply to you as soon as humanly possible. happy holidays & happy hosting!