I have dreamt of having outdoor string lights in every home I’ve lived in but either was lacking the space or means to make it happen, until now! I had such a difficult time trying to sort out how to make this work, so I thought I would share with you a tutorial in case you happen to be stuck in the same boat. There are so many creative ways you could go about doing this–it really depends on the layout of your space, but I definitely found this particular way to be the most sensible for our space, and I know it will work for a vast majority of spaces, not to mention, it was really easy to do! Follow along below for step by step directions!
- 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
As I previously stated, we were going to be moving, and it all happened!!! Most of my absence here can be attributed to the move (which was so stressful) and all the growing pains that come along with big life change. We were able to secure the place we really wanted and spent an entire month moving so, so slowly. I have moved 8 times in the past 6 years. It has been a rollercoaster to say the least, and I am completely ready to stay somewhere for a good while. So cheers to being home sweet home, and I can’t wait to show you more photos!
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!
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!