My homemade Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. I had the idea for Hunter’s homemade Christmas gift almost 6 months ago. I was working to redo his room and after I got the furniture and bedding placed I knew I wanted a picture hanging between his beds. Almost immediately the thought came to me to take a picture of his legos and hang it on the wall. The idea morphed into Lego wall art – making a quote out of his Legos and printing it for his wall.
I chose a short quote to make sure I could make it fit and look uniform. I spent an afternoon with his legos while he was at school and was done in no time.
I made a 20×20 print and put it in an Ikea Ribba frame.
Christmas morning he opened it and gave me the exact reaction I was looking for. Excitement.
We promptly hung it in his room and it was just as I had envisioned many months ago. “It’s awesome mom, I didn’t know you could make words out of Legos!” Yes son you can, and it’s much easier than the instructions that take 300 steps to build a ship!
I purchased a wood burning tool a while ago (nothing fancy, just found it on Amazon) and now I’m burning everything. (And I only came close to burning myself once!) This little Christmas craft took less than 20 minutes from start to finish – and 3 of those minutes were waiting for the burning tool to heat up. And before you claim that your handwriting isn’t good or you can’t draw – these little snowflakes consist of straight lines. You can even draw the design on with pencil first if you’re really that unsure of yourself!
I found some birch wood cuts at Joanns; they vary anywhere from 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″ circles. I used the burning tool with a simple small round tip and drew intersecting lines until they looked like snowflakes. Once the snowflakes were burned, I drilled a hole in them and tied them with jute. We used them as napkin rings for a dinner we had at the church recently and after that they made great ornaments for the tree. You could use them on gifts, make a garland out of them or even tie them around a glass jar. And all you have to do is burn straight lines. Easy peasy!
Several years ago I made a “Be Grateful” banner out of wood. I loved it so much but there was one small problem – I made it out of pine and that thing was heavy. It tore many Command strips off the wall! This year I reprised the project and made it out of thin underlayment – plywood.
I had Home Depot cut the plywood into strips and I used the miter saw to cut the triangles. Working with plywood like this can be a bit tricky and it leaves plenty of splinters. One side has a much nicer finish after the cutting process – I stained that side.
The other side, which wasn’t so nice, got a couple coats of chalkboard paint.
I debated how I should put the letters on: hand paint, vinyl letters, burning with a hand tool or a foam stamp. I went the easy route and what was readily available to me. I then carefully painted the edges with a metallic gold paint.
It hangs on the entertainment center with two small command strips and so far the weight hasn’t been a problem. Not only that but the wood tones look much better than the painted white “be grateful” banner I previously did.
Our playroom was once littered with art supplies. I love that my kids like to create but finding broken crayons and glue without tops was driving me crazy. Every couple days, I would have the kids round up all the supplies and put them back in their place in the playroom. Just hours after cleaning, I would walk in and find art supplies everywhere. I realized it wasn’t really the older kids who were creating the mess – its the monster one year old we have running around that seems to make messes wherever goes. The only way to solve the problem was to remove the art supplies but make them very accessible.
Introducing the Ikea art cart that resides in my office closet.
I purchased a cart on wheels from Ikea. This allows the cart to be mobile and can travel to and from the playroom when needed.
Also from Ikea I purchased two sets of white magazine holders. These hold the coloring books, workbooks and clipboards. The clipboards were purchased for another project that I never completed and the kids kept sneaking them to color on. They are a staple on the art cart.
The bottom two layers are filled with quart-sized canning jars. Hallie meticulously sorted out all the supplies and organized them into different jars. Crayons, colored pencils, twistable pencils, twistable crayons, pencils and pens, scissors, markers, glue sticks, glue, whiteboard markers…and more. Everything they need for a art project or school assignment. Sometimes, they don’t need the whole cart and they leave it in the closet and take the jars they need. Hallie will take a jar to her room to color and return it later.
It’s been over 6 months and the supplies have remained relatively organized. There have been a few casualties including when the cart was left in the playroom by accident and a certain toddler dumped out the jars. But the kids have been great about making sure it gets put away since then.
The best part is anytime they’re looking for a supply – they know exactly where to look. It’s also easy to see what we’re running low on – which doesn’t happen to be gluesticks, we’ve got two jars full!
I’ve got more than a couple of these marker boards around the house and I love them. I have them in the hallway, the kitchen, the office. They’re easy and cheap and they bring in whatever pop of color or pattern I’m looking for.
Start with a frame – I like the simplicity and affordability of the Ikea frames.
Remove the mat from the frame and cover it with paper. I find that wrapping paper works great. I’ve had great luck with TJ Maxx and Home Goods wrapping paper – great colors and modern patterns.
Tape the paper in place around the mat and replace the mat in the frame.
Hang them on the wall, lean them on a shelf, stand them on a counter – you’ve got a marker board. Regular dry erase markers write on the glass and wipe off without any problem.
We use the ones in the hallway to hold quotes, reminders and lists.
The one in the kitchen was used to write love messages between family members.
The ones in my office I don’t usually write on – I just like the color they bring to the room, but occasionally I’ll write a quote on them.
When you want to switch things up – find a new wrapping paper and the look is updated in no time.