Category Archives: Gift

DIY Housewarming Gift + FREE Printable

gift-housewarming-jar

Lately, we’ve been getting away from “crafting” here on the blog (we chatted more about it in the State of the Blog post here). Not because we don’t enjoy the creativity and fun it provides (it definitely is a nice way to relax), but moreso because we both live in small homes and don’t have enough space for all of the stuff we create.

But gifts are a whole different story. To us making a homemade, personalized gift is the best gift of all. So when Finn & I got an invite to a housewarming party last month, I knew it was time to dip into my supplies and get my craft on! Bring on the ribbon & washi tape…

Housewarming-gift-home-sweet-home

I decided to make a jar full of my favorite home products for our friends who are new homeowners. I love this gift because it’s a way to share some of your favorite things, it gives the homeowners some actual supplies they probably need, and best of all… it’s super easy to whip up!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass Jar or Canister (This one is from Crate & Barrel)
  • Chalkboard marker or paint pen
  • Printed off Text
  • Tape
  • Ribbon
  • Free Printable (download here!)
  • Goodies to fill your jar! We’ll list some fun ideas below to get your creative juices flowing…

The first thing you’ll need to do is write on your jar. I went with “Home Sweet Home,” but also considered doing their address or the couple’s initials. I went into microsoft word, found a font I liked (this one is called SignPainter-HouseScript), and printed off “Home Sweet Home” on regular computer paper.

Then I taped the paper to the INSIDE of the jar using some washi tape, and traced the letters on the outside using a chalkboard marker. If you have awesome handwriting or you’re super artistic, you could definitely freehand this. But for me, I knew it was going to look a heck of a lot better if I just traced the words. The chalkboard marker is not permanent, but it should stay on there fairly well as long as you don’t rub it off. If you make a mistake you can wet a paper towel and start over. Seriously…this is a foolproof project. I think you could also try a paint pen for this…but I had a chalkboard marker on hand so I went with that. chalkboard-writing-on-jarBoom. That’s pretty much all it takes. Then all you have to do is fill the jar with lots of home goodies!

Some Ideas for Inside the Jar…

  • Mini champagne bottles
  • New wooden spoons (I just taped off the ends and painted them with craft paint for a colorful look!)
  • Soap
  • Washi Tape
  • Clothespins
  • Magic Erasers (they are our favorite!)
  • Towels or Patterned Napkins
  • Your favorite scented candle
  • Screws, Nails, or Command Strips
  • Chalkboard Marker or Paint Pen (throw it in there so the homeowners can easily change up the writing on the jar!)
  • Goo Gone, Stainless steel cleaner, or your favorite home cleaning products

favorite-home-products

As extra credit, you can also add this adorable free printable that we created for you. Just tuck it inside the jar, your housewarming card, or tie it to a ribbon around the jar…either way, this little tag will explain the contents of your gift and will seriously impress the recipients!

New Home Gift

Just download it here, print one of the tags on card stock and stick the mini card in the jar!

gift-housewarming-jar

With this crafty homemade gift, I’m confident those new homeowners will be happy to have you over to their new pad whenever you want!new homeowner gift jar

casey_sig

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14 thoughts on “DIY Housewarming Gift + FREE Printable

  1. Emma Byers

    I have several friends who are buying their first homes so this is a delightful idea! As always, thank you for the inspiration. Loving it. Have a great weekend!

    Reply
  2. Lauren English

    So cute! I love the idea of placing the already printed lettering behind the glass for people like me who don’t have cute handwriting. Thanks for this cute idea!

    Reply
  3. Benedetta Fabrizi

    This gits is just adorable! I love cute DIY gits like this, instead of those unpersonal items anyone could buy itself at any store!
    xoxo

    behindkaleidoscopeeyes.blogspot.it

    Reply

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14 thoughts on “DIY Housewarming Gift + FREE Printable

  1. Emma Byers

    I have several friends who are buying their first homes so this is a delightful idea! As always, thank you for the inspiration. Loving it. Have a great weekend!

    Reply
  2. Lauren English

    So cute! I love the idea of placing the already printed lettering behind the glass for people like me who don’t have cute handwriting. Thanks for this cute idea!

    Reply
  3. Benedetta Fabrizi

    This gits is just adorable! I love cute DIY gits like this, instead of those unpersonal items anyone could buy itself at any store!
    xoxo

    behindkaleidoscopeeyes.blogspot.it

    Reply

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60th Birthday Gift Idea

Stack-of-envelopes-birthday-gift

Finding the perfect birthday gift for someone special can be tough. But finding the perfect birthday gift for a MILESTONE birthday is even more difficult.

My dad recently turned the big 6-0, and my siblings and I were at a loss as to what to get for the man who has just about everything he needs. In years past we’ve showered him with Notre Dame apparel, Blackhawks signage, or his favorite whiskey and cigars. But because this was a big birthday, we wanted to do something a little more meaningful.Memory-Box-Birthday-GiftWe created a box of letters from his family & friends filled with memories spanning his last 60 years. It was the greatest gift we could give him, because it showcased the most important part of life…relationships & friendships.

Because we did an e-vite for his 60th birthday party, we already had an entire email list of all of the VIPs in his life. So I sent out the following email…

Hello everyone!

If you’re receiving this email, you probably know that our dad is turning 60 next month (much as he would hate us to be reminding everyone, I’m sure.) To celebrate his birthday, we’d like to put together a little surprise to let him know that his nearest and dearest are thinking of him. We’re going to try to create “60 Years of Memories” by filling 60 envelopes with a memory his friends and family have of him.

And this is where you come in!

If you have a spare moment in the next few days, we would be so grateful if you’d email back a memory you have of our dad. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! You can mention anything you like — although the more nostalgic the better!

Thank you so much for participating — we know everyone is busy with their own lives, and we do appreciate you taking a few minutes to do this; it will be so worth it when he reads all of the memories people have of him! (Please don’t forget to keep it a surprise until then, though!)

Stack-of-memories
I sent out the email and then I waited with high hopes that we would at least get a handful of responses. Much to our delight, the memories started flooding in. College roommates, family members, colleagues…all with wonderful memories & photos to share.Stack-of-envelopes-birthday-giftI printed out each memory individually on card stock and re-wrote them in a cute typewriter font. It did take some time, but it was wonderful to have the chance to read all of these awesome stories about my father as I worked. I then put each memory in an individual envelope and wrote the name of the author on the backside. Black-Marble-BoxI found this awesome marble box at HomeGoods to hold the stack of envelopes. I loved how masculine and sturdy it was, and thought it was perfect for a “manly” birthday gift.

[Rookie Tip: If you’re looking for a box to hold letters, make sure it is wide enough to hold a standard envelope. I fell in love with this box not realizing that a letter-sized envelope would be too long to fit inside. Instead I had to buy 6×6 envelopes and then cut the paper to fit the envelope. It definitely added some extra steps to the crafting process]Reading-MemoriesThe day of his birthday party, we gave him his gift (yes, he is wearing a white tuxedo top with jeans. The birthday boy gets to wear what he wants!)

At first, he seemed a little confused and very overwhelmed. Did all of these people really write about him? How did we get in touch with so many people from his life? DSC_0080Then as he thumbed through the stack of envelopes, he was just so blissfully happy and overcome with emotion. We had him read a few memories out loud to us and we all laughed at some of the crazy pictures and stories from his past. Ryan-Dad-Reading-MemoriesOur gift was a hit and the birthday boy was oh-so-happy. If you’re looking for a sentimental gift for someone special, this is a great option. It will take some time and hard work, but I promise you it will be worth it.Dads-Birthday-Family-Photo

Plus, it’s a great reminder to focus on what’s really important in life. When I’m 60 I hope that I can look back at my life and remember all of the wonderful times spent with the people I love. Because that’s a life well-lived.

Happy Birthday Dad! Cheers to 60 more years!

casey_sig

 

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Our Holiday Wishlist

IMG_8186

Dear Santa,

We promise we have been very good girls this year. Here are some items we’ve had our eyes on. We may not need any of these items, but we sure would be happy to find these under the tree on Christmas morning.

xo,

The DIY Playbook Rookies

DIYP

1. Hooded Jacket (Casey): I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I survived last year’s Polar Vortex without a heavy-duty, hooded, snuggly,warm, jacket. Well…I’m not making the same mistake twice. This year a winter jacket was on the very tippy-top of my Christmas wish list. I asked for a jacket that would go all the way to my knees and had a hood. As long as it has those 2 features (& is incredibly warm) I’m happy. Who cares if I look like a puffy snow monster. Fingers crossed I receive this gift…or else it’s going to be a long, cold winter for this girl.

2. Lo & Sons Bag (Casey): I recently learned about these amazing bags and after doing lots of research…I’m so impressed with them. Lo & Sons bags are great if you’re a gal like me and like to carry tons of stuff with you at all times. Their bags have so many compartments and can hold just about anything. My college roommate first introduced me to the company as I oohed and aahed over her weekend bag (She has the O.M.G. bag). I need a new work bag and this T.T. bag fits the bill. I know it’s a bit pricey, but this baby seems splurge-worthy.

3. Bracelet (Casey): These bracelets are also a new-to-me brand. I first found out about these fashion forward bracelets from the blogosphere. I mean how cute are those leather tassels? Yes please, I’ll take a dozen. 

4. Curling Wand (Bridget): I blame it on this post. Thanks to Cassie’s hair curling tutorial, I have had my eye on a curling wand. I typically use a straightener to curl my hair (tutorial here), but next year I would love to try out the curling wand. I heard there’s a learning curve though, so….. no promises.

5. Hair Dryer (Casey): Bridget has this hair dryer and it is the BEST. I spend so much time drying my hair (usually while thumbing through my Instagram feed) and I’m in need of a much more powerful hair dryer. Whenever I use Bridget’s I’m always amazed by how little time it takes to get my tresses tamed and dry. What am I going to do with all of my free time if I receive this gift?

6. Camera Bag (Bridget): If you only knew what I carry my camera around in now, you would know exactly why I put a new camera bag on my holiday wishlist. Yikes! A new camera bag would help me get my gear A LOT more organized while also making it more appropriate for me to bring my camera to functions and not look like I’m headed to a 7th grade sleepover.

7. Camera Strap (Bridget): This item is not a necessity by.any.means. Quite honestly, a new camera strap was put on my list for strictly fashion purposes and for no further function at all. I bought Casey one for her birthday last year and have loved hers ever since, so I thought this was my chance to add a little more “personality” to my blogging gear. Why not, right?

8. Life Planner (Casey): My trusted to-do list just might be my best friend. #SorryBridget. Seriously, I am such a list girl and love the satisfying feeling of crossing something off that never-ending to-do list of mine. This life planner is not only adorable, but it is full of tools to help organize your life and your lists. Plus it’s not too huge and I can toss it into my work bag with room to spare. So let’s hope Santa is nice and I get a personalized “Casey Finn” life planner this year.

9. Everyday Watch (Bridget): This watch is definitely a splurge and really puts emphasis on the “wish” part of “wishlist”. I already have a gold watch, which I absolutely love and wear almost all of the time, but I like this neutral watch because it goes with everything! The gold watch that I currently have goes with almost everything, but whenever I wear silvers or want to dress the look down, I end up watch-less. This neutral watch would provide me a watch to wear and LOVE with every look, plus the hot pink pops of color are just too fun not to love.

Bridget and Casey SignatureSo tell us, what’s on YOUR holiday wishlist this year?! We’d love to hear!! 

 

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Our Lowe’s Holiday Gift Guide

Lowes-GiftGuide_Final-02

[Disclaimer: We were compensated by Lowe’s to bring you this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own and are not influenced by Lowe’s]

Anyone else feeling the pressure to find the perfect presents for their favorite people? We are trying to check off everything on our holiday to-do list, and right now holiday shopping is at the very tippy top of that list! We’ll have plenty of fun gift ideas (both DIY & buy) in the coming weeks leading up to the big day, but we wanted to dive into the gift-giving season with a guide we created with Lowe’s.Lowes-GiftGuide_Final-02

Lowe’s asked us to dish about our must-haves as Rookie DIY’ers, and we were eager to share our list of favorite products. We’ve pretty much chatted about every item on this list here on the blog, because these are all essentials in our DIY arsenal.

Whether you’re buying gifts for a new homeowner, want to update your brother’s tool collection, or you have a few DIY projects on your personal 2015 to-do list, these items are worth a look…

1. A Level: If you’re hanging a gallery wall, installing shelves, or just want to get that canvas hung just right…you’re going to need a level. No more crooked picture frames in your home…

2. Quality Paint Brushes: Early on in our DIY career, we would just use cheap-o paint brushes for our projects. But we quickly learned that that was a big no-no. Bristles would be left behind in the wet paint, you could see brush strokes, and we’d just end up tossing the used brushes by the end of our project. Now we each have a set of these Purdy brushes in our tool box. They’re amazing quality and we use them for every single painting project.

3. Tape Measure: Again, another no-brainer to have in your toolbox. I remember when I was first starting to tackle DIY projects and I would use a ruler…yes a ruler…to measure. Not exactly the most accurate way to measure a large wall or item. Ha! An extra long tape measure like this one (26 feet!) is a must in every single home.

4. Primer: Primer is a must here on DIY Playbook. As evidenced by this post, this one, and this one. We especially love this Zinsser 1-2-3, because it works on just about everything. From furniture, to trim..this baby is the one you want to use! It also has low odor, so it’s great if you don’t have a lot of space for your project and don’t want to get sick from the fumes.

5. Gold Spray Paint: I think we have about 10+ posts with “Gold & Glam” in the title. Can you tell we’re hooked on this metallic? We’re firm believers that you can instantly revitalize just about anything with a coat of spray paint. This Valspar gold is a must-have for any girly DIY’er.

6. Chalkboard Paint: The teacher in Bridget really comes out when it comes to chalkboard paint. I mean the girl loves it so much she covered her garage cabinets in chalkboard paint! You can use this paint on just about anything…from a globe, to a wall, to an actual chalkboard. Get creative!

7. Large Drop Cloth: We don’t know about you, but we create a serious mess when we DIY. Like “tornado up in here” when we’re knee-deep in a project. To keep our floors clean and our work spaces less of a

8. Painter’s Tape: Painter’s tape comes in handy for every single painting project. Keep your lines looking crisp and keep the paint where it’s supposed to be with tape. We especially love this tape because it doesn’t bleed through and you’re guaranteed to get a clean line every time.

9. Drill Set: We felt like official DIY’ers when we each purchased our own drill set. No need to call your dad or your husband to come drill something for you..you can do it yourself when you have your own drill set! A drill speeds up just about every project, and it’s really not scary at all! Buy this basic tool and we know it will get lots of use in your household.

10. Rolling Tool Bag: This item is on both of our “wish lists” simply because it looks like the ultimate way to corral the clutter and get our tools organized. Plus it even has wheels, which would definitely come in handy when moving supplies from room to room.

11. Picture Hanging Kit: Bare walls begone! Everyone needs a basic picture hanging kit and this one will get the job done right. Hang your beloved belongings and show them off in style throughout your home.Lowes-GiftGuide_Final-ForBloggers-DIY

Happy Shopping!

Bridget and Casey Signature

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One thought on “Our Lowe’s Holiday Gift Guide

  1. Iwona Kraśko

    I would like that picture hanging kit. I have many pictures after moving to other town and they are still lying unhold. kuchnianawesele.pl

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One thought on “Our Lowe’s Holiday Gift Guide

  1. Iwona Kraśko

    I would like that picture hanging kit. I have many pictures after moving to other town and they are still lying unhold. kuchnianawesele.pl

    Reply

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Wine Bottle Tote + Silhouette Giveaway

Hostess-Gift-Wine-Bottle

It’s December, and that means that your social calendar is probably chock full of holiday parties, Christmas cookie exchanges, and festive dinner parties. If that sounds like your December schedule, then you may want to try out today’s easy craft project!

No one likes to show up empty-handed to any of these little get togethers, so we came up with an inexpensive project that will really wow your hostess and fellow guests.Hostess-Gift-Wine-BottleThese wine bottle tote bags. They’re not only adorable, but they’re very simple to make. Plus, we like the fact that you can make many of these ahead of time and have them stockpiled and ready for your long-list of upcoming parties.

Bottle-of-red-wineAll you have to do is buy a bottle of wine (probably the most costly supply for this project), dress it up with this wine bottle tote, and head on out to party it up!Plain-Wine-BagWe ordered these wine totes on Amazon, but we’ve seen these around various craft stores so just keep your eyes open.Stickers-on-bagCheers-StickersThen we used our new Silhouette Portrait to create the “Cheers” font. Like we said in this post, we’re still Silhouette beginners so we’ll direct you over to their awesome Youtube channel for tutorials. For this project, we wrote out the word “Cheers” in a few different fonts and then printed it on premium vinyl. We thought about just using regular paper, but figured that a sticker would give us the cleanest lines when we spray painted.

[If you don’t own a cutting machine you can use stickers to write your message or create your own shape. Oooorrr keep reading this post for your chance to win your very own Silhouette Portrait!]Krylon-Spray-PaintDIY-wine-bagCheers-Spray-PaintedFor the final step, we stuck the words onto the tote and sprayed a light coat of spray paint over and around the sticker. After letting the paint dry, we peeled it off, and boom…those boring totes were instantly personalized and ready to par-tay.Cheers-Christmas-GiftNow all we need to do is pick up a few new bottles of wine and we won’t have to worry about buying hostess gifts all season long. I think we should cheers to that!

Wine-Bag-DIY-CheersIf you’re looking to add some custom holiday cheer to just about anything…then we’ve got the giveaway for you. We teamed up with Silhouette to giveaway one of their Silhouette Portrait machines to 1 lucky reader! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and let us know what holiday project you would tackle with the machine. We can’t wait to hear!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cheers!

Bridget and Casey SignatureP.S. Going to a party where alcohol might not be an appropriate gift? No worries, we’ve got ya covered. Try our #BusyGirlDIY flower vase and we’re sure the hostess will be impressed! In honor of this holiday season, you can substitute the fall colored blooms pictured and add evergreen, pine, berries, or simple white blooms instead. Those colors will POP even more next to the gold & glamorous vase. busy girl vase

 

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50 thoughts on “Wine Bottle Tote + Silhouette Giveaway

  1. Elise Jay

    Oh man. Is there a project you can’t do with a Silhouette? I would probably do some serious organizing and labeling.
    I love the ombre look of the bag – I was shocked it was spray paint. You two re amazing.

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Am I really supposed to pick just one thing I could do?! I’d love to recreate these bags – I can already imagine doing something similar with other words/quotes/colors for New Years, birthdays and beyond! Wine is always a great gift. Nicely done, ladies!

    Reply
  3. Jaclyn Lorimer

    OH MY GOSH I have been drooling over the Silhouettes for months now but haven’t been able to pull the trigger on actually buying one. I love labeling everything, so the question is really what would I use it for first–probably for some holiday pillows!

    XOXO

    Jaclyn, from LorimerLiving.Blogspot.Com

    Reply
  4. Amanda

    I LOVE typography, so using it as a stencil for just baout anything would be amazing. Currently planning a baby shower that it would be great to have for things like decor, place settings, etc!

    Reply
  5. Jessica Alayne

    I have several ornament projects I’m thinking Silhouette could help with. But what about wrapping projects?! For sure I could find a million ways to use it.

    Reply
  6. Ryan Malone

    i would make some cute holiday cards, gift tags and then labels to pack up my decorations in a more organized fashion after the holidays are over. after christmas i usually just throw everything in boxes because i’m tired of looking at it! ha.

    Reply
  7. Betsy

    So many things! Label holiday storage (and everyday storage), this would be awesome for making gift tags, and I would love to make some wall art!

    Reply
  8. Heather

    I want to make the cute Santa sacks for my two young children. I’d also like to make our own Christmas cards because we live so far from our family and friends. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Reply
  9. sarah oswald

    I would love to tackle making greeting cards and gift boxes and I have always wanted to try to make popup greeting cards and I think this would make it alot easier. Thanks for the chance to win it!

    Reply
  10. Heather Byrd

    I’d like to personalize a cutting board, baking dish and cake carrier for my mother-in-law. She has a small “sweets” business on the side and she loves to cook. Thank you for the great giveaway 🙂

    Reply
  11. Ann Fontaine

    I would love to tackle an organizing project and make labels for my Christmas bins. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  12. Stacy Renee

    I’d make adorable polar bear Christmas cards to begin with and I’d also make lots of festive embellishments, sayings, etc for my baby girl’s first scrapbook (She’s due any day now!)

    Reply

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50 thoughts on “Wine Bottle Tote + Silhouette Giveaway

  1. Elise Jay

    Oh man. Is there a project you can’t do with a Silhouette? I would probably do some serious organizing and labeling.
    I love the ombre look of the bag – I was shocked it was spray paint. You two re amazing.

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Am I really supposed to pick just one thing I could do?! I’d love to recreate these bags – I can already imagine doing something similar with other words/quotes/colors for New Years, birthdays and beyond! Wine is always a great gift. Nicely done, ladies!

    Reply
  3. Jaclyn Lorimer

    OH MY GOSH I have been drooling over the Silhouettes for months now but haven’t been able to pull the trigger on actually buying one. I love labeling everything, so the question is really what would I use it for first–probably for some holiday pillows!

    XOXO

    Jaclyn, from LorimerLiving.Blogspot.Com

    Reply
  4. Amanda

    I LOVE typography, so using it as a stencil for just baout anything would be amazing. Currently planning a baby shower that it would be great to have for things like decor, place settings, etc!

    Reply
  5. Jessica Alayne

    I have several ornament projects I’m thinking Silhouette could help with. But what about wrapping projects?! For sure I could find a million ways to use it.

    Reply
  6. Ryan Malone

    i would make some cute holiday cards, gift tags and then labels to pack up my decorations in a more organized fashion after the holidays are over. after christmas i usually just throw everything in boxes because i’m tired of looking at it! ha.

    Reply
  7. Betsy

    So many things! Label holiday storage (and everyday storage), this would be awesome for making gift tags, and I would love to make some wall art!

    Reply
  8. Heather

    I want to make the cute Santa sacks for my two young children. I’d also like to make our own Christmas cards because we live so far from our family and friends. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Reply
  9. sarah oswald

    I would love to tackle making greeting cards and gift boxes and I have always wanted to try to make popup greeting cards and I think this would make it alot easier. Thanks for the chance to win it!

    Reply
  10. Heather Byrd

    I’d like to personalize a cutting board, baking dish and cake carrier for my mother-in-law. She has a small “sweets” business on the side and she loves to cook. Thank you for the great giveaway 🙂

    Reply
  11. Ann Fontaine

    I would love to tackle an organizing project and make labels for my Christmas bins. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  12. Stacy Renee

    I’d make adorable polar bear Christmas cards to begin with and I’d also make lots of festive embellishments, sayings, etc for my baby girl’s first scrapbook (She’s due any day now!)

    Reply

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Easy DIY Bridesmaid Gift

B-Mug-Gift-Card

We’re officially 2 days away from our wedding! This entire wedding planning process has been a whirlwind, and I couldn’t have survived it in style without my best girls by my side. I spent a long time thinking about what I wanted to give my favorite ladies to say a big “thanks” for being a part of our wedding. Makeup? Jewelry? Something personal? I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, but I did know that I wanted to DIY at least one small part of the gift.

Today I’m spilling the beans on a super easy DIY gift I’m giving to my gals…(sorry to ruin the surprise ladies!)

Easy-DIY-Bridesmaids-GiftsB-Mug-Gift-Card

You guys have seen these personalized mugs before here on The DIY Playbook from this post and tutorial. Last time we made them using gold sharpies, but this time I wanted to go with silver. My bridesmaids are wearing gray/silver and I thought it would fit with the overall decor of the wedding.

It didn’t take me long at all to create an initial for each of my ladies. I simply got some stickers,  and traced around them with small dots. After a few minutes, I peeled the stickers off and popped the mugs in the oven to cure. 350 degrees for 25 minutes…and those initials weren’t going anywhere!
Starbucks-Gift-Card

Inside each mug, I put a Starbucks gift card. There is a coffee shop right by our hotel, so I figured we can fuel up in the morning and sip out of our personalized mugs. Gotta keep you energy up on wedding day!
Monogrammed-Mugs

I think they turned out really nice, and I’m hoping my bridesmaids love them. I mean who wouldn’t want to add a personalized mug to their collection? I know I’d love to sip out of one of these bad boys at the office. Monogrammed-E-MugDSC_0018

It just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a ton of money (or time!) on gifts. With the chaos of the wedding, this was just about all the DIY action I had time for…and I think my girls will appreciate the small token of thanks. Monogrammed-Silver-MugsSo K, B, K, E, & J…I can’t wait to have you stand up there by my side on Saturday. I’m lucky to have such amazing ladies in my life. Cheers to a fun, love-filled weekend!casey_sig

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1st Year Anniversary: PAPER Gift Idea

Smith Wedding
Maybe it was the Marathon, alllllll the marathon training, the triathlon, the matron of honor duties, the new teaching preps, the two teams she coached, the countless homebound students she tutored in her free time, the conference she hosted, the homework she had to do for her Master’s degree, the trips she took around the country… or heck, maybe it was her new duty as WIFE that kept her from picking up her wedding photos until now, over ONE YEAR after her special day.
Last July, my big sister, Katie, walked down the aisle to marry her handsome partner in crime, Joe Smith. I have wanted to share some of their UBER creative photos from this magical orchard wedding (because who doesn’t love creepin’ on wedding photos?!) for quite a while now, but Katie is ONE BUSY LADY & picking up her wedding photos were pretty low on her to-do list.  But after almost a year of waiting, these two love birds finally have their photos to share with us!
In honor of Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s {insert Brad & Angelina joke here, I’m sure they don’t hear that enough… sorry guys, I still can’t resist} first anniversary, I thought we could wrap up the whole first year in one Monday morning post. Wedding photos, a first anniversary “PAPER” gift idea, and I even pinned down the busy bride to give us newbies some A+ advice.
But first, the wedding photos… 
I mean how cute are they?! An authentic Granny Smith sign for Mr. & Mrs. Smith on their wedding day… I just don’t think it gets much better than that. Well, I guess if they went back and secretly stole it to hang in their house forever… that would be better. Did you catch the touch o’ math sprinkled throughout the venue? If you haven’t guessed, KT teaches math and cleverly tricked each of her guests into calculating an equation to figure out where they were seated at the venue. Geez, this girl is always on the clock! But in all seriousness, what a fun day! Katie was the most laid back bride, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen her as happy as she was on that day.
PS. Extra credit for anyone who gets their hands on that Granny Smith sign…. #herassignmentnotmine
Second- 1st Anniversary Gift Idea
Apparently, tradition says that a first anniversary gift should be “paper”. I have no clue why, I honestly have no clue where this tradition comes from (probably should look into it before December), but I do love me some solid tradition…so paper it is! Any guesses?
I’m sure this kind of paper was not the intention when this whole “paper” idea was born, but heck, a little 21st Century spin on the old idea seemed fun… and very fitting for the tech-savvy Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
I had an instagram book made of Katie & Joe’s adventures throughout their first year of marriage. Paper… check! Personal photos of them, by them, for them… check! Memories as newlyweds forever captured on their coffee table… check! Hacked KT’s Instagram account…check!

This book was cool because it allows you to choose the photos that you want to appear in the book. When you do pick, the text of the instagram also appears in the book, yet you are able to edit/delete/add any additional text. I kept KT’s quotes on the bottom of each photo, only so it was more personal to them.

Looking through the book of their first year definitely gives you a glimpse into how full of adventure, accomplishment, laughter, races and fun their first year of marriage was! I hope they can look back at this year (and book) and always remember the places they went & the amazing things they did together.
I bought the book from Social Prints (not sponsored, just genuinely love this product) super easy instructions to follow in order to format the book exactly how you want. I went with one picture per page, but you can opt to get a collage of photos per page.
Third – Advice from Old Bride
Since we have quite a few soon-to-be married and newly married rookies tuning in, I asked Mrs. Smith to share her humble advice on the first 365 days of marriage (aka Casey & I need all the help we can get…). And for those marriage hall of famers tuning in, I figured you could probably appreciate a little giggle at the expense of us newbies (you reading mom?). With that being said….Kate, tell us how it really went! What advice would you give to us soon-to-brides and new wives?

Her TOP 3 Pieces of Advice
1. Learn each other’s pet peeves and do what you can to avoid your +1’s peeves!
2. COMPROMISE
3. Plan date nights. If you don’t make a concerted effort to plan & enjoy date nights together, life will get in the way and date nights won’t happen.

Beyond the tips of advice, Katie also wanted to dish on the 2 most ANNOYING questions that seemed to pop off throughout the honeymoon stage.
1. “How’s married life?” (Oops! I asked her that exact question at least 12 times in the first 3 months… #noted). She says you and your husband should have a clever answer because you’ll be facing this question A LOT.
2. “When are you having kids?” <– I’m not even sure if there is a right answer to this one.  Awkward.

And on that note, Happy 1st Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Smith! Can’t wait to see what year #2 has in store for you two adventurous lovebirds.

bridget_sig
Any other first year brides tuning in?! Is Katie’s advice spot-on? Do you have anything else to add? These rookies are ALL EARS….
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7 thoughts on “1st Year Anniversary: PAPER Gift Idea

  1. Brittany

    Had I not already done this for my hubby’s birthday, I would have probably made a coupon book for our paper anniversary. Love how easy it is to customize the coupons into things that fit your husbands/the couples interests. I’ve also seen/made several ideas for prints that could be used as a first anniversary gifts such as a marriage rules print. I’m sure you ladies will find that what makes each marriage work can be vastly different which I think is what makes that kind of print so fun. We will be celebrating our second anniversary Nov 2nd. I’m hoping I’ll have some kind of an idea for a cotton gift by then. LOL

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Happy Anniversary Brittany!! Love those ideas.. thanks so much for sharing!

      You’ll have to keep us updated on that cotton gift.. seems way harder than “paper”. Good luck! xo

    2. DIY Playbook

      A coupon book is an awesome idea, as well as the Marriage Rules print. Love them both!

      Cotton??? Hmmmm. That one may be a bit tricky! Keep us updated if you come up with something good!

    3. Brittany

      There are tons of adorable personalized throw pillows on Etsy that would make a great cotton second anniversary gift. My husband on the other hand frequently likes to refer to my throw pillows as “useless pillows” so I don’t think he would be too thrilled with that gift.

  2. Lori Baker

    My brother just gave his wife a sketch of her wedding dress by My Dreamlines. It was breathtaking. I have a sketch too, which my husband gave to me on our wedding day.

    Reply

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7 thoughts on “1st Year Anniversary: PAPER Gift Idea

  1. Brittany

    Had I not already done this for my hubby’s birthday, I would have probably made a coupon book for our paper anniversary. Love how easy it is to customize the coupons into things that fit your husbands/the couples interests. I’ve also seen/made several ideas for prints that could be used as a first anniversary gifts such as a marriage rules print. I’m sure you ladies will find that what makes each marriage work can be vastly different which I think is what makes that kind of print so fun. We will be celebrating our second anniversary Nov 2nd. I’m hoping I’ll have some kind of an idea for a cotton gift by then. LOL

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Happy Anniversary Brittany!! Love those ideas.. thanks so much for sharing!

      You’ll have to keep us updated on that cotton gift.. seems way harder than “paper”. Good luck! xo

    2. DIY Playbook

      A coupon book is an awesome idea, as well as the Marriage Rules print. Love them both!

      Cotton??? Hmmmm. That one may be a bit tricky! Keep us updated if you come up with something good!

    3. Brittany

      There are tons of adorable personalized throw pillows on Etsy that would make a great cotton second anniversary gift. My husband on the other hand frequently likes to refer to my throw pillows as “useless pillows” so I don’t think he would be too thrilled with that gift.

  2. Lori Baker

    My brother just gave his wife a sketch of her wedding dress by My Dreamlines. It was breathtaking. I have a sketch too, which my husband gave to me on our wedding day.

    Reply

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Celebrate Summer FREE Printable

CelebrateSummerPrintable
It doesn’t take much to mix up a reason to celebrate around here- and today is no different. In honor of the SUMMER and lots of sunshine to come, we are officially celebrating by sharing this bright & happy FREE printable with you guys today!

Because we can’t reach through the screen and give you a big ol’ HUG for all of the love & support that you show by coming here each and everyday to see what we’re up to… a polka dotted printable seemed like the next best thing. 

We think this pop of cheer can be the perfect addition to a gallery wall, a fun note to stick on a message board, or even a tag to add to your next summer BBQ hostess gift. So regardless of how you use it… we hope you love it and find some time to celebrate all that this gorgeous sunshine has to offer! To download your FREE printable, just click HERE & press PRINT!
Speaking of celebrating sunshine, I am extremely fortunate to have the chance to do A LOT of that lately. As many of you already know, my real job (you know… the one that pays the bills) is being a high school teacher. Thanks to this career choice, I am on summer vacation and soaking up lots of rest, quality time with the hubby (who is also a teacher on summer vacay), quality time with my sisters (both teachers as well) and checking off my DIY/blog to do list a little quicker than usual.
Since I typically don’t talk about my day job here on the Playbook, I thought I would take this chance to give you a crash course on a few random bits of info you may not know about me & my day job.
  1. I work at the same high school where both Casey and I graduated
  2. I pass both Casey’s and my high school locker about once a week
  3. …Still remember the combination (they changed it… I’ve tried)
  4. I work at the same high school as Matt (although our workplace is not his alma mater)
  5. Matt & I met outside of the copy room about 4 years ago. No one at work knew we were dating for at least a year, maybe more. Actually, some colleagues found out we were dating after we were married & some probably still don’t know.
  6. I co-teach with two teachers that I had in high school and I am grateful to work alongside them as a colleague now
  7. I have two Master’s degrees in Education related fields and I never anticipate going back to school … ever again
  8. Casey has come into my class as a guest speaker to talk about her career in broadcast journalism- I couldn’t have been more proud to give this opportunity to my students & allow them to hear her professional words of wisdom.
  9. All of my sisters are also teachers and we all share our summer vacations, winter breaks, spring breaks & school holidays! #luckygirls
  10. I coach varsity girls’ golf every fall
  11. **I am on summer vacation until August and will be CELEBRATING SUNSHINE until then! Although you may not be a teacher & blessed with this generous time off, I still hope you find time to celebrate sunshine this summer too!
Thank you for taking this crazy DIY journey with us each and every day (you have no idea how much it means to us). We wish you all an amazing start of summer and lots of opportunity to celebrate the sunshine all season long. You deserve it!! Xo.
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DIY Time Out: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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With Mother’s Day only a few days away, we thought it might be nice to give our favorite readers some gift ideas for their own fabulous moms. But since we are not mothers (and therefore not experts on the topic) we knew we had to enlist some real experts… and when we say experts, we mean the two biggest experts we know. Our own MOMS!

Jan (aka Janimal) and Pat are two regulars here on DIY Playbook and we thought it might be fun if they shared some of the products and items that they’re currently crushing on. Perhaps this will inspire you to find a gift that your own mother (or even you!) will truly love.  

First up, Janimal’s favorites…

Mother's Day Gift Ideas
  1.  Backpack: I went back to school last fall to work on a Master’s degree and I needed a heavy duty backpack to carry my books, my lunch, my laptop and my water bottle. I realized early on that all my stuff is HEAVY! This backpack is strong, comfortable, and light and I can keep everything organized and ready for class without weighing me down!
  2. Sperry Topsiders: I love these shoes!! They are just about the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn and this gold color looks good with everything. I wear them with pants, with shorts, sometimes even with casual skirts and dresses.
  3.  Keurig Coffeemaker: I used to make a pot of coffee every morning, drink one or two cups, and then throw the rest away. Now, with this great gift from my son, I can make one delicious cup at a time…no more waste! Plus, there are so many great flavors (and even tea and hot chocolate) to choose from.
  4.  Starbuck’s iPhone App: This is one of my favorite phone apps. Now, I don’t need cash when I want a good cup of coffee. I can easily load money onto this app and when it’s time to pay for my drink at Starbucks, I just wave the bar code in front of their scanner. It keeps track of my account and I earn stars towards free drinks.
  5.  Iced Tea MakerThis is one kitchen appliance that this iced tea lover could not live without. I always have a big pitcher of iced tea in my refrigerator and this is the way I brew it perfectly every time!
  6.  Motorola Blue Tooth: In Illinois the motto is “Cell phone in one hand, ticket in the other!” Well, I don’t want any tickets, but I spend so much time in the car that I wanted to be able to talk on the phone while I drive. The answer is this great little gadget. I can keep my eyes on the road and talk all I want without worrying about a ticket!
  7.  Kitchen Garbage Can: This garbage can has a sensor that opens the lid when you wave your hand over it. The lid stays nice and clean because I don’t ever have to touch it. Even if my hands are gooey when I’m cooking, the garbage goes in the can without any mess on the outside.
  8. Jambox: My sons and soon to be son-in-law gave me this as a birthday gift and with this little box I have music wherever I want it.  It is wireless, so I go to Pandora on my phone and I can listen to music all day long.  It has wonderful sound for such a small, little gadget.
  9. Water Bottles: This year I decided to develop my ecological spirituality and one thing I did was stop buying bottled water. Instead, my daughter gave me six re-usable water bottles that I keep in my refrigerator. I use them, wash them in the dishwasher, fill them up and put them back in the refrigerator until the next time. Even if I have company, I can offer them water from my re-usable water bottles and I’m not helping to pollute the environment.  
More Mother's Day Gift Ideas
  1. Blazer: I love a bright blazer that I can use to dress up or dress down an outfit. I pair this bright blue blazer with all sorts of colors and prints to create a colorful look that fits in at all types of occasions this spring. I usually look at the Limited or the LOFT for an affordable blazer that I can wear all season long.
  2. Neutral Nail polish: I’ve been wearing quite a bit of neutral nail polish lately, and I love that it is so versatile. The neutral shimmer seems to match with almost everything, plus it’s just enough color to add a little shimmer to my look without being overwhelming or too flashy. (Although, I have been known to love a bold color too!)
  3. Flats: Most recently, I have been wearing Target’s leopard flats because my daughters gave them to me as a gift and I really love them! Again, I feel like I can wear them with almost anything, plus they are affordable and easy to travel with. And because they have such a busy pattern, they are far more forgiving when they get scuffed or stained. 
  4. bareMinerals Make-up: I don’t typically wear a ton of make-up, however, I love bareMinerals. The blush feels like it is barely there and stays on all day. This blush comes in a large variety of colors and lasts a long time! I brush it on lightly in the morning and don’t ever have to reapply, plus I never feel like it is too heavy or oily for my face. 
  5.  Pond’s Moisturizing Cream: Moisturizing is part of my daily routine and is so important in maintaining healthy skin. I use Pond’s Moisturizer at least once, sometimes twice a day to keep my face moisturized, protected, and most importantly, healthy. 
  6. Ready to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies: These are great to have on-hand in your refrigerator. This pre-made cookie dough gives you the homemade taste without the homemade hassle. If I have company over at the last minute and I’m looking for a last-minute dessert idea, I pop some of these in the oven and in a few minutes, I have warm cookies to serve to my guests without the mess!
  7. GODIVA Chocolate Martini Mix: Every once in a while, I enjoy a Chocolate Martini and this GODIVA Martini Mix makes for a delicious one at home! Placing this mix in a basket with a few other drink essentials could make a great gift for the Martini lover in your life. Cheers to them!  
  8. Lint Free Cloths: I buy these at the DollarStore and absolutely love them for cleaning mirrors and glass surfaces in my house. I usually use them with a glass cleaner and love that they don’t leave lint, fuzz, or any unwanted residue on my newly cleaned surface. Two cloths for only $1, you can’t beat ’em!
  9. Electrolux Vacuum: This is probably one of my all-time favorite things on the list. I use this vacuum at least once a day, usually more. Its charger is also its “stand”, which I keep in my pantry. I pull out this cordless and lightweight vacuum whenever I can. Usually once in the morning and once after dinner, I do a quick round around my first floor, which takes about 3 minutes and boy does it make a big difference! I then take it back to its charger, close the door of the pantry and let it hide until next time.

A big thank you to our two favorite ladies for taking the time to share their favorite items with us and all of you. We’re glad they gave us a few hints before their big day. (wink, wink).

Oh, and if you need a personalized tag for your mother’s day gifts, we have your back! Download a set of FREE tags here & make your mom’s day a little extra special… she deserves it! 

Bridget and Casey DIY Playbook

 

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4 thoughts on “DIY Time Out: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  1. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply
  2. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply

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4 thoughts on “DIY Time Out: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

  1. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply
  2. Vicki

    tell aunt pat I love the “i use this vacuum about once a day” … no over exaggeration there!!!! love this post, Vicki!

    Reply

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Happy Birthday Casey!

gift present
Q: Guess what today is?! 
A: If you guessed Casey’s birthday… you’re right! 
My favorite blogging best friend is blowing out the candles today, and may I add, for the last time as a single lady. #cheerstothat

As you all probably figured out by now, Casey is one talented, motivated & hard-working 20-somethin’ lady. But for those of you who may not know, Casey is also the main reason the DIY Playbook was born.  Yea, yea… technically we are 50% owners of DIY Playbook, LLC & always try hard to split up the work 50/50, but Casey is hands-down the reason we are where we are today. Don’t believe me?

Q: Who cooked up the idea of starting a DIY blog anyway?
A: Casey
 
Q: Who spent a whole summer convincing me to jump on board & follow through with this crazy idea?
A: Casey
 
Q: Who spearheaded all of our coding & HTML mysteries to actually make our behind the scenes ideas a reality in the form of a LIVE BLOG?!
A: Yup, Casey again
 
Q: Who is always motivating me to work harder, be better, and achieve the unthinkable regardless of other’s expectations?
A:  That’s Casey
 
Q: Do you see a pattern here?
A: Casey, the answer is Casey!
To symbolize how much Casey motivates me to be BETTER, work HARDER, and NEVER give up, I decided to give her this charming birthday gift.

Alright, I guess it’s not as self-explanatory as I thought. Allow me to explain…

When Casey & I started DIY Playbook, Casey dove right in and bought a DSLR camera (aka a super nice camera) and taught herself how to use it. Are you surprised?! #Imnot

She was dedicated to learning how to shoot manually and bring our blog’s photos to the next level. All the while her Playbook Partner (aka ME) was s.l.a.c.k.i.n.g. I had no fancy camera, no knowledge of photography and a whole lot of excuses why I couldn’t get into “real” blog photography just yet. While Casey was honing her photog skills, I was weighing down the team and started to dread taking blog pics with my dinosaur of a camera.

Q: Guess what Casey did during this time?
A: Encouraged me, supported me, and accepted that I wasn’t ready to make the plunge.

Fast forward a year… I am proud to say that I now own a DSLR camera (woo-woo), I am learning to shoot in manual (keyword: learning) & am no longer weighing down this partnership (well, at least not in the photography department). And the most important update- the new camera has introduced me to my LOVE for taking pictures. A task I used to dread is now possibly one of my favorite parts of this blog journey. Who would have guessed?

Q: Guess who I owe this new passion to?
A: Casey…. AGAIN!

To me, this photography strap is so much more than just a cute strap for her fancy camera. It’s that too, but so much more. This colorful strap is also a symbol of how much she has done for me as a friend, business partner and, most importantly, as a person. Like I said before, Casey is hands-down one of the most hardworking, motivated & dedicated people I know. She will put her all into her work and not come up for air until she has reached her goal (Finn, am I right?). At that point, she will sleep, drink some coffee, & get up the next day to work even harder- repeating this over & over again until…. Well, we haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll let you know when she stops…

To say that she pushes me to work hard, be better, and challenge myself to learn new things just by her example is quite the understatement. I hope this simple gift is a constant reminder to her of how much she inspires me and all of those around her.

Cheers to Casey and a year of great things ahead of her! You better believe that I’ll be by your side, camera in hand, ready to capture these priceless moments…
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