DIY: Stars + Stripes FREE Printable Bunting

 

We love the 4th of July over here!  Not only is summer the best season in Chicago, but I’m particularly in love with some great fireworks and bbq’s. So, in honor of the 4th, you can find this adorable free download stars + stripes banner.  We whipped this up for the kids to cut out, string together, and use to decorate for our July 4th party.  (So.. yep, these photos aren’t perfection… they are just our everyday… which is perfection to me).

Happy 4th and happy decorating!  (And if you want more free printable 4th of July decorations, you can find some cupcake toppers over at this Oodles and Doodles post).

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Giving Back

I love finding a way to help out a great organization, and when I stumbled upon the Confetti Foundation, I knew that was it!  The Confetti Foundation is an awesome non-profit organization that supplies sick kids in hospitals with birthday boxes on their special day.  The boxes are filled with birthday banners, coloring pages and lots of other fun stuff, all to make their day that much brighter while they’re stuck in the hospital.

I was so glad to hear about their work, and thrilled to be able to help them out by supplying some much needed party banners, coloring pages and bookmarks.  If you have some time, go check them out… who wouldn’t want to make a little one’s birthday that much brighter.

confetti foundation sponsors 2016

Honk, Honk! Beep, Beep! Coming through… someone in our house just turned TWO!!

Noahs 2nd bday transportation photos collage 5x7 with watermark

Honk, Honk! Beep, Beep! Coming through… our little guy just celebrated turning TWO!  Oh, how those years flew by… and we marked the occasion with all things that move (just like this little one) with a Transportation Birthday party.  Everything was decked out with planes, trains, and automobiles .. and trucks… lots of trucks.  We even had a drive-in movie for the little ones with our diy cars made out of cardboard boxes.  The kids had tickets, little personalized driver’s licenses and snacks in their handmade cars.  And most importantly, our sweet little two year old got to celebrate another birthday in true “boy” fashion.. surrounded by cars and trucks (and lots of people that he loved).

Happy Birthday my little one!  You’re already so grown up!

 

All the Great Things that BUBBLE & FIZZ…

It’s birthday season in our house! Not only do we have a little guy turning two, but our other little mad scientist is turning FIVE!  So.. HE has designed (because that’s what you get when you’re a kid with a mom that promises to make you anything you want)… a lab pass scientist invitation. Now available in the Etsy shop with matching items coming soon (as soon as this momma can get it all together).

lab invite p1

lab invite p2

 

Now Available: Printed Chalkboard Posters

Ever wonder where to print all those really great birthday milestone chalkboard posters?  You know… the ones that you see everywhere… at fabulous birthday parties, in adorable first birthday photos. Those.  It seems like a lot to have to figure out how to print those yourself.  And then mount them to something so that they stand up on your own.  I know because customers have been asking me for years.

Well after preparing for a second birthday in our house, I decided that it is a bit inconvenient, and just one extra unnecessary thing that you have to do in order to get ready for that big day. So I decided to start offering all my chalkboard posters professionally printed and mounted on thick matboard with 2 day shipping to anywhere within the U.S.  So that’s one less thing you have to worry about. And posters will be shipped to you really fast, so you can get those last minute weights and heights, and all those little milestones in time for the big day. Find all my chalkboard poster designs at the OandD Etsy shop or at Oodles and Doodles.com. And there’s a bunch of new designs just added! Happy shopping!

 

A Boho Chic Party

Tribal bday party pckge photo2

I love when I get a chance to sit down and design a new fun, feminine party collection.  With a house overflowing with dinosaurs, trucks, and anything that shoots, I relish the chance to think pink (or salmon in this case).  And this one… well… just happens to be one of my favorites.  A tribal, boho-inspired theme was on the docket for a long time floating around in my brain.  And it came together so well!  I just love the mix of the vintage photo with the boho chic feel.  There’s a full matching party package in the Etsy shop and soon to be coming to Oodles-and-Doodles.com.  With lots of digital goodies and even more items on the way (like a chalkboard poster).  And don’t forget, invites are always available professionally printed.

 

And, you can find a matching baby shower theme here as well with tons more options including diaper raffle tickets, dear baby wish cards, bring a book instead of a card inserts, and much more!

Happy Party Planning!  (And if you need a little party inspiration, head on over to the Tribal Pinterest Board with lots of chic party styling tips).

One for the Boys…

valentine gliders p1 edit in processFinding appropriate and fun valentines for boys can some times be a bit of a challenge.  With a whole house full of boys, I’ve become an expert as sneaking in a few hearts for the occasion while still retaining all that boyish fun. And with a touch of creativity, there are so many cute themes that can be used.

So we’ve already made some transportation valentine goody bags, but we also made adorable airplane-themed valentines this year as well.  Our oldest son picked out gliders that he requested be his valentine class treat.  Which is great because we can totally skip the whole peanut-free candy headache. So, to coordinate with the gliders, we used the printable airplane valentine from the transportation collection.  Printed them all on heavy white card stock from our home color printer, punched two holes at the top of each are and tied them to the already bagged gliders that came that way.

So simple! And coordinated… and my favorite… a fun little candy-free valentine treat that still retains all that boyish fun (and maybe, just maybe contains a heart or two).

Find even more valentine designs (for boys and girls) on Oodles-and-Doodles.com or at the OandD Etsy shop.

valentine gliders p2 edit

Valentine’s Day

valentines_OandD_edited.jpgValentine’s Day always sneaks up on me every year.  I don’t know what it is… I feel like we’re just getting over the holidays and then it’s magically February.  So, in response, I typically pick a really easy Valentine’s Day project.  Because, let’s be honest… it’s usually me that does most of the work since all the little hands in this house are mostly interested in eating the chocolate candy and playing with the toys.

This year, we went with the super simple Valentine’s Day goody bags for school.  I love this idea because we can skip the candy completely and fill the baggies with little valentine-themed toys.  We stuck with a transportation theme and used the personalized & printable valentine cards from the shop.  I love these because you can use them year after year and the theme works for so many different ideas. And boys can be tricky on this holiday… far too many pink and red hearts out there to make my kids happy.

We printed both sets of Transportation valentines on heavy white card stock, stuck them in clear baggies and sealed all the little goodies shut with the matching favor tags.  (This is one of my favorite tricks… so super simple and easy … and perfectly coordinated).  The trick here is to print the tags on sticky paper.  I like Avery Full Sheet labels. The entire page is a giant sticker so you can cut out square tags or punch out 2 inch or 2.5 inch circles.  Easy peasy.  And done.  And….I never had to worry about searching for peanut free school-approved candy.

I wish all things were this simple!

And you can find lots of other Valentine-themed designs in the Etsy shop and on Oodles-and-Doodles.com.  There’s adorable owl designs for girls, animals for the itty bitties, and robots and monsters too!  (One day, when I plan ahead enough, I’m going to pick up some eyeball bouncy balls at Halloween and save them for those Monster valentines.  How perfect would that be)?!  Next year – that’s on my list for next year.  It’ll be here before you know it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

How to Create the Perfect Holiday Card

Starting right around Thanksgiving, the design requests for custom Christmas & Holiday cards start to pour in.  Now, I don’t typically have the time to indulge on custom designs during the year, but the holidays become my one exception.  I love designing Christmas cards… seeing all those bright smiling faces, and watching the children of some of my favorite clients change from year to year.  And let’s face it… those happy, merry little faces just make my day!  It completely gets me in the Christmas spirit.

So as you can imagine, I get all kinds of requests! And after years of designing custom holiday cards, I’ve come to learn a little bit about what goes into creating the perfect one. So here are a few of my trade secrets.

 

Tip 1: Let the photo do the talking!

Don’t try to accomplish too much in one card. Don’t squeeze in an entire year of vacation & holiday & seasonal photos.  Don’t include ten barely visible thumbnail photos.  Pick one photo from the year that you LOVE.  Maybe it’s a fabulous professional photo you had taken or maybe it’s one you took yourself.  But pick the one you LOVE and use it.  Build everything around it.  Keep it simple.  And let us all see those big smiling family faces when we receive the card in the mail.

Wait… what??… one photo… with EVERYONE in it? SMILING?  Yeah, I hear you… it’s impossible to get three kids to sit down and smile in one picture.  Totally understand.  It is (most days).  Don’t fight it.  Just take a different route. Consider one that includes all of them playing or laughing (and not necessarily posed and smiling perfectly).

Or consider breaking up the kids into individual photos but all in a similar design, so it feels like one big photo.  Converting the photos to all the same type of finish/color helps create a cohesive feel.

 

Tip 2: Add a bright, bold, {FUN} backside with additional photos

Because it’s hard to pick just one.  Add a few more photos on the back.  A boring, plain white backside to any card is a major pet peeve of mine.  After all, you took the time to send all these cards out to family & friends.. use all the space you have!  And brighten it all up with a bold matching pattern.

 

Tip 3: Pick a Fabulous Printer

For goodness sake, don’t print out cards with your family’s photos that you LOVE at a lousy printer.  A great card printed at a crummy printer is… well…. a crummy card.  A great image is only as good as the printing, so pick well!  It’ll be worth it.

And if you’d like to have a custom holiday card designed around your photo, find it all at Oodles and Doodles.  With lots more holiday card designs to peruse as well.

Everything is available either as a printable file for you to print yourself or printed at a fabulous professional printer in the highest of quality.  And shipped next day to you … because, you know, who has time to spend worrying about cards? There’s so much more to do for the holidays!

Happy Holidays!

 

Printing Services Now Available

Printing Services now available, Oodles and Doodles, OandD, printable invitations and party printables

After years of receiving printing requests on a nearly weekly basis, I’m finally adding professional printing services for all my invitation designs to the OandD etsy shop and at Oodles-and-Doodles.com.  With lots of beautiful, ultra premium card stock options (shimmer, recycled, linen, glossy, etc.), it’ll be super convenient for those looking for a non-DIY option with almost limitless paper options.  And, best of all, any quantity is available.  So no more having to purchase 30 cards, when you only need 18. Genius.