Exciting NEWS!

Family Tree, Canvas Print, Personalized Family Tree, Family Tree Gifts | Oodles and Doodles, OandD

I am super, super excited to announce that I’ve partnered with a fabulous speciality canvas printer and am now offering a Canvas Print option for all my Modern Family Tree Art.

This all came about a few months ago as I was looking for some great artwork for my newly renovated bathroom.  I searched for such a long time and couldn’t find anything that fit the space. And then one day it suddenly occurred to me… it was a perfect place for a canvas print version of my own family tree. After giving them as gifts for years, I had yet to make one for myself.  So, long story short, I teamed up with this truly fabulous canvas printer and they produced the most beautiful printed version of my art.  Once I saw it in person, I knew that I just had to start offering it in the OandD Etsy Shop  (and coming soon to the Oodles and Doodles website).

The prints arrive super fast (which I love.  I have no patience.) and are printed on a thick, luxurious poly-cotton blend canvas that is archival grade and lasts over 100 years. Once printed, the canvas is sprayed with ultra-protective laminate coat to make it waterproof, scratch, and UV light resistant. And then finished with a premium satin coating which provides a soft luster finish.

These Family Tree prints really are my go-to gift for all those impossible gift-giving occasions (like those 80th birthdays, or 70th wedding anniversaries, or Mother’s Day).  And, they’re available in any color to match any decor/event.

Hope you love them as much as I do!

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Thank You!

Free Printable Thank You Notes by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

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Oodles and Doodles is celebrating it’s 3rd anniversary… and I would just like to say Thank You for helping making these last years so great!  So… as a little thank you gift… grab these free printable Thank You Notes.  Available to download … Continue reading

Ahoy! Someone is a Big Boy … A New Nautical Birthday Party inspired by a trip to the Sea

We just got back from an amazing trip to a beautiful island with the most welcoming, kind residents!  And after five days of drinking in all that gorgeous turquoise water and white, sandy beaches, who wouldn’t be inspired?  So, once I got home, I set to work designing a new Nautical Birthday Party.  And I’m totally in love with it.  Now I just have to find an event so that I can use it. And an excuse to spend countless more days on the beach soaking up all that beauty.

The full Nautical Birthday Collection is available at the OandD Etsy Shop and the Oodles and Doodles website.

ROAR! Our Big Boy turned FOUR (with a DINO-MITE Birthday Party)!

Dinosaur Birthday Party, Birthday season is finally over in our house!  One big First Birthday, four cases of strep, one broken finger, and finally a 4th Birthday.  And now I’m tired!  I mean… really tired!  But the party turned out so well, that I just had to share all the details.

Our son’s “ROAR!  I’m FOUR” Dinosaur themed birthday party turned out great!  It was, of course, designed by him.  Every year, I ask him what kind of birthday party he would like me to design, and this year he said dinosaurs with lots of polka dots.  Specifically BIG polka dots (and he wanted them pink.. but Mom overruled him on that one)!  I got to work designing the whole party for him and started with the invitation. I’m so tired of the typical dinosaur theme full of drab green & brown, that I decided to brighten it up a bit and play with the words so that the dinosaurs appeared to be walking through them.   And, of course, added a big photo on the polka dotted back.  I love photos on the back of an invitation.  Why not use that space?These particular invites were printed at VistaPrint (and I rounded the corners myself).

Dinosaur Birthday Party Invitation, Party Printables by Oodles and Doodles, OandDROAR! Printable Dinosaur Party Invitation by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

Once the invitation was designed, the whole party took form.  Party signs, chalkboard posters, banners, cupcake toppers, adorable favors, you name it!  And, some really great dinosaur activities for all the kiddos.

Our big guy’s birthday was right after Easter, so we took advantage of that and stocked up on a lot of white, plastic Easter eggs and filled them with really great dinosaur crayons from Etsy.  They were just perfect!  Packaged them all up, added the favor tags and viola!  Perfect and super easy… and more importantly … adorable.  Here are just a few photos of how the favors turned out.

Dinosaur Favors for Dinosaur ROAR Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

And there were lots more decorations… party signs, chalkboard posters, and really simple diy centerpieces made from my digital patterned paper and cupcake toppers all available in the birthday party kit.  You can find a tutorial on how to make the centerpieces from my party tips post.

DIY Dinosaur Centerpieces by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

Here are a few photos of the banner (with a dinosaur crawling through each letter), party signs, and dinosaur party hats.  The hats were so easy to make!  All you need is the printable party hat, glue, and some foam cut into triangles and glued up the seam of the hat.  Super simple and so cute!

ROAR! Dinosaur Birthday Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

Boy's Dinosaur Birthday Party Decorations by Oodles and Doodles, OandDROAR Dinosaur Birthday Chalkboard Poster by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

And finally, no kids party would be complete without activities!  We had a “Design your own Dino” station, a “Make your own Fossil” station complete with play dough and plastic bugs for imprinting, a dinosaur piñata, and a “Dino Dig.”  The Dino Dig was the bit hit of the party!  I had decided against actually hiding dinosaur bones in sand (ugh… sand … everywhere… can you even imagine??), and switched it to a “Dinosaur (Egg Hunt) Dig” so the kids got to jump in a giant size blow-up pool filled with shredded paper and search for plastic eggs filled with tiny dinosaurs.  The activities were meant to be played outside, but it had rained the day before, so they all got moved into our unfinished basement.  It still worked out great!  The kiddos made a HUGE mess and loved every minute of it.  Even some of the adults jumped in.  (When grown ups can’t resist, that’s how you know it was a success).  And the birthday boy is still talking about “his dino dig.”

Dinosaur Party Activities

Our big birthday boy had a DINO-MITE time… and so did everyone else.  The party was a big hit!  I’ve been told that I should start working on a rocket party for next year… so stay tuned!

Vendors:

All Party Printables were designed by Oodles and Doodles and are available in the OandD Etsy Shop or on the Oodles and Doodles website.

Oh how time FLIES when you’re turning ONE!

It’s birthday season around here, and we kicked it off with the biggest one of all!  Our little guy just turned One and celebrated in style with an airplane-themed party designed just for him. Now, as you can probably imagine, birthday parties are a super big deal in our house.  Months of preparation,  lots of obsessing over little details, and lots of shopping go into it.  (And maybe, just maybe, lots of eye-rolling from my husband). So after all that thought, planning and hard work, I thought I would share some photos of the party … and more importantly some of my favorite party styling tips. But first, some photos of our little guy’s big day!  I can’t believe how fast the first year FLEW by!

And now on to all those creative Party Styling Tips:

1. Party Printables (and why I love them)

Of course, I love them!  After all, I spend a good amount of time designing them.  But, honestly, they’re the best.  Super easy, inexpensive, really versatile, you can print as many copies as you need…  Pretty much the only way to have a completely custom, pulled together, DIY party. For this particular party, I designed an airplane theme centered around how fast the first year flies by (because it does)!  And so my starting point was creating a sweet invitation with a photo collage on the back highlighting all of his milestones this past year.  Because, honestly, you never really tire of looking at baby photos of your own kids, do you?

2. Wrapping Paper as a Table Runner

Wrapping paper is one of my best kept secrets. Actually, come to think of it, I think it was my mother’s brilliant idea.  So here’s the great part about wrapping paper… it makes an awesome table runner.  It looks adorable, is super inexpensive, can be thrown out when the party is over (especially with all those little chocolate-covered fingers running around near the cake table), and can be used long after the party.. you know.. as wrapping paper.  Oh, and you can always wrap your child’s gifts in it and will get bonus points for being uber-coordinated.  Plus, I use wrapping paper all the time to line the inside of glass vases to make centerpieces, too. This is literally a tip that I use for every party I’ve ever thrown whether it’s in a house or a restaurant.  It’s so simple.  So here’s a photo of our son’s party with the wrapping paper (red and white polka dots) over a cheap blue plastic table-cloth.  And the best place to buy it?  Hobby Lobby at Christmas time.  They have the best, thickest paper.  (And most of my party kit designs include polka dots, so you can pretty much always find something to match).  The Container Store is a good bet too!

3. Pipe Cleaners to Decorate … pretty much everything!

Ok, so I’m slightly obsessed with pipe cleaners.  Remember in school, when you used to “curl” them around a pencil?  Yep.  That’s me.  Still doing that.  But now with my 4 year old.  He loves it too.  So I use pipe cleaners to decorate pretty much everything…  in centerpieces, on cake cutters, to tie favor bags, as extra decorations, you name it.

DSC_5366e with watermark DSC_5344e with wtrmrk First Birthday Boy's Airplane Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

4. Creative {adorable} Favors

I firmly believe you can’t have a great party without sending your guests home with a sweet little favor.  And so, this is usually one of those details that I obsess about for a long time trying to come up with the perfect, most creative idea.  And for this party, I hit the jackpot!  The most adorable printable suitcase favor box by Claudine Hellmuth.  I’m totally in love with these.  They are, of course, stuffed with hershey kisses in homage to our Chicago airport’s “kiss ‘n fly.”   Super adorable, simple, and inexpensive.  Each suitcase favor box is packaged in a clear bag, tied with a pipe cleaner and personalized favor tags from my Airplane Party Kit (along with a little extra flag in there too).  You can never have too many tags.  And, of course, there’s the perfect “Baggage Claim” sign from the kit to go with it all.

Boy's First Birthday Airplane Party

5. Not Just Water Bottle Labels 

Yup, those.  Now I have a ton of clients that never bother to use them.  Totally a mistake.  They can be used for lots of things!  First, of course, as actual water bottle wraps.  And here’s the tip for those: 1) don’t actually place on ice (they may run) and 2) print on Avery full sheet labels.  The entire page is sticky, so you can use it for any shape or size that you want and don’t have to worry about margins.  Genius.  Or, honestly, you can totally print them on white typing paper and glue the ends together.  It’s not exactly rocket science. But.. I use them all the time as wraps around vases.  Or, in this case, as wraps around some bar glasses to hold all my plastic utensils.  Of course you have to decorate those too!

Boy's Airplane Birthday Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD DSC_5325e with wtrmrk

6. Digital (Scrapbook) Paper for Centerpiece Vases

This is another one of my favorite secrets.  Nearly every party kit that I design includes digital patterned paper.  And I don’t think most people know what to do with it.  It is the BEST!  First, it’s included in kits so it matches everything perfectly.  Next, you can print it just like normal and cut out any shape/size, etc. that you want (think: envelope liners, drink flags, cake bunting, back liners, etc).  But, my two favorite uses: 1) stringing multiple sheets together with cute ribbon and making a table runner out of it, and 2) lining centerpiece vases.  I think I pretty much use that trick at every party.  All you need is some cheap dollar store glass vases and a bit of creativity.  So here’s the centerpieces from this year…. matching digital paper printed and placed inside a glass vase, some shredded paper over a bit of styrofoam at the bottom of the vase, wooden dowel rods, cupcake toppers, an airplane graphic & ribbon.  You can find the super simple tutorial here.  Oh, and those Airplane party hats.  Those don’t really ever stay on little heads for very long, so why not use them as table decorations?

Boy's Airplane Birthday Party in Blue and Red by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

7. No Helium Required

You have to have balloons at a kid’s party.  That goes without saying.  BUT… I really despise having to go pick up helium balloons on the day of the party when I already have twenty million other things to do.  So this year I decided that I was going to skip the helium (but in no way sacrifice the decor).  And so I discovered balloon topiaries and balloon sticks.  Now, I always thought that balloon topiaries were beyond me.  I mean, I’m crafty but I have my limits… and I kinda assumed that was my limit.  Totally wrong on that!  So EASY! I mean so EASY!  You can find tons of tutorials online, but basically you just tie two balloons together, make a bunch of those, and then twist them all together into a ball.  (I know.. right… that should be way more complicated… ).  Apparently each topiary takes 12 balloons, but I was short, so the one in the photo is made of only 10.  Then I shoved a balloon stick in the bottom (found those at Hobby Lobby), and tada!  I’m making these for every party from now on.  I’ve finally found a decoration for those big urns outside our front door.  And, those balloon sticks completely fascinated all the kiddos since the outside balloons were finally at their height. And not one ounce of helium. Genius.

Kid's party decorations, balloon topiary for birthday, outdoor birthday decorations Birthday Party outdoor balloon decorations

Vendors:

Airplane Party Printables:  OandD Etsy Shop

Printable Suitcase Favor Box: Claudine Hellmuth

Smash Cake Photography: Carrianne Photography

Embroidered Birthday Hat: Dainty Couture

A very HOPPY Birthday for SomeBUNNY Special

Now that Valentine’s Day is officially over, we’re moving right on to Spring (and Easter) over here.  It’s so nice to think of warm weather and sweet, pastel colors full of bunnies and easter eggs!  Oh, how I love spring time… and oh, how I’ve had it with Chicago winters. For literally years now, I’ve been meaning to sit down and create some sweet spring designs.  So, I finally got to work designing an adorable pink and purple bunny girl’s birthday party kit.  (With two boys in our house, I relish the thought of being able to design in pink and purple… and accent letters with little bows). So check out the someBUNNY Invitation and all the sweet digital goods in the HOPPY Birthday Kit – available both on the website and in the Etsy Shop. And stay posted on some more sweet spring designs hopping into the shop sometime soon!

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

We’re finally getting over the holidays around here and moving right on to the next one…. Valentine’s Day!  I love Valentine’s Day. There’s just so many cute things to make for the little ones. We’re already working on some little preschool gifts over here and will be sure to post some photos of our creations shortly.  In the meantime, check-out all the new Valentine Designs in the Etsy shop or at Oodles and Doodles.  ** AND look for a 10% off coupon on the Facebook Page for all Valentine designs on the Oodles and Doodles website.

Happy HOWLidays from our Dogs to Yours

dog treat labels final photo

Our last minute baking and craft project was just completed at our house today. And in the spirit of holiday giving, we’re sharing all the details and a free printable with you!  These super easy homemade dog treats are a quick gift for all the lucky dogs in family (and neighborhood).   We just whipped up a couple batches, and they turned out perfect.

We used a super simple Peanut Butter & Pumpkin recipe, that our dogs loved!  They even waited patiently (for once) at the oven for the biscuits to finish baking. Then we just wrapped them up in little clear treat bags and used my free printable HOWLiday labels to seal and decorate.

Happy HOWLidays from our dogs to yours! Hope Santa Paws is good to you this year.

(And don’t forget to check out our other free dog printables for next year)!