Cactus Themed Baby Shower

You guys, this was one of the most fun parties I have EVER planned!  I have had a lot of fun planning parties for my little boy, which have mostly been Star Wars themed… but, this was the first party for my little girl!  I have a weird obsession with cacti and knew right away that this was the theme I wanted to do.  As always, Pinterest is the first place I go to brainstorm and I found some super cute ideas that I would be able to DIY!

Of course, the first thing I did was design the invitation in my procreate app on my iPad, I absolutely love it.  I ended up just doing a Facebook Event and posting it there because I ran out of time to send it, though I prefer to print and send actual invites this did save me about $20-$30.  I texted the image to a couple of my older relatives that I realize are not as tech savvy to Facebook and didn’t want them to miss out on the invitation!


After deciding upon keeping the event much smaller than my first baby shower (I kind of went overboard on food and decor, and didn’t realize it was Memorial Day weekend so ended up with TONS of left-overs etc.) also, it was my second baby shower and some people get weird about having more than one so I just wanted it to be kind of low-key.  I kept it open house so people wouldn’t feel obligated to stay, didn’t do games, and only did refreshments rather than a full-on meal, which most people don’t do but I did for my first!  I still wanted to party, because this baby is a different gender than my first, and I love to party… so I didn’t really feel like I needed to justify having a second baby shower.

I still live in a small apartment and though the size of the party would be small, it was still more people than I felt would be comfortable in my tiny space.  If you reach out to your ward-coordinator (if you are LDS) you can arrange to use the church very easily and for FREE.  It isn’t always the cutest venue but it works!  Especially when it’s too cold or too hot outside, so this worked perfect for me.

So, along with keeping it small and not really planning games, I did decide to make a cactus themed coloring page and put out crayons on each table.  This print is available for free along with 4 other prints I designed for this party.  I had my eye on this cute cactus goblet at the dollar store and thought it was perfect for this event, which I used to hold the crayons.  I also printed out a little custom word search with words themed around my baby, you can make one at this website, for free!


For food, like I said before I just wanted to do refreshments rather than a full on meal so I decided to do a “chip bar” including 7 layer dip, guacamole, and some salsa and then I just did a cake and some small donut bites.  I have been wanting to order some custom letter donuts from the Provo Bakery here in Utah for some time but needed to find the right excuse to do it and this was perfect!!  I was a little sad about cutting up the donut letters and maybe in retrospect I MIGHT have just kept it as a display and ate them afterwards, but at least I have some cute pictures of them before cutting them!  If you are interested in getting some they are only $2 each, so pretty affordable depending on your word or phrase haha!  I also just did water and some raspberry lemonade crystal lite with frozen raspberries and lemon slices to make it look pretty!  If you have planned a party before, I’m sure you know how easy it is for it to get expensive quick, but family members and some friends are usually willing to pitch in or do some kind of pot-luck.  I asked a my sister-in-law to make the 7 layer dip, my Grandma to bring chips, and my Mom to bring the cake, so that was extremely helpful!

I found the cute teal tray and bowl at the dollar store, as well as the clear plastic bowls holding the salsa (12 for $1).  My Mother-In-Law got me the cute tray holding the donuts for my birthday one year.  The cake stand I made from a microwave plate I found at the thrift store and a candelabra from the dollar store, and the drink holders were I think $10 each from Wal Mart and I’ve used them for every party I’ve had since I got them and they have been super worth it!  The cake toppers are 2 plastic succulents I found at the dollar store and a gold cut out that says, “oh baby”.  And I went to a little hole-in-the-wall craft store called Pebbles In My Pocket in Orem to get the die-cut cacti I put on toothpicks into the donuts.

You can find cute plastic-ware, tablecloths, and paper plates and cups at the dollar store but Wal Mart has more color options and they cost about the same.  I obviously went with a color theme of teal, mint, greens and pinks and so I just kind of kept that throughout.  I wanted to display the forks and straws in terra cotta pots because I felt that would be cute and cohesive with the theme, and they are only 77 cents at Wal Mart.  I used a sharpie and put little x’s and v’s on every single cup (40 cups) but I just did it while I watched a show.  And my little metal bucket has been a perfect place to keep napkins for all my parties especially outdoor ones so they don’t blow away!  I got 4 round table clothes, 2 pink and 2 teal, you can buy a pack of 2 at Wal Mart for $2.50.  And the cactus tablecloth was also from Wal Mart, but it’s probably not in stock anymore!

As far as decor goes, I had a TON of fun with it… I made all the cute 3-D cardboard cacti, I put together the balloons myself, I made a cactus sign for the door, I made the banners and I also made the printables.  And I also used some of my succulents and cacti as centerpieces on the tables which turned out really cute.

For Evelyn’s poster, I just got a green poster and cut it in the shape of a cactus then used some glue and glitter I got from the dollar store to put her name on the poster.  Then I used a white paint pen to add “baby shower” and some graphic cactus elements!  Easy peasy!  The banners, I may have over-done, but I couldn’t stop myself haha!  The cacti were die-cuts from Pebble’s In My Pocket and I also was able to buy the pink banner letters to spell “Hey Girl Hey”, and the tissue paper banner was actually given to me by a friend but I did see some at Wal Mart and the Dollar Store that were reasonably priced and you can also easily make your own.  The balloons I did buy, but I used some green water balloons from the dollar store, my exercise ball pump, a sharpie and tissue paper to make the little arms and then tape them to the larger green ballon and add some v shapes to it as well to make them look like cacti!

906912B2-20DE-4F89-A1CA-A4E125D4D898.jpegI’ll now give some instructions on how to make the cardboard cacti because they were probably my most favorite decoration at this party!  Medium thick cardboard is the best for this project, just draw your shape in pencil and cut out and then trace a second piece, unless you are doing some funky arms then I would suggest doing on the base shape and one the unique shape… so there isn’t a ton going on, if that makes sense.  Then cut a slit in the top and a slit in the bottom to slide together and make 3-dimensional.  You can use either tape or hot glue to secure the shape.  Then paint with your choice of paint, you may need up to 2-3 coats of paint.  Once dry, you can use some sharpie or white paint pen to make some cute lines or “prickles” on each one.  And finally, to add some flowers get some pink, red, orange or whatever kind of color tissue paper you want and cut them into some squares, size is really up to you… then wrap the square around the end of a pencil and dip in some glue and repeat this step 3-4 times until you have the thickness or size of flower you want and dip one more time before attaching to your cacti (I did this on the small balloons too).

Here are the printables I designed for this party that are available for free, I created them all as 8×10 but printed them all as 5×7 except for the “Little but Fiece” print which is 8×10.  I just purchased some gold frames at the dollar store because I did have some gold accents throughout the party and put them up with the food and the party favor table.  Click Here to get the free digital download.

And finally, here is a picture of the “goodie bag” with the “Take your prick” printable… It’s just a play on words for “Take your pick”… hopefully no one is/was offended haha, but that’s just my sense of humor so take it with a grain of salt I guess!

84410B54-992D-49D7-8BE8-BFEAB4AD14B6I think that just about covers it!  If you have any questions about this party, where I got anything, how to put things together… just shoot me a message or leave a comment and let me know!  Otherwise, thanks for reading and maybe this will inspire you to have a cactus party of your own!



Harry Potter Baby Reveal & Gender Reveal

My husband & I decided with our first baby that we wanted to have a theme for each child for revealing we are pregnant, what the babies gender is, and we did want the outfit we take our baby home in to be the same theme but our first was too small to fit in the newborn onesie. This has made the process really fun and I think it helps my husband get a little more into it because we decided to do more nerdy themes for each kiddo. Personally I do like all the cutesie reveals: colored cakes, confetti, etc. but this also pushes me to be a little more creative and do something a bit more unique and true to our weird personalities!

With our first baby, we did a Star Wars theme because my hubby is a hardcore fan! And we wanted our second baby to be Harry Potter themed! Our next will probably be Marvel/superhero and not sure yet about #4. We think we want four but ya never know!

So with this baby when I found out I was expecting, it was 2 weeks before my anniversary and I wanted to surprise my hubby and tell him on our anniversary! It was SO hard! I originally made this cheesy little saying about how there is 2 of us and 2 kids and that makes a family of four in our fourth year married blah, blah, blah… but then I remembered the Harry Potter theme & ditched that whole idea! I created a cute Marauders Map and placed the pregnancy test inside! At this point I could only speculate how far along I was so I had estimated my due date would be sometime in March, so I didn’t put a firm “due date”. I wrapped it up inside a new Gryffindor shirt I got for him at Target and handed it to him. I tried to record but of course, he said don’t record me… in retrospect I should have hidden my phone and I am really bitter about it because his reaction was priceless and adorable!

We decided to tell his family first this time because we told mine first last time. I made a new Marauders Map with the ultrasound in it (because a stick you peed on might be kind of gross for telling your fam) and the actual due date and just handed the map to my Mother-in-law. They were definitely surprised haha, but happy for us! When we told my family my Mom & sister cried… I’m not surprised my Mom cried because she did with Dominic but I was surprised Marissa cried lol, she didn’t cry for my first baby! You can purchase the digital download for the Marauders Map in sizes 8×10 and 11×14 in my Etsy Shop, here. After being folded the dimensions are cut in half, so it will be much smaller.

You can also use sharpie to add the due date if you would like.

Also, one other tip, to fold the flaps easier you can use a paper cutter and make some scoring lines.  Line up the edge you want to score with the groove and slide the back edge of a butter knife along the groove, then fold.

So for the gender reveal we obviously wanted to stick with the Harry Potter theme so I made an awesome Sorting Hat & printable with the saying “Only the Sorting Hat can see witch or wizard what will it be?” And then I made a Sorting Hat from cardboard and mail parchment paper.

Supplies needed:

  • Cardboard (cereal box, thicker box)
  • Brown mail parchment paper (Dollar Store)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tape (cheap white scotch tape so you don’t waste your good stuff, Dollar Store)
  • Brown, black ink pads, maybe some brown or black paint
  • Box for balloons
  • Balloons in color of gender of your baby

First get a large plate and trace a circle onto a thicker piece of cardboard then cut out.

Next shape a cone out of your thinner cardboard or cereal box and tape it, then cut the bottom so it’s even and straight.

Attach to the circle base with your tape (I had to use my clear nice tape because I forgot my scotch tape was with my panting supplies and couldn’t find it) it doesn’t matter what tape you use but since you are sculpting and shaping, the cheap tape is better so you can save your nice clear tape for wrapping presents and stuff haha! Then cut some shapes out of the cardboard to shape some eyebrows and mouth and tape those on.

Wrap your brown paper on the cardboard and shape it around the mouth and eyes and hot glue as you go. After that step you can use some ink or maybe even some paint and distress it a little, use browns and blacks.

I put the black in the voids for his eyes and mouth to give it more dimension and dragged my brown ink pads around the creases and crinkles to make it look more aged.

This next part is optional, use whatever box you have but I usually have plenty of diaper boxes and keep and reuse for storage so I had this one on hand. I taped up the top flaps then cut a hinge onto the side of the box and shortened the little flap to use it as a latch. Then I wrapped the box in the brown parchment paper as well, taped the Sorting Hat to the lid, and attached the printable to the front of the box.

For the printable I used red and blue for the gender part to coordinate with Harry Potter house colors, you can find the Gender Reveal Printable also for sale in my Etsy Shop, here. The box was kind of small so only one balloon fit, but it does the job!

A really fun thing about the gender reveal is that we found out the gender on Halloween and me and Dominic dressed up as Narcissa & Draco Malfoy (because of Dominic’s super blonde hair). I wanted my husband to be Voldemort because of his bald head but he was not digging it haha! Plus he had to work a grave that night so we didn’t really worry about a costume for him, but he did wear his Gryffindor shirt to the ultrasound, I wish I took a pic of us all! At the ultrasound we found out we will be adding a little girl to our “house” (Harry Potter pun intended).


Marauder’s Map Pregnancy Reveal 11×14

Marauder’s Map Pregnancy Reveal 8×10

Sorting Hat Gender Reveal 8×10

FREE Fitness Binder Printables

I have been working on this project for myself because I like to have a plan and make lists so that I can feel like I am making progress.  Especially when it comes to eating healthy, or working out!  I think it is very easy for me to get discouraged when I don’t lose 5 pounds after eating one salad or working out once… haha just kidding.  I wanted to create a way to REALLY keep track of my fitness goals, meal plans, exercise ideas, progress, and thoughts and feelings associated with the process.

I’ve had several people tell me that I should sell this bundle of printables but I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that because 1) I made it for myself and not to turn a profit, 2) I  am no fitness guru, I just felt like these prints would be helpful for myself & others may benefit from them in their health and wellness journey as well.  So enjoy them because I am offering them for FREE, you can download the 12 page PDF right here.  The prints are sized at 8×10.

So I put them in the order that I organized my binder, but feel free to arrange them however you would like, or don’t print ones you don’t want, or print multiples of some… whatever works for you, your lifestyle, goals, etc.

I started this binder a long time ago and it has kind of evolved into what it is now.  It wasn’t always so cutesy… it started with me just writing lists on notebook paper in different categories.  As I ran into new problems, such as talking to my Doctor and her telling me I needed to be on a Keto diet, I added new categories and sections.  I do feel like I have covered quite a bit, but if you have any suggestion for me, let me know!

So here are some of the things you will need to put this binder together:

  • Binder (I got mine for $2.40 at Wal Mart)
  • Clear page protectors (you can get these at Wal Mart, Dollar Store, any craft store)
  • Paper & a printer (or send to a print shop)
  • Clear packing tape, contact paper (optional but you can get either at Dollar Store), & double-sided sticky tape

So here is a guide to what I included in the printable bundle & their uses:


This is kind of self-explanatory, the first page is just a cover page for the binder & is simply titled “Fitness”.


I think it is important this page is at the very beginning, first page of the binder so that you can see it right when you open it and know WHY you are doing this.


This print is obviously meant to help you to organize your binder a little easier and turn to the section you want to quicker.  You don’t need to print all the prints on cardstock but I would recommend printing this one on cardstock just so that the tabs and exercise tracker can be thicker and stronger.  Then you can either use contact paper, or clear tape to cover both of them.  For the tabs, fold them in half and put double stick tape on both sides then tape them down on each main category tapering down.  I included 2 spare tabs if you guys have ideas for your own section, you could write in them in gold gel pen if you want to keep the look cohesive with the others ;).  The exercise tracker was just something a little extra I wanted to throw in as a way to keep track of each day you worked out that week.  It’s a 4×6 print and once you cover it in contact paper (or tape) you can use a dry erase marker to make marks on it that are erasable!  I like to re-purpose old flat magnets that just sit on your fridge you got for free, and I actually LOVE those little list notepads with a magnet on the back so when I use up all the notes I keep the magnets for little projects like these & double-side tape it to the print.  If you don’t have a magnet, just use your double stick tape to tape it to the fridge for easy tracking.


I realize everybody’s eating habits/likes/dislikes are all different so you can go online, Pinterest, wherever and find tons of recipes, meal plans, etc. that you can print out and put in clear pages (or 3 hole punch).  I also put a little section of loose 3 hole punch notebook paper so you can write down recipes, meal plans, whatever.  I put a printable of the Keto Diet, what it is, how it works etc., and then I found a 14 day meal plan for my personal binder.


This section is similar to Meal Plan where it’s really up to you with what kind of information you would like to include.  You can print out or write down different work outs to include in this section. There is also loose notebook paper to write on in this section.


This section was really important to me and includes the most printables.  I will give a breakdown of each printable to share how I envisioned them being used:

Goals: I felt this one should go first to remind you of your goals, I put a section for short term goals, long term goals & a reward section.  You need to remember to reward your accomplishments beyond just the transformation, though that is the ultimate reward.  But when you get to a milestone, treat yo self!

Healthy Guidelines: I took information for this print from an article entitled “How Much Should I Weigh For My Height & Age” by Medical News Today.  You can also go to that link to check your BMI.  The chart includes where you should be in terms of your height and shows Normal, Overweight, Obese & Extreme Obesity.  There is a small area on the top right hand side for you to put your own information.  There is one below to keep track of your BMI if you’d like.  Again, these are a few guidelines according to an online website, I am NOT a nutritionist, trainer, anything like that so obviously focus on being healthy and don’t label yourself according to what is “normal”; You know your body better than anyone.  I personally wanted some kind of guideline to see where I should be weigh-wise.  I know some people think BMI is crap, and I don’t know a ton about that either. So again, I was just curious to see what the guidelines are and where I am on that scale to guide me in my fitness journey.

Inch by Inch:  This print has columns for measuring how your progress is going according to body measurements.  There is a column for: date, shirt size, pant size, arms, waist & thighs.  I need prints like this to be able to see WHEN the progress is being made and WHERE.  If you measure often, just print out multiple prints of these to keep in your binder.

Non-Scale Victories:  This is a print I added as an afterthought, I think it’s important to not only focus on “physical” progress, but also mental, emotional etc.  You could put things like, “Someone told me I looked thinner today and it made my day,”, “I looked in the mirror and was proud at what I saw.”, “I fit into an old pair of pants today…”  You get the idea!

Habits:  I originally had a soda log in my old binder that I kept track of dates I would begin with my “soda free” period of time. I could be proud that I didn’t drink soda for 1 whole month.  I wasn’t going to put it in but I had several people tell me they thought it was a good idea. I felt like this print could be used for several different areas in life that you can keep track of, which is why I left it without a title.  For instance, if you want to write in: Soda Log, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Keto Diet, Atkins Diet… etc.  Go ahead and write it in yourself. If you want to improve in several of these areas, print out multiple copies of this print!


I recently added this section to my own binder after I spoke to my doctor and she told  me all of these things going on with my body. But now, I have health issues that I wanted a special place to keep track of them rather than just my plain old journal where it would get blended in to all my other thoughts.  I started a “fitness journal” to keep track of the date I went to the doctor, advice and concerns that they had and my thoughts and feelings about it.  So that is how it started. I like to include inspirational quotes, any negative or positive feelings I’m having towards my fitness and health journey.  This journal is a very good place to keep track of it all.

This project was something that was very meaningful to me and I hope it can help someone else in their fitness journey.  Health and fitness is so important and it is too easy to put on the back burner… “I’m too busy,” “I’m too tired,” or you get too overwhelmed not knowing where to start. Lists and making a game plan really help me to hold myself accountable and feel in control.  I truly hope that this free fitness binder printable helps give you the motivation to keep going. Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight (even though we wish it did).  I feel this is a good a time of year to recommit to your health.


Korra’s Urban Chic Room Remodel

All right, brace yourselves people because this is gonna be a looonnnggg post with A LOT of REALLY good stuff in it.  Like literally 99.9% of this room was DIY-ed, which I am proud of, and happy it is completed & can’t wait to share some amazing DIY projects with you.

So, my brother & his wife bought their first house and it was definitely a fixer upper, I am still in an apartment so I have had the itch to do a room from the ground up: new flooring, paint, decorations, furniture… the works, for awhile now!  It just so happened that they didn’t really have anything planned for their daughter’s room (My cute red headed niece Korra) and before I could stop myself, I VOLUNTEERED to remodel her room for them, with their permission of course.  I definitely didn’t want to step on any toes, you never know if some people don’t want you invading their territory but my brother and his wife are probably the sweetest & nicest people you have ever met, like ever, and they happily agreed to let me have full control over what would happen with Korra’s room, and then I set on my weekend(s) warrior adventure of remodeling her room!

So it has been kind of a race against the clock as they are expecting baby #2 which we thought the due date was the end of November, but at the beginning of October their Midwife told them she is measuring ahead which meant the END OF OCTOBER BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER!!  Korra currently still sleeps with them in their room (she is 15 months), so we really need to evict her to her own room before baby #2 is here keeping her up at night.  I live an hour away and have a pretty hectic life working and taking care of my own 16-month-old… so I have been going home (my hometown where my parents & brother live) nearly every weekend trying to get this project done.  Keep in mind with projects that everything always takes longer than you think, especially when you are DIY-ing the project down to the curtains, and room decor.  I have hardly bought anything in it’s FINISHED state, like I’ll buy something at a thrift store with the intention of doing work on that as well, or buy the supplies at the craft store and assembling the project myself.

Yeah, I could have bought the decor or furniture brand-new and been done with it, but where is the fun in that!  And I have saved A LOT of money, if you are willing to put the time and effort into it… the outcome can be amazing!

We wanted to have the room be pretty neutral as far as color scheme so we chose grey and white with decorations in gold, black and blue accents.  For the most part we even wanted the bedding, curtains, and some of the decor to be gender neutral as well to be used by any of their children throughout time but we did do a few feminine touches just for Korra!

Here are the before pictures of the room for reference so you can see how dingy it was and how badly it needed a makeover.

Paint & Flooring

All right, enough jibber-jabber, I’m gonna dive right in and tell you the specifics of how I was able to accomplish this project on a $300 budget!  The first thing we did was paint, we painted 2 coats of grey paint and 2 coats of white for the ceiling, baseboards and window trim.  We also painted the door white.  We already had white paint but spent about $20.00 on the grey paint.  Next we pulled out the ugly green carpet and had to place some new subfloor on top of the old subfloor before laying our laminate.  We spent about $50 on the subfloor and $130.00 on the laminate flooring to cover about a 10′ x 10′ area.  The room is small which helps with the cost but this part of the project did take up the most of the budget.


The door is a very weird shape, it is cut specifically to fit there, the ceiling is quite low so replacing the door was kind of out of the question.  But, when we removed the doorknob and the plate we found a pleasant surprise: 2 drilled holes!  And we couldn’t put the plate back on because it was hammered on the side so the door could close & was hideous. I did some thinking and we wanted to see if we could find a new plate that would fit it but it is a very specific size so I decided to fix it in my own unique Jerry-rigging way.   I cut two rectangles out of a cereal box to fit over the two holes, then cut down some small molding trim to frame it out, then glued them together and spray painted them gold!  Wallah!  No one would ever know haha, then we wood glued them to the door and put the knob back on. Each piece of decorative trim is only $3.68 for about 8 feet and we only used one. We are VERY happy with the outcome!


Crib:  My Mom found this crib on an indoor yard sale page on Facebook for $5.  The previous owners had cut off the legs to turn it into a toddler bed, so we painted it white and we were going to buy some bed risers but we actually didn’t hate the look and my sister-in-law is pretty short so it will be easier for her to get Korra in and out. Using an oil based paint will help the paint stay on longer and we did 2-3 coats.

Dresser:  The dresser was one that my brother & his wife already had that was given to them. We also painted it white with an oil based paint and really love how it turned out, it is super unique! I love the mid-century modern vibe you get from this dresser and the geometric drawers.


I played with a few ideas for the lighting, but in the end the house is kind of older and the budget really couldn’t afford to replace the old lighting, which has just a string pull to turn on the light for a light switch.  We decided to make a cute DIY fixture to amp it up a little.  Using some embroidery hoops, fishing string, hooks, fringe and hot glue we made a really cute urban chic chandelier for about $5.


Banner:  I have seen these banners at Target all summer and kept thinking to myself how easy it would be to make one.  This craft was the cornerstone to this room, it was the first decoration I made and really set the tone for the rest of the room.  I bought some canvas at Hobby Lobby which can be kind of pricey but I just used my 40% off coupon and just got one yard for maybe $4.  I bought some felt at 33 cents each, and I already have embroidery floss but it is also only like 50 cents each one.  I had the fringe balls from my Mom’s stash of crap.  I cut the shape of the banner with just a “v” at the end of the rectangle.  I am kind of lazy when it comes to certain things and so I just ironed a hem around all the edges then hot glued them down on the back.  If you want to embroider a word or phrase on the banner, do that before hot gluing fringe at the bottom or putting your tabs on the top because canvas is kind of thick and hard to sew through, in the future when I make more banners I am going to experiment with sharpies or paint pens to save time, embroidery was the longest part of this project.  Then I hot glued on the fringe and mountain shapes.  You can easily just fold over the top around a wooden dowel or stick & hot glue in place, that is the easier option but I wanted to show the stick more so I made little tabs.  If you like the tabs I just cut strips of fabric out of the canvas and then ironed down the raw edges into a hem and hot glued them on the back then folded them in a lop and hot glued to the back of the banner.  Then all you need to do is put the stick or wooden dowel through and tie some twine or string to hang it!

Chicken Wire Frame:

We had a larger gold frame with no glass or back on it that we wanted to use, so we just used some chicken wire, cut it with wire cutters and attached with a stapling gun.  It was not hard at all!  And then we used small paper clips to attach some cute prints that can be interchangeable.  You can find really cute printables on Pinterest.

Urban Chic Dream Catchers:

This was one of my favorite DIY decorations in the room!  I love the way it refers to a dream catcher but is a little bit more feminine.  I used an embroidery hoop that was 50 cents from the thrift store, and I had a circle frame that was black that I spray painted gold.  And then used some doilies and some yarn to suspend them in the center of the frame and the embroidery hoop.  Next, I just cut varying lengths of tons of ribbon and lace to create a waterfall effect hanging from the frame and hoop, you simply hot glue to the back of them.  Honestly I had all of this stuff on hand, I’m telling you my Mom has inherited a lot of craft supplies from her Grandmother and Mother.  So a lot of the lace is actually vintage!  But you can purchase embroidery hoops and doilies from thrift stores and you might even be able to find some cool laces.  But you can always supplement what you can’t find at thrift stores from the craft store!  I can’t imagine this project costing more than $10-$15 depending on supplies you have and possibly the scale you want to do.

Mountain Shelf & Shelf Decor:

I was very stubborn about this mountain shelf.  I knew I wanted to do some kind of woodland/mountain theme from the very beginning and wanted to customize a cute shelf for this small space to incorporate an area for the baby monitor, some books and a place to hang some jackets, as well as some cute decor!  This was literally the very LAST thing we did because it required to cut the mountain shape but it really pulled the room together perfectly!  We already had the white shelf, so we just had to cut the mountain shape out of the same material we used for the subfloor, which we had extra of and it was probably about 1/4 of an inch.  I first measured on poster paper the size of the back mountain shelf to use as a template for cutting. We painted everything white first and then used an x-acto knife to cut some snowy mountain cap shapes into some scotch tape, then painted the back part a light blue.  We decided to leave it two tone to give it some dimension.  I measured out where to attach the shelf to the mountain part and drilled some holes to help attach with screws.  So we attached those two pieces first and then screwed the mountain backboard to the wall, and then drilled the hooks I got from Target for $4 into it as well so they could go straight through the backboard and into the wall to give them more strength.  The decor was a few mason jars from the thrift store and we spray painted the lids gold, and filled one with acorns I found in my backyard and some pinecones I just gathered on a walk around my block!  One of the jars has feathers in it and finally just some metal book ends we found that we spray painted gold as well!

Mountain Crate:

This was just a random project that wasn’t really planned, I saw this weird watermelon crate at the thrift store for 75 cents and I thought I might be able to repaint it to look like mountains.  For 75 cents if it failed, I wouldn’t really be that mad!  It turned out actually WAY cute and really added an extra touch to the room, we used it for some diaper cream, lotion, baby powder and tissues.  I was going to use it for diapers and wipes but it was too small, and luckily they fit in the middle top drawer of the dresser and worked out better anyways!


There was some controversy among my family members about the rug… about it matching.  It’s no secret I mixed A LOT of patterns in this room, but I think they all came together.  So love it or hate it, I loved it so I didn’t care and didn’t return the rug haha!  This rug was originally $28.00 at Hobby Lobby but I used my 40% off coupon and got it for $18.00 (if you have the app you can get 40% off of one item, once per day), I use it a lot.  I felt the rug tied in with the curtains, the chandelier, the crib bumper, and the laundry basket.  I needed some more black in the room and I loved the geometric pattern!  Also, the space really needed a rug in my opinion!  What do you think?

Toy Basket:

When I saw the basket, I needed to have it.  It might be a little bit industrial in this space but I think it goes still.  Not everything NEEDS to be one style and it can still come together.  The basket was $14.00 at Wal Mart and has a matching smaller basket I was planning to use for the diapers and wipes but when I found the Mountain Crate… I changed my mind.  Do you think I should have went with plan A?

Laundry Basket:

I really wanted to get a cute fabric laundry basket for the room and found a cute cream and black striped canvas one on Amazon for $10.00. Also, we got some blue hangers at the dollar store to match the blue accents!

Crib Bumper:

I found the crib bumper at the thrift store for $2.00  I was planning on covering the whole thing with fabric but I actually really liked the blue stripes and wanted to keep them but wanted to cover the boy-ish army side.  We had tons of a unique black fabric on hand so we used that.  This was the ONLY thing I had my sister-in-law help with, because she is an amazing seamstress, and I am not! She was happy to do it and attached it perfectly!  I loved how gender neutral it turned out!


These adorable tree trunk sheets were on sale at Target for $7.50 and matched the theme and colors perfectly!  I was so happy to find it! Also the little blanket was from the thrift store for $2.00.

Throw Pillows:

Throw pillows can get real pricy real quick and are not that hard to make.  We found the Moose one at the thrift store for $2.00 and I made the other two.  I had to have the material for the mountainy one, I could not resist (Hobby Lobby) and it also matches the fabric I used for the changing pad, I LOVE it!  I attached the tassels to both ends and filled with stuffing and done!  The white one, I actually found the fabric at the thrift store for $1.00 for a bunch and the tassels I made myself out of yarn.  I also found the Mama and baby bunnies for a total of $1.50 at the thrift store and could not resist those either!

Changing Pad:

As mentioned before, the fabric was found at Hobby Lobby.  I found instructions to make a changing pad cover and it was actually extremely easy, I will be making a ton for myself and probably some as baby shower gifts in the future.  You can find those instructions here.  Changing pads can be upwards of $35 and then another $10 for a cute cover, I found mine on KSL for $10 including two white covers.  They weren’t ugly but the dresser was white and I wanted a cute one so that’s why I made one.  And now they have extras if they need to wash one!  The cost of the cover was probably close to $10, the same cost of buying a decent one but I was able to personalize this one and I saved a lot of money on the actual pad so it was definitely worth it!


Curtains are extremely easy to make, I was able to get the material at Wal Mart for $5.00 and sewed them in about 10 minutes.  I measured the window, cut the fabric with a seam allowance and enough space at the top to make a loop to hang them on the tension rod and yet another project completed! I used some twine to tie them up a bit to let more light in.

This project was so much fun and so meaningful to me that I was able to give back to my brother and sister-in-law!  I enjoyed being able to have complete creative freedom and create almost everything in this room from scratch.  You couldn’t buy any of the stuff I did for the price I did them for.

I want to add a super special shout out to my Mom, and my sister Aubri! I couldn’t have done this without them, they were a HUGE help with the leg work of this project!

If you want to watch a little video of the project including revealing it to my brother and his wife, you can watch that here.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the transformation and maybe it will spark some ideas for your own nursery or child’s room remodel!


Dresser Dress Up

Hey you guys!  So both of these projects were done within the past two years, but I still have the pictures and they were both pretty easy projects so I figured, why not share? Right?

I’m sure you can guess as to what these projects are from the dead give away of the title of this article!

The first dresser is the biggest transformation BY FAR.  This hideous dresser was in my sisters room for years, has gone through several layers of paint, stickers and missing knobs, poor dresser!  Before it was my sister Marissa’s, it belonged to my sister Aubri and her room theme was lady-bug so it had red drawers and then my Mom painted it white & blue for some reason.  When I got married in 2013, I asked if I could have the dresser with the intention of fixing it up because we had no furniture!  Due to moving, working, and school, this project was put on hold for almost a year and I just couldn’t stand it any longer it was SO UGLY!


Finally I set out a game plan for the dresser, I decided what colors I wanted it to be to match our room decorations.  I got some black glossy paint, some mint spray paint, and I wanted to experiment with some cute contact paper I got at the dollar store.  I also had to buy new wooden knobs that I just got at Walmart.

I took out all drawers and spray spray painted them outside in the grass, doing a good 2-3 layers and letting them dry in-between.  Tip: I found a really neat spray paint device with a trigger that attaches to the top of the can and it really helps with bigger projects so your finger isn’t super cramped at the end!  I got it at Home Depot for like $2, go get yourself one, it makes projects so much easier! Then I just put the shell of the dresser on some newspaper and painted it with a brush, doing 2 coats.  I spray painted the knobs black, and then I measured the front of the small drawers and wrapped them in the contact paper from the dollar store (it has an adhesive on one side like a sticker you can just stick to the drawer).  You can  also line the inside of the drawers with the contact paper or paint them if you like, or just leave them since nobody can see them!  Up to you!  I’ve been asked how I got the distressed look on the dresser drawers, using what I had, I grabbed some paper towels, put some paint on a paper plate, lightly dabbed it in and rubbed it lightly across the dry dresser drawers.  I really loved the drastic shabby-chic appearance it gave the piece with a bit of edge!  My husband was not a huge fan of the contact paper, but I really love it!  It’s a very unique piece of furniture.

mint dresserSupplies needed:

  • Medium sized paint brush
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plate
  • Black paint (or color of your choice)
  • Mint spray paint (or color of your choice)
  • Contact paper
  • New knobs (if necessary)
  • Spray paint device

Time needed:

I would commit at least 1-2 hours to this project but a bulk of it is waiting for paint to dry.

Total cost:

I would say that if you have mostly everything on hand, you’ll spend about $15 on this project.  Not too bad!

This second dresser was given to me by my husband’s Grandma, she too shares my love of refurbishing, refinishing and decorating!  I needed one for our baby boy that was on the way to store all of the clothes I was getting!  She had previously painted it white and there were a few scratches and dings here and there but ultimately it didn’t NEED to be repainted.  But, I wanted darker furniture in his room, grays and blacks because that is the color scheme I was planning.  I picked a dark charcoal gray chalk paint, and luckily it already had some contact paper in each drawer and nice drawer pulls!

Chalk paint can be kind of tricky to work with, I haven’t tried it with the wax coating because I’ve heard it is pretty hard but if you buy this brand of chalk paint, Rustoleum, it has a clear coat you can paint on.  Just follow the instructions that the paint can has as far as drying times and multiple coats go, or else you can get air bubbles when applying the top coat that dry permanently into the finish.  But with chalk paint you DEFINITELY need some kind of wax or clear coat sealant because chalk paint can chip easily and also soaks up the oil in your fingers and can leave behind finger prints without it.  Make sure if you are keeping the knobs, and they are some kind of metal or porcelain, glass etc., that you remove them before painting.


chalk paint

Supplies needed:

  • Medium sized paint brush
  • Newspaper
  • Chalk Paint
  • Clear Coat

Time needed:

I would commit at least 1-2 hours to this project but a bulk of it is waiting for paint to dry.

Total cost:

Paint can be kind of pricey, the Rust-oleum Chalked Charcoal was $16.98 and the Rust-oleum Chalked Protective Top Coat Matte Clear was a little more pricey at $18.98 for a total of about $36.


DIY 4th of July Porch Decor

While on a trip to Wal-Mart to get some seeds for my new fresh herb garden (inspired by my husbands Grandma, will show & tell at a later time), I saw some cute red, white and blue flowers and it gave me the idea to put together a cute and inexpensive display for the 4th of July.

This project is so simple you’ll want to get up and go to the nearest store and get all the supplies ASAP!  It was very inexpensive and not very time consuming, here is what you will need:



Red, white & blue flowers

3 Terra cotta pots

Potting soil

Sharpie marker

Project Cost:

Flowers: $3.50/each, $10.50

Terra cotta pots, medium: $2/each, $6

Total cost: $16.50

Time Needed:

About 30 minutes


  1. It’s easiest if you use the sharpie to write “U-S-A”, on each of the terra cotta pots, feel free to use paint or even paint them as a flag design if you’d like.  But the easiest and quickest way to get a patriotic and minimal look is through just using sharpie and keeping it simple!
  2. Next I put the flowers into each pot, I chose the order I did because I felt like the red flowers were the biggest and looked better in the middle, but you do you and choose whatever you like.
  3. Fill in any empty spaces with potting soil and give them a little bit of water for their new home!
  4. Display on your porch for all to see and enjoy during these summer months!
  5. Boom.  Done. Kick your feet up and relax, drink some lemonade… start chanting U-S-A like I did when I finished, do whatever you want cuz, ‘Merica.

Let me know if you have any other fun ideas for this project or inspired by this project!


DIY Car Air Freshener

One day I was in my car stuck at a stop light and I looked at my little tree air freshener thinking that I need to go buy a new one because the smell had faded. If you are a designer or creative person, you will be able to relate with how picky we can be when it comes to normal everyday objects and how we wish they were designed a different way. In this case, I was thinking about how much potential an air freshener could have on my mood each day as I spend so much time in my car!

First I looked at Amazon as I normally do when searching for odd and specific things. I did find a few cute air fresheners but they were anywhere from $5-$15 for just ONE, but I don’t want to spend that kind of money knowing that I would need to replace it shortly. Who knows how long the scent lasts but it seems they are always kind of short-lived. So then I was thinking… how I could make EXACTLY what I am wanting for an affordable price and the smell can just be added/refilled as needed. And the idea of felt came to mind! Felt and embroidery floss are SO CHEAP! Then I thought, hey, I have a bunch of essential oils and they would be perfect to add for the scents. They are more natural than man-made chemicals, and can lift your mood and other things I will get into later.

So I put together 4 REALLY CUTE designs to share and I will give you step-by-step instructions on each. The four different designs I created include a cactus, lemon, pineapple and donut. I think you’ll agree that they all turned out pretty cute!



  • Felt (assorted colors), usually about $0.50 each
  • Embroidery floss (assorted colors), usually about $0.50 each
  • Embroidery needles
  • Batting or cotton balls
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Essential oils
  • Toothpicks
  • String/Stretchy String/Rubber Band, can buy string at dollar store for $1.00

Time needed: 1-2 hours, depending on the amount of detail you choose

Total cost: Less than $5 to get started depending on how many of the materials you already have

Now I’m going to share some of the benefits of essential oils. I would also like to suggest just a few of my favorite essential oils.

oils photo
Lemon: Promotes clarity of thought and purpose with a fragrance that is invigorating, enhancing, and warming.

Peppermint: Purifying and stimulating to the conscience mind. May help attention, performance, and focus.

Lavender: Calming, relaxing, and balancing, both physically and emotionally. Also improves concentration and mental acuity.

Citrus Fresh: Stimulates the right brain to amplify creativity and well-being, eradicate anxiety, and works well as an air purifier.

Clarity: Promotes a clear mind and amplifies mental alertness and vitality. It increases energy when overly tired and brings greater focus to the spirit and mind.

If you would like to research more into Young Living Essential Oils including benefits, availability and pricing click here or to make a purchase, you can email a distributor by clicking here.


Now I will dive into the nitty gritty… how to create each design! Here is a quick demonstration of the lemon air freshener. I have provided a stencil that you can use to cut out each design shape but feel free to make your own shapes and designs. Download the stencil here.




  1. Print stencil & cut out shape.
  2. Outline the cactus shape on your color choice of felt in pen and then cut exactly on the pen lines to reduce the chances of the pen showing.
  3. Cut out 3 small circles out of your color choice to use as flowers at the top of each arm of the cactus.
  4. If you would like to put a pattern on one or both pieces of felt with the embroidery floss, do that before sewing them together. If you can still see pen marks, make that the “inside” of the cactus. I chose to do a dashed line, but you could also do “x’s” or “v’s” to create a cute cactus-like pattern. I only did a pattern on one side.
  5. Once you have created a pattern, fold each circle in half and put a stitch through to give it a more ruffled and flowery appearance at the top of each arm.
  6. Now sew the 2 sides together using a blanket stitch around the edge, this stitch is actually very easy, you can watch the simple tutorial here.
  7. As I sewed together each arm, I stuffed the arm with batting before continuing. You can use scissors, a capped pen or something like that to tuck the batting in.
  8. Once you have sewed all the way around and tied your last knot, add a small loop at the top so you can attach an elastic or string and hang in your car.
  9. Choose an essential oil or fragrance, dip a toothpick in, and insert into the bottom between the 2 pieces of felt. Make sure that you can still see the tip of the toothpick so that you can grab with tweezers and add more oil as desired!
  10. Now you have a cute and unique car air freshener that you re-use and add scent to time and time again.



  1. Print stencil & cut out shape.
  2. Outline the pineapple shape on your color choice of felt in pen and then cut exactly on the pen lines to reduce the chances of the pen showing. Also cut out pineapple stem.
  3. If you would like to add detail on one or both pieces of felt with the embroidery floss, do that before sewing them together. If you can still see pen marks, make that the “inside” of the pineapple. I chose to do several different stitching patterns in the center. Have fun with it, it doesn’t have to be perfect! I only did a pattern on one side.
  4. Now sew the 2 sides together using a blanket stitch around the edge, this stitch is actually very easy, you can watch the simple tutorial here.
    Leave the top of the pineapple open and not stitched as well as the bottom part of the stem.
  5. Stuff each piece with batting, you can use a scissor tip or a capped pen to tuck the batting in.
  6. Sew a simple stitch across the pineapple shape and the stem shape to connect them.
    Once you have connected the two pieces, add a small loop at the top so you can attach an elastic or string and hang from your rearview mirror.
  7. Choose an essential oil or fragrance, dip a toothpick in, and insert into the bottom between the 2 pieces of felt. Make sure that you can still see the tip of the toothpick so that you can grab with tweezers and add more oil when the time is needed!
  8. Now you have a cute and unique car air freshener that you can re-use and add scent time and time again.



  1. Print stencil & cut out shape.
  2. Outline the lemon shape on your color choice of felt in pen and then cut exactly on the pen lines to reduce the chances of the pen showing. Also cut out lemon leaf.
  3. If you would like to add detail on one or both pieces of felt with the embroidery floss, do that before sewing them together. If you can still see pen marks, make that the “inside” of the lemon. I chose to do a very simple french knot to look like the pores of the lemon, it is a very easy knot with a simple tutorial here. I only did a pattern on one side.
  4. Now sew the 2 sides together using a blanket stitch around the edge, this stitch is actually very easy you can watch the tutorial here.
  5. Leave the top side open and not stitched as well as a portion of the edge of the leaf.
  6. Stuff each piece with batting, you can use scissors or a capped pen to tuck the batting in.
  7. Once you have connected the two pieces, add a small loop at the top so you can attach an elastic or string and hang in your car.
  8. Choose an essential oil or fragrance, dip a toothpick in, and insert into the bottom between the 2 pieces of felt. Make sure that you can still see the tip of the toothpick so that you can grab with tweezers and add more oil when desired!
  9. Now you have a cute and unique car air freshener that you can re-use and add scent to time and time again.



  1. Print stencil & cut out shape.
  2. Outline the donut shape on your color choice of felt in pen and then cut exactly on the pen lines to reduce the chances of the pen showing. Also cut out the donut frosting.
  3. If you would like to add detail on one or both pieces of felt with the embroidery floss, do that before sewing them together. If you can still see pen marks, make that the “inside” of the donut. I just did one stitch in various colors to look like sprinkles on the frosting. I only added a pattern on one side.
  4. Now sew the 3 layers together starting on the inside circle using a blanket stitch around the edge, this stitch is actually very easy, you can watch the tutorial here.
  5. Then stitch a dashed line around the frosting attaching it to ONE layer of felt. Be careful not to sew the back layer. Once you finish attaching the frosting, attach the front and back pieces with the blanket stitch.
  6. Stuff the piece every inch or so as you go around the donut shape, you can use scissors or a capped pen to tuck the batting in.
  7. Once you have closed up the edge, add a small loop at the top so you can attach an elastic or string and hang from your rearview mirror.
  8. Choose an essential oil or fragrance, dip a toothpick in, and insert into the bottom between the 2 pieces of felt. Make sure that you can still see the tip of the toothpick so that you can grab with tweezers and add more oil when desired!
  9. Now you have a cute and unique car air freshener that you can re-use and add scent to time and time again.

Other uses:

This project does not have to have one purpose, here are some additional ideas that you could use the felt designs  for:

  • pin cushion
  • rear-view decoration without scent
  • keychain
  • quiet toys for your kids
  • decorations
  • tree ornaments

Let me know if you guys have any questions, encounter any problems or have some other suggestions for uses of this fun little project!


5 Mother’s Day Freebies

This year is flying by like crazy and in case you didn’t notice it is almost MAY!! What the heck?!  And Mother’s Day will be here in 2 weeks, mark your calendars people because it is on May 14th!  But don’t you worry, I have done all the work for you and found 5 different freebies to help you get your Mother’s Day gift just right!

I have found some of THEE cutest prints for you guys including 1 set of gift tags, a hand-lettered Mother’s Day card and 3 different cute printables!


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These cute tags are from, they also have many cute Mother’s Day themed gifts that you can view here.  For the free tag printable, click here to download.


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This cute Mother’s Day card is hand lettered and designed by Liz and can be found in her article ‘Free Printable Hand Lettered Mother’s Day Card’ on her blog Liz On Call, or downloaded here.


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This printable is by Tiffany Webster and can be found in this article: ‘Celebrating Mothers: Free Printables to Give (or Keep!)’ on the blog The Small Seed.  To download this print, click here.



This anchor printable freebie can be found in the article ‘Mother’s Day Printable, Your Love Has Always Been My Anchor’ on the blog Celebrating Everyday Life.  In comes in both pink and green.  To download this print, click here.


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This printable is actually one that I have printed out and framed on my nightstand because it is an awesome reminder for me.  It says, “No work could be more important and satisfying than that of helping to raise human life to its highest level.” -Amy B. Lyman.  This print is very meaningful to me because I have felt some pressure to go back to work after the birth of my son, but I believe THEE. MOST. IMPORTANT. JOB. is to be a Mom.  It is definitely worth reading the article called ‘Celebrate Women of the Relief Society’ on the Family Search Blog.  It is a great read about some extraordinary women of the Relief Society (an organization of my LDS religion) and what better time of year to be reminded about women and the amazing examples and influences they are, than now!  There are 3 other prints in this article that have the same look as this one and have to do with strong women, this was just my most favorite.  To download this specific print, click here.


  1. Magnolia Mother’s Day Gift Tags
  2. Hand-lettered Mother’s Day Cards
  3. Mother Print by Tiffany Webster
  4. Mother’s Day Anchor Print
  5. Most Important Job Print


Inspirational Quote Freebie

I designed these little hand lettered inspirational quotes because I am the kind of person that needs a little reminder daily to eat healthy, work out and do those things that contribute to a healthier body.  I will go more into this topic in other posts but this one is all about YOU, that’s right you, you little cutie!

I wanted to design some quotes that have to do with inspiration, some of them don’t just apply to “eating clean/healthy” or “getting fit”.  In fact, many of them can really be used for any area in life you are trying to improve in or succeed at.  “How bad do you want it?”, this phrase is one that can be asked about anything… “How bad do you want to graduate with that degree?, “How bad do you want to quit smoking?”, “How bad do you want to be the best Mom you can be?”… you get the idea.

That is why I wanted to share these little guys so you can put it up somewhere you will see it everyday, so grab some double-sided tape or some cute washi tape and put one up, or all!  Put it on your mirror, your fridge, in your wallet, inside the visor in your car, or use as a bookmark!

This document includes 7 different hand lettered quotes on a watercolor background (pastels for spring and ‘new beginnings’).  The dimensions of each card is 2.5″ x 3.5″, the size of a wallet sized photo.  Download here on my website, print it out, cut, and display them wherever you desire!

Chana Dawn Designs Does DIY

Hey everyone, welcome to my blog!  I have been debating for awhile about starting a blog to be an outlet for all things DIY including: cleaning, decorating, organizing, repurposing and who knows what else we’ll see where this blogging business takes me!

I can’t wait to share some of my crazy ideas and crafts with you all.  I hope you guys enjoy following along.

I’ve always loved creating since I was little.  It’s hard to just focus on just one thing when you have that creative itch in your bones, so don’t expect this blog to be just about one thing… because it’s definitely not going to be!

I am a designer, Mom, Wife, creator, outdoors lover, donut caunosaur, pizza enthusiast, I love to serve the Lord (true & Nacho Libre quote haha), obviously I love movies oh and I can Netflix & Chill like no other, and there’s just a little bit about me.