CRAFTS · LIFESTYLE

Pretty Gift Wrapping Idea for Busy People

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‘Tis the season for wrapping gifts! And to be jolly, I guess, if it weren’t for some much darn traffic + unsolicited “Hot Deals” e-mails. “No I don’t want to go on your 5-Day cruise thru the Panama Canal for $399 or purchase 2 chair recliners for the price of one thank you very much, but no thanks!”

Traffic + inbox spam aside, I’m totally willing to admit that I’m one of those folks the Grinch hates.

I get all stocked up when it comes to wrapping gifts. I never let stores wrap my pressies because (ahem ahem) I can do it way better.

Earlier this week, I started thinking about why we give gifts in the first place. Obviously there are many good + perfectly legitimate reasons. Religion aside, I suspect that at the root of it all, we give to celebrate love + spread it. Don’t we? It’s a symbolic ritual that shows how much we care for one another.

Maybe that’s why I believe in the power of intentional gift buying + gift wrapping + gift giving so much. Perhaps that’s why I always manage to set aside time to wrap all my presents over Granny’s eggnog + shiny ribbons + festive paper + Christmas-y tunes.

Still got an army of presents waiting to be decked + you have to get it done in a flash (or in my case, before Olivia gets hungry again)? This is the project for you!!!

Today I’m partnering with Kate Spade NY to show you how to wrap amazing gifts. Here’s a gift wrapping tutorial worthy of Pinterest coverage that you can put together in no time. Pssst… and your gifts will look soooo gorgeous everyone will think you spent hours putting em’ together.

Supply List:

  • A roll of paper (I used kraft paper)
  • Acrylic paint (I picked out 3 colors – black + white + metallic gold)
  • Embellishments (string + bows + washi tape + greenery + christmas balls + garland)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Whole punch
  • Pretty gift tags (I used my own, you can get them here for just $5)

Directions:

Step 1: Cut your paper into the appropriate size for your gifts.

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Step 2: Roll our your wrapping paper + start painting your pattern. Try different shapes or phrases, and repeat them over and over again on your paper. Here are some ideas:

  • Hearts
  • Lines
  • Dots
  • Stripes
  • Grids
  • Squiggles
  • Trees
  • Stars
  • Swirls
  • Oh Holy Night
  • Merry Christmas
  • Ho Ho Ho
  • Tis the Season to be Jolly
  • My First Christmas

This is a good time to get creative + let yourself play. It really helps to test designs + colors on the paper to see what looks best together. Once you find a couple of styles you love, paint a ton of those. It only took about an afternoon to paint six different designs + let them dry.

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Step 3: When your custom wrapping paper is all dried up, your presents are ready to be wrapped up.

Trick: This is how I make my own paper bags:

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Step 4: And don’t forget to finish off your gifts with to/from gift tags + ribbons + garlands.

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And that’s what I call pretty + fast gift wrapping my friend. It was seriously so much fun to set aside an afternoon to do this + having my lil’ helper close by made this moment one I hope to turn into a new tradition.

Thanks for Sticking Around!

It’s been so lovely to see how you have continued to support me + follow along (on Facebook, but mostly on Instagram), in spite of my maternity hibernation. Thanks for sticking around!

You make my heart sing every time I hear what Life is Messy products you have purchased for yourself (or to give away to) + loved. It’s also very exciting (and funny) to read your product requests for 2016. I know, I know, you want pijamas + unicorn temporary tattoos. I’m doing my research. I promise.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is: THANK YOU. You’ve made coming back to work (and blogging) less scary for me. For that, you will always have a big chunk of my T-Rex heart reserved with your name on it, in the VIP section.

I’ll be back very soon for a confessional about juggling life as a mom + girl boss. Be sure to sign up to my mailing list so you don’t miss it.

*This post is sponsored by Kate Spade NY. All content + ideas + words are my own.

Photography Credit

Susana Aramburú

CRAFTS

DIY R2D2 Onesie

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Anyone who has been hanging out here for a while is aware of our deep love for Star Wars. So much so, that the first thing we ever bought for Olivia was a Star Wars mobile. Before knowing her gender. Before picking out a name. Before buying a crib. Yes, we are those parents.

This year, we’re going to the Star Wars premier. OB-VIOUS-LY. As a family. Party of three.

Ever since Disney bought Star Wars we’ve been pondering, “What character will we dress Olivia as when the new movie comes out?” She’ll have the rest of her childhood to choose what she wants to be, so this was our chance to veto. You would think we wanted her to be Princess Leia, but oh no, that would be no fun.

We couldn’t make up our minds of what he wanted her to be. It ranged from Boba Fett to Obi Wan to Jar Jar. Wait! What if we dress her up as Darth Vader? After all, her favorite toy crush was on a lil’ Darth stuffy doll. It was one of the first things she reached out to grab + made her giggle. We were so proud.

To be honest, in the end we went for R2D2 (aka “Arturito” if you’re from this part of the continent) because it seemed like the easiest to put together in between Olivia’s naps. That made that decision super easy! Done is better than perfect. My motto.

A while ago when I was searching for Halloween costume ideas I stumbled across a really cute R2D2 onesie on Pinterest. I figured it would be a no brainer to recreate.

Here’s how I did this DIY R2D2 Onesie. Feel free to borrow!

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Materials:

  • White long sleeved onesie (I recycled one from Janie and Jack)*
  • Felt sheets in white + blue + light blue + gray + black (I bought mine from Benzie Design)**
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Matching thread (or you can use craft glue)
  • Marker
  • Rulers

* I was gonna use a white short sleeved onesie but then figured it’ll probably get chilly in the theater, so went for the long sleeved one instead.

** I was originally going to paint the pieces, but Olivia has very sensitive skin + I wasn’t sure if I could find baby-friendly fabric paint in local stores. Then I realized it would look even nicer + would be less messy to do it with felt. So I did, specially since I already had all the felt I needed in my supply closet.

Directions:

Step 1: Gather all your materials.

Step 2: Cut out the felt pieces. This part is half research + half creativity. I was inspired by this costume in the shop The Wishing Elephant on Etsy. I then looked at Google images for what R2D2 actually looks like. I also searched for R2D2 baby costumes on Pinterest. I combined all three to create my own pattern.

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Tip: Help yourself out with a marker + rulers. Cut the pieces out on paper first so you don’t ruin your fancy felt. Design your pattern. Arrange + re-arrange as many times as needed. Once you nail it, use your paper pieces to cut out your felt.

Step 3: Hand stitch some of the robot parts to embellish + give it that “Mommy made this for me” look.

Step 4: Place your design on your onesie assisting yourself with the help of pins.

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Step 5: Sew the felt pieces to the onesie. If you’re pressed for time, you can use craft glue. Now, please know that if you use glue, all the pieces will probably come off when you wash it. So if you’re looking for a more permanent costume opt for sewing or fabric glue made for craft projects like this.

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Step 6: For the headband, I used this tutorial.

I’ll leave you with an action shot!

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If you enjoyed this post please share it + pin it + love it!

If you would like more crafty tutorial-type posts like this one from me in the future, please raise your hand. I’m in the process of putting together my editorial calendar for next year + I want to make sure I include lots of things that will make you come visit, and smile. Your feedback is very much appreciated. So be sure to drop your wish in the comments before exiting. I might be no genie in a bottle, but they don’t call me “pocket-size fairy” for no reason. Just saying.

May the force be with you!

CRAFTS · LIFESTYLE · PERSONAL

Olivia’s Nursery Reveal

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In case you’re wondering, I’m due any day now!

How do I feel? Well, I’m alternating between crazy excitement about finally meeting baby O + crazy panic about OMG, we’re finally going to meet our little princess and they’re going to expect that we take her home and like, keep her alive n’ stuff.

Last night we went to bed at 2am picking out baby lullabies for Olivia. And David finally made his hospital bag. We’re making progress.

Speaking of progress, I’ve been working on Olivia’s nursery for a few months now. I wanted so badly to finish the room before our little girl arrives, but yesterday I realized: “This room is never gonna be COMPLETELY FINISHED” (Picture me inhaling deeply + exhaling like Drogon from Game of Thrones).

What is a recovering perfectionist to do? I decided to show you Olivia’s nursery anyways, the first of many tours, cuz done is better than perfect, right? Right? Riiiight?

If you’re a mom-to-be like me, or a newish mom who’s still shopping for baby essentials + nesting, I hope this post is somewhat helpful to you. David + I still haven’t tested things out, but after a ton of research + advice from family, close friends and readers, we feel confident Olivia will L-O-V-E her room + all the goodness hidden inside.

Hope you enjoy Olivia’s Nursery Reveal!

Before

But first, let me show you some hideous “Before” pics of the abandoned room, which served the purpose of Room of Requirement (Harry Potter fans raise your hands up high) – a room that magically transformes itself into whatever the seeker needs in that moment in time. To use it you must walk past the area of the door three times, thinking of what you need.

For example, when my biz partner came to visit it was a guest room. Then it mutated into a home office for David. Later it morphed into a trash can… I mean a storage room.

Take a look.

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Now, are you ready for the “After” shots? Come on in! No need to tippy-toe just yet, there is no sleeping baby inside just yet.

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I wasn’t interested in having anything too theme-y or puke pink all over the walls, so I kept it simple with a hint of whimsical, with lots of happy creative things + personal touches made with love, some by yours truly, other by my very talented friends.

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So, how did I do? I think I did pretty good for my first time. I’m really happy with how everything is coming together. Even wrapping up this post is making me cry tears of just the most overwhelming happiness. This is truly the HAPPIEST I’ve ever been in my whole entire life.

Thank you so much for sharing this special part of my life with me. It means so much to be able to put all of this out there so publicly + receive so much kindness back. I’m so grateful for your loving comments + e-mails + gifts in the mail. I feel so blessed to have you in my life… that you’re family. And very very very soon our tribe will be PLUS ONE!!!

Who’s excited?

CRAFTS

GUEST POST: Beehive Painting Tutorial

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June is here. I’m sooooo happy. Cuz you know what happens in June right? That’s right, baby Olivia is coming. The countdown is official on. WOHOO!!!

I’m so touched by the response I got from my post The Things I Learned While Carrying a Little Pea Inside My Pod. It’s been unreal to feel such overwhelming joy + support for the arrival of Olivia. Thank you aunties. It’s certainly made my final days of pregnancy so lovely.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be popping in with a nursery tour + baby inspired crafty tutorials + hopefully (if my increasingly demanding nap schedule allows it) some business related articles, like How to Run a Biz Empire When All You Feel Like Doing is Pin Baby Clothes or Sleep.

Today, I invited someone real special to step in + give me an extra hand + show us how to make a gorgeous Beehive Painting. I may or may not have mentioned my current obsession with all thing bumble bee + how I’m planning to giveaway wild honey jars at the hospital as favors for all those who come to bee-sit baby Olivia, so if you start noticing a theme going on around here, I assume full responsibility.

Without further ado, here’s the super talented Gaby Friedman:

Hi everyone! My name is Gaby Friedman. Painting is one of my passions and today I am very excited because I am going to be Mayi’s guest blogger. Please join me as I demonstrate how to create this painting. This easy technique is perfect for a nursery.

Watercolor is one of my favorite painting mediums to work with because of the way the pigment responds on your paper and for the transparency and glow that you can achieve.

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To get started, here are the supplies that you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Any kind of watercolors (I used Dr. Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolors)
  • Watercolor paper of your preference
  • Big round paint brush
  • Paper towels to soak up excess water and paint
  • Squeeze punch large-hexagon, 1.5″

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Step 1: We are going to fill the entire paper with different shades of yellow and black.  So let’s start by applying clean water on the paper.

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Step 2: Put a little drop of yellow watercolor onto the wet paper and keep applying color while it is wet. I recommend that you let the colors bleed in order to create a nice background to work with. I used lemon yellow, orange and black because we are going to create a geometric beehive painting. Feel free to choose your own combination of colors.

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Step 3: Continue doing the same exercise until you cover the entire sheet of paper.

Step 4: Paint a second layer if you would like to have a fuller background.

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Step 5: When it’s dry, cut or punch plenty of hexagons from your paper and mix up the colors.

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Step 6: Create a border to work within. Arrange the hexagons, lining them up neatly. You can either fill in the hole space or leave some white spots.

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Step 7: Once you’re happy with the placement, glue down the hexagons one at a time.

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Step 8: Place your artwork into a frame and your masterpiece is ready to hang in your bumble bee nursery.

I hope this easy tutorial will inspire you to pick up a brush and make your own piece of art for your little one. I promise you will have a fun and exciting time.

You can find me at my three homes on the web: my website, my Etsy store, my Society6 shop and Facebook. I just added lots of art prints to my stock on Etsy. Please stop by my shop and have a look!

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