Merry and Bright: Free Download Holiday Print!

By |December 14th, 2014|crafts, decorating, DIY|


You guys, this may very well be the easiest and most inexpensive holiday craft of the year!  If you want your very own giant poster of fun for less than $4 just follow these easy steps:

  1. Download my design (for free hooray!) here. [wpdm_package id=’4210′]
  2. Upload it to Staples Copy & Print
  3. Order an Engineering Print in B& W, 24 x 36
  4. Write your own holiday message
  5. Frame it (optional) and hang it!

And that’s really all you need to know.

BUT if you want more details or are just trying to pass some time at the office, read on.


The inspiration for this project was “disposable decorating” driven by my lack of storage in my loft. Basically I have no room to store things so I wanted to make holiday décor that I could throw away after  the holidays or store easily. Enter engineer prints. In case you haven’t heard of this magical thing that is an engineer print, I’m going to tell you all about it. For just a few dollars you can get massive black and white prints made at Staples. You just go to their website and upload your photo or design, select what size you want and you can usually pick it up in the store the next day. They probably also ship, but it might be more expensive than the print!  I had experimented with engineer prints prior with good results and decided that it would also be handy for some holiday cheer.

I used Adobe Illustrator to create the design, saved it as a .jpg and ordered away. The next day I picked it up at Staples along with some gold sharpies which I used to add color in some of the dots and write “merry and bright”. The paper is super thin so you can stick it directly to a wall if you want to. I ended up finding a really good deal on a poster frame on Amazon (here is the one I used) so I framed it and stuck it up on the wall. When the holidays are over I plan on making a new print to replace it with. Hooray for seasonal and affordable art!


std-15 If you are done with your holiday decorating, this could also make a cute happy birthday sign to post on your co-workers cubicle, or a place to write your favorite quote or lyric. The sky’s the limit!


love and candy,


DIY Illustrator Save the Dates

By |December 8th, 2014|DIY, graphic design, Uncategorized, wedding|



I always knew I wanted to design my own save the dates. It’s the first impression people have of your wedding, so I wanted it to be fun an unique. Plus if I messed it up, it’s just a save the date right ? I could redeem myself on the invites-if I’m brave enough to DIY those’-let’s mark that one TBD.

I wanted our save the dates to reflect both us and our wedding. So for the “us” part, I went with an engagement photo. Simple. I used Photoshop to edit one of our engagement photos, and then imported it into Adobe Illustrator where I designed the rest of the invite. To represent our wedding I used our colors, blush and sage, and incorporated desert flowers and cactus, to represent- you got it- the desert, where we are getting married.  I ended up finding some graphics I liked via Creative Market. If you haven’t checked out CM, now’s the time my friends. It’s like the mother ship of graphics and fonts. Heaven. So I bought some fonts and graphics and got to work. Not going to lie, it took a long time. Longer than it should have due to my newbie Illustrator skills (or lack thereof). But hey, practice makes perfect. And practice I did. Let’s just say that I watched a lot of YouTube videos.

Once I perfected finished my design, I researched all sorts of paper options for price and quality. There are soo many options out there and it took a while to educate myself on all of the different types and weight of paper- who knew paper could be so complicated? If you ever decide to print invites, all I can say is get samples. Some places will send them for free and some charge a few bucks, but if you are going to be printing something special you need to see what it is going to look like! After lots of research I ended up going with Got Print. They sent a free paper package and the “14pt Gloss Coated Cover” paper was perfecto. I wanted some gloss because of the photo, but not so glossy that it looked cheap. This worked. AND it was a great price.  I paid five bucks extra to get rounded corners, because well, I like rounded corners. The ordering was easy and from order to delivery I think it was 4 days until they arrived. Quick shipping and the quality was great.  I  can definitely recommend Got Print.


Once I got the save the dates in hand I headed to PaperSource to get some envelopes. I knew they would be more expensive than buying envelopes online, but I wanted to do a fun matchy color, and since I saved so much by printing my own I decided to “splurge” on envelopes. I know, Steve thought I was silly too! I ended up getting A7 envelopes in “sage”. They run $4.25 for 10, which is expensive for envelopes, but the quality is great and I was able to put them through my printer at home with no issues. Yes, I printed the addresses. You would too if you saw my handwriting :)


For the return address I designed a stamp and used it on the back of each envelope. It worked well but they took forever to dry- I had envelopes spread all over our apartment for 24 hours until they stopped smearing!



I finished them off with some white rose stamps and dropped them at the post office! I had a lot of fun making these, and all in all it ended up being an easy and inexpensive option. Here is the quick cost breakdown:

Project Cost (100 Save the Dates)

Creative Market Graphics:            $   9.00

Printing:                                            $ 49.41

Envelopes:                                         $ 42.50

Stamps:                                              $ 49.00

Total Cost:                                      $149.91

If you want to save even more money, you can always do post cards and skip the envelopes AND save on postage. Now about those invites… hmm…


 love and candy,


a crafty date

By |August 3rd, 2014|Art, crafts, decorating, DIY, Uncategorized|

MARQUEE-MAIN Most of the time when I craft, Steve is working on his music at the desk next to me. It’s fun because we’re both doing our own thing, but are still “together” in a sense. Both enjoying our hobbies, side by side. Sometimes we collaborate- I’ll mess around with some vocals for him, and he is my built in tech support for the blog ( hallelujah!) . It’s a lot of fun working together, and it really brings us closer when we get involved in each other’s passions. Soo I was super excited when Steve agreed to a craft date! I wanted  to create a wall hanging with marquee lights on it to hang over our bed. The plan was to make a wood frame and then write something like “snooze”  or “dream on” with the lights. We started sketching out ideas and trying to figure out if wood was the best medium. Steve thought canvas might work better, and would require less power tool use- a plus when you live in a an apartment! We already had a pair of canvases hanging up that I had painted a few years back with a simple bridge outline. We were planning on replacing them with the new wall hanging, so we decided to use them as guinea pigs to see how well canvas would hold up with the lights hanging on it.

bridge lights (1 of 14)

Using a razor blade we cut little x’s where we wanted the marquee lights to pop through.

bridge lights (2 of 14)

Then we took off the round cover off of the light string, and stuck the light through the small hole.

bridge lights (3 of 14)

bridge lights (5 of 14)

Once it was through, we re-attached the cover so it was secured through the hole.

bridge lights (6 of 14)

The lights wiggled a litlte, so we added some tape on the back to keep them secure. Not the prettiest from the back- but that’s why it’s the back!   We repeated the process until we had placed all the lights we wanted.

bridge lights (8 of 14)

bridge lights (9 of 14)

^Steve forced me to be in a photo- yes, I craft in my pajamas. Ater placing all the lights we wanted, we taped to extra lights on the strand to the back. Last we secured the on/off switch in an easy to reach place.

bridge lights (7 of 14)

When we were through with our “sample” project we loved the results ^ So much so that we didn’t want to toss it! Instead we decided to grab the other canvas and repeat the process.

bridge lights (13 of 14)

bridge lights (11 of 14)

bridge lights (14 of 14)

bridge lights (12 of 14)

The second one went a lot quicker and when we hung them up together we loved the look. There is definitely more bleed through from the rest of the light string on the white canvas compared to the black.  I thought of adding a backing to the canvas to prevent it, but as the night went on I decided I liked the twinkle effect just the way it was.

bridge lights (1 of 2)

bridge lights (10 of 14)

In the end instead of a completely new wall piece, we just gave ours a shiny update.   In case you want to try it out on your own, I recommend buying batter LED lights because they last a long time and there are no ugly chords to plug in. If you click on the below photo it will link you to Amazon where I bought mine for about $12.00. It was such a fun project to make, and Steve and I enjoyed laying under the “stars” last night.

love and candy,