Heart Wall Collage

I am a picture fanatic. I mean, I have done pictures at JCP for EVERY milestone for ALL FOUR of my kids! I’m sure that my family and Ryan’s family all think I over do it! But I am sure one day, I will be more than thankful to have all these little memories of my kids. Actually, I already am thankful that I have so many pictures.

I have been looking for a way to display a lot of the pictures we have taken over the years, without cluttering my living room walls. I found a heart collage idea on another website, and thought I would throw in some wall decorations also!


Here is a step by step on how I did it, along with some things that didn’t work for me!

First, buy your wall décor and print out your pictures.

Lay it out how you want it and measure it to make sure it will fit on the wall!!- I did several different tries before I got it right. The first time I did it, it was like 80in by 65in. TOO BIG!


Count your pictures and buy that many frames. I used these from Walmart.

Frame the pictures (It actually takes awhile…I had to trim all 39 pictures)

OK now for the tricky part—

I wanted all my pictures to be the same distance apart. At first I tried to cut out paper to use as a template, tape it on the wall, and hammer in the nails. I quickly found that several of my (handcut) templates were 1/16th inch off, and it quickly added up and I ended up being ¼ inch off! Not cool!

Sooo what I did, was start with my longest middle row.


I used 2 of the templates to put up the middle two pictures, and measured how far apart my NAILS were and how far from the ceiling. Then I just went down the whole row. The nail holes were 5 5/8in apart and 25 5/8in from the ceiling. Then I moved up to the next row and did the same thing. Used the template for the middle in that row, and measured the distance apart- this time they were landscape, so the nails were 7 1/2in apart. It got easier as I went. Just for each row, start with the middle picture, tape the template, and then measure the nail holes as you move to the outside of the row.

I kept all my portrait layout pictures 5 5/8 in apart and the landscape pictures were all 7 1/2in apart throughout the entire collage.

I love how it looks! And it isn’t cluttering my living room. It is in a hallway that is visible from the living room, but it won’t be a cluttery focal point!


And wish me luck on keeping my sweet 1 year olds hands off of the bottom rows!  Right now, he is loving pointing to himself in the pictures!


DIY Inexpensive Grandparent or Great-Grandparent Gift Ideas

Today I wanted to post some of my favorite inexpensive grandparent or great-grandparent gift ideas.


Multi-generational picture:

This one is pretty easy. You just buy a frame and print off a picture of the youngest generation. Have their parent hold the frame and take a picture. Print, and reframe. Have the next generation hold the frame and take a picture, and so on. I did mine in 8X10, but I think it would look great as 11X13 also. I ended up editing it some on Microsoft Word because the smaller pictures got a little blury. And I printed the final picture in black and white and framed it using the same frame that was in the pictures. Total cost was around $14 ($3 for each print and $2 for the frame- all from Walmart)

This was the one I used as an example, and here is how the two I did for our grandpa’s turned out!

Generation Photo Grandparents GiftGeneration Photo Grandparent Gift









Photo Tiles:

I LOVE these! I prefer doing mine in black and white using porous tiles. I’ve also done it on the plain flat tiles, but I like the ones with more personality! Here is the tutorial:

This is how a few of mine have turned out.  photo tiles Grandparent Gift

For Valentine’s Day one year, I did them using pictures of my kids each holding a letter to spell out the word LOVE. I’ve printed in color too and they turn out great also!


Large photo tiles:

These are a little more decorative and take up more space. I just modge podged some Large Photo Tile Giftscrapbook paper pieces onto a 12X12 tile from Lowes. Then I modge podged a picture on top and added letters and flower décor. Drilled holes into the tile and used a ribbon/wire combo to make a hanger. This is the one I did for myself, but I also did these for the grandmas spelling out NANA and GRANNA instead of family.




Photo words:

This one is easy, cheap, and cute. Just snap some pics of your kids holding whatever letters you want them to spell out. We have done POPPA, PAPA, and DADDY. Print using the 1 hr photo at Walmart, cut to size, and stick into a long narrow frame.


Stepping Stones:

These are the PERFECT keepsake gift! I just buy the mix and mold sets from Michaels. I also really like this one!  It is 12 inches across which is a great size for handprints and glass decorations on the border. Follow the instructions and then press your kid’s hands in to make the indention. Make sure it’s not too runny, or the handprint will fade. These look great in flowerbeds. I have actually fit 5 handprints in one of these!  Stepping Stone Grandparent GiftStepping Stone Grandparent Gift


Photo Flower Pots:

Buy a terra cotta flower pot and paint it white. Print pictures on regular paper in black and white. Cut and modge podge onto the pot. I also sprayed mine with sealer before I gave them to grandmas. This was my example, and here is how mine turned out.

photo flower pot for grandmas

Handprint/Footprint art:

Google handprint or footprint art and you will find tons of cute ideas!  We’ve made angels, reindeers, flowers, etc.


These plates:

Super fun for Christmas

mistletoes grandma christmas gift


Handprint aprons:

I almost finished this… My mom gave me a sewing machine and so for Christmas I made her an apron. I did cut outs of my kids handprints, but ran out of time to actually put them on the apron…maybe some day.

If you want to take a shortcut, just buy a cute apron instead of sewing it and then put your kids handprint cutouts on it.



I’ve done all of these, they are easy, quick go-to ideas if I’m running short on time!

Best Tasting and Easy to Make Construction Party Cake

Construction Party Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes! It is very easy to make and tastes amazing! Like no joke, I’m pretty honest when it comes to food, and this cake is great! I’ve done this 3 times- once for Brocks 5th birthday, and twice for Beaus 1st.

This is what you will need

This recipe

Small construction trucks for decorations

Extra oreos that have gone through the food processor (dirt)


Candy Letters- I just bought orange and yellow ones from the store

I used the recipe above, and made the cake in different size pans so that I could layer it. You can pretty much pick whatever size you want. And double the recipe if you are cooking for a big group (plus the leftovers are awesome too).

Cook cakes and let cool.

Make the filling and spread over the entire base cake.

Layer the cake alternating between cake and filling. (the cake is likely to look pretty awful at this point)

Cover entire cake with icing and smooth.

Place trucks, cones, signs, candles, letters etc on the cake where you want.

Construction Birthday

Add oreo crumbs to look like dirt. I generally put oreos all the way around the base (it covers up the icing mess ups) and also put oreo crumbs in the truck beds. Just make it look like a work scene.

Construction Birthday Cake


Gobble it up!

Also, to go with this cake (yes the cake is the important part-ha), this was how I decorated for the actual party. Oriental trading and Birthday Expressions are where I bought some of the decorations and the “Birthday Zone” caution tape.

A few small things I did were (please ignore the low-quality pictures.  It was an old camera)

“FUEL” drinks: Sunny D wrapped in caution tape with FUEL stamped onto a Hexagon and taped on.

Construction party Fuel drinks

“Concrete Mix” cups: to hold the ice cream

I bought orange cones and work hats for all the kids who attended to use as party favors. These also worked great to decorate with before I gave them away!

Construction Birthday

I made a few of my own signs to spell out HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROCK

Construction Birthday

I reused some of the decorations for Beau’s 1st party.

Kid friendly DIY Fall Decor

fall decor

Here are 2 fall décor ideas that your kids can help you with.

The first is just a fall decorated canvas with letters made from sticks.

What you need:

Canvas, fall decorating leaves, hot  glue, burlap, staples, sticks, and little fall decorations (optional).

First I shoe polished (it was left over from the vase) and colored my white canvas a brown color. I just didn’t want a bright white shining through the holes in the burlap.

Next I covered my canvas with burlap. I just wrapped it around and stapled it to the back.  I would have preferred to just buy a burlap canvas, but I didn’t have one. So if you do, then more power to ya!

Then I hot glued fall colored leaves around the edges. My 6 year old loves to use hot glue! Supervised of course.

stick canvas

Now, have your kids go gather some sticks and twigs.   Wash the dirt off and let them dry, or if you’re not patient like me, then you can use a hair dryer to dry them. Brock did mine for me.

Hot glue the sticks onto your canvas to spell whatever word you would like. I considered spelling “welcome” but it was too long.stick canvas

Add some extra fall décor to a corner and you’re done!

stick canvas

I hung mine above this shelf I made.  The vase we make next is also on the shelf.

fall decor



The next one is the old school faux-leather looking vase.

I remember making one of these when I was in elementary school way back when. Camden and Ryder had a great time doing this one!

What you need:

Can or jar, masking tape, shoe polish, rag

Wash your can and tear the paper off of your can. Make sure your can is completely dry. Now you’re ready to tape. I covered the rim with masking tape myself to prevent one of the boys to get their fingers cut.








Tear off small pieces of tape and put on the outside of the can. I tore the tape and let the boys put it on themselves. The less perfect, the better.

Use shoe polish and cover the masking tape, rubbing it in with a rag. You can make it as dark or as light as you like depending on how much polish, and how much you rub.


Dry and use as a flower vase or pencil holder or whatever suits you!

Old dresser with a new purpose


Old Dresser, New function


I was given an old dresser that was still very pretty, but not in good shape. Cosmetically it was appealing but functionally it was lacking. The drawers were falling apart and the sides and bottom were loose/falling off. Instead of trying to repair it, I set a goal to recreate it and try to use EVERY piece of wood that came with it. This is my first project.

dresser before

Finished product

I have been wanting to create a nice and usable laundry room space. One where we can put our bags/jackets/shoes when we come in and not trek mud through the house or forget where we put our bags. I’ve seen several projects where people use bookshelves to make a bench and use as storage in the laundry room. I figured- hey! This dresser could totally be transformed into something like that! Looking at the different options I decided to cut a portion of the bottom off, and leave just the top drawer. This created both a drawer and a cubby type space.

This is what it looked like after I cut the bottom off. Underneath we use to put dirty shoes and boots. Also I have some baskets underneath that I will use for dirty laundry if I have unexpected company and there are clothes on the laundry floor.



I also wanted something that could be used to hang things on. I thought about just sticking a drawer face up on the wall and saying Voila! But that looked too plain. I desired something that could also pair as a decoration. Sooo I figured I could use both drawer faces that I removed and make a shelf. (This was the hard part) It was hard because I only had a hand saw to cut with. This is how it turned out though.


Thankfully It was all white and therefore I didn’t have to paint any. Also, I was able to hide my screws so I didn’t need to figure out a way to cover them up.

Here’s How

Here is a more step by step and list of what we need

What you need:

Old dresser

Saw (All I had was a hand saw)

Drill and drill bits



Tape measure

Caulk & Paint if needed

For bench

First take the back off the dresser and take out whatever drawers that you are not going to be using.

Then mark and cut the whole dresser wherever you wish. Mine I cut right above where the bottom drawer would be. *Make sure its level

If bench is unstable, use a drawer bottom, or piece you have removed to screw into the sides at the back and stabilize the bench.

Paint if desired.

Your bench is done! Yay!


For shelf:

Take knobs off of a drawer face and use a drill to screw them into just one drawer face. (This is up to you, I used 3 knobs- I added 1 to the middle. But you can put as many/few as you’d like)

The hanger part of your shelf is done!

You will use the drawer face that you added knobs to, and one other drawer face for this next part.


Hold the 2 drawer faces in a 90 degree angle with the shelf part to where it will lay on top of the face with knobs.

Cut a piece of cardboard that will act as a template for a brace between the two faces.

Cut 2 braces and drill and screw into the shelf face, and the face with knobs. (sand these afterwards)

Anchor your whole shelf into the studs in a wall. (We used screws and went all the way through the back part of the shelf.)


Paint and Caulk if needed