You + Me*: DIY Valentines

For this DIY project, we wanted to share an easy way to make pretty valentines (or seating cards or even invitations–the possibilities are endless) using watercolors. Watercolors are a great medium because they produce gorgeous variations in shade and tone (perfect for all of the reds, raspberries, peaches, and pinks that go with Valentine’s day!). We’ll be walking you through two projects; both have the potential to look sweet and romantic or clean and modern. Have fun & experiment! – Miya & Elisabeth

You will need:
Watercolors in colors that suit your fancy
A brush or 2
A glass of water
A white crayon
Paper doilies
Spray adhesive (you can experiment with other adhesives, but the spray adhesive worked best for us)
Cutting instruments (scissors or an X-acto knife)
Cardstock or watercolor paper, cut to the desired size of your card (this should be the size of a folded card, meaning twice the length as the size you want the front of your card to be)

For the doily valentine:
Start by creating a wash over your card with color. Be sure to use enough water that the color goes on smoothly without any gaps. Also experiment with mixing colors and/or using more or less water to create gradations in color on your card. When you’re happy, let it dry.
Move a paper doily (or 2 or 3) over your finished card to see what pattern you like on top. Don’t be afraid to cut apart the doilies! When you’re happy, spray the doily with adhesive, following the directions, and adhere to your card. Cut away the excess doily.
Fill the inside of the card with loving sentiments, sappy memories, and/or hopes for the future.

For the crayon valentine:
Start by using your white crayon to make a pattern or write a sentiment on your card. You’re writing where you don’t want the paint to take to the paper, so keep that in mind if you’re drawing something.
When you’re happy with your design, paint over it with your watercolors. We found that we really liked a single swash of color, but we also tried painting the whole card, and that was nice, too.
Declare your undying love for the recipient, and sit back and relax, reveling in your job well done.

And are you loving those envelopes? The DIY is here! We used tracing paper, and even though the doilies in the tutorial are square, we used round ones that were slightly smaller than my finished size, and we loved the way they looked.

Have fun, everyone! We’d love to see your cards if you do this project, so please do email us at hello{at}youplusmestyling{dot}com to show off what you’ve made!

[image from Sean Dagen]

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You + Me*: You’ve Got Mail! V-day party

Valentine’s day is lurking just around the corner, but we like to think we shower our sweethearts with affection more than just once a year. That means they don’t mind when we take a cue from our favorite third graders, and spread the love to the whole class (well, the grown-up version of the whole class anyway). We gathered our favorite people in one place to make and exchange valentines.

With handmade cards instead of the Snoopy variety pack, a vintage mailbox in lieu of a paper bag delivery system, and shot glasses of teeny tiny cookies rather than boxes of stale conversation hearts, this valentine exchange was a definite upgrade from elementary school. The best part is that this friendly gathering reminded us that love notes should be exchanged far more frequently than once a year. If you’re looking for an excuse, engagement parties, showers, rehearsal dinners, or weddings are all good ones.

Oh, and we know we’ve already mentioned the teeny tiny cookies, but we’re not sure words can actually convey what a big hit these little glasses of cookie confetti proved to be. The cookies are just SO TEENY TINY. – Miya & Elisabeth

Styling: YOU + ME* Lifestylists
Floral Design: Traci Terrick
Photography: Sean Dagan Photography

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Handmade Weddings giveaway + DIY!

Handmade Weddings by the ladies of Hello!Lucky and the talented Shana Faust is finally out and its a total winner with its page after page of awesome crafts and beautifully shot layouts…I’m happy to share with you one of my favorite projects from the book below…the pegboard seating chart.  Its so graphic and fun, and can be customized to suit any style.

And hey, since I’ve got your attention, you probably want to win a copy of the book right?  Well I’ve got 3 to give away!  Leave a comment below for your chance to win, and 1 lucky winner will also receive a limited edition (only 50 made!) set of letterpress cards made especially for the book!  Since I’m away most of this week, the winners will be announced on Monday.  Good luck! Contest closed

PEG BOARD SEATING CHART

MATERIALS
Makes one 3-×-4-foot seating chart with approximately 50 seating cards
• One 3-×-4-foot sheet Peg-Board (Peg-Board can be purchased in modular and custom sizes from your
local hardware store or at Lowes, www.lowes.com. Adjust the size to fit the number of guests at your wedding. Each seating card requires approximately a 5-×-7-inch area of Peg-Board.)
• 1 pint white paint (optional, if Peg-Board is not prefinished)
• 1 roll kraft paper
• 50 wooden clothespins
• 6 to 10 rolls decorative tape in a variety of colors and patterns
• Ten 8 1/2-×-11-inch sheets white text-weight paper
• 1 roll thin nickel or copper wire

TOOLS
• Peg-Board Seating Card template (available online at www.chroniclebooks.com/handmade-weddings)
• Inkjet printer, with extra cartridges
• Font: Remington Weather
• 6 to 8 sheets newsprint (optional)
• Paint tray (optional)
• Paint roller (optional)
• Scissors
• Glue dots
• Craft knife
• Cutting mat
• Ruler
• Masking tape (optional)

HOW TO

1. Prepare your Peg-Board.
Lay newsprint on the floor of your work area, and lean your Peg-Board against a wall or table on top of it. If using, roll a coat of paint onto the board. Let it dry. Apply another layer if desired. Trim the kraft paper into panels that are sufficient to cover the back of your Peg-Board completely. Affix to the back of your Peg-Board with glue dots.

2. Decorate your clothespins.
Affix a strip of decorative tape along the length of each clothespin. Smooth it flat. Trim off any excess with a craft knife. Repeat on the other side.

3. Print your seating cards.
Using a word-processing program or the Peg-Board Seating Card template, customize your seating cards. Print them using an inkjet printer onto text-weight paper; because they are printed on both sides (guest’ s names on the front, table number on the back), print at least one test run to ensure proper alignment. Trim along the crop marks provided using a craft knife, ruler, and cutting mat.

4. Assemble your seating chart.
Decide how you would like to space your rows of seating cards. For each clothespin, thread an 8-inch length of wire through the spring (figure 1). Insert the wire ends into a hole in the Peg-Board, pierce through the kraft paper, twist a few times to secure the clothespin, and flatten the ends against the board, trimming with scissors if necessary (figure 2). If desired, secure the wire ends with masking tape (recommended if you are transporting the assembled board to your venue). Clip your seating cards to your clothes-pins in alphabetical order.

[images from Handmade Weddings and CBroussard]

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Paper+Craft DIY and giveaway!

Thanks to this blog, I’ve been lucky enough to make friends with lots of the people I write about, and Minhee from Paper+Cup Design is no exception.  I had been a huge fan of her work even before I got to know her, and now having gotten to know her, Truman and even little TJ, has made it all the more special!  Which is why I’m so proud of Paper+Craft, the book she and Truman just released with stylist Randi Brookman Harris…its chock full of beautifully designed crafts that are super easy to make for any occasion.

Like the DIY project below…these would make for fun gifts or cake toppers, and its super duper easy!

Materials needed:
Photo
Black paper
Mini christmas tree or plant
Scissors
Cuttting mat
Metal ruler
Tape
Glue stick
Ribbon
Thin strips of wooden sticks
white ink pen

How to:
+ Place a piece of tape on top of the photo and stick it on top of the black paper
+ Take your scissors and cut around the photo shape
+ Place a piece a tape on a stick inside the black cut out shape
+ Cover it with glue stick
+ Place the photo on top to enclose the stick inside the 2 pieces of paper
+ Write a message on back with the white pen
+ Stick the photo stick inside your plant
+ Decorate with a ribbon

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Chronicle Books is letting me giveaway 3 copies, and I’ve got a special FOURTH copy that is autographed by Minhee, Truman and Randi to giveaway myself…you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this!  Leave a comment below about what you’d use the book for, and 4 winners will be announced on Monday.  Good luck!

[If you'd like to check out some pictures of their booksigning this past weekend at PaperSource, check out the pictures on Facebook]

[top image from C. Broussard, all others by Paper+Cup]

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You + Me* DIY: Stop-motion packaging

When we were thinking of how to deliver the video, sending an email with a link seemed way too informal, but sending an over-produced package didn’t seem right, either. The solution? A DIY sleeve made to look (and work) like a record sleeve. We’ve provided a pattern for you so you can design your own jacket, along with a blank record so you can put in your own text. It could be super cute to use a custom stamp kit (kind of like these business cards or this wedding invitation suite over at design sponge), or hire a calligrapher to write out your names and the date of your wedding, then use that on the jacket and record. We opted for a transparent envelope with a wrap-around label so that the picture of Mike and Amber would show through, but you could also use any other 5″ square envelope. After you’re done designing, the assembly is easy. Cut out your “record jacket” with an exacto knife (be sure you use a sharp one, or you’ll get kind of fuzzy edges like I did) and ruler, and score the lines between the flaps and the front of the jacket. Fold with a bone folder (to make your creases nice and crisp), and glue the flaps to the back of the jacket. Use the record template to customize the template that comes with your cd labels. The possibilities are endless! If you’re stuck, Trent Bailey and You + ME* offers custom packaging design along with stop motion save the dates.

Download the templates here:

Record graphic

CD packaging

Label sheet

[images from Trent Bailey]

Trent Bailey and You + Me* are sponsors of Brooklyn Bride

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