DIY Baby Shower Gift / Photo Prop Gift

Brett’s cousin Allie is pregnant with a baby boy due in May, and while Allie and her husband live in Florida now, her baby shower will be hosted in Denver by her older sister early next month!

When it comes to showers – both bridal and baby – I’m always hesitant to go too far off of the registry, because I know that, at least for our wedding, the items we registered for were the ones we most needed. But, I always love to add something unique and handmade in there, too, whenever possible!

Because Allie lives so far from Denver, I decided to ship a few things to her directly from her registry, but I also made this fun little photo prop to give her as a gift on the actual day of, with inspiration from a Fynes Designs blog tutorial. The idea is that she will be able to pose the little man with this prop at the beginning of each new month in his life.

DIY baby shower photo prop tutorial

DIY Baby Shower Photo Prop Gift

What You’ll Need:

  • Chalkboard paint in any color (I used Martha Stewart brand)
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Alphabet letters
  • A small wooden sign (Michael’s has a big variety of shapes and sizes)
  • Hot glue (if you’ll need to glue the letters down)
  • A ruler
  • Chalk to give to the mom-to-be

DIY baby shower gift tutorial

The steps to creating this sign are incredibly easy.

Step One: Using your brush or a foam brush, paint your wooden sign with chalkboard paint. Coat the paint on thickly and resist the urge to thin the paint out when applying it. You want the paint to be applied in a thick coat so there is less chance that it will flake off when you use the chalk on it later.

Step Two: Let paint dry completely (this is important), then apply at least two more coats of paint.

Step Three: Once the paint has dried completely, apply your letters. I used a ruler for reference to make sure they were on straight. I also backed my letters with hot glue just to be sure they stayed on. I started with white letters, but ended up switching to more colorful letters that I found at Office Max to add a pop of color against the black paint. Add any other embellishments you’d like, as well as a circle in which the new mom can write in the appropriate month number, and you’re set!

The total cost of this project was $30 for me, but that was largely because I needed to buy a new paintbrush set (Brett says my problem is that I don’t wash them out correctly, so I’m always ruining them… sigh), which ran me about $14 on their own. All supplies except for the alphabet letters were found at Michael’s, and the board only cost me $3.99!

Happy crafting!


Greeting Cards from BE paperie

Hi, everyone!

I’m really excited to share my brand-new greeting cards with you today! I’ve loved writing and have been super obsessed with greeting cards since before I can remember… so I’m bringing these to BE paperie!

Check out some of my designs at Below are some of my favorites. 🙂 Please let me know if I can customize a card order for you!

BE paperie humor greeting cardsBE paperie humor greeting cards

DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Photo Light Box

I built as photo light box last night! I have to say that I’m pretty excited about it.

As I journey into this thing called starting an Etsy shop, I’ve been immersing myself in learning about product photography to try to improve my skills (if you could call them that… Probably not). Given that I LOVE documenting memories, I almost always have some kind of camera on-hand, so the sheer volume of photos I take usually produces at least one “good” (to me) photo from the 25 or so I’ll take in one evening, but even then, results are not guaranteed.

Couple my lack of certified photo skills with the poor light in our apartment, and you’ve got a frustrated me trying to take flower photos every evening. A light box seemed like the perfect answer to taking better shots even after a long day’s work.

This project only took me about an hour excluding shopping time… which usually takes me forever, given the distraction that is the craft aisle, obviously. The total cost of the project for me was about $30.

DIY photo light box from BE paperie

What You’ll Need:

  • A cardboard box – mine was on the smaller side. Adjust according to what you’re planning to photograph.
  • Masking tape, duct tape, clear tape… any kind of strong tape will do.
  • White fabric (the rumor is that tissue paper will work as well, but I wanted something I wouldn’t have to re-do due to tearing). One yard of it will do.
  • Three clip-on desk lamps (I got mine for around $5 each at Wal-Mart).
  • X-acto knife
  • Three 100-watt daylight bulbs
  • Something pretty or something that looks polished for the backdrop and “floor” of the lightbox once it’s finished. I used white poster board, which you’ll see below.

BE paperie photo light box tutorial

Step 1: Tape the bottom side ONLY of your box securely.

BE paperie photo light box tutorial

Step 2:  Cut three rectangles from the three sides of your box, NOT from the top or the bottom of the box. Leave roughly 2-3 inches around all of the sides. Whichever side you leave uncut is going to become your stage background.

This doesn’t have to be perfect (my cuts clearly were not). In the spirit of independence, I did all of the box cutting myself, but be very careful as you do this step, as the box will become more and more flimsy as you go on.

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial

Step 3: Using your something white (I opted for a yard of white fabric I bought for $2.50), cover the rectangles you’ve just made, leaving the top of your box uncovered, as you’ll need that open to be able to stage items.

I did this the lazy girl way and literally just draped and taped my fabric around the box, but you could also cut individual segments for each rectangle if you wanted more precision. You could also cut the flaps off of the box if they’re going to be a pain to work around, I just didn’t find it necessary.

Step 4: I cut a slit in the back of my box, using the tutorial from Oh She Glows. That way, I can drop whatever I’m using as my stage through the slit instead of having to hang anything for the stage. I did attempt said hanging at first, but it did not go well.

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial

Step 5: Create your stage. Like I said, I ended up finding that the best solution for me on this was to cut a piece of poster board to size and slide it through the back slit. Err, ignore how that sounds!

You could also try creating the effect of both a back wall and a floor if you wanted a certain effect in your photos, but I wanted to start with plain white for now.

Step 6: Last, add your lights! One goes above the top panel, and the other two go on the left and right sides.

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial

Though not the most beautiful thing I’ve ever created, I’m really happy with how my light box is functioning. This weekend, I’ll probably experiment with adding the aforementioned floor and back wall effects, but this will do for now!

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial